Archive for May, 2009

// lifelong learning

B&S sinisterMy sister, who is coming to the end of her first year studying psychology at Lancaster, rang me up on Wednesday, the day after I wrote the final essay of my degree. “Do you know what I learned today?” she asked, reeling off a psychology fact that i’ve already forgotten (it was something to do with the brain, I think).

My reply?

“Do you know what I learned today? Nothing.”

It’s a reply that I thought would have evoked more joy when I said it – and seriously, don’t get me wrong, where i am now, this post-exam state, this is an awesome state to be in. It’s the first time in about three years that I can truthfully say that I don’t feel guilty at the fact that I’m not learning new things. But it’s also a slightly sad place to be at the same time: because, to be honest, I spent my first day of freedom doing very little apart than playing on the Xbox for about six hours. And for all the strain and stress of the past few years, there’s something exciting about consistently learning new things, and not letting brain, heart, body and soul atrophy…

I met up with a friend last night who told me he had run out of money as he’s been buying theology books; he’s currently working in a temp job, but he spends his evenings reading John Stott and Alistair McGrath as he gets bored in the middle of the day and needs something else to think about. He’s another Oxford graduate, which might explain it, but he also serves as an inspiration: a reminder that this opportunity is something to be prized, because this sort of space to expand your knowledge and your mind is pretty rare, and it’s something pretty valuable when you get it.

I’m the same, really: sooner or later I’m going to need to make a decision as to whether these next few weeks are going to be weeks spent in my lounge playing Fallout 3, or weeks in which I make the most of the time I have left in this university, and that’s a decision that has its wider consequences. In the long run, that comes down to a decision of who to be in the world beyond Oxford University – whether to be somebody who keeps pursuing things, taking risks and stepping out into different areas of life, or somebody who settles for the easy option. And don’t get me wrong, that ‘easy option’ isn’t half appealing.

That’s not meant to be a proposal for a life with no peace, of never learning to rest or sitting in silence. That’s not the point at all, and of course, sometimes there is a place for simply stopping and letting yourself be refreshed. But it would be too easy to switch off at this point, and accept that the ‘learning’ part of this life is over; to stop looking at things with wonder and stop pursuing those new experiences, those things that take your breath away. And that doesn’t have to be in books; for example, I doubt that I’ll be reading anything written before 1997 for a few months, at the very least. But I fully intend to investigate the joys of listening to Modest Mouse and Richard Hawley, to finally get around to watching Mad Men and The Wire and all those other shows that are on my ‘to-do’ list, to listen to those sermon podcasts from John Piper and Pete Greig and others that my Itunes keeps downloading for me…

And I need you to keep me in check on that, too. I didn’t write this blog on Wednesday, because I thought that I had nothing more to say, no thoughts left. I nearly didn’t write it today, because the draw of the Xbox sitting in my lounge was too great. That’s dangerous, a pattern that it is worth fighting. I’m fairly sure that it was New Labour that came up with the term “lifelong learning”, and much as it pains me to use that kind of twee, politically-devised terminology, that’s actually pretty good.

My response to my sister yesterday wasn’t wholly truthful. After speaking to her, I ended up at Hungry, a monthly prayer gathering at my church, and spent a couple of hours around a group of people passionate for God, seeking His will and His intervention in a variety of ways – people who were unwilling to let themselves get stale, unwilling to disengage from the world and take the easy option instead. That’s our story, eventually; that nothing really stands still, even when it’s apparently doing just that. Even inaction is a kind of action, and not necessarily a good kind. Last night was a fitting reminder of that fact, and a much-needed one – the exams may be over, but the learning has really only just begun.

If you’re reading this in the midst of exams, I get that this post probably sounds like a sick joke, and I don’t mean it that way. But bear that in mind when this is all over: relaxation is one thing, but atrophy is another thing entirely.

Now if I can just resist the temptation to spend the rest of the afternoon playing on the Xbox…

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// non-conformism

Westminster“Without vision, the people perish,” the author of one proverb says, and it’s a saying that’s worth bearing in mind especially given the events of the past fortnight. We’re at the point now where enough has been said about MPs expenses that no more ink need be spilled upon it, but the saddest thing about the whole affair is how it just proved everyone’s unspoken, cynical beliefs to be right. Of course MPs cheat their expenses, we shout, as that’s just who they are. That is, apparently, the way the world works, and for all this talk of independent bodies and greater accountability, the stereotype of MPs that currently exists isn’t one that’s likely to change any time soon.

