Wednesday, 19 July 2017

DEEPER SPIRITUALITY

'If we accept Paul's view of "spiritual", as that which pertains to the Spirit of God, then such a view includes our bodies, since God's Spirit gives life to them. This challenges us to think again about what we count as "spirituality." It certainly suggests that we should include physical well-being under the heading of spirituality. Taking time to care for our bodies is a spiritual discipline and needs to be placed alongside prayer and worship in our thoughts about spirituality: sleep, exercise, pampering in a spa, having a well-cooked meal with friends are all part of spirituality and we should take care to ensure we do them regularly. They are not an indulgence, they are life giving.
It might also mean that we learn to listen to our bodies in order to discover the state of our spiritual well-being. Extreme exhaustion or regular illness may have nothing to do with our spiritual well-being but they might do. Taking the time to listen to our bodies, to feel how they really are in more than a merely cursory way might tell us something important about our life with God in the Spirit.' 
Paula Gooder, Body, p.129.

GOD'S SPIRIT IS NOT AN OPTIONAL EXTRA

'...we cannot see the Spirit as an additional extra to our life that we engage with if we feel like it; the Spirit is vital to the very breath of the Church and the gifts of the Spirit are the means by which the body breathes full life-giving breaths. More importantly, without the gifts of the Spirit, the Church pants for breath and struggles to function as it should. The body of Christ, just like each one of our bodies, needs the Spirit to live.'
Paula Gooder, Body, p.128. 

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

CHRISTIAN IDENTITY IS A CORPORATE IDENTITY

'One of the reasons why Christianity struggles to find a natural home in the modern Western world is because Christianity is underpinned by an understanding of corporate identity, in which who you really are can only be understood together rather than apart. The Western world has departed so far from this understanding of identity that this crucial piece of theology appears irrelevant and arcane. The challenge is that it may appear to be irrelevant but it is not. There remains much for us to understand about ourselves and our communities in the view that we are bound together in Christ, but it is something we must become better at expressing, both in word and deed. True lived community in which our identity is embedded in Christ-like love is the most valuable gift we can offer a world fractured by suspicion and loneliness, but it only works if we believe it and live it ourselves.' 
Paula Gooder, Body, p.109. 

THE MUSIC OF 1 CORINTHIANS

'...much of 1 Corinthians is a fugue on the body. In music a fugue is a composition in which a theme is introduced, imitated, in different ways and with different instruments, before being recapitulated one or more times. In other words it plays with a theme, developing it, leaving it silent for a while and then bringing it back in a recognizable but slightly different form.' 
Paula Gooder, Body, p.107. 

Monday, 17 July 2017

LIVING IN THE LIGHT OF THE FUTURE

'The call to Christian living is a call to fix our eyes on the horizon of the new creation, a horizon marked by peace, justice, harmony, and true life, and "live up" to that horizon, wrestling to live now as we will all live then.' 
Paula Gooder, Body, p.82. 

OUR DEPENDENCE ON GOD'S SPIRIT

'It is not our ability to think or speak that enables us to engage with God. It is God's Spirit poured into us and entwining with our own spirit that does that.' 
Paula Gooder, Body, p.81. 

Sunday, 16 July 2017

PAUL'S THEOLOGY OF THE BODY

'...in Paul, bodies are to be found in both the old age and the age to come, in the old creation and in the new creation. There is, then, simply no room in Paul's theology for bodies to be automatically and universally evil. Bodies per se are not evil, imprisoning or corrupting, there are the gift of God to be cherished and nurtured.' 
Paula Gooder, Body, p.46. 

THE NEED TO TALK ABOUT DEATH

'The problem we often face is that we wait until somebody has died to talk about life after death. The one time in our lives when we simply cannot engage in any meaningful creative theological conversation is when we are in the grip of a raw and disorientating grief. Unless discussion about the fundamentals of what we believe happens after death becomes a common conversation among us, we will never be able to become a community that can talk meaningfully, confidently and compassionately about death, grief and loss.' 
Paula Gooder, Body, p.44. 

SOUL-MAKING

'Soul-making implies a deliberate intention on our part to pay attention to who we are called to be and to seek regular refreshment so that we can grow more and more into the people God yearns for us to be. There is and should be an emphasis on the regularity of this refreshment. Just as we cannot give up breathing, so we should not give up deliberate and intentional soul-making.
This soul-making is something that includes our bodies - that active seeking out of refreshment that animates us and brings new life only makes sense if it includes our bodies as well as "inner" beings. Intentional soul-making involves paying attention to those events, activities, and relationships that animate us and seeking to engage in something that brings life to as many aspects of our being as possible, as regularly as possible. Then we will begin to see that we are not "just" keeping body and soul together but living out of a richly animated, integrated existence that brings life and refreshment.' 
Paula Gooder, Body: Biblical spirituality for the whole person, p.42. 

Thursday, 6 July 2017

THE TRINITY

'The revelation of the Trinity was incidental to, and the inevitable effect of, the accomplishment of redemption.' 
BB Warfield in Fred Sanders, The Trinue God, p.240. 

THE OLD TESTAMENT

'...a chamber richly furnished but dimly lit...' 
BB Warfield in Fred Sanders, The Triune God, p.214.