For: The Essentials In Songwriting Online Worship Values Course with Dan Wilt

1) WORSHIP SONG ANALYSIS FOR AN AWESOME WORSHIP SONG WE WERE ASKED TO PICK

Song Title: You’re Beautiful, Writer: Phil Wickham.  http://ow.ly/1K622
This is an awesome worship Song –  Suitable for both Small and Corporate Groups, used a great deal in Soul Survivor.
The Song Vision is bascially a love song to God, recognising creation proclaiming His beauty and Jesus death for us.  Another possible title could be: “I see you”.

Metaphors, rhymes, contrast e.g. light and dark, rising sun are used to great effect reinforcing the message.  The extremely easy to follow format of the song is AAAA.

The main hook is the melodic (electric) rift: Ooo Ooo oo Ooo Oo in the Intro and repeated throughout the verses.  Lyrically the first three verses start with “I see you” and all four verses finish with “You’re beautiful”.  The bridge backs this up by repeating these phrases.

Even after one listening it is easy to remember and I could sing it now with passion.  There is amazing lyrical consistency.

2) INITIAL SONG IDEA

The Song Vision for the Song I am writing is:
“Once I kept it secret, but I can’t keep it secret any longer, NOW I am going to let Jesus light shine”

For: The Institute Of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, DanWilt.com’s Spiritual Formation CallsHistory Course with Dan Wilt – #01 of DanWilt.com’s Spiritual Formation Calls

Discipleship for Non-Christians only?

This is my second post for DanWilt.com’s Spiritual Formation Calls where Dallas Willard introduces the concept of the importance of discipleship by pointing out the frequency with which it is mentioned in the New Testament. (269).  1

Jesus called us to be “fishers of men”, just as we were caught he calls us to catch also.  Matthew 4:19.

Un-discipled Disciples

Willard states “that churches of the Western world have not made discipleship a condition of membership of the church”.   2
While this might be controversial at it’s heart we all need to have a Saviour and choose to follow Jesus as Lord of our lives.  Without this in my opinion there is no point in going to church!

Conclusions

There is no easy Christianity… we need to understand the cost of being a disciple of Christ and building quality relationships with others to point people to Christ.

All this takes time, so we need to plan, prioritise and be organised as soldiers in God’s army, recognising we are fighting his battle.  Just as we were caught (rather than taught) we need to be clay vessels that God can use to hook others.  The decision to follow Jesus is merely the start of a long journey or process of getting to know God.  I pray that we will all recognise the simplicity of Christianity but also realise the life long journey and never forget to pass this on!

1. Foster, Richard and Smith, James Bryan,  Devotional Classics: Selected Readings for Individuals and Groups. HarperCollins 1990, pg 13
2. Foster, Richard and Smith, James Bryan,  Devotional Classics: Selected Readings for Individuals and Groups. HarperCollins 1990, pg 14

For: The Institute Of  Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, Essentials Green
Online Worship History Course
with Dan Wilt – Week 5 of Essentials Green Online Worship

About “I Choose You” and why it was written…

I had the privilege of hearing Dan in person at the “Australian Vineyard Worship Leaders Retreat” held at Katoomba, Blue Mountains, Sydney Australia.  Dan touched on a lot of the elements from all the Essentials courses.  However, one of the things that impressed me the most was the statement, “Don’t wait for the anointing to act, do it out of obedience!”

Don’t get me wrong.. the anointing of the Father in our life is essential and doing things in His Strength rather than our own is paramount!  But sometimes we may not feel the anointing and this may mean we don’t act, when really we should (out of obedience to the Father, and his instructions in the Great Book!).

I believe each day we need to plan and be deliberate in our actions… in effect, we need to “choose to follow the Father” over following our own way.

Hence… I wrote the song “I choose you”, I wrote the words a few months ago and wrote the music while at the Australian Vineyard Worship Leaders Retreat.  I recorded it in my camp room on my macbook and I have to admit I was a little late for dinner that night!

