After a good week in Muskoka, I’m back home.
This was my first foray into denominational life since the decision on gender. I think it’s still fair to say that there is a strong undercurrent against the decision that was made, but I continue to be surprised by how different the Fellowship is outside of urban centers like Toronto. It’s almost like there are two Fellowships.
I’m surprised how many people mentioned they read this blog within the Fellowship – more than I thought.
I’m encouraged by some of what I see going on. There are lots of struggling churches, and the denomination overall is flat-lined, but there are some signs of hope. A couple of things really encouraged me this week – good people being considered for important positions.
I’m also encouraged that Heritage came to a good decision re: Bill Webb’s book, Slaves, Women, and Homosexuals. There was some pressure to sanction the book as falling outside the school’s doctrinal statement. Webb is a professor there. The board met the other night and have concluded that the book doesn’t fall outside of their doctrinal statement, whatever the book’s merits. That was good news.
I was really curious to hear James MacDonald after hearing so much about him. James is sort of like Dr. Phil only meaner (no offense to James or Phil). His favorite phrases are “flat out” and “straight up”. I really enjoyed his teaching overall. He is a little on the confrontational side (a little????), and sometimes is guilty of oversimplifying complex issues, but he is clear and he had some good things to say. He especially had a good talk on marriage this morning.
I could tell a lot of funny stories about James’ teaching. He made an off-handed comment about hating floral decorations in church, and you should have seen them scramble to remove everything remotely girlie from the stage. When the alpha dog barks the beta dogs listen.
I’m glad I went. I needed a few low-key days away. But am I ever glad to be back home with my family.