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Source: (consider it) Thread: Reading Outpouring: new year stock-taking
SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:


Crass methodology and over-egged reporting are just the sort of things which make MotR churches reject the very notion of evangelism.

I'm not sure about this.

Some would argue that new sects/groups with strange methods come into existence when the mainstream has already begun to give up on dynamic beliefs and practices, including engagement with evangelism. After all, who would turn to 'crass methodology' if excellent methodology was in full swing?

Of course, in Britain today there are few methodologies that have a broad impact beyond small pockets. We have a fairly weak mainstream, especially outside the CoFE, so it's hardly surprising that the media pays little attention. But the media doesn't focus a great deal on other churches either. After all, there was little media coverage of the 'revival' in Reading.

So since there's no British movement or group that's powerful or famous enough to overtake 'good evangelism' with 'bad evangelism' I don't think most MOTR churches can seriously use this as an excuse for their inactivity. (The situation might be different in parts of London or the South East, though.)

[ 14. January 2017, 16:41: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Martin60
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I'm sorry, but the elephant in the room hasn't gone away. Quiet, contagious, invisible, sub-surface incarnationality.

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Love wins

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Eirenist
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Just possibly, Svitlana,the media didn't focus on the 'revival' in Reading because there was nothing 'newsworthy' to report. Sorry to be cynical.

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'I think I think, therefore I think I am'

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Martin60
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You think? Really? It was all a synthetic non-event of interest to, oooooh, 1% of the population? Call it 0.1%?

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Love wins

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Bishops Finger
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Possibly - it seems that often the only 'newsworthy' religion-related event involves a 'Vicar' (they're always Vicars, no matter what denomination) who has been accused of some form of sexual misconduct.

I agree with Martin re the elephant, BTW. He has indeed not gone away, but is visible (and active) to those who have eyes to see.

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Eirenist:
Just possibly, Svitlana,the media didn't focus on the 'revival' in Reading because there was nothing 'newsworthy' to report. Sorry to be cynical.

Well, there wasn't a revival. But lots of people praying in the street sounds rather unusual to me. However, I don't know Reading.
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mark_in_manchester

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Yes, I think lots of people praying in the street, some (yes, let's not put a number on it) people agreeing to be prayed with, and a fraction larger than nearly-none-at-all waking up a few days later and going back for a cup of tea (rather than thinking 'thank f*ck I got away from those loonies, what was I thinking) is...remarkable.

If it was presented in those terms, and the church was warm in spirit, ready and happy to just greet the one leper who came back - then the whole thing would be brilliant. It's the 'pray harder, God likes big numbers' bullshit which spoils it.

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(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

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Martin60
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Lots? How many? Which streets? When? What did the press say when invited? Where are the film reports on regional TV and sound reports on local radio? Youtube even?

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Love wins

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Curiosity killed ...

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Wherever there are street pastors there can be people praying on the streets with unknown people. Lots of street pastors around.

There are not usually a formulaic prayer to signify a conversion, but a prayers that are requested by those involved.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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SvitlanaV2
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"Pics or it didn't happen! Lols!!!!!!"

[Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin]

(Sorry, I couldn't help myself!)

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Eutychus
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I did some maths in this post based on Yinka Oyekan's own report in which he reports 1850 people were prayed for over a mission period of 4 weeks.

That is 66 people per day. He reports 810 people trained in evangelism, so another way of putting it is that over a period of 4 weeks, those people prayed with a total of between 2 and 3 people each.

Reading reportedly has a population of some 320,000.

So during a 4-week period, 1 in 173 or 0.6% of the population were prayed for. For the sake of comparison, this proportion is about the same as the proportion of adults in the US who identify as transgender.

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mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
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I have reservations about all this. But to play devils (?!) advocate a little more - me praying with 2 or 3 strangers over the next four weeks would be such a step-change in my evangelistic activity, I couldn't over-emphasise it.

Are other folks really so much more out-there than me, in this regard? I'm being honest here - I have a witness, of a sort, and I'm old enough to not give too much of a shit what people think of me. I should be able to do it; I believe it matters, and that I have good news to share. But I don't.

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(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

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SvitlanaV2
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mark_in_manchester

It's because you and I are Methodists. Our lot gave up on this sort of thing about a century ago, give or take a few decades depending on what type of Methodist we're talking about, and what part of the country. And we both live in parts of the Midlands and the North where the 'return of God' has little to do with Christian street evangelism, or Christian activities of any other type.