On the subject of “The Father”, I felt He spoke to me clearly at camp about this…

Just as we hung out with our earthly fathers growing up.  He wants us to hang out with him just as comfortably.  Also as Christians he is calling us to hang out with our own kids and other people (not rushing relationships but spending quality time with them) so that we can point them to the Father!”

I hope you enjoy this song “I choose you“, please let me know your thoughts after you have listened to it!

Thanks for reading this blog on Essentials Green I hope you have enjoyed it.

For: The Institute Of  Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, Essentials Green
Online Worship History Course
with Dan Wilt – Week 4 of Essentials Green Online Worship

Dan this week spoke in three Videos for Week 4

A Magical Universe Reflections on G. K Chesterton in Devotional Classics – Dan Wilt

Chesterton focussed on the Glory of the created order. The Universe is magical, the universe is alive and has meaning. This is in contrast by Scientific materialism the belief that the universe consists of carbon and atoms, random and without purpose.  Orthodoxy.  The Universe is Charged with the Grandeur of God.   Children love the life so much they want things to happen again.

Repetition in nature – God has never got tired of making daisies. But we may be that we have sinned and grown old, but God has not.

God is younger than us, he can exalt in monotony and repetition.  Repetition expresses the drudgery. As a worship leader we can get bored.  Repetition that we go through in order to create those spaces, in order to that liturgy or work of worship, could be every evidence that there is tremendous beautiful life going on among us, rather than simply repetition and deadness.  We may have made the bad guy in our contemporary worship anything that is old or has repetition.  Our aim for new worship can diminish times when we simply hear the scriptures.  A sense of foundation and offer ourselves to God again.   Repetition is part of the cosmic order and may hold treasures for us.

Man was always small compared to the nearest tree, therefore compared to the size of the universe we are definitely small.

My thoughts on this… When I was 16, one of my friends shared that when you use a microscope to look at one of God’s creations e.g. a plant, the magnification reveals patterns and as you turn up the magnification the patterns keep going on and on. Yet with a man made object e.g. plastic, the patterns and design are only skin deep. This puts everything in perspective, that God knows us by name yet he created the universe! Wow!

Intro to Spiritual Formation – Dan Wilt

The language of spiritual formation is describing that a soul is on a journey. Talking about discipleship, a journey to the heart of God. Not necessarily a straight line.  If it was then that person would rot. Sometimes God shows up in the most unlikely places. Instead of a straight line we might be turning all around, it might look more like a dance or more of a wandering. We are moving towards God in the likeness of Christ. We live our lives in analogue not digital. God is after ur
interior life being larger (or more substantial) than our exterior life. We need to tend well to the garden of our own earts.   Souls with a deep sense of identity from God or strength. Our identity should be in Christ. Taking in regularly the scriptures, learning how to pray without ceasing. We are cultivating our own creative expressions.  Serving others, food banks, worship. Inviting others to pray for us and praying for others we are entering into the journey of spiritual formation. It takes time, journey, community open us up to be intimate with God and self-disclosed before God. This will allow us to be transformed from the inside out. An intentional activity, an intentional choice o our part to be formed by God.

Movements of the Soul – Reflections on Ignatius of Loyola in Devotional Classics – Dan Wilt

God is not just after a perfect life, rather that our lives are on a general trajectory towards God.

We should not love any created thing for it’s own sake but only in the creator of all things. Consolation when one shares tears inspired by the love of the Lord, whether it be sorrow for sins or by the passion of Christ our Lord. Consolation he calls any increase of faith, hope and charity. Any interior joy that calls and attracts to heavenly things and to he alvation of one’s soul, inspiring it with peace and quiet in Christ our Lord. He calls Desolation all that is contrary to the third rule, darkness of the soul and turmoil of the mind, inclination to low and earthly things, restlessness resulting rom many disturbances and temptations, which leads to loss of faith, loss of hope, loss of love, it is also desolation when a oul find itself completely apathetic, tepid, sad and separated as it were from it’s creator and Lord. . For just as onsolation is contrary from desolation, so the thoughts that that spring from consolation are the opposite from those hat spring from desolation.

