Pop tarts and the Hope of the city.

Ok. So as Monday is fast approaching and bringing with it the reality that I am going to be back into full-masters-days-which-require-serious-brain-power, today I made the most of some quality and super-relaxing time with friends.

Blueberry muffin and espresso brunch.

Nando's lunch.

And an afternoon filled with the best selection of cheesy/action/marvel/brilliant films we could find.

Check these out…

Oh yes. This is in the middle of happening!

Also truly exciting is also the fact that we found perhaps the best T-shirts on the planet…

Yep. That's a T-shirt celebrating everything good about my teenage years, summed up in the beautiful food-stuff of pop tarts! (Kidding… Slightly 😉 Sorry for the shameless selfie but you really couldn't put that kind of design-brilliance into words…)

Now alongside the hilarity, the I-enjoy-multi-tasking part of my brain has also been working my way through some more of the preparatory reading for my next Masters week… Which in all honesty, has been pretty heavy going at points. I know, I know, PostGrad study and light-reading don't really exist in the same sentence, but still, when you have a pile of pretty varied books in front of you, I do find slightly-abstract-academia harder going than beautifully-applicable-theology.
Don't we all… 😉

I have however, been reading one book which is thankfully of the latter category, and which I can wholeheartedly recommend.

Seeking a City with Foundations
by David W. Smith.

Brilliant. Just brilliant. And super challenging. And rooted in both the Word and in application.

And I'm not saying it doesn't leave me with questions and a totally-buzzing mind, but I personally think that's a really good thing. Because it makes me wrestle with the important things. And it shifts me from holiday-mode (which has been both lovely and neccessary for a few days) and into this-is-the-stuff-that-I-want-to-live-out-mode. Because it's been so great to rest and chill and have downtime. But I am so desperate to move into a 2014 which is purposeful for the heart of God. A 2014 in which I pray more, and give more, and believe more, and love more and am changed more and more into the likeness of Jesus. A 2014 in which I am undistracted in my pursuit of God and in which I grow in tune with Holy Spirit. Because I believe this beautiful Gospel, of this Beautiful God, who calls us to be prophets of His Beauty, can truly change the cities of the world.

So, there are a couple of quotes which I'm particularly mulling over. And maybe you'd like to join me.
The task of urban theology in such a world cannot be undertaken in the ivory towers of secure, tenured university posts, unless accompanied by the kind of commitment and courage shown by the apostle Paul and a willingness, if need be, to suffer and die in order to confront the idols of our time. A prophetic theology will demand both deep repentance within the wealthy and privileged world, and justice and dignity for the masses of poor people trapped in the slums and villages of the Global South. Such a theology can neither retreat to the ghetto nor become preoccupied with personal religion and the post-mortem salvation of the soul, because the vision of the Bible is global; it does extend to all the nations on earth, promising a salvation which brings justice and equity to all peoples. What is more, it envisages an urban world in which the city becomes a place of beauty, healing and great joy. Such a hope provides the basis of an alternative vision of globalization in which the centre of unity is no longer provided by an ideology focused on the pursuit of wealth at the expense of other people and without regard to the destructive impact of that quest on other creatures, but rather by the worship of the God who so loved the world as to enter Christ into it's very depths of despair, abandonment and death. (Smith 2011: 224)

[Evangelicals]… have operated with a restrictive view of the redemptive ministry of Jesus… They have not shown much interest in the work of the Lamb as it applies to the broad reaches of culture or the patterns of political life, nor as a power that heals racism, ethnocentrism, sexism and injustice that have for so long poisoned human relationships. To such Christians we must insist that the Lamb is indeed the lamp of the City; just as we must insist to liberal Christians that the light which illuminates the City does indeed issue from the Lamb who shed his own blood as a ransom for sin (Mouw 2002: 111-112).
Yeah. There's some beautiful challenges there. Because Jesus is beautiful.
Food. For. Thought. 🙂

 

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