By contrast, many commentators here are anxious (post-)evangelicals in smaller towns or the Christian hotspots of the South East, battling against surges of middle class irrationality and hopeless expectations of the Holy Spirit. It's a different context.

However, as a former Methodist church steward I share with Eutychus an admiration for numbers as applied to church concerns.

[ 15. January 2017, 16:22: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
as a former Methodist church steward I share with Eutychus an admiration for numbers as applied to church concerns.

I don't know what you mean by admiration.

I have no interest in numbers for numbers' sake. But I do have an interest in numbers as a reality test, especially when manipulated numbers feature large in the version of reality being projected.

I also think that if one is engaged in some sort of planned project, then under God one should intelligently use numbers to see if it makes sense. Jesus talked about counting the cost.

We had a guest speaker in church today who preached on John 4 and said a lot of things that made me think of this thread.

One of the things he pointed out was that Jesus' meeting with the Samaritan woman was during an unscheduled stopover on their way to Galilee. His point being that projects and targets were all very well but one unplanned conversation with one woman in a non-targeted area brought an entire village "to the Lord".

He also noted they came not to hear her inflated testimony (he also mentioned she told only what she herself had experienced, with no embroidery, "no more, no less") or join her programme, but to hear Jesus.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
We both live in parts of the Midlands and the North where the 'return of God' has little to do with Christian street evangelism, or Christian activities of any other type.

By contrast, many commentators here are anxious (post-)evangelicals in smaller towns or the Christian hotspots of the South East, battling against surges of middle class irrationality and hopeless expectations of the Holy Spirit. It's a different context.

From a post I put up in the autumn: In "Why Liberal churches are growing", Martyn Percy quotes from James Hopewell's study of a (fictional) "northern diocese" where deprivation and struggle are prevalent. What has developed is a self-perpetuating shared narrative in which "tragic" accounts of ministry are accepted by the clergy but stories of success are challenged as being "inauthentic". The diocesan Mission Statement stresses the need to identify with "the pain of the world" but seems to consciously reject all suggestions of the Church being an agent of transformation. Indeed, a seminar on theme of "Regeneration" was cancelled on the grounds that it was "too contentious".
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ThunderBunk

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Well, I don't think it's entirely the Methodist bit. I'm equally concerned by the fact that I find it extremely difficult to share my faith, or make visible in the world the (to my mind) very clear effect that it has on the way I relate to people and generally operate.

There are many things I'd like to share, particularly ideas and the fundamental, ineluctable (to me) good news that we're all in this together and all held in God's infinite love. But how to share that in a way that doesn't do violence to me or what I want to share? No idea.

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Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

Foolish, potentially deranged witterings

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ThunderBunk

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Please see revised version below - or how to edit outside the edit window:

quote:
Originally posted by ThunderBunk:
Well, I don't think it's entirely the Methodist bit. I'm equally concerned by the fact that I find it extremely difficult to share my faith, or communicate to those who experience the (to my mind) very clear effect that it has on the way I relate to people and generally operate.

There are many things I'd like to share, particularly ideas and the fundamental, ineluctable (to me) good news that we're all in this together and all held in God's infinite love. But how to share that in a way that doesn't do violence to me or what I want to share? No idea.



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Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

Foolish, potentially deranged witterings

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by mark_in_manchester:
me praying with 2 or 3 strangers over the next four weeks would be such a step-change in my evangelistic activity

(...) I should be able to do it; I believe it matters, and that I have good news to share. But I don't.

Even in my official prison chaplain capacity I don't always pray with inmates when I go to see them (we talk about all kinds of things), but not infrequently I get a gentle reproof from the inmate as I make to leave "couldn't we pray before you go?"!

My takeaway from this is that people often are more open to being prayed for than one might suspect.

As I've said before, if The Turning™ was billed as "encouraging people to pray with others anywhere" I'd be fine with it. The problem I have with it is when "praying with" is blurred with "converting" (as well as suspicions of training people in "prophetic" "words of knowledge" that strongly resemble cold reading to me) and tied up with an obsession with numbers and firstfruits of a massive revival.

That simply fuels unreality and guilt.

I don't usually pray with strangers but I increasingly say things, say, to my postman, like "I'll pray for that" - and then try to remember to.

Sharing the good news is by and large a long haul business and an attitude, not trying to deliver a script and gain a scalp.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by ThunderBunk:
But how to share that in a way that doesn't do violence to me or what I want to share? No idea.