Seriously, was it really necessary to slot into the pattern in such an arbitrary way? Surely now you have to look at what happened in light of the wider culture – general, not just political – that’s in place in Britain, see an individualistic society that prizes individual gain and then see the chaos of the last few weeks as simply the logical end-point of that system. So this is the way the world works, and so somewhere down the line there are always going to be people cheating their expenses and an outraged public baying for blood, as that’s the pattern.

Excuse me if that’s a pattern that doesn’t really appeal to me that much anymore.

The Prophet Joel famously described a time when God declares,

I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,

and it’s a passage that Peter picks up on, too, early in the description of the Acts of the Apostles. Joel describes a time of inspiration, of redemption and of hope even in the midst of darkness, and given the events of the past two weeks, you’d be hard pressed to deny that we need those kinds of dreamers and visionaries now more than ever. We need people who are prepared to dream that things could be different, prepared to trust in that vision of hope that is laid out in Scripture, to break the pattern…

That’s a vision for all of us, not just the ones who literally have prophetic dreams, with whom God seems to work in dramatic ways. We all need to break that pattern, to stop thinking as though the ways of this world are unstoppable, unchangeable, and fixed. It doesn’t have to be this way. I’ve blogged before about Paul’s letter to the Romans, when he declares that we need to “conform no longer to the pattern of this world”, but I, like so many others, got caught up in that same way of thinking when this story about our MPs first broke. That same weary sigh of, ‘here we go again’.

We need people, more than ever, who are radical examples of what a life lived for God looks like, who live with vision and who model that vision in their communities and to a cynical world. We need dreamers and visionaries, who are prepared to step out and do things that look crazy or hopeless in order to prove that there is still a different way of seeing and doing things. Sure, there’s a place for sadness regarding what happened at Westminster in the past few weeks, but it can’t just stop with weary resignation. We need people, or more specifically, we need you; to see that vision of something more, a better way of doing things, and to start dreaming again.

Cynical as I may be about our political culture, then, I’m not losing hope just yet.

As this isn’t over yet.

// what next?

question-markAt the current moment in time, i have written fourteen out of seventeen of the final essays that will bring my degree to its conclusion. A few weeks ago, i had all my sheets of notes plastered up across my walls; now i have just seven, in preparation for my final paper on Tuesday, having (hopefully) written what i knew about each period down when i sat in that exam hall every morning for the past week. It’s a strange visual emblem, and a strange realisation of the fact that what you’ve dedicated the last three years of your life to is over; yes, you’ve gained from it, and there’s knowledge and skills that come out of that which you’ll use elsewhere, but in two days time you’re going to have to find something else to think about, invest in, worry about and enjoy…

You know that feeling when you’re aware that things are going on in the real world, but they all seem to be taking place either a very long way away or through a blanket of cotton wool? That’s where I am at the moment, and it’s a strange place to be. A massive amount has happened outside of the bubble in the past fortnight; everyone now knows about the MPs’ expenses scandal; the BNP have put Jesus on their election posters, even as Nick Griffin has written about his belief in the separation of religion and politics; one friend is pregnant, and two more have had babies; Newcastle United have been relegated from the Premier League, by an own goal, no less; and Star Trek has, apparently, become cool. Instead, I’ve been writing essays, and so although all of this has been going on in the background, it sort of feels unreal, like it’s happening in a different world. That kind of sums up my life for the past few years, really.

The truth is that, as of Tuesday, i’m going to need to find a new passion, something else to think about, invest in, worry about and enjoy, and so the prospect of a few weeks without English isn’t quite so much exciting as it is worrying. What am i supposed to do with that time? This isn’t a new theme, and i don’t pretend to be the only one thinking about it, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s confusing, and i can’t pretend to have any answers. And so i’m trying to start a conversation instead, and i’d love for you to be a part of it.

If you’re older, what filled the gap? What inspires you, excites you, gets you passionate? When did you work that out?

If you’re at the same point as me, poised between now and the rest of your life, what are you doing next? How do you know that you’re doing the right thing? When did you work it out?

