Sunday, July 26, 2009

Acts as justice in two thirds world perspectives

We had Steve Maina, from Church Missionary Society lead Bible days yesterday. What a gift!

A lot of synchronicity in the room: the Bible days topic (based on the lectionary) being the book of Acts, Steve being from Kenya and working for Church Missionary Society, the date falling in Opawa missions week.

Steve was superb. Passionate. Enthusiastic. An intellectual capacity, combined with a depth of study. Fresh eyes. He kept hammering away about justice: that the book of Acts is about justice – about the Spirit being shared between ethnic groups, about wealth distributed fairly.

Take the gift of tongues. For years this has simply been a dog fight between Pentecostals and non. But when you consider tongues as an outworking of God’s justice, then Acts 2 and Acts 11, become a reminder of Gods’ favour upon outsiders. New ethnic groups have just as much place at God’s table as any other.

Up goes the mirror: the dog fight over tongues is framed simply as justice. Do our church structures and policies and mission need to flex, to ensure an equal voice for all? Are Pentecostal ways of leading justly participatory? Are Baptist church meetings places of justice, where everyone has equal voice?


Bible days are proving such a gift. This is the fourth – John, 1 Peter, 1 Corinthians – now Acts. The next at Opawa is 2 Samuel on August 15. So often I see the Bible used either badly or loosely. Bible days brings intellectual resources into the community. It allows people to consider the Bible within bigger picture frameworks. It’s a living reminder that we need to engage the Bible in multiple ways – sermonic, lecture, lectionary. It’s allowing us, in a sustainable (every 6 weeks) to focus on the Bible. It’s bringing the academy into conversation with the pew.

Posted by steve at 06:39 PM

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