June 16, 2009
So I’ve recently been watching the American Office. I thought as a Christian, how would I love someone who is perhaps the most socially arkward on television, who ranges from moments of hilarity to despair, from deep profoundness to insane antics. Well here we go. Use this as a basic guide to loving people who you find hard to love.
Number 1: Realise Michael’s humour is a good gift from God. Perhaps one of the funniest parts of the show is that Michael isn’t funny providing breath taking moments of cringe worthiness. However one way in which we could relate to Michael Scott would be to follow Paul’s example of 1 Corinthians 9, “I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some” (1 Corinthians 9 v 22) Perhaps one way to love Michael Scott would be to engage in his humour, to enjoy some of the jokes he tells. Now I wouldn’t advocate joining in some of the adult humour as this may cause someone or yourself to stumble. But edifying humour is certaintly a must when loving Michael Scott.
2. Work Hard If any of you watch the Office you may find this a bit strange. Do we ever see Michael Scott working hard? However this is a command from scripture “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” (1 Thessalonians 4 v 12). Who does Michael have the most respect for in the Office? Arguably Stanley (although they have their occasional run ins) and his loyal number 2 Dwight (who lives and breathes the paper company). Working hard would show that Christians aren’t lazy, that they do their work with integrity. If nothing else this may lead to interesting discussions about Christian ethics.
3. Take to heart the moments when you see clear acts of common grace in Michael Scott. It would be generally hard sometimes to be as Paul urges “compassionate, kind, gentle” as he states in Colossians 3. Michael Scott sometimes does some stupid stuff. Sometimes he is rude and arrogant. However he has great moments when we see common grace in him. If your not familiar with common grace, this is the way in which God has blessed unbelivers by not allowing them to display the full extent of their sin. Hence why we meet some lovely unbelivers. Moreover why we can see things in creation as having common grace by not being tainted fully by the results of the fall. One act of common grace from Michael Scott would be when he goes to Pam’s art show when other work mates don’t. Here you would appreciate the moments that we see the common grace through him.
4. The Gospel is for everyone, even someone like Michael Scott. A strong temptation when enjoying banter with non Christians is that we lose the desire to see them saved. So don’t just enjoy them for the jokes, really love them by telling them the gospel. This is a thought that I had when watching the Office. If Michael Scott were real how would I communicate the gospel to him? When would be the times that we would get on to serious life issues? While becoming “all things to all men” we must also reach out to those who display unbelief in their lives.
June 16, 2009
1. Thierry Henry vs Manchester United: 30 September 2000: What a strike! A lovely turn and shot from Henry on the edge of the area. Arsenal win the game 1-0. Surely Henry is one of the finest players to of graced the Premiership.
2. Dennis Bergkamp vs Newcastle United: March 2002: This was class. An inspired flick round Nikos Dabizas followed by a neat finish in the bottom right hand corner of the goal. Sensational.
3. Steven Gerrard vs West Ham: May 2006: With Liverpool losing in the FA Cup Final, only Stevie G could of saved the Reds from a humble defeat. A stunning strike from just over 30 yards sends delirium in Wembley. A classic Gerrard goal.
May 21, 2009
I think this may be a first. The theology of Alan Partridge. However I thought as so many of my friends are into this it’s time to start thinking Christianly about what we perhaps see as an irrelevant activity to our spiritual life, however our Partridge watching can bring as much glory to God as other daily activities and so let’s start with our we could engage Christianly on one of comedy’s greats.
- Why is it important we think Christianly about Partridge
Firstly when we watch Partridge we should be doing for the glory of God. As 1 Corinthians 10 v 31 states “whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God”. (sorry if this all sounds a bit John Piperish) Thus when we sit down to watch the television we should not count these as activities which can’t please our heavenly father. Moreover there is another piece of scripture which has made a big impact on my life when it comes to enjoying my leisure. As 1 Timothy 4 v 4 says “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving”. Now in Timothy’s day people were saying that people were anti food and anti sex and anti pretty much anything that gave any sort of pleasure. However Timothy is reffering more to our attitudes to God’s creation. For example if I was to watch Alan Partridge and to fall into sin then this is to be rejected. However if we watch Alan Partridge thanking God, not falling into sin then we can be thankful towards God for giving us the good gift of enterainment and leisure.
