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  • Restorative Readings: The Old Testament, Ethics, and Human Dignity
    Restorative Readings: The Old Testament, Ethics, and Human Dignity
    Pickwick Publications

    Foreword by Walter Brueggemann, my chapter is entitled 'In conversation: The Old Testament, Ethics and Human Dignity'. A superb resource edited by Julie Claassens and Bruce Birch

  • What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists.
    What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists.
    by Dion A Forster, Wessel Bentley
  • Methodism in Southern Africa: A celebration of Wesleyan Mission
    Methodism in Southern Africa: A celebration of Wesleyan Mission
    by Dion A Forster, Wessel Bentley
  • Christ at the centre - Discovering the Cosmic Christ in the spirituality of Bede Griffiths
    Christ at the centre - Discovering the Cosmic Christ in the spirituality of Bede Griffiths
    by Dion A Forster
  • An uncommon spiritual path - the quest to find Jesus beyond conventional Christianity
    An uncommon spiritual path - the quest to find Jesus beyond conventional Christianity
    by Dion A Forster
Transform your work life: Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling. by Dion Forster and Graham Power.
Download a few chapters of the book here.
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Entries in joy (5)

Tuesday
Jun072016

Travel, time and achievement

This VLOG was filmed in Cape Town and Johannesburg. We talk about our efforts and God's time and gaining some perspective as we bring these two into conversation with one another.

 

What happens if I don’t achieve the things I want to in life? Must I give up if it seems like I  may not reach a certain goal? Or, must we live within God’s time, doing our best, but realising that God holds time within God’s economy?
For me the struggle is frequently between wanting to see the 'fruit' of my efforts, yet having to understand that achievement is not the intended goal of Christian effort - faithfulness to God is the end of our good, faithful, creative, and courageous work. Since our work is directed towards God, and not ourselves, it means that God has the right to decide how and when to achieve what God wishes to achieve. My peace, and even joy, should come from knowing that I can serve a purpose (even a history) that is larger than myself.
I also talk about Theological Education by Extension College, see http://www.tee.co.za and read this great article on theological education and justice!
Kinsler, F.R. 1978. Theological Education by Extension: Service or Subversion? Missiology: An International Review, 6(2):181–196.
I also mention the following book:
Jürgen Moltmann ‘Theology of Hope’ 
Remember, it's not a lecture, just a thought…
I’d love you hear your feedback, comments, questions and ideas!

 

Saturday
Nov212015

The secret of life is love

I came across this beautiful quotation today and wanted to share it here:

“The secret of life is love. In love we go out of ourselves and lay ourselves open to all the experiences of life. In the love of life we become happy and vulnerable at the same time. In love we can be happy and sad. In love we can laugh and weep. In love we can rejoice and must protest at the same time. The more deeply love draws us into life, the more alive and, simultaneously, the more capable of sorrow we become. That is the dialectic of the affirmed and loved life.”

- Jurgen Moltmann

It rings true for me.

The God who is love calls us to a life of love.

In responding to that call daily we become truly alive. Love is not only the core of life, but also the source of living - it brings about justice and it opens the possibility for joyful existence.

Last night Jurgen Moltmann was interviewed at the Homebrewed Christianity gathering here at the American Academy of Religion in Atlanta. I will post a link to that interview as soon as Tripp Fuller makes it available.

In the meantime I invite you to watch this lovely interview between Jurgen Moltmann and Miroslav Volf on a theology of joy:

http://youtu.be/s04zdvrBz-c

Blessings from Atlanta!

I will share a bit of a 'travel report' as soon as I get a chance. It has been wonderful to visit New York, Princeton (the Seminary, University and our good friend Will Storrar at the Center for Theological Inquiry), and just as wonderful being in Atlanta.

At the AAR I presented a 'country report' on the scope and nature of public theology on a panel this morning, and tomorrow I shall present a paper of Nelson Mandela and African Christian Humanism in the Wesley Studies group).

Until soon,

Dion

Tuesday
Feb092010

Making memories! Playing trains with my son!

I love spending time with my kids! Being with them reminds me that life is meant for living!

My son got this great little wooden train set from us for Christmas. The first thing he says to me in the morning when he wakes up, and the first thing he says to me when I get home from work, is "Daddy, let's play trains!" I love it! We build little worlds. In this picture the cow is sleeping under a tree... Liam is a lion roaring at the top of his voice.