The following question was posed to us….

What spiritual formation idea or quote most moved you this week? How will you seek to apply to your daily life as a Christian and as a leader?

For me A couple of statements from Dan Wilt’s Reflections on Ignatius of Loyola in Devotional Classics, moved me the most.

Ignatius defined Consolation as any increase of faith, hope and charity. Any interior joy that calls and attracts to heavenly things and to he salvation of one’s soul, inspiring it with peace and quiet in
Christ our Lord.


– Desolation is defined as contrary to Consolation, darkness of the soul and turmoil of the mind, inclination to low and earthly things, restlessness resulting from many disturbances and temptations, which leads to loss of faith, loss of
hope, loss of love


With this understanding I know that there have been times in the past when I have been motivated by desolation and it wasn’t pretty.

I realise that I need to consciously plan and action a life long decision to pursue consolation, in the power of God’s Holy Spirit. Embracing new life, His ideas not mine, reflecting God’s image and pointing others towards a life overned by God’s consolation..

Posted by: Simon | July 27, 2009

Week 3 of Essentials Green – Kingdom EXPECTATION

For: The Institute Of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, Essentials Green Online Worship History Course with Dan Wilt – Week 3 of Essentials Green Online Worship

The question asked this week on facebook was this…

“In what ways does your faith community currently embody the value of
Kingdom Expectation in your worship expressions? How are these
values reflected in your own life as a leader?

My answer was as follows:

Kingdom EXPECTATION to Kingdom BELIEF

I BELIEVE Kingdom EXPECTATION is as much about faith as walking the life..  Walking the Christian life means embracing the whole package.  Embracing all there is to God including Salvation, miracles, healing, life after death, peace and forgiveness.  Believing that God has given us a purpose and created us in his own image and that God designed us wonderfully, Jeremiah 29:11 I alone know the plans for you, plans for prosperity and not disaster, plans for a future and hope.

Our #1 church value is  “Loving God through a life-style of worship”.  We as a community believe that worship is not only through music on a Sunday, but is all about a lifestyle of worship or an offering of every part of our lives to God.   Choosing to worship with our whole lives in all our roles is faith building.  When we allow God into every part of our lives how can we not EXPECT & BELIEVE that God’s Kingdom to not come in every part also!

When we pray the Lord’s prayer, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, I BELIEVE God is challenging us to not just EXPECT his Kingdom to come but to BELIEVE his Kingdom to come!   One day God will create a new heaven and a new earth and there will be no crying, no pain.

For: The Institute Of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, Essentials Green Online Worship History Course with Dan Wilt – Week 2 of Essentials Green Online Worship

The question asked this week on facebook was this…

“In what ways does your faith community currently embody the values of 
1) Accessibility and 2) Cultural Relevance in your worship expressions? 
How are these values reflected in your own life as a leader?
”

My answer was as follows:

“Naturally” supernatural I hope!

The community surrounding our Yarra Valley Vineyard church in Lilydale, Melbourne varies from poor to mostly middle-class. Our church building is a converted clothing factory (“naturally” not a crystal cathedral) and on Wednesday nights we invite people to dinner in our building. We get a chance to chat to them and “naturally” show God Jesus’ love and provision in a practical way. Many “naturally” transition from Wednesday nights meals to Sunday morning church.

A few times a year we run discos in church for kids from the local primary schools, this further demonstrates our life with Jesus in a very “natural” and culturally familiar way. Parents of these children drive into our carpark and walk into our building to transport their kids. This improves the visibility of our church to the community and to many who may not know we existed.

We Worship Jesus with Vineyard, Hillsong and other christian contemporary music, we have electric, synth, percussion and bass as part of our band. We have a cafe, coffee tables and stop for coffee as part of our service. This all helps us be more “naturally” contemporary.