And if you’re younger, whether that’s earlier in university or still at school, where are you headed? How do you know? And when did you work it out?

*

Work with me on this one – my brain is becoming incapable of doing much except basic recognition functions, like looking at a wall and thinking “wall”, so i need some help.

It’ll take you roughly a minute to reply to this, and it would be cool to hear your wisdom, even if it’s only a one line response.

What next?

// “there are forces at work here you cannot possibly understand!”

LoveOxfordAt approximately 1:30pm today it started to rain – real, fat, heavy drops of rain, falling on a crowd of people that must have still been about 350 strong by that point.

What keeps a group of people, ranging from teenagers to the over-60s, standing in a the middle of a field in the pouring rain of a Sunday afternoon? It couldn’t just come down to the speaker, as good as she was; the same goes for the music. It wasn’t that it was an especially fun place to be on a Sunday (as it wasn’t). And I’m not prepared to believe that it comes down to religion, either. Religion doesn’t keep you standing in that kind of rain out of anything other than a perceived obligation, not when the first drops of rain start to fall on your neck, and that perceived obligation only lasts for so long, when push comes to shove.

Today was the day of Love Oxford, a yearly initiative uniting churches from around Oxford; in previous years it’s been held in Broad Street, a major street running through the middle of the city, where it has been met with glorious sunshine for the past three years. Today, in a park approximately fifteen minutes walk outside of the city, it rained instead. Actually, I should be fair. The first hour and a half it was pretty warm, if a bit overcast. But then it started to chuck it down.

And yet, in spite of all of this – in spite of the rain, the lack of shelter and the slightly depleted numbers, today it still felt like there was something in the atmosphere – a resolve, a desperation, that it’s hard to express in the aftermath of the event, but which has been there in previous years, too, distinct and noticeable.

I know that you could label all this as ‘madness’, especially this perspective that assigns significance to something unquantifiable ‘in the atmosphere’. It sounds like an expression of subjective experience rather than any kind of objective or verifiable truth. But this is not the place to argue the objective truth of Christianity (another day, perhaps), and I can only really speak from what I know. Yes, it sounds like madness, just like taking a day off before my final exams is madness, and just like giving money away to a church is madness, and yet people keep doing these things, keep coming back to these places and these activities, for a purpose. Not because it works in simple formulae, like “if I give £10, I will get £20 back”, or “if I take a Sunday off during my exams, I will get a first”, but because there is something unquantifiable, something mysterious in what happens in those actions. Unquantifiable, but undeniable…

Religion likes systems. It likes order. It likes formulas, and for good reason – it asserts that these things have been put in place for a reason, by people of God (in most cases, at least), who were reasoned, thoughtful, and prayerful about them. Religion has its good points, but today wasn’t really about religion, about points of dissention or particular systems, not at the end of it. Yes, a particular style of worship prevailed, and if you had to classify it, it would definitely be closer to the ‘charismatic’ end of the spectrum than the ‘conservative’. But what caused that crackle in the atmosphere this afternoon was beyond the music, beyond the general mood, and beyond the people gathered there, beyond all that any of us could organise or put together. It was down  to something glorious, and inexpressible.

Something like what you might call, for example, evidence of the Holy Spirit at work.

At a barbecue earlier this week, held in preparation for the event that took place this afternoon, one worship leader commented on how “part-way through leading Mighty to Save at Carfax, for a split second, I could hear an enormous crowd of angels singing with us. Or maybe it was just Steve’s harmony.” That’s the tension in place here. That’s what I’m talking about. Right here, in these moments, there is something else going on, something bigger, and more mysterious, than we could ever express…

It’s that which keeps us standing in the rain. Not religion, but something more than religion. Something way bigger, and way more exciting; something that goes beyond all our power to create, control, and manipulate. Those moments where a veil is briefly lifted and where it becomes clear that this faith isn’t just madness, isn’t just collectively-constructed hysteria, a kind of mass folie a deux; where it suddenly all starts to make sense, even as words fail.

I’m glad for those moments. They still make the hair on my neck stand on end. How about you?

*

[PS. Sorry if this blog isn’t regularly updated for the next week or so – I’ll try, but exams start tomorrow, and so if I don’t update on Wednesday, it will be because I’m busy revising the Renaissance…]

// who do you think you are?