Surely it's also important not to do violence to the hapless recipient, too?

By the way, Thunderbunk, I was struck by what you said about communion earlier in the thread and since I was presiding communion this morning I made the most of it to present it as, in your terms "an opportunity to connect to God" - including an evangelistic opportunity.

Thus illustrating that things posted on the Ship can have real-life consequences!

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
as a former Methodist church steward I share with Eutychus an admiration for numbers as applied to church concerns.

I don't know what you mean by admiration.

I have no interest in numbers for numbers' sake. But I do have an interest in numbers as a reality test, especially when manipulated numbers feature large in the version of reality being projected.

I also think that if one is engaged in some sort of planned project, then under God one should intelligently use numbers to see if it makes sense. Jesus talked about counting the cost.

Yes, admiration was the wrong word. But you do seem to have absolute faith in how they can reveal the truth, and sweep away inaccuracies and obfuscation.

I feel that most British Christians, Methodists included, are actually very uncomfortable with the bare numbers. If you look at the figures head on, the information they convey is truly disturbing for the present and the future of the church. It's hardly surprising that many evangelicals would rather not go there.

You said above that anyone can be duped, but I'm quite interested in how evangelicalism might attract the kinds of people who are desperate for 'good news', who want to believe that the Holy Spirit can defy what seems like hugely difficult circumstances. Those who believe in taking a more intellectual, fact-based approach are perhaps destined to be on the periphery rather than at the heart of that movement.

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
"Pics or it didn't happen! Lols!!!!!!"

[Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin]

(Sorry, I couldn't help myself!)

In the C21st that tends to be so. Not a twitter. If nearly a hundred people a day were being prayed for on the streets of Leicester, which is the same size as Reading, for weeks, I would have seen it. I would have walked nearly two hundred miles within ten square ones of inner suburbs and the centre. I'd have commented on it. I'd have responded. I've been stopped by Mormons twice. I see JWs utterly ignored in plain sight everywhere with their stands. I'd have noticed.

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Love wins

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ThunderBunk

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by ThunderBunk:
But how to share that in a way that doesn't do violence to me or what I want to share? No idea.

Surely it's also important not to do violence to the hapless recipient, too?

By the way, Thunderbunk, I was struck by what you said about communion earlier in the thread and since I was presiding communion this morning I made the most of it to present it as, in your terms "an opportunity to connect to God" - including an evangelistic opportunity.

Thus illustrating that things posted on the Ship can have real-life consequences!

Absolutely it's important not to do violence to hearers either. The integrity of all participants is important, but then so is the transformative power of the message. Oh look another paradox.

I am very touched (I find myself wanting to say "emou" (sp.?????) by your thinking of my maunderings. Our service this morning combined Eucharist and baptism and it struck me at the time just how much all sacraments are enactments of the connection of love between God and his beloved creation. They all establish, nourish, restore and honour that connection.

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Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

Foolish, potentially deranged witterings

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
But you do seem to have absolute faith in how they can reveal the truth, and sweep away inaccuracies and obfuscation.

That's the way my business accounts work [Roll Eyes]

I don't have absolute faith in numbers, but I think they represent a useful benchmark against which to check the claims - also numerical - of the outreach itself.

Numbers don't tell the whole story, but they incontrovertibly demonstrate the cognitive dissonance at work here.

quote:
the kinds of people who are desperate for 'good news', who want to believe that the Holy Spirit can defy what seems like hugely difficult circumstances.
You say both those things like they are bad.

I'm desperate for good news and do indeed believe the Holy Spirit can defy what seems like hugely difficult circumstances.

See the maths on the multiplication of the bread and fish in the old and new testaments for evidence (the less there is to start with, the more there is to hand round and the more left over at the end).

Or see the woman at the well in 'enemy territory' bringing an entire village, literally to Christ.

To me the good news of the Gospel, even the resurrection itself, is essentially the Holy Spirit defying the most difficult circumstances.

What I object to is people being persuaded they can engineer that, or dressing up their systematic approaches as something they are not.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:


To me the good news of the Gospel, even the resurrection itself, is essentially the Holy Spirit defying the most difficult circumstances.

What I object to is people being persuaded they can engineer that, or dressing up their systematic approaches as something they are not.

Perhaps the basic problem in some churches is not so much the lack of proper 'business accounts' in evangelism but a deficient theology of the Holy Spirit? I don't know.

