It’s been a while since I’ve come on here. Nearly three years. And things have changed a lot. Including the blog theme which has been updated for the first time in three years.
I’m married now. To a beautiful wife. And that’s about as much as I’m willing to reveal about my family life on here.
I don’t expect anyone to read this blog of rather pathetic musings, but who knows. Someone may find something on here that may be useful to them.
So I think I may restart this blog of mine with posts every now and again. Mainly theological reflections and musings.
The tag line used to refer to me as an “evangelical, anglo-catholic, benedictine”. To a degree I still am. But my theological musings have become more complex since then. It all comes down to the Eucharist (of which a very old post on here used to be one of the most often viewed). But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Evangelical in the sense of saying that “I’m an evangelical because I go to an evangelical church” is now well and truly out of the picture. I haven’t been an evangelical for donkey’s years if I’m honest with myself (though I will still read serious evangelical works of theology, like Michael Bird’s “Evangelical Theology” [2013, Zondervan] to keep in touch). I used to be in favour of Hillsong, etc, etc. Now the more I listen to contemporary Christian music (especially recordings aimed at “praise & worship”) as found in the “evangelical” Christian subculture, I find lyrically they are banal and the music is starting to sound all the same. Gimme solid hymnody and chant anyday.
Anglo-Catholic, you could say that I am still that. Though I am more leaning towards the Catholic side of Anglo-Catholic now (there’s a bit of John Henry Cardinal Newman in me). I’m still very much a Prayer Book kinda guy (even more so now that I’m 3 years older). I much prefer a Divine Liturgy/Divine Service/Mass/Prayer Book Eucharist service over a typical evangelical service.
Catholic & Orthodox – I’m very much impressed by Pope Francis’ theological style, simplicity and humility of life. I’ve always been very much impressed on the theological depth of his beloved predecessors, Blessed John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Catholic religious orders have inspired me immensely on my theological journey (particularly the Benedictines, Cistercians, Trappists, Jesuits, Dominicans and the Society of St. Paul). The mystical life of Orthodoxy has always been an inspiration to me as also the Eastern Orthodox approach to theology which is different from one born into a Western theological tradition. And the Divine Liturgy. Oh, the Divine Liturgy chanted (with the exception of the sermon) is a sublime worship experience. Hillsong, you cannot and do not compare with all of your staging, lighting, loud sound systems and questionable prosperity theology to a Divine Liturgy.
Benedictine… My rule of life that I embraced as a single man changed immeasurably once I became a married man. I definitely am unable to become a monk now. The one thing that is still quite Benedictine about me is my approach to work and prayer (even though it may not be overtly apparent to an observer). Both are done for the glory of God and not for me wanting to merit anything from God. And that’s now what leads me to the next stage in my complicated theological journey.
For years I misunderstood Lutheranism. I could quote Luther’s oft-quoted definition of a Christian “simul justus et peccator” and tell you that he nailed 95 Theses to a church door that set off the entire Reformation. But I never really took the time to actually find out what Lutherans believed. And so it came one day to a fortuitous visit to Lifeline’s Bookfest here in Brisbane back in 2010 where I picked up a well-loved and used copy of The Book of Concord (published by Fortress Press and edited by Theodore Tappert back in the 1960s from memory) for a miniscule $2. And so, I’ve been working my way slowly through that alongside the 39 Articles and the Catechism of the Catholic Church for the last 3 years.
Which means that I can now add “confessional Lutheran” to my list. This is what I get for watching Worldview Everlasting and reading Bo Giertz, Luther, Martin Chemnitz, C.F.W. Walther and Francis Pieper in amongst the rest of my reading material over the last 3 years.
So I’m now an Anglo-Catholic-Catholic-Confessional Lutheran-Orthodox Christian. Confused much? It gets that way for me at times too.
As much as I can respect Reformed theology, I still find it somewhat lacking. The current crop of neo-Calvinists isn’t helping the Reformed case. I’m well and truly out of the Methodist camp now. My grandfather (a now-deceased former Methodist bishop) is looking down on me now probably with a sense of amusement along with some pride that his grandson is finding his own way theologically.
Three years ago, I was seriously contemplating entering either seminary or a monastery. The latter is now out of the option and the former probably is too (unless the Lord opens up a way for my wife and I). Becoming a priest is out of the question (well a RC priest, the Anglican, Eastern Orthodox and Lutheran pastoral ministry is still open to me). Until then, my vocation as a husband and employee of a large organisation is what the Lord is asking me to excel in.
But overall, life is good and so is the Lord.
Time for a shower and then some sleep. It’s been nice getting back into blogging. There might be more in the future.
Possibly on my theological journey, my bugbears with TV/radio/music/contemporary Christian culture/Bible translation and a rather curious hobby I have at paying far too much attention to Bible design and construction amongst other hobbies.
Case in point: Koorong, please bring in some quality leather editions of the ESV (like the Personal Reference Bible and the Single Column Legacy Bible) from Crossway and Cambridge and have them in-stock at stores so customers can actually touch them rather than only be available from the supplier. And get a new supplier if possible too as your prices (even after the AUD’s devaluation against the greenback) are ridiculously high compared with overseas.
Anyhoo, time to jet.