I thought I led worship “naturally” contemporarily! However, to be honest the way I do worship at 38 is not dissimilar from when I was 15. Musical styles have changed hugely, so I am challenged this week after reading and watching the material to get out my electric to lead next time!

For: The Institute Of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, Essentials Green Online Worship History Course with Dan Wilt – Week 1 of Essentials Green Online Worship

Church Values

We were introduced to the concept of primary and secondary church values.
Primary values, or core values, are what is ultimate: they are the reason for an institution’s existence.
Secondary values are instrumental values that serve the core values. 1

For example, our churches mission statement is:
To reach our world for Jesus by growing in faith, offering hope and acting in love.”
And the primary values for my church, Yarra Valley Vineyard in Melbourne, Australia are:
1. Loving God through a life-style of worship
2. Investing in relationships is essential
3. Using spiritual gifts to build others up
4. Engaging the next generations
5. Developing servant-leaders
6. Sacrificing for God’s mission
7. Caring for those in need
8. Depending on God in prayer

An example of a secondary value in our church would be, to cook nutritious meals for those who need food.

I was particularly impressed in Dan Wilt’s explanation of Central Worship Values:

  • Values of Intimacy and Integrity remind us that interaction with God and lives that are growing in accord with God’s design.

  • Values of Accessibility and Cultural Relevance remind us that worship is an inclusive experience, that all are welcome, and that building bridges to the world around us is a high calling of the worship community.

  • Values of Kingdom Expectation sets our hearts toward inviting God in our gathered worship expressions to do more than we may have planned. This value reminds us that God has an agenda for what happens when we gather to acclaim Him and to consider His Story with us once again.

  • Values of our own Spiritual Formation remind us that we lead not only from the instruments we play, or via the creative means given to us, but more prominently we influence from the lives that we ourselves lead before God. Our character has a sound and a voice all its own, and this final section will welcome us to consider the journey of our own hearts as a worshipping people. 2

Following on from this Romans 12:1-2 speaks volumes and challenges us to have high standards of integrity in all areas of our lives, secret and public!

12 1 Brothers and sisters, in view of all we have just shared about God’s compassion, I encourage you to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, dedicated to God and pleasing to him. This kind of worship is appropriate for you

Dan discussed in the Values Video 3
We might have seen what church is like in another church and think it would be good in our church, we might have all the right intentions, but what happens when we just mimic it in our church?

Unless as a church we seek God to set primary church values and aim to follow them, we can loose our way, and miss the mark.

Instead as Dan stated, “ Worship is about bringing Glory to God in this world. Claiming God for who he is by the complete and utter surrender of the human soul before God”

In fact there is so much good stuff in what Dan said I implore you to take the course for yourselves you will love it.

Integrity as explained by Dan in the Integrity Video 4

When we understand that our central motivation is that God be Glorified it does away from within the hidden motives of the heart, that think that it is somehow to do with us. John Wimber, “we just have to recognise that we don’t have a ministry we all the the ministry of Jesus. We are laying down our lives to lift up God. In everything we do he must become great and we must become less. We take our place as humble servants in worship. At the same time welcomed into this great co-mission of God, to open up the hearts of people to interact with him in this world that has great possibility for brokenness and great possibility for the Kingdom of God to break in”

Worship value of Integrity
Integrity the same person in private as they are in public.
Is my life on the general trajectory to be like Jesus, in the internal hidden spaces of my heart?
Are issues of anger, bitterness, or lust taking precedence. Well this puts us on really dangerous ground because our own hearts can become toxified.

As leaders
As worship communicators and facilitators, we need to ask some hard questions in our lives. If we are singing songs to care for the poor. Then it is really important that we as worship leaders that we be actively involved with caring for the poor. We need to be integrity. Brain Doerkson. “People intuitively sense if people are embracing the level of integrity and they can sense a level of taking rather than giving. Am I adopting a posture of taking or am I actually here to give! Am I here to fan into flame what God is doing. We don’t need to be in a state of perfection. The general trajectory of our lives. We need to be worshippers ourselves. Because we have a secret life of worship these are the best worshippers. Integrity in our relationships. If there is competition and striving amoungst us people will feel this. We need to keep short accounts. This call to integrity is really a call to be a giver in community. Out of the call of your heart it is spilling into your life.