I love making memories - truly, as Gretchen Rubin pointed out 'While the days or long, the years are short'. I often find that my days seem so long (I leave early and get home late), but the years are just too short. They wizz by at a rapid rate.

I am making it a simple discipline to play trains with my son.

Wednesday
Sep122007

A favourite photo, of a favourite passtime, in a favourite place.



Isn't this just a great photo of my old Vespa? I have been ridding here for the past few days - the weather here has been awesome (33 degrees C today!) When I arrived home from Malaysia I took this old girl out of the garage, took out my soft cloth and wiped off all the dust, pulled out the choke and she started first time! She is a wonderful machine! And I get such joy from riding her.

This photo was taken back on the 3rd of July on the UNISA university campus - I was dropping off some marked assignments. That day it was FREEZING! Today, however, I had a meeting at UNISA for a book I am writting with Professor Kretzschmar. I rode there in a short sleeve shirt!

In this light she looks like a saint - saint Vespa! The joy's and blessings of life!

Tuesday
Jan092007

Back in the saddle. Life is good!

Here's a photo of one of my favorite things, taken at one of my favorite places.

The old gray scooter is mine.

It is a 1968 VLB Sprint 150cc Vespa. Next to it is a brand spanking new Vespa Grandtourismo 200cc! I'm not sure who that belongs to. I wish it belonged to me! The photo was taken on the campus of the University of Pretoria (where I am a research associate in the Department of New Testament). I love going there. It is a beautiful campus, and it always reminds me of my care free undergraduate days at Rhodes University.

Just take a look at the curves on my old Vespa. Heck, I would LOVE a new one! But, my Vespa is a real classic and it runs like a dream (most of the time, or should I say, it runs like a dream it just has some trouble starting). When it doesn't start as it should, it can be quite embarrassing, like today. I came out of the studio at Radio Pulpit where I had just recorded two very serious shows for the program "The ministry and me" of which I am a co-host. With me were two senior Methodist colleagues, the Reverends Christopher Harrison and John Gillmer. They got into their Toyota Camry (a sensible car for respectable persons). I on the other hand went across to my 1968 Vespa, which by the way is SSSSOOOOO old that it doesn't even have a key to lock the ignition, so a thief could simply kick start it and drive it away (that is if it would kick start...), so here I am walking towards my battered old scooter which is chained with a bicycle lock and chain so as not to be stolen. I try, in the most dignified manner as possible, to kick start the bike (after unlocking the bicycle chain and lock).... It won't start! She does get a bit temperamental from time to time when I leave her alone! A few minutes later I am being pushed around the parking lot by a senior colleague trying to get my rickety old bike running! He got some good exercise, I had a good laugh!

The point of this story is that life is meant for living and enjoying! A long time ago, while still a minister in heaven (a.k.a Somerset West, which was one of the happiest times of my life), I decided that I would enjoy whatever I did so that my ministry would be filled with joyful service. Even then I would park my car and drive my Vespa (a slightly newer model, 1972 VBB) to pastoral visits and preaching engagements. Sure, some would call it 'altruistic hedonism' (the more serious ethicists among you are welcome to google this term, as well as 'utilitarianism' 'consequentialist ethics'). But, somehow whenever I get onto this scooter and drive it around I feel alive! My mood is better, my spirit is filled with praise and thanksgiving, and I have the satisfaction of knowing that that I am keeping a relic on the road...

I had not ridden my scooter since Megan first went into labour on the 7th of November last year. My routine of light hearted joy had been interrupted by the necessary seriousness of the events that unfolded after that day. Needless to say that last two and a bit months have been more stressful than any other time I can remember. We were pretty much in survival mode.

One thing I am convinced of is that God does not want us to have to live that way. God wants us to do more than just survive! God wants us to truly live, to find life and joy in our living, and through that to bring life and joy to others. So, since Liam has come home (and he is doing so well by the way. I will post an update on his development on Thursday after he has been to the Doctor for his checkup), I have been trying to return to completing my tasks with joy. I drive my old Vespa to work in the mornings, I drive it around Pretoria to my meetings and appointments.... And occasionally I get senior colleagues to push start me in the car park. Now that's truly living. In some ways, I guess my Vespa makes me more Christian!

Ephesians 4:15-16, TLB. "Instead, we will lovingly follow the truth at all times--speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly--and so become more and more in every way like Christ who is the Head of His body, the church."