Monday, October 24, 2011

2012 Discipleship Plan

Working on my Disciple-Making plan was a pleasant part of getting ready for this year's Charge Conference. It feels good to get ideas down on paper. Of course, these goals and plans are open to revision. This is more of a plan of experimentation. If the plan doesn't work, if it doesn't make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, then I will have no qualms about tossing part or all of it. It's the mission that matters, not the means to that end.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Beatitudes 1 & 2

In his doctrinal writings, Wesley described the Beatitudes as the "steps in Christianity" or the method that one should follow to attain present and eternal happiness (Sermon 21, pars. 3 and I.1, and Notes, Matt 5:2).  The following sermon is based on Sermon 21, Wesley's discourse on the Poor in Spirit and those who Mourn.  I have tried to express Wesley's concepts in contemporary language.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Cosmic Providence

DARPA hosted a starship symposium last week.  That's right, they want to build a starship, and they are bringing together scientists and engineers to discuss how to develop the necessary technology.  While DARPA designs plasma shields and interstellar light bulbs for its ship, I'm contemplating the doctrinal implications for the crew who will be worshiping the Creator within an unnatural environment. 

Reflecting on God's works was one of the ways that Christians exercised stewardship over the soul's capacity for understanding Wesley argued in his doctrinal sermon on the Last Judgment, Sermon 51, par. III.3.  This includes striving to know that God providentially gives us Life and Breath.

How does the crew of a submarine understand this aspect of providence when for them each breath depends upon technology designed by people?  And how much more dependent on human ingenuity will those on the starship feel?  What does a work of Providence look like in space?