Intimacy as discussed in the Video 5
The most vivid realisation was that Intimacy can be loud and celebratory and doesn’t need to be soft and sweet.
When we allow intimacy in worship we become vulnerable. God has invited us into a self disclosing vulnerable interaction with he who is the God of the Universe. When we approach worship, intimacy must be one of our central goals. How we are going to interact with each other and the members of the worship team. We are providing an atmosphere for the ones who have loved him. Who is about healing them from the arrows who have wounded them. He is the healer and restorer.

Ways we can think about intimacy:

  • Self disclosure

  • songs to open up the heart

  • songs that invite them like a wedding to yield their emotions to God.

  • People enter into an intimate exchange that God has implemented first.

  • By God’s action to us we respond to him. Mutual disclosure with the God who loves us.

  • Great celebratory music can create an incredible space for intimacy.

  • In marriage intimacy can be loud and postural

  • The ways we choose to nurture our own devotional life.

  • Facilitating intimate conversation .

  • Psalmist said, “Where can I meet with God”

  • We can meet with God in this moment.

  • Not just warm fuzzy atmospheres, we are seeking to help people as pastors as musicians.

  • When we lead worship one of the things we want to drive, is intimacy.

  • We want to open up the door way between people and God.

1 Wilt, Wilt EG Booklet Week 1, (essentials*green ONLINE STUDIES IN WORSHIP VALUES AND SPIRITUAL FORMATION, Stephen’s University 2009), pg 2
2 Dan Wilt, Wilt EG Booklet Week 1, (essentials*green ONLINE STUDIES IN WORSHIP VALUES AND SPIRITUAL FORMATION, Stephen’s University 2009), pg 3
3 Dan Wilt, Week 1 Intro to Worship Values Video, (essentials*green ONLINE STUDIES IN WORSHIP VALUES AND SPIRITUAL FORMATION, Stephen’s University 2009)
4 Dan Wilt, Week 1 The Worship Value of Integrity Video, (essentials*green ONLINE STUDIES IN WORSHIP VALUES AND SPIRITUAL FORMATION, Stephen’s University 2009)
5 Dan Wilt, Week 1 The Worship Value of Intimacy Video, (essentials*green ONLINE STUDIES IN WORSHIP VALUES AND SPIRITUAL FORMATION, Stephen’s University 2009)

For: The Institute Of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, DanWilt.com’s Spiritual Formation CallsHistory Course with Dan Wilt – 01 of DanWilt.com’s Spiritual Formation Calls

This is my first post for DanWilt.com’s Spiritual Formation Calls I think a fitting title for CS Lewis’s start is “Death to our Natural Self” CS Lewis in Devotional Classics discussed what it means to “be good”, inevitably when we push our natural selfish desires down and attempt to do “good” things for others, we often feel frustrated when others do not return the favour (and when our natural self goals and ambitions are not fulfilled). CS Lewis said, “But we are hoping all the time that when all the demands have been met, the poor natural self will have some chance, and some time, to get on with it’s own life and do what it likes.” 1 CS Lewis states “The Christian way is different: harder, and easier. Christ says, “ Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good” 2 In summary I believe Jesus wants all of us.. not just what we believe it is good to give, but all of us. Also… if we do things in our own strength or for our own unhealthy natural desires we are doomed for failure. The things that remind me to focus on Jesus and away from myself are:

  • songs like “Come Holy Spirit fall a fresh on me” and “No longer I that liveth, but Christ that liveth in me!”
  • verses like Phillipians 3:12 “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”

Be encouraged this week to Live for Christ and for Christ alone! 1. Foster, Richard and Smith, James Bryan, Devotional Classics: Selected Readings for Individuals and Groups. HarperCollins 1990, pg 7. 2. Foster, Richard and Smith, James Bryan, Devotional Classics: Selected Readings for Individuals and Groups. HarperCollins 1990, pg 8.