2. General observations. In what way could Alan Partridge be relevant?
Perhaps what has most struck me about Alan Partridge (and feel free to disagree with me) is the way in which the actor played by Steve Coogan seems to neglect everyone else around him. That he is simply content with created things. Perhaps this shows in his relationships. For example the way he treates Lynn is in such a way in which she is used for him to be fufilled and happy in his life. We see two comments on this such as “Technically Lynn your life isn’t worth insuring” and “Lynn that is part of your £8,000 a year” Although Partridge says these commentes wittingly there lies a deeper truth. First of all a deeper truth within the show as Partridge uses those around him in order for his own comfort. And sadly as opposed to being irrelevant to our daily life, perhaps we see in Partridge what we wouldn’t like to see in ourselves if we were to keep closely to Christ. As we see the “Partridge Mentality” is self serving. This is so contary to the way in which God has instructed us to have relationships with those around us. As opposed to serving ourselves, we are to serve others around us, and this could mean we sacrifice our own comfort, money and image.
3. “Lynn I’m not going to join your Baptist Church”
Perhaps the most obvious link towards the Christian faith in Alan Partride is Lynns connection to the Baptist Church. On one occasion Partridge has a bad day (it may even be the first episode). Lynn says a comment encouraging the fact that Alan’s latest rejetction from the BBC could actually be a blessing from God. Even this indication puts off Alan as he says “Lynn I’m not going to join your Baptist Church, you always get people when their down, I don’t want salvation” Now what are Partridge’s misunderstandings of the gospel? I think that Partridge outlines some true and false points about the gospel. What are the true points? Perhaps the Christian faith is most prominent when people are vulnerable. When they are down. When people are broken. As Paul states in 1 Corithians 1:26 “Think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.” Moreover Partridge may recognise that Christians aren’t the most remarkable people. That the nature of coming to Christ is coming to realise that we need him. That we have to swallow our pride and our failiure and repent and turn to Christ. However we see abstractly that Partridge writes off the Church for weak people, of which he wants no parts of. However Partridge does misunderstand the gospel by this statement to some extent. By mentioning the emotion of “being down“, he seems to project is own emotion onto the gospel and to the Church. Some of this, can have disastorous effects. Rather than turning and serving the Lord Jesus depending on our circumstances we should look to the objective truth of the gospel in which to change and shape us.
March 23, 2009
Last week I had the great privalege on going on a UCCF North West team day on Apologetics and Evangelism. It was about the difference between the two and what approaches Paul talks about in the New Testament. I think what I found most helpful was the discussion on how it is ultimatly God who does the work in people. Now people have sometimes said in the past we should not bother to focus on the evidence for Christianity, even so far as not answering people’s questions. They would advocate that are answers wouldn’t make a difference. They simply don’t understand because God hasn’t opened their eyes. However this is potentionally very dangerous. As is just trying to argue people into Christianity through historical evidence and fancy arguments. This apporach to it’s extreme negates the fact that it is God’s word through the Holy Spirit that brings people to himself. Thus as Maurice so insightfully put it, we need to realise that the gospel is truth and thus does stand up to the intellectual rigour put to it. So we are to both proclaim the gospel faithfully and to engage in debate and questions that try to undermine the gospel.
February 20, 2009
Hello everyone. I hope that you find this blog helpful. It will mainly focus on my observations theologically on normal daily activites, theological theories/debates and also comments on books and activities that I’ve attended. I’d really appreciate any comment on discussion on any of my posts. Stay posted for some blogs!