Irrefutable Proofis getting spam from Arabland that ends with the salutation ‘thank you in your sweat’.  I’m sure that’s a metaphor that works better in the original arabic.

I went to another meeting at Leith Valley Church.  This one was publicised as a Dunedin group meeting.  It involved visiting church consultant Caroline Kitto from Australia.  I listened carefully as I would have to report to my parish council and gave consideration to what she said.  Much of it was the same or similar to what I had heard at Yearly Meeting of Presbytery last year.

  • Christianity was successful in its first centuries because it took seriously a commission to take care of the sick and their neighbours affected the plagues that afflicted the Roman Empire.  I remembered a quote from Philip Jenkins’s The God Wars who noted that in the early centuries monks renounced the Romans’ public baths as pagan and were ripe unto heaven.  Philip Jenkins is a Christian historian and not a hostile critic of the Church.  It’s easy to say Christians did the charitable stuff better, but doctrine soon stacked up.
  • Christianity flourished in the cities.  Studiously omitting the fact that urbanisation collapsed in the western world for over a thousand years until the modern age.  History does tend to get in the way.  The collapse was less dramatic in the Asian world, where Christianity was so embedded.
  • To invite someone to church you must be their friend.  Okay, good advice, and I will consider where should Opoho church invest its resources and gifts?
  • Society rearranges itself.  It is changing at an increasing rate.  One of my favourite Sci-Fi writers, Charlie Stross, argues that we are at least a generation into future shock, and also that it’s not letting up any time soon.
  • Phyllis Trickle was quoted that Christianity shifts every 500 years, from the Fall of Rome, to the Catholic/Orthodox Schism, to the Reformation, to now.  The scale of the shift wasn’t noted.  From tribal society in biblical Israel, to local, regional, national, and now global culture.  This impacts.
  • If my church, Opoho, is a traditional worshipping church with a liberal, broadminded theological mindset, then does it count as a in-group or and open-boundary group?  Arguably it has characteristics of both.