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I wish to relate to you the wonderfulness of childhood innocence. The little person that seems to illustrate this to me most often in my ministry as a teacher is Blair.

Recently I was in the school office after hours, doing some paper work when I heard the most terrible racket – the desperate screaming of two little boys outside! I peaked out the window to see if they were being mauled by Hadedas (like an African version of the Hitchcock classic, “Birds”), only to find the two nine year-olds running in a large circle in the parking lot, being chased by each other. They were completely unaware of any audience, so focussed were they on their private crisis. The intense look of terror painted on their faces was mesmerizing and I watched to see what would happen if they actually caught each other. Gradually (after about ten laps) the boys’ screams morphed into squeels… mysteriously, there were two little piggies chasing each other around the parking-lot in ever shrinking circles. When their spiral arrived at its inevitable conclusion, the squeels changed into the dying gasps that only little boys can get quite right. Finally, Blair gasped out their tragic epitaph:

“Swine fluuuuuuu!”

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sdc11359I’m trying to decide what to do for the thesis I have to write for my honours in theology. I would love anyone’s comments on what they think would be worth reading and writing (mostly reading). I have three basic ideas:

1) “Personal Worship on a Collective Scale – the dangerous teaching of religious lies in popular worship writing today”

The basic idea is that modern worship is written from the personal experience of faith of the worship leader. It is then arranged so that it can be sung by a variety of believers from many cultures and in many different stages of their personal walk in knowing Christ. This is not a good situation for two reasons:

(1) It is not in agreement with our heritage (where the vast majority of songs used in worship were for the teaching of sound doctrine or focussed on scriptural truth about who God is).

(2) It promotes a religious approach to God because believers are essentially shamed into singing “promises” that are insincere and adopting the worship writer’s personal revelation of God as their own.

The thesis would explore these two ideas and conclude with possible suggestions for worship leaders and writers.

2) “The Scriptural and Historical Foundation for the Doctrine of the Separation of Church and State”

This thesis would explore the validity of this doctrine from a scriptural and historical perspective, and conclude with principles which should be taught to all believers to help them avoid the mistake (possibly??) of marrying religion (not faith) to politics.

3) “Are We Teaching Faith or Religion? – An Investigation into the Practice of Child-Discipleship”

This thesis would begin with an investigation into the differences between religion and faith (or Christendom and Christianity), establish principles to distinguish between practices which promote religiosity and those which promote discipleship to faith, and investigate one or two commonly used “manuals” or methods used in Sunday school classes, and “Christian” schools.

These ideas are now only beginning to form in my mind, and are really just expressions of my own personal questions with regards to what it means to follow Christ. I will probably move on after this short thesis to explore it in more detail for my masters thesis. I would love to hear what anybody thinks regarding these ideas, especially regarding how they might be refined to be more focussed and appropriate for research.

About Me

Ecstatically married to Leane. Studying Theology and Teaching. Working as a worship leader, teacher, coach, guitar teacher. Living in the Mighty City of Mkondo in the sunny province of Mpumalanga, in the blessed country of South Africa.

Favourite Thoughts – Outbox

Religion is to be defended - not by putting to death - but by dying. Not by cruelty, but by patient endurance. - Lactantius (c.304-313).
What is essential Christianity? From first to last it is scandal, the divine scandal. Every time someone risks scandal of high order there is joy in heaven. - Soren Keirkegaard.
Where there are two Christians, there are three opinions... [Actually a Jewish saying, but at least as true for Christians]

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