Great inner monologues in cultural history: John Cusack in High Fidelity (and the book, naturally). Edward Norton in Fight Club (ditto). Kevin Spacey in American Beauty. Dexter Morgan in Dexter. J.D. in the first three series of Scrubs. Max Payne in Max Payne. And there are a million others that i’ve forgotten, not least all those 1940s film noir, The Maltese Falcon and so on…

All of these appeal to me because I identify with their way of seeing the world in some way. For quite a while, I adopted an inner monologue that was eerily similar to that of Dexter Morgan (who, by the way, is a fictional serial killer who, by day, is a mild-mannered forensic technician). That’s not to say that I am a serial killer (I’m not), but that way of seeing the world, always hidden behind a mask, viewing things at one remove – actually, that makes a kind of sense to me.

The same goes for High Fidelity, which still racks up as one of my favourite novels ever. I couldn’t help but identify with Nick Hornby’s character, a record-store loser with an unimpressive record in love, narrating his life in Top 5 lists and weary pop music references, because, to all intents in purposes, he is me. Or, well, so I thought. But, like he asks at the start of that novel, “what came first, the music or the misery? Did I listen to miserable music because I was miserable, or vice-versa?”

I don’t know if everyone narrates their life in voiceover (maybe it’s just me), but if you take the time to listen to your inner voice, that actually tells you quite a lot about yourself. The way you see yourself in social situations, for example. The way you deal with unexpected circumstances. The things that interest you, or excite you, or terrify you. To the extent that it is well worth taking the time to stop and work out what shapes your inner monologue, and whether those influences are sane, or even true

For a really long time, I identified myself with the record-store losers and Dexter Morgans of the world as I thought that I was doomed to be an outsider, that culture depicted who it was I supposed to be. And all that really became was a self-fulfilling prophecy. I thought I was meant to be an obscure indie kid, so I listened to comparatively obscure indie music, watched indie films. Fortunately, I looked terrible in most indie clothing, but for a while I did try to dress like Zach Braff. Fine, I guess, if you subscribe to the view that everyone needs to find an identity somewhere, until you pause to realise just how ludicrous that statement truly is…

Do you really amount to nothing more than your cultural preferences? Seriously? When did my music taste go from being an expression of self to a construction of self? When did it start mattering so much if I love Belle & Sebastian and you think that they’re twee, fey indie-pop rubbish?

Oh, I know that the Modernists got everyone talking about the ‘divided self’, and how we’re a million different people over the course of our lives, and we can never truly know who we are. But I’m not sure that I agree any more. At least from a Christian perspective, you have to see that you do have a stable identity – as a son or daughter of God, loved unconditionally, and crafted for a purpose – “to glorify God, and enjoy Him forever”, as the Westminster Confession puts it. And even if you’re not on the inside of a Christian worldview, it pays to ask that question, too: if I’m committing myself to this identity, saying ‘this is who I am’, what baggage comes with that?

Questions like (to take a couple of spurious examples), say, ‘if I commit myself to My Chemical Romance, can I no longer listen to Coldplay?’ ‘If I own an I am Kloot album, does that forbid me from enjoying Kelly Clarkson?’ And, whilst you’re at it, ‘is this it?’

You know, I’d like to believe that my internal monologue is an expression of self rather than a method of self-construction, but arguably to do that you have to be able to stand apart from it, to say “this is who I am”, and then point to that voice which echoes Fight Club or Dexter or High Fidelity or whatever as simply being a way of explaining who you are more articulately than you are able. It’s not an easy or entirely stable distinction, but that’s a line that it’s worth searching for. It’s entirely possible to never see the difference, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t one. No kidding. Have a look and see if you don’t believe me.

As, honestly, who wants to have their life dictated to by Nick Hornby, anyway?

// joined-up thinking

lettherebelightI spent most of the past month and a half typing up essay plans, re-reading primary texts and learning quotations, and so the prospect of sitting down to a half-hour studying John’s gospel in depth, as unexpectedly happened this morning, didn’t exactly appeal at first. A group of us meet up on Wednesday mornings to eat breakfast together and pray, and today we tried out an ancient way of reading that’s known as Lectio Divina. Eugene Peterson describes it like this:

Lectio Divina comprises four elements: lectio (we read the text), meditatio (we meditate on the text), oratio (we pray the text), and contemplatio (we live the text)… Reading (lectio) is a linear act, but spiritual (divina) reading is not – any of the elements may be at the fore at any one time.