For: The Institute Of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, Essentials Blue Online Worship History Course with Dan Wilt – Week 5 of the Essentials Blue Online Worship History Course.

This is my final post for Essentials Blue hope you have enjoyed reading, I have enjoyed this course!

When we think of church ministry, we often define our church mission and values first.  Following this we tend to define our church ministries e.g. worship, kids ministry, outreach, and caring for the poor as a means to fulfil our mission and values.  In the big plan we may forget that when we action these ministries in the power of the Holy Spirit, God uses us “naturally, supernaturally” to demonstrate His Kingdom here on earth.   Since reading NT Wright’s Simply Christian and taking part in St Stephen’s University’s Essentials Blue, the reality of the words I have prayed many times in our great Lord’s prayer, “Thy Kingdom Come” have hit home.

Therefore in whatever ministry we serve in the local or greater church, we are demonstrating God’s heaven here on earth.   My prayer is that “I would awake every morning and seek your face first, I would strive not in my own strength but instead be filled by your Holy Spirit.  I would not underestimate how I can be used by you.  May your kingdom come, may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, use me as your servant to achieve this here in this place.

Now if it seems that I have dodged the “what is worship?” question you would be right, because I believe that worship is not just confined to music on a Sunday morning but it is all church ministry that demonstrates God’s heaven on earth.  I personally can’t think of any ministry that doesn’t but please let me know if you find one.

I believe that in all areas of ministry we need to be Holy Spirit lead ministry artisans: real, responsive, servants using all means of written, music, electronic media & travel to reach & communicate to the world.

There is no doubt that Jesus is coming soon.   In the blink of an eye   (Rev 22:20)  “Yes, I am coming soon.”
But we aren’t Living for the bell, on the contrary we have the aim to be clean lenses focussed on God so that others will not see us but they will see Christ in us.

2nd Cor 4  “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, Let light shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us”

The miracle of it all is that God chooses to use us as unclean vessels to bring about his Kingdom on earth.  We will pray that God will use us others will know that we are Christians by our Love and that peoples blinded eyes would be made open to the full Glory of God and the truth that God is the source of all!

This is my final post in Essentials Blue thank you for the privilege!

Please check out my creative project for Essentials Blue here

Also the direct link for my rap “Jesus Prophesied – Based on Isaiah 53” is here also.

https://sgaiser.wordpress.com

For: The Institute Of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, Essentials Blue Online Worship History Course with Dan Wilt – Week 4 of the Essentials Blue Online Worship History Course.

This weeks reading material was from pg 185-204 of Tom Wright’s "Simply Christian"

If you have been reading my previous posts, you will have gathered that as christians Tom Wright (the writer of Simply Christian) believes that heaven and earth are not separate worlds, and conversely that God is not in everything, but that heaven and earth overlap miraculously in many ways. That is as human beings we get to experience heaven on earth in small ways each day (if we choose to recognise the things that do come from God and give God the glory for those things).

So you won’t be surprised to find that in Chapter 16 of Simply Christian that Tom goes on further to elaborate on the story that he has started in the context of Resurrection.

For after all our belief in resurrection is fundamentally important to us as Christians.
He begins with, "Despite what many people think, within the Christian family and outside of it, the point of it all is not to go to heaven when you die. The New Testament picks up on the theme that God intends in the end, to put the whole creation to rights. Earth and heaven are made to overlap with one another, not fitfully, mysteriously and partially as they do at the moment, but completely, gloriously and utterly. ‘The earth shall be filled with the Glory of God as the waters cover the sea.’ The great drama will end not with saved souls being snatched up into heaven, away from the wicked earth and the mortal bodies which have dragged down into sin, but with the new Jerusalem coming down from heaven to earth, so that the dwelling is with humans (Rev 21:3)" 1
Tom explains, "Paul and John, Jesus himself, and pretty well all the great Christian teachers of the first two centuries, stress their belief in Resurrection. ‘Resurrection’ does not mean going to heaven when you die, it isn’t about ‘Life after death’. It’s about ‘life after life after death’ . You die you go on to be with Christ (life after death), but your body remains dead"
The Tom states "after that interim is finished there is a new bodily life within God’s new world (life after ‘life after death’)"

