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Andrew B
The Netherlands
Just a stranger on the bus trying to find my way home.
Interests: The questions 'who am I' and 'why am I here'. Organic church, emerging church.
Recent Activity
Hi Matt, Thanks for your thoughts. That's a good definition, it includes essential points.
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Hi Vera, Thanks for your request, but I have to admit that it is not my picture so I am not in a position to give you any permissions. I found it somewhere on the Internet. It's a while ago so I do not now know exactly where. There seem to be quite a few versions of something similar around. See, for example, this search
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Hi Are, Good to hear from you! Well, it was just a small local conference aimed at a Dutch audience. I don't remember precisely, but I think most of it ran in Dutch. So I would have been a bit embarrassed at inviting you to come all the way from Norway for such an event. Maybe we should be inviting Frank Viola to Europe again. What do you think? Good to hear your house church is going well. Sad to say ours has just recently decided to disperse. So we are free floating believers facing an infinite range of possibilities. :) Greetings, Andrew
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Managing your love - hate relationship with America for Dummies
Toggle Commented Mar 24, 2010 on TypePad for Dummies at Everything Typepad
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Andrew B is now following The Typepad Team
Mar 15, 2010
Interesting to hear of the hero's avatar elevated to the status of a Christ figure. I saw it in 3D, so visually it is beautiful entertainment, but my perspective on the theme is the turbo capitalist military industrial complex against the innocent aliens in a symbiotic biosphere. The culture of short term financial gain and endless economic growth against the culture of a long term sustainable balanced way of life. Some interesting issues are touched on, such as the dangers of government outsourcing military activity to commercial organizations and the prejudices and assumptions about foreign or alien low tech societies being less developed and less worthwhile than high tech societies. For me the idea of the avatar being a metaphor for Christ is totally undermined by the inherent deception of the purpose of the avatars' mission - to gain the trust of the Na'vi in order to persuade them to meet the needs of the invading capitalist military industial complex. The avatars are fundamentally deceptive by intention and are not sent on a mission to benefit the Na'vi in any real way. The winning hearts and minds through building schools and teaching English has echoes of the forked tongue of colonialism or Nato in Afghanistan. And I agree with a Tweet by Mike Morrell that District 9 did a better job of exploring the relationships between the nasty side of humanity and innocent aliens.
Toggle Commented Dec 30, 2009 on Avatar at TallSkinnyKiwi
Hi, Looking forward to meeting at the simple church network day (south) on 7 November. :)
Toggle Commented Oct 23, 2009 on Simplechurch in Nederland at Jonathan & Christina
Thanks for your comment jv0813. I am not so familiar with Witness Lee so I am relying on Wikipedia and indeed there are similar themes in his movement and Frank Viola's books. Viola does reference Watchman Nee and T. Austin Sparks quite frequently. However, there are a couple of important points to note. 1. To do justice to Frank Viola's position you need to take account of the following set of his books: - The Untold Story of the New Testament Church - Pagan Christianity - Reimagining Church - From Eternity to Here - Finding Organic Church See David Flower's blog for an overview. http://ddflowers.wordpress.com/2009/10/05/radical-church-restoration/ 2. Frank Viola's vision of God's ultimate purpose - that is not in the first place about us and our salvation, it is about God's search for a Bride for his Son. Sent from my iPhone Andrew B
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Thanks Are, so I hope you appreciate the book itself sometime! And re meeting: are you ever in the The Netherlands on business?
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Thanks Heather for the positive feedback and the warning about getting paralysed by waiting for the right time. :) In the emphasis on timing I had in mind the point that we should be moving as God guides us and not out of our own great ideas. But, of course, as your experience suggests there may not be a hard dividing line between our great ideas and God's intention. Greetings, Andrew
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M.joshua, Re the meta narrative of evolution, one of the points in the newspaper article that I found comforting is that evolution theory does not say "survival of the fittest" in the sense of the strongest and most powerful dominating and therefore surviving. Rather it is survival of those most suited to their environment - and that could be those that live a quiet life and keep their heads down! ;-) Greetings, Andrew
Toggle Commented Feb 23, 2009 on Evolution and Genesis at From Knowledge to Wisdom
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Hi Mark, On the sense of awe when trying to grasp an understanding of our existence: reading John 1 this morning I was struck by the transition from the massive opening vision of the opening verses: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. "Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it." (NIV) and shortly thereafter Jesus is talking to Nathanael about seeing him under the fig tree "You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that." In one chapter we go from Jesus the creator Word of the universe to Jesus the man starting to gather his band of disciples. Interesting about your geneticist friend's position. Maybe there are two processes - the micro adjustments to better fit a changing environment and some other macro process that brings new life forms into existence. Greetings, Andrew
Toggle Commented Feb 23, 2009 on Evolution and Genesis at From Knowledge to Wisdom
