Showing posts from May, 2013

Hiding in Paradise

The early chapters of Genesis have caused endless debate over the centuries… was Adam more a saint who fell (Augustine) or an innocent who was deceived (Ireneus)? Are the creation accounts allegorical (Origen) or literal (St Basil)? And so on… please note these are names of early church fathers! The current squabbles between Creation Scientists (literalists) and those who view the first chapters of Genesis more as stories rich in theology, demonstrate there’s nothing new under the sun.
But I shall bypass all of that, and leave those discussions to others more skilled in the dialogue between science and theology, the languages and norms of Ancient Near East literature, theological scholars, and so on. Because however else you interpret the creation accounts, they can ALSO be viewed as a universal psychological drama.
We are all born naked, and unashamed. Most of us were born to a functional enough mother who was close, nurturing, warm, and safe… a god-like figure of intimacy and love. We…

A Line in the Sand

The nature of God is probably the most important theological question of all. The New Testament comes up with a truly stunning answer to this most profound spiritual question: God is like Jesus. Jesus Christ claimed "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" (God) (John 14:9).

Jesus best friend on earth ("the disciple Jesus loved") walked and talked and ate and drank and spoke with and listened to Jesus constantly for three years. When reflecting on what God expressed in Jesus Christ looks like, he wrote a simple and profound phrase: "God IS love". (I John 4:16)

God IS love. God is like the perfect parent. God is like the father in the prodigal passage, straining his eyes looking out for the longed-for homecoming of his son. God is the one who pours out abundant and amazing grace through Jesus Christ.

I have just read a most thought-provoking blog post from the wonderful Rachel Held-Evans. She is absolutely right about this: while Christians might diffe…

Mother's Day Reflection from Michael Grose

Out of the Heart, the Mouth Speaks (and the Pen Writes)

Assigning motives to other people is a dangerous game... and suggesting psychological diagnoses for people is an even more dangerous one. But it is game I like to play from time to time, when the responses of others strike me as inexplicable. Call it part of the human quest to make sense of the world. Or perhaps call it imaginative play. 

So let us imagine for a moment I am having a pastoral conversation with someone who said that "a man would be damaged and compromised by having a female boss"... just because she is female. I'd have warning bells ringing in my heart. I'd be tempted to start gently probing about this person's experience of women in authority during childhood. Did this man have an over-controlling or abusive mother? Were there toxic teachers or carers in his life? Transference involving unresolved childhood pain is so common that pastoral carers always need to be on the lookout for it. If signs appeared he actually had been at the receiving end of …