He states, "God’s plan is not to abandon this world, the world of which he said that it was very good. He intends to remake it. And when he does, he will raise all His people to new bodily life to live in it.
Tom suggests that this is markedly different from what most people believe and are in fact taught. He challenges us then to "wake up and read our texts again". 2 
Wow, what and incredible challenge? A number of years ago I remember listening to my pastor preach each week and him saying, "don’t just take what I say as being true, take notes and check it out during the week for yourselves" A number of us used to do just that, but this study now reminds me that it has been some time since I have taken the time to do so.

Tom makes it clear "In God’s new world, of course, Jesus himself will be the central figure" 3 
Tom, "Our goal is the renewal of the presently corrupt creation"

Renunciation: As Christians we need to say no to things that are wrong.  

Rediscovery: Reaffirming the humanness that God desired us to have, is saying yes to the things of God here on this earth.  4 

Tom goes on to state we need to recognise evil as evil and good as good and stand up for justice in the world. 5

Also relationships are important and central to all human life. Love needs to be remembered. 6 

We need to embrace the fruits of the Spirit and also learn how to cope with the realities of our anger. 7

We need to practice apology and know and experience forgiveness 8 

We need to make sure there are no distortions of sexuality 9. 1 Cor 6: 9-11, Eph 5:3-10, Col 3:5-8

Beauty is also important. Beauty in creation 10 
Artists that join work with those who work for justice will be needed 11

Will Bernard posed us the following question for the week: (sorry but some of my above thoughts are repeated as answers to these questions)

Now, having reflected on a variety of theological ideas related to God’s nature, His purpose in the world, and the role of human beings, you’re going to write a small, summary "worldview" document in this post. Take a deep breath; this will serve you for years to come, and could even form the foundation (coupled with next weeks assignment) of a life-long worship philosophy for you and your community. In other words, write this as if you are writing it as a foundational biblical worldview statement your church community.

You’re going to distill all we’ve read and discussed thus far into a 250-500 word "A Christian Worldview", using phrases, theological ideas and your own perspectives from our course thus far. When you’re finished, you may want to simultaneously post this on your blog as well, so it will be there for others to find and explore in the years to come.

Here is a suggested outline to help you (optional):

1. Origins (Who is God, who are human beings, and why are we here?)
Gen 1:26 "Then God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness".

We were created for relationship with God.

Dan, "God is the King of the universe, then we who have his breath are of royal and governmental origin" 12 

God is the great creator of it all, Chris Tomlin "Indescribable, Uncontainable, You place the stars in the sky and you know them by name"

We as His image bearers knowing the truth that about God, have a responsibility to share it with others and be lenses that focus others on God, so that they don’t see us but see God in us.

2. What happened to us along the way, and what did God do?

God commanded man to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but yet in the Garden of Eden man ate of that tree.

Gen 3:6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths

The human race was banished from the garden in Gen 3:23 therefore the Lord God sent them out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.

Dan Wilt, "Throughout the Old Testament period, after image of the Fall in Eden, God begins to establish covenants, vital bonds of commitment, with a variety of human beings. We have the Noahic covenant, the Abrahamic covenant, the Mosaic covenant, the Davidic covenant and other commitments that God makes to human beings who choose to respond to His extension of love. 13

God recognised that we could not follow all the laws of the old testament so he sent his Son Jesus. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

3. What is the Kingdom of God, and how is it expressed in the world/in the human family/by the Church?

Throughout the book "Simply Christian", Tom explains that he believes that heaven and earth are not separate worlds, and conversely that God is not in everything, but that heaven and earth overlap miraculously in many ways. That is, as human beings we get to experience heaven on earth in small ways each day (if we choose to recognise the things that do come from God and give God the glory for those things).

