First off, many thanks to all of you for supporting TTS. Thanks to those who have been able to attend the sessions; to my wife Jo, who so faithfully helps me 'behind the scenes'; to Freedom, MHEC and City Church, for covering and supporting TTS; to Fiona and Gill, who provide such amazing support and refreshments; to the 'second years', who are very patiently waiting for the Virtues course to begin, and of course to our good God, who continues to bless us with the Word, week-on-week!
I want to give you all an important update - one that will affect TTS over the next month or so. I am currently scheduled for surgery on my lower spine. The date I've been given is Wed 13th Feb.
The operation itself is designed to alleviate sciatic pain, owing to a slipped disc. Those who know us personally will be aware that I had a couple of slipped discs around 2014-16, but God miraculously healed me. I enjoyed no symptoms, no pain, until Dec 2017 when (on an icy morning [much like today!]) I pulled my back again.
 What does this mean for TTS?
Originally, the Feb/Mar schedule was very full. In addition to the Sunday Foundations sessions at Freedom, we were also going to launch a new mid-week session, as well as the Scripture and Virtues sessions. However, I will now need to give time not just to the surgery itself but also to my subsequent recovery.
 As for TTS Foundations:
Our next Foundations session is scheduled for Sun 10th Feb at Freedom Church - this will not change. However, I will then take the rest of February off. Provided my recovery goes as planned, our next Foundations session will be on Sun 10th Mar at Freedom Church. (As for the mooted mid-week sessions, keep an eye open for announcements. I'm now hoping to start these in March or April.)
 As for TTS Scripture and Virtues:
Hopefully this all makes sense. I have adjusted the Term page accordingly, and if you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
Finally, if I may be so forward, my wife and I would greatly appreciate your prayers at this time. The surgery (though relatively routine) is obviously producing a certain level of anxiety. More importantly, we believe that God can and does heal. He's literally done it with me before, quite miraculously, and he can do it again!
Thanks to all those who attended last night's Foundations session. We're really blessed to have around six to seven Chester churches represented on an average evening - it's such a privilege to pray and study the scriptures together.
Last night we were introduced to Christology - the study of the man, Christ Jesus. . Of course, one can't help but think of the following passage: "Jesus asked his disciples, 'Who do people say that the Son of Man is?'" [Matt 16:13]
We established the centrality and supremacy of Christ in all things - like in the Grünewald altarpiece, our job as theologians is to stretch out our finger, crying, "He must increase but I must decrease!" [John 3:30] Then we saw how the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith are inseparable - Jesus interacted with real people and institutions, we must take note of that, but he also demands an answer. He isn't just a piece of historical data.
We traced the history leading up to Christ's ministry - a 1000 years of conflict and conquest, from the united kingdom of David, through to Babylonian Captivity, Alexander the Great, the Roman Empire, etc. Then we used Matthew's Gospel to trace how Jesus understood his own ministry and vocation. He's like Moses ... but he's more than Moses. He's like David ... but he's more than David. He's like a shepherd ... but there's profound significance to that image. (Etc.)
There's another part of this story to tell - one in which we see God himself fulfil his promise to Isaiah, entering the stage himself...
Find notes below, as well as the song we played last night - All Glory Be to Christ.
A great start to the new year! Thanks to all those who attended our sixth Foundations sessions last night. We were continuing (and finishing) our study of God as Creator.
Having asked how and why God created all things in the last session, we turned our attention to ourselves. What does it mean to be human? It's the question at the centre of all other questions - from sexuality and politics, to ethics and morality, to parenting and education, to technology and art, everything we do begs this same question. What are we? Who are we? What were we made for?
Noverim te, noverim me - "I would know you, God, for I would know myself"
Those were Augustine's words. We cannot hope to know ourselves as creatures without first having looked at God our Creator. We saw how the story of humanity can be told in three 'chapters':  Prelapsarian Man (i.e. what we were like before we fell);  Postlapsarian Man (i.e. what happened to us because of the Fall), and  New Creation Man.
The last chapter in the story of humanity is the best of all! Christ the Second Adam, the True Man, became human for us! Whereas once there was a broken image, now there is the Image of the Invisible God; whereas once there was rebellion, now there is a True King; whereas once there was sabotage, now there is an Obedient Son; where once we were covenant breakers, now we have Christ, the 'Yes' and 'Amen'!
You can find a full set of notes below.
I. The Awesome Sound
Imagine waking up in a great concert hall amongst a vast congregation of singers. The first thing