The Resurrection and the Meaningless Universe

What is the fundamental problem – the underlying anxiety – facing humanity in contemporary culture? That’s the question the church needs to ask, in order to see how the Resurrection of Jesus speaks deeply to us. Following J D Hall (especially in The Cross in Our Context), in this session argues that the fundamental problem confronting our culture is not the anxiety of guilt and shame so powerfully addressed by salvation theories that revolve around substitution. He argues that the real issue in our world is:

How Can We Believe in the Resurrection of Jesus?

Some nights, Cafechurch gets philosophical. Alister's first degree was in philosophy, and it's hard to break early formation! What follows is a pretty dry summary. the actual evening was much more interesting, and conversational, than you might think. For a slightly more narrative, less explicitly philosophical take on this, you might enjoy a sermon I preached at Easter - Practice Resurrection

Resurrection, Luca Giordano, 1665

Practice Resurrection

On Tuesday morning Australian Time we woke up to shocking news. Notre Dame Cathedral was on fire. For a while it looked as though the whole thing was about to collapse into complete ruins, or that the amazing medieval rose windows and great organ would be destroyed. Thousands watched, cried, and sang as the central spire came crashing down and red fire bloomed into the night sky. Heroism, and great organisation prevented the worst from happening, but the cold, blackened embers of the roof, and the huge amount of damage, serve as a reminder of how fragile things are.

Spiritual Growth

Is spiritual growth more like climbing a ladder or like being a plant? A lot of us have come from churches where a linear model of spiritual ascent was more or less explicitly at work. As well as being a human-centric ego project, it is a profoundly un-scriptural way of looking at spiritual growth. Rather than think of the spiritual life as a sort of ladder to heaven, Scripture is full of images of growth and fruitfulness. To grow spiritually, to bear fruit, is to be much more like a tree than a ladder.

Anne's session from 5/3/19 explores this idea more thoroughly

The Baptism of Jesus

Have you ever wondered why Jesus got baptised, given that he was without sin? In this presentation we explore three different levels of meaning in Baptism, which suggests an answer to that question.

The presentation draws on Rowan Williams' excellent little book Being Christian.

Making Good Decisions Part 3

The Ignatian tradition of Christian spirituality is a wonderful resource for making decisions when we want to collaborate with God's redemptive work in the world.

In this presentation from 13/11/2018, Anne talks us through it. It's easy to talk about "discernment", but what does it actually look like in practical terms?

There is also a document -"Prayer Exercises using Reason and Active Imagination" - which will give you some powerful tools to use for prayerful decision making.

The Mission of Cafechurch

It’s important to start thinking about Cafechurch’s mission from Scripture, so here is a good place to start.

Jesus said to them again ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’ John 20:21-22

Making Good Decisions Part 1

One of the great challenges of life in our culture is how to make good decisions. We have so many options that it can be fatiguing.

Like Mr Bean trying to pack for his holiday, we aren't sure how to proceed.

In this presentation, Anne gives us a few criteria for making good choices

The Sea of Faith

The Sea of Faith 
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled. 
But now I only hear 
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar, 
Retreating, to the breath 
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear 
And naked shingles of the world. 
Matthew Arnold - On Dover Beach

Is this really true? Is the decline of faith some sort of natural law?

Vik and the Heavenly Lights

Big Universe, Uncaring God?

On Tuesday 17/7/218 we considered the size of the universe and what it means for faith - or the lack thereof.
 
It is true that the universe is huge. Staggeringly, vertigo-creatingly vast. But does it therefore follow that any hypothetical God would therefore not care about humans? Consider the question: which is more important to me - the external monitor I am looking at while type this, or the laptop which is plugged into it?
 
Stars and nebulas

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