When we pray "thy kingdom come" in the Lord’s Prayer what does this mean? Well I believe that when Jesus lived on this earth and rose from the dead this was God’s kingdom on earth demonstrated. Also, we can experience God’s kingdom directly through His Holy Spirit in us, His miracles on earth, through our repentance and His forgiveness of our sins and also when Jesus comes again the bible says we as Christians will be with the Father forever.

What as His family and church can we do on this earth before Jesus comes again? We can stand against injustice, we can listen to His still small voice, we can wait upon the Lord to renew our strength, run and not grow weary walk and not faint(Isaiah 40:31). We can be lenses that focus others on God.

Tom Wright, "Our goal is the renewal of the presently corrupt creation" and he makes two points:
i)  "The importance of Renunciation: As Christians we need to say no to things that are wrong".
ii)  "The importance of Rediscovery: Reaffirming the humanness that God desired us to have, is saying yes to the things of God here on this earth" 14

4. Endings (where is human history going – what will be our final destiny?)

Tom Wright, "Despite what many people think, within the Christian family and outside of it, the point of it all is not to go to heaven when you die. The New Testament picks up on the theme that God intends in the end, to put the whole creation to rights. Earth and heaven are made to overlap with one another, not fitfully, mysteriously and partially as they do at the moment, but completely, gloriously and utterly. ‘The earth shall be filled with the Glory of God as the waters cover the sea.’ The great drama will end not with saved souls being snatched up into heaven, away from the wicked earth and the mortal bodies which have dragged down into sin, but with the new Jerusalem coming down from heaven to earth, so that the dwelling is with humans (Rev 21:3)" 15

Then Tom states "after that interim is finished there is a new bodily life within God’s new world (life after ‘life after death’)"

He states, "God’s plan is not to abandon this world, the world of which he said that it was very good. He intends to remake it. Rev 21:1 And when he does, he will raise all His people to new bodily life to live in it.

Tom suggests that this is markedly different from what most people believe and are in fact taught. He challenges us then to "wake up and read our texts again". 16

Tom makes it clear "In God’s new world, of course, Jesus himself will be the central figure" 17

Wow, what and incredible challenge? A number of years ago I remember listening to my pastor preach each week and him saying, "don’t just take what I say as being true, take notes and check it out during the week for yourselves" A number of us used to do just that, but this study now reminds me that it has been some time since I have taken the time to do so.

We need to be ready when Jesus calls us to go to go, we need to continue to listen to His Holy Spirit, we need to be passionate world wide communicators of Jesus in this present age.  May God bless you incredibly!


1 Wright, Tom. Simply Christian: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge 2006. 185
2 Wright, Tom. Simply Christian: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge 2006. 186
3 Wright, Tom. Simply Christian: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge 2006. 187
4 Wright, Tom. Simply Christian: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge 2006. 190
5 Wright, Tom. Simply Christian: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge 2006. 194
6 Wright, Tom. Simply Christian: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge 2006. 194
7 Wright, Tom. Simply Christian: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge 2006. 195
8 Wright, Tom. Simply Christian: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge 2006. 196
9 Wright, Tom. Simply Christian: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge 2006. 196
10 Wright, Tom. Simply Christian: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge 2006. 200
11 Wright, Tom. Simply Christian: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge 2006. 201
12 Wilt, Dan. essentials*blue – ONLINE STUDIES IN WORSHIP THEOLOGY AND BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW, St Stephen’s University.  29
13 Wilt, Dan. essentials*blue – ONLINE STUDIES IN WORSHIP THEOLOGY AND BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW, St Stephen’s University.  19
14 Wright, Tom. Simply Christian: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge 2006. 190
15 Wright, Tom. Simply Christian: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge 2006. 185
16 Wright, Tom. Simply Christian: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge 2006. 186
17 Wright, Tom. Simply Christian: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge 2006. 187

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