I think all Christians feel inspired by the miracles in the NT, but how we expect them to be relevant to our own Christian witness is another matter.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Perhaps the basic problem in some churches is not so much the lack of proper 'business accounts' in evangelism but a deficient theology of the Holy Spirit? I don't know.

We could argue for pages about what a non-deficient theology of the Holy Spirit might be while people continue to get deceived and ripped off.

On the other hand, demonstrating that numerical claims do not stack up, or (thinking of other debunked and/or collapsed evangelistic enterprises) that plagiarism has happened, or that there have been direct lies, is relatively straightforward.

Any or all of the above point to a lack of integrity somewhere. That is not in and of itself a mortal sin, but how people then respond to challenges along those lines tells you a lot, I think.

Some Christians tend to get all upset when adopting this "non-spiritual" approach to such matters, but experience has taught me that it serves pretty well as a bullshit detector.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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Gamaliel
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Well, aye ...

So which of us are in the south-east?

Eutychus is in France. I'm in the north-west of England. If there are commentators here who are in the south-east or in small towns and so on I don't see how that unduly affects their perspective.

As the evangelicals here have made it clear, it's not evangelism that's the problem but various concepts of revivalism and over-blown claims.

Sure, I get that you want to balance things out SvitlanaV2, as someone who has seen the decline of MoTR congregations and the decline of Methodism.

But the main issue here is the way that a particular form of evangelistic activity is being billed as an 'outpouring' and blown out of all proportion.

I'd suggest that evangelicals should be concerned about that irrespective of socio-economic and cultural background, although that does of course come into the equation.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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quetzalcoatl
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Do you guys ever think that God is pouring out all over the place, outside Christianity? Just wondered.

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no path

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Bishops Finger
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Indeed He is - and I serve in one of the most deprived parishes in the UK.

In the South-East.

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Gamaliel
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These days I tend towards the Orthodox idea that God is 'everywhere present and filleth all things.'

That's not pantheism, but I can incline to panentheism.

So yes, God is at work both through the Christian churches and beyond them.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Martin60
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Hmmm. Nice claims. Poured out a bit like helium II? No, that would cool things. More like neutrinos.

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Love wins

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Bishops Finger
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From Google (my friend):

'Neutrinos are subatomic particles produced by the decay of radioactive elements and are elementary particles that lack an electric charge, or, as F. Reines would say, "...the most tiny quantity of reality ever imagined by a human being".'

Nice one, Martin. But remember the old Scottish saying, 'Mony a mickle maks a muckle'.

(For non-Scots - 'Many small things add up to a big thing', or something like that).

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Martin60
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# 368

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Nice one yourself Bishop's Finger. An infinity of infinitesimals does indeed make for a meta-infinity: I do believe, because of Jesus, that no matter how absurd, unbelievable, unnecessary, unimaginable, God is thinking us free.

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Love wins

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beatmenace
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# 16955

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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Possibly - it seems that often the only 'newsworthy' religion-related event involves a 'Vicar' (they're always Vicars, no matter what denomination) who has been accused of some form of sexual misconduct.

IJ

Or when its Sir Cliff.

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"I'm the village idiot , aspiring to great things." (The Icicle Works)

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chris stiles
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# 12641

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:

So which of us are in the south-east?

Eutychus is in France. I'm in the north-west of England. If there are commentators here who are in the south-east or in small towns and so on I don't see how that unduly affects their perspective.

FWIW I'm in the South East. If the question is whether this affects my outlook - then probably, but I'm not sure entirely in which direction.
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Baptist Trainfan
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# 15128

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
An infinity of infinitesimals does indeed make for a meta-infinity.

From a purely mathematical sense, is that necessarily true? An infinite number of things can indeed lead to infinity; conversely an infinite number of infinitely small things can still be infinitesimal.

Does (infinity) x 0 = infinity, 0, or anything in-between?

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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The are an infinity of integers etween 1 and infinity and an infinity of possible fractions between 0 and 1 but not an infinity of infinity of fractions between 0 and infinity.

Because infinity is not a number, it is a concept.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Martin60
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# 368

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Well spotted BT, which is why I used 'makes for'.

mc I'm not sure. What would Cantor have said?

Eternity just got longer.

Infinity just got bigger.

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Love wins

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mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
# 15978

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quote:
Does (infinity) x 0 = infinity, 0, or anything in-between?
If you express (infinity) above as 1/0, then your sum becomes 0/0 = ?

