Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Relay Update: 26/10/10

What is Relay? Relay is a discipleship program I'm doing this year and you can read all about it here. I'll be updating the blog from time to time with updates for all the people partnering with me during the year. And this is one of those updates!

First of all, I've really got to thank you for your generous donations in the past couple months. Thanks to you I've been able to pay my rent, eat, travel to my CUs, buy books for study and just live really. I'd been really stressed about whether I'd have the money to get by and you've blessed me ENORMOUSLY. Thank you so very much. And thank you to everyone who's been praying for me and the work of the CU's. Our work is only fruitful because of God's power.

So what's actually been going on?

Well term is in full swing now. The Freshers' weeks are over and students are settling into their weekly routines. Many of the new students who came to CU right at the start have stuck around and for that we're all really thankful! And as the students have acquired a sense of normality in their lives, so have I.

Every week I'm meeting with students to study the Bible with them and encourage them to live for God on campus. I'm going through Romans with some of the freshers and 2 Timothy with a couple of the older students. It's been great fun and I really feel excited about the leadership potential in these guys! We're also just starting to read Amy Orr-Ewing's "Why Trust The Bible?" which is an accessible but substantial defence of the Bible's veracity. Hopefully we will all grow in confidence and love for the truth we proclaim.

In terms of my own personal study, like all the other Relay workers I've been looking at the doctrine of the Trinity. It was great to look at it in more depth as in the process I was able to elucidate and wrestle with some of the potential logical inconsistencies I saw in the doctrine. I am now convinced the nature of the God-head can be expressed in a logically coherent way, thankfully! It is also one of the coolest doctrines in Christian theology, I gotta say. It's also been an appropriate topic to study as myself and Jason have been meeting up with some Mormons for the last couple weeks. This month I'm going to be looking at the nature of God's sovereignty. I approach the topic as someone with very little sympathy towards Calvinism, but other than that I'm not sure where I stand so it should be interesting! I attended a day conference on Open Theism (a particular belief about God's sovereignty that emphasises human freedom) this Saturday just gone, which was a good event to start thinking about this sort of thing.

In terms of my own elective study I've been cracking on with looking at what the Bible says about the whole creation/evolution debate. I've read some very persuasive and also challenging stuff from a couple different perspectives. I have a lot to think about the moment and shall divulge a bit more once I've got my head around some things.

Since I last updated I've also given a talk on "Surviving As A Student" to both Stafford and Buxton CUs. Both times went reasonably well (I think!) and taught me some stuff on how to improve my talks. I've also been planning and talking to CU committee people about running a weekly apologetics workshop called 'Equip'. The first session in Stoke is set to begin on November 1st. Hopefully it won't be too far behind in Keele. I've also met with the university Chaplain, Benedict, who has been keen to start a monthly open discussion group on matters pertaining to the big questions in life, which will also kick off in November. I look forward to updating you on how all that goes!

I hope you can see that there's a lot of exciting stuff going on with much to pray for. I'd love it if you could pray for some of the following things ...

~ Please thank God for the work he is doing through and amongst Stoke and Keele CUs.
~ Please pray that I would lead 'Equip' with wisdom and that people attend and benefit from it.
~ Please pray that the CU leaders would continue to act toward, and communicate to their members, a missional vision.
~ Please pray that I would tackle difficult questons arising from my study with courage and wisdom.
~ Please pray that God would continue to provide for me financially.

If you’ve offered to support me financially and I’ve given you a form that you haven’t sent off yet, please send it! =) I know it is easy to forget to do these things (I’m terrible with forms), but I really do rely on your donations so please send it off as soon as you can. If you’ve lost the form or you want to start supporting me financially but haven’t got one, you can download it at www.uccf.org.uk/relay/give-to-relay-workers.htm It would be great if you could donate £5-20 a month to me.

Thanks so much again for your support and I hope you've been encouraged through seeing what your money and prayers contribute toward.

Much love,



Michael Gormley said...

God alone initiates salvation. He always turns toward man first and seeks him, as when God walked in the Garden (Genesis 3:8). Man does not seek God or turn to him without God first calling man to Himself (John. 6:37, 44; 1 John. 4:10,19).

Second, God’s initiative does not exclude man’s free response, but demands it (Catechism of the Catholic Church [Catechism], nos. 154, 155, 2002; Philippians 2:12, 13). In other words, God wills that man be free to choose His grace or reject it.

Third, salvation is extended to each and every human person, not limited to just some, and one can fall away from grace (Hebrews 2:1-4; 6:4; 2 Peter 1:10; 3:9; 1 John 5:16, 17).

Furthermore, it is imperative that once one is touched by grace, he perseveres in charity lest he forfeit the free gift of salvation (Lumen Gentium [LG], no. 14). Within the confines of these principles, Catholics have sought to understand the mystery of predestination.

Though opinions and formulations have varied among Catholic theologians, with these principles left intact, there is room for legitimate speculation.

The only proper framework to understand predestination must be rooted in the notion of a communion of persons in love. Why? The nature of God as Trinity is this very kind of communion and God created man to share in that “blessed life” (cf. Catechism, no. 1).

Martin said...

I basically agree =)