In practice, that generally involves slowly reading each verse of a text, letting it sink in, exploring its nuances and waiting for a fresh perspective, and then praying through that and enacting what you’ve learned…

It all sounds a little bit like a hyper-spiritual version of my degree, if I’m honest, and that’s why I was so surprised at being so refreshed after sitting down to do this earlier today. Yes, it’s a bit like reading the Bible as a literary text, but it’s also remarkable how nuanced this text is when you take the time to sit down and really look at it in depth, when you give it space, time, not needing to rush off to the next thing. It’s easy to talk about ‘letting the Bible speak to you’, but to actually *do* that requires a conscious decision to silence all those voices that tell you that ‘you’ve heard it all before’, that ‘you know this bit off by heart’, that ‘it has nothing new to teach you’ or that ‘you have more important things to do’.

That was the state that I was in as I sat down this morning and, I’m embarrassed to say, it has been the state with which approached quite a lot of the times that i’ve supposed to be spending with God recently. I mean, it’s fine seeing this as an important thing to do, even resolving to do it, but actually stopping, breathing, that’s a very hard thing to do indeed. The first couple of times I heard John 15 read out this morning I found myself running through in my head a whole list of clever points I could use to make myself look good, different ‘ways of seeing’… and then, finally, after the third or fourth time of hearing it, when all that pretension fell away, it became painfully clear that this was never about looking good, not even slightly.

David exclaims in one Psalm, “how sweet are Your words to my taste, | Sweeter than honey to my mouth!”, pleads with God, “teach me, LORD, the way of Your decrees, | That I may follow it to the end. | Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law, | And obey it with all my heart”. Surely I can’t be the only one who finds it so easy to forget that this text sitting in front of you is, first of all, a record of how people have met with God throughout history, and that, even if only for that reason, it is an astonishing text. But it’s also just as easy to forget that this is living and active, too, especially when you don’t give it the space to have that effect – when it’s viewed as a static text rather than a text that interacts with its readership, even today, this many years later. And it is so easy to forget that this book is more than just a ‘life-manual’, and so read it without any kind of awe whatsoever…

This isn’t meant to be about heaping condemnation on anyone, as I’m speaking from my own experience here. But it does remind me of the need to change posture, at least, to start approaching this book and the way God speaks through it as not just ‘another thing to do’ before the day starts, but to remember that it is something really important; vital, even. The truly ironic thing is that John 15 is shot through with those words, “remain in me” and a phrase that I’ve heard a thousand times, “apart from me you can do nothing”. Again, I’ve missed the point; again, I tried to do this on my own, treating God like a Deistic God, remote and uninterested in human affairs, when the truth is dramatically different. Without the space to let him speak, to stop, breathe and listen, it’s remarkably easy to fall back into that trap – a category misreading of almost everything about God’s nature.

Thank God for grace, then, as I’m aware at the moment of how much I need it, but also for the power of His word, too. It’s still breathtaking, paradigm-shifting and, a lot of the time, mysterious. And awe, and a fresh perspective, that’s got its value. It’s amazing that this text can still surprise me, still cut to the heart, still, after almost seven years reading it, keep saying new things.

What I need to do is make sure that I keep that in mind, and stop assuming that I’ve got this all sorted. I don’t, and I’m glad of that. That keeps my Bible from being just another revision exercise, yet another essay plan to master.

Thank goodness for that.

I’ve got more than enough essay plans to deal with already.

// false economies and transformational politics

stockmarket1Interesting facts from revision this week: did you ever realise that the 1647 Westminster Confession was put together with a Civil War raging on all sides? Yep, *that* Westminster Confession. Out of which came the Westminster Shorter Catechism – the one whose start so many people know, the one that asks “what is the chief end and purpose of man?” and meets the reply, “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever”.

That was composed in the midst of a Civil War, with its own, distinctly political purposes.

