Friday, November 13, 2009

A purely Johannine Christianity?

I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book,
If any man shall add unto them,
God shall add unto him the plagues which are written in this book:
and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy,
God shall take away his part from the tree of life,
and out of the holy city,
which are written in this book.
Revelation 22:18-19 RV

I have often thought about what the faith would be like if all that survived was John's Gospel. What would be missing?

Many things. The Infancy narratives being the most obvious. Our understanding of the Last Supper would be very different, if we were to have it all. The Transfiguration, The Ascension, The Sermon on the Mount, The Prodigal Son. The list is obviously huge.

What would we be left with?

Just imagine if Paul's letters had not survived, and John's received a greater prominence? And (if one assumes that Revelation is genuinely Johannine) how would our view of God be altered if Revelation assumed a larger percentage of the New Testament?

I would love to study this idea in greater detail.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Gentle Collision

They are not of the world,
even as I am not of the world.
John 17:16 RV

And be not fashioned according to this world:
but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,
Romans 12:2 RV

I have been made increasingly aware of the tension of Christian and secular living. While I have been aware of this since becoming a Christian, it seems to me that the two worlds I live within are not that compatible.

The first inkling was due to social networking like Facebook and Twitter. I have two sets of friends on both: Christians and (essentially) athiests. Some of my secular friends post some pretty freaky stuff: drugs, sex, anti Christian stuff and so forth. This is not a problem for me; I accept everyone for who they are. Conversely, some of my Christian friends post some freaky stuff as well: constant "Jesus is Lord" updates hourly; Bible verses, weird Christo-politico stuff and so forth.

It dawned on me that I am unable to hide the secular replies to my posts from my Christian friends. I am also unable to hide my replies to Christian posts from my secular friends.

It is not that I want to hide anything from anyone. I certainly don't hide my faith from my secular friends; in fact, many of my status updates and posts are Christian and /or Jesus Music related.

There is another side to all this. My love for the late sixties and seventies Jesus music has been a sort of evangelizing to other music buffs. It has also been an element of secularization sneaking into my listening (That is simplistic really. I have always listened to secular music, it is only recently that Jesus music has come along). It is more to do with my ecclessiology. Previously nothing other than an organ (or harmonium) and a choir would have been acceptable to me as Church music. I suppose after a year of some pretty average music at church, the idea of a Folk Mass, or even a Psychedelic Mass seems far more appealing.

The idea of transversing these two worlds doesn't concern me. I actually like it. I guess it is more the idea that they exist that is the issue. A recent visit back to NZ made me very aware of how far I have grown/gone on my Christian journey. Doing air guitar to a Rock Mass makes me realise that I am still the same person.