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I don’t have time (not) to think December 4, 2018

Posted by P, J, or J in Uncategorized.
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or “Not idleness but amplitude of space for thought…”

“Missiological Reflection” is a term that is being used a lot in our organisation at the moment. It’s not a new idea. It goes well with another common term “reflective practice” which really means think about what you are doing and why, and then do things better.

There’s a bit more to it than that if you want to Google the terms but you might be too busy for a long read right now.

One advocate of missiological reflection quoted the old idea that we should reflect on the world with the Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other. This idea is often attributed to John Stott, but looking for the quote I found he referred to other theologians and preachers including Karl Barth and to CH Spurgeon. BibleandNewspaper

Each of these men are known for both their reflections and their practice. I found Spurgeon’s 1878 book “The Bible and the Newspaper” online and he quoted minister and hymn writer John Newton.

“I READ the, newspaper,” said John Newton, “that I may see how my
heavenly Father governs the world;” a very excellent reason indeed. We
have read the newspaper during the last three months that we might find
illustrations of the teaching of our heavenly Father’s word; and we think
we have not read in vain…

Spurgeon goes on:

“A sense of leisure and of rest is needed if one is to follow
the trails of nature, and listen to all her echoes. Not idleness but amplitude
of space for thought is a requisite for the weaving of allegory and the
fashioning of similitudes. Lacking these essentials, amid the hum of London
and the whirl of the wheel of daily duty, we have produced a little homespun
where others might have woven tapestries of golden thread.”

It sounds a bit old fashioned and you might need to read it a second time to get the meaning. The “whirl of the wheel” may have got even faster and newspapers and more modern media may have got more crowded and not overly encouraging, but read together with the Bible you may still see how our heavenly father both governs and cares for a world that too often seems to care little for him.

May you find “amplitude of space for thought” and have time to reflect alone and with others on what an amazing world we live in, and an amazing God we serve.

(oh and if you read this and don’t know this amazing God yet you can find online Bibles in many languages.

pictures from wikipedia articles about Stott, Barth, Spurgeon, and Newton.

 

 

 

 

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