Could be 0, as there's a zero on top, could be infinity as there's a zero on the bottom, or could be 1 as the same number is on the top and the bottom!

Sounds like a case for L'Hopital's Rule to me [Smile] Can't link, funny characters in URL.

[ 17. January 2017, 12:56: Message edited by: mark_in_manchester ]

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"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

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Baptist Trainfan
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# 15128

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From Hendrik Van Loon's "History of Mankind", which I read as a child:

“High in the North in a land called Svithjod there is a mountain. It is a hundred miles long and a hundred miles high and once every thousand years a little bird comes to this mountain to sharpen its beak. When the mountain has thus been worn away a single day of eternity will have passed.”

The best description of eternity I have ever read. However, we digress ...

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Martin60
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# 368

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Chaps, stop bein' so calculusly literal.

In the growing infinity of universes that must concurrently exist, any one staggeringly insanely vast universe is an infinitesimal, no?

It gets worse doesn't it? What is the rate of growth of the current infinite set of universes?

Where were we? Oh yeah. Claims. In the face of that God dwarfing reality. Any and all claims whether for the Holy Spirit in Reading or in God incidents or any other claim of material significance at the level of quantum perturbation, healing or the fulfilment of prophecy are, is orthodoxly, faithfully, nothing.

Only One claim remains, with no quantifiable corollaries that disappear on cursory inspection, no delusion, no self deceit.

Can anyone think of reality that doesn't have to be an infinitely rapidly expanding infinity?

Is this what Nietzsche looked in to? Well, as long as it looks back ...

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Love wins

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SvitlanaV2
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# 16967

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
We could argue for pages about what a non-deficient theology of the Holy Spirit might be while people continue to get deceived and ripped off.

On the other hand, demonstrating that numerical claims do not stack up, or (thinking of other debunked and/or collapsed evangelistic enterprises) that plagiarism has happened, or that there have been direct lies, is relatively straightforward.

My thinking was that someone who's suffering from an ongoing sickness needs to be treated for the cause, not the symptoms. If the tendency to inflate the outcomes of evangelistic (and other) programmes is a common, deep-seated problem, then simply highlighting the errors and criticising the dishonesty might not be enough.

OTOH, maybe it's human nature to worry more about being made to look bad rather than actually doing something bad, in which case releasing some figures and dishing out a jolly good telling off in public might make these particular evangelicals embarrassed enough to change their ways, if not their hearts or minds.

quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:


Eutychus is in France. I'm in the north-west of England. If there are commentators here who are in the south-east or in small towns and so on I don't see how that unduly affects their perspective.

[...]

The main issue here is the way that a particular form of evangelistic activity is being billed as an 'outpouring' and blown out of all proportion.

I'd suggest that evangelicals should be concerned about that irrespective of socio-economic and cultural background, although that does of course come into the equation.

My post was a response to someone who found the evangelistic behaviour discussed on this thread very unfamiliar. My explanation was that he probably doesn't live in the 'right' kind of place or mix with the 'right' kinds of Christians to have experienced this situation. Geography is obviously relevant.

On that note, my reference to 'parts of the Midlands and the North' clearly did not include your own Northern city, whose character makes it distinctive. Evangelists aim their strategies (whether good or bad) at particular places, with particular populations - often preferring to do their work where previous evangelists have already had some success, rather than seeking fresh territory. (I remember Eutychus making a similar comment about France a while back.) By contrast, it's hard to imagine a flock of evangelists coming to my city centre to entice the large numbers of passing Muslim youth to recite the sinner's prayer....

Regarding your main focus, it's apparent from the Ship that it's the evangelicals with the most theological education and the most interest in older Christian traditions who are particularly concerned about exaggeration and misrepresentation. If you want allevangelicals to be worried about these things you must hope they too develop deeper and more ecumenical theological interests - or that they simply become more sensitive to how weird, distasteful or factually deficient their attitude might seem to others. I think both of these outcomes are likely, especially the latter.

Will 'mainstream' evangelicals tire of hearing about revivals that never materialise? If so, they'll leave behind a tiny rump whose exaggerations of revival will be irrelevant and mostly invisible.

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Martin60
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# 368

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That's here already. There is no public before which this deceit can be exposed.

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Love wins

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SvitlanaV2
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# 16967

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I think the 'public' in question here is other evangelicals, not the general public. We've all agreed that the general public has no interest whatsoever in non-existent Christian revivals!
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Bishops Finger
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Sadly, and as a by-and-large general observation, IME the general public has no interest in Christianity, per se !