Adopted by English law as part of the “Articles of Christian Religion” in 1648; rescinded in 1660 with the restoration of Charles II and the establishment of the 1662 “Act of Uniformity” (although some churches kept hold of it, earning the title of “nonconformists”); and then ratified again by the Scottish church in 1690 when William of Orange took power from James II…

What interests me about that is not so much the side of the Royalist vs. Parliamentarian argument that the Confession comes down on (later in, it asserts, for example, that the Pope is the Antichrist, which is a bit strong), but, actually, the fact that it was created at all. The Westminster Confession has to be seen as a defiant statement of purpose by a group of people who saw it to be a necessary step in their nation; they argued that the prevailing attitude and opinions that had gone before them were obstructing people from true worship, and believed that strongly enough to re-write the documents relating to it. And so that statement, that the chief end of man is “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever”, which always seemed to me to have a kind of ethereal, mystically wise quality, that’s actually an invariably political statement. It’s a mission statement, a statement of purpose. It sets out *everything* else that follows, from that firm original standpoint.

The amazing thing about the Shorter Catechism is not that it was composed in political circumstances, then – as, honestly, what isn’t? Nothing is entirely apolitical. What is really amazing about it is the fact that it was actually printed in political circumstances, as it is so much more than propaganda, stands up as something way more than just a product of its time. Look at Question 26, for example:

Q: How doth Christ execute the office of a King?      
A:
Christ executeth the office of a King, in subduing us to himself, in ruling and defending us, and in restraining and conquering all his and our enemies.

The depiction of Christ here is apparently inseparable from the message that the Parliamentarians wished to deliver to the King; that true monarchy follows the example of Christ. Perfectly understandable, right, given the mess that the Civil War was descending into? But the message of the Confession ends up being something much more radical; this is a question that asserts an entirely different notion of Kingship altogether, and the same is true of Question 39:

Q: What is the duty which God requireth of man?
A:
The duty which God requireth of man is obedience to his revealed will.

Apologies for the Christian jargon (the Shorter Catechism lists answers to what each of these concepts are, but I’m limited by space), but again, what it finally asserts is that there is something even greater than the King, something *beyond*, a greater truth beyond earthly structures…

Anyway, enough talk about the Civil War for the moment. Skip forward to 2009, and the monarchy is effectively a symbolic body, religion and politics are practically separated, even if not officially so, and so all this talk of Westminster Confession may look like a statement of purpose, but it’s a statement of purpose by some Christians who died over 300 years ago, and it’s ultimately little more than a historical relic, right?

Well…

While the circumstances have changed, the fact is that any confession of Christianity is automatically a political statement – and bear with me, because I’m not suggesting the blurring of church and state. What I mean is, any statement that there is something bigger than this world, that the things that this world prizes – money, power, sex, health, life (amongst others) – are not the ultimate goals, that automatically stands out as being radically counter-cultural. Yes, being part of society may practically mean working within the political and social institutions, and there is a great deal within the Bible that relates to being citizens who are obedient and engaged with their societies, but if you look at things and see a higher authority and a higher end working behind the scenes then it demands some big questions.

What the creators of the Westminster Confession reveal is that the conflict that all of us face is not just in the immediate, even though that may be relevant, but it also ends up being between between the attitudes of a world that doesn’t understand anything outside of itself, and a people who are looking to something greater. We talk about ‘looking outside of the box’, but that means looking beyond – asserting that there is more here than just the everyday.

That’s what makes the Shorter Catechism so exciting (and there are some words I never thought I’d write…), and also well worth re-reading, as it reminds its readers that, for all the change in circumstances, the message hasn’t changed. Hey, Paul was effectively saying the same thing as early as the first century AD, asserting that “there is neither Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free… but we are all one in Christ Jesus.” That’s not about the dissolution of identity, it’s about re-orientating things to see from a different perspective… and so, when the disciples challenge a court with the words, “speak for yourselves whether we should answer to God, or to you; as for us, we cannot stop speaking about all that we have seen and heard”, they lay out the two sides as clearly as it comes. Choose an economy bigger than yourself, goals bigger than your own, and a society that has a bigger focus than the immediate, or choose the systems, goals and hopes of this world.

The choice that they – and the authors of the Shorter Catechism, to a lesser extent – lay out is just that, and it’s a choice that’s worth thinking about, even if you think you’ve got this all sorted. Just how transformed are you? What shapes your goals? What is the predominant discourse in your life? Where is your focus placed?

Whether you need a reminder or just some food for thought, the Shorter Catechism can be found here – and it’s well worth a look.

Let me know what you think.