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Andrew G Interesting that your first point is about my freedom of expression. I must say, I suppose I take it for granted, living in a country where the constitution is respected and it includes measures on freedom of expression and freedom of religious belief. Re the scientific world view, I think there is a risk of this being simply utilitarian and not bounded by ethical or moral principles. But one of the strengths of the system is that it calls for publication of research results and their validation by others. This self correcting effect means that biased conclusions can be detected. However, it is true to say that God is not formally in scope of the scientific method. Greetings, Andrew
Toggle Commented Feb 23, 2009 on Evolution and Genesis at From Knowledge to Wisdom
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Hi M.joshua, Thanks for dropping by. Re blog updates, yes they have become less frequent. I have been spending more Internet time on facebook and flickr. The blog is becoming more a channel for long term articles. I have one in the pipeline on the theme of David Flowers' booklet on "Knowing Christ in Divine Order" ... but life is overfull at present, so thinking and writing are going slowly. But thanks for the nudge. It is nice to know there are interested readers. I wonder if the people who track Internet statistics can measure the point at which there are more people writing stuff than there are readers to read it all ... ;-)
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Hi Matthew, Thanks for your encouraging feedback! Re listening to Frank Viola, I have a few of his teachings on CD and I had the privilege of participating at a conference he led in Germany in 2007. Blogged it here. So I could "hear him speaking" in some of the book. And I am aiming to get by blogging frequency up a bit, so I may qualify for promotion from your "test drive" in due course! ;-)
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Thanks for your clarifying thoughts - worth way more than four cents! Re 1 Yes, you have the correct line of questions here. But a point from the book that still puzzles me is in Ch 6 on Church Unity where Viola says that the unity is among the brethren, the believers. And unity with unbelievers is a mistake. Having been in churches for years where there was a huge diversity in the beliefs of the members I am trying to get clear how you get to a situation of real unity on essential beliefs without falling into the trap of forming a sect. Now, I think the key is in your comment "the practical is just an outward expression of our inward life". Re 2 Something like this thought was floating around in my head during the weekend - but you put it precisely in words for me ... thanks! :)
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Thanks elvineve. Yes, I think you are right. Re 1. - one of the reasons I was trying to get this question clear is that in the book Viola makes very strong points on denominations - denomination forming is equally reprehensible as those choosing for Paul or Apollos 1 Cor 1:11-13. What I am trying to get clear how in practice to apply the principle of distinguishing between brethren and non-brethren without falling into the trap of sect forming. I think in the history of the church there have been lots of times when groups of Christians have fallen into that trap. On 2. I think I am still digesting this conclusion. It demonstrates what a paradigm shift there is between traditional institutional church and organic church. And I took the example of NT Wright as a good test case. So the organic church perspective says he may be absolutely valid in his ministries as theologian and teacher but his position as Bishop of Durham in the Church of England is nothing.
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See How to Dismantle an Idolized Bono on the “Jesus, Jew, Mohammed—all true.” sequence. One commentor posts: "When Bono says Jesus, Jew, Mohammed, all true, he quickly follows it up w/ the fact that they're all sons of Abraham. I don't think he's endorsing Mohammed, he's just saying that all of them are sons of Abraham. That was my take anyway." Need to take the rose coloured glasses off and watch the DVD again.
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Eric, I understand your comment, but am not sure that you are fair to these guys. In their different ways they have come to prominence. They have written their books, used their gifts, and done their best to follow God in the circumstances they found themselves in. Many, many people have found the Kingdom, learned stuff, been blessed through people like this. What are they supposed to do? Go underground? Hide in anonimity? I don't think they are imposing any organization form on anyone. Apparently Floyd McClung got out of YWAM Amsterdam because he found short comings in the way the ministry and teaching of that organization worked. He is now leading a ministry with dream "to see hundreds of teams all over the earth loving and caring for people, meeting their practical needs and discipling them in the ways of Jesus". (See http://www.allnationstraining.com/planting/aboutus.html ). Sounds cool to me. Unless you think that "leading a ministry" is inherently a wrong approach to being a citizen of the Kingdom of God. Searching the Net for stuff on John Eldredge you can't find much. He seems to be buried in Ransomed Heart Ministries http://www.ransomedheart.com/ but the people there do not make themselves prominent. And they really don't want to be dealing with a global Internet ministry or people calling to say how they have been touched by the books. They are just doing their local thing. And what would you do if you were running a small Vineyard church (OK, maybe that's something you can't imagine yourself ever getting into!) next door to Toronto Airport and the Holy Spirit decides to arrive and use it as a base from which to touch thousands of people from all over the world. Shutting down TACF was not a real option. I think. I feel with you that at this time the main place to be church and Kingdom is from the grass roots, embedded in daily life. Along with that there is an understanding that you do not need an organization, buildings, programmes, websites etc to be church. And, a discernment, that everything that has the label 'church' put on it by people is not actually part of the Kingdom. Nevertheless, I have not yet got to the point where I would say that all organizations should be dumped. And if you have an organization it has to be led and structured in some way. Andrew
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