That indifference, howsoever caused, is, IMHO, the main challenge to Christianity in this country today. That is not to say that the Gospel is not being proclaimed and worked out in many churches' and individuals' lives - it's just not that spectacular. But Jesus never said it would be, did He?

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Martin60
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# 368

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Unless there is a criminal fraud that can be exposed, or a sex scandal, nothing can bring those deluded in magical thinking to their senses and even then. Nothing penetrates the invincibly ignorant mindset of superstition.

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Love wins

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Gamaliel
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I do live in a small town, but it's close to a particularly distinctive city - and one which has seen quite a number of asylum seekers becoming Christians - and not necessarily evangelical Christians either.

That's an interesting development and another issue ...

I will agree with you that particular forms of revivalism are quite middle class and suburban - particularly the HTB and New Wine axis within evangelical Anglicanism, but even that isn't as monolithic as it might appear at first sight.

Meanwhile, the biggest question I have is where Ramarius is ...

This is the dawning of the age of Ramarius, age of Ramarius ...

Ramarius ... Ramarius ...

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Gamaliel
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I do live in a small town, but it's close to a particularly distinctive city - and one which has seen quite a number of asylum seekers becoming Christians - and not necessarily evangelical Christians either.

That's an interesting development.

I will agree with you that particular forms of revivalism are quite middle class and suburban - particularly the HTB and New Wine axis within evangelical Anglicanism, but even that isn't as monolithic as it might appear at first sight.

Meanwhile, the biggest question I have is where Ramarius is ...

This is the dawning of the age of Ramarius, age of Ramarius ...

Ramarius ... Ramarius ...

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Charles Had a Splurge on
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# 14140

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We had Yinka at our main morning service today (in Reading).

Still quoting the 1850 figure for conversions. No mention at all of Tommie Zito, he’s been written out of the story. No mention of having to rewrite the script. Actually no mention of the script, except tangentially to say that the method was simple.

Full of pre-emptive strikes against criticism. “I was a sceptic”, “We can’t expect them to walk into our churches,” “We are looking to share the blessing not grow our church”.

New figures from a day spent training and evangelising in my part of Reading (although technically it’s over the border in Wokingham Borough): 75 people “trained” as evangelists. One hour spent out on the street. 20 people praying the prayer. 17 new conversions, 3 recommitments. So rather than 2-3 conversions per hour per person, the hit rate has fallen to 0.27. But it’s OK, because Reading is where the special blessing is. (According to one person who was on the training, and who I spoke to before the service, they are now really checking that people understand that they are making a commitment. She said the training involved learning some patter).

And they now have 50 people coming to The Gate who are new Christians and in need of disciple-ing.

Shamefully, Yinka was also a speaker at the Baptist Union’s “Fresh Streams” conference. I think that counts as endorsement by the Baptist Union. Sick to my stomach about that. But given Lynn Green’s failure to respond to our Eutychus I can’t say I’m surprised.

Best quote: This is NOT a technique; it’s the presence of the Father. How does he say that with a straight face?

At the end of the service he called people forward for anointing as evangelists. Band playing a worship song with the chorus “I’m not a slave to fear”. Miked-up singers keeping it going. Obviously those of us who didn’t go forward are slaves to fear. But it’s OK he didn’t want us to be guilt-tripped into coming forward. It’s good to know what it’s like to be a non-believer at a revival meeting: the repetition of the music, the guilt-tripping, and the multiple appeals to go forward. Overall something like 50-60 people went forward.

First time I’ve seen people anointed with snake oil.

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"But to live outside the law, you must be honest" R.A. Zimmerman

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Gamaliel
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# 812

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I wish we could ditch this whole 'making a commitment' phraseology.

I don't see people 'making commitments' in the NT. I see people believing and being baptised. In the Early Church catechesis could take up to a whole year.

'Making a commitment' to what, exactly?

You can get a parrot to 'make a commitment'.

I can't stand this descisionist language.

I'm not saying that genuine conversions don't take place in these settings but I don't want to go anywhere near another 'altar-call' or service where they ask people to stand, go forward or play 'Simon Says ...' ever again.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Eutychus
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# 3081

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Thanks for the detailed update for us all, Charles!

If the 50 new people at The Gate are actually new believers, that is quite impressive, although of course a far cry from the initial claims and a fresh claim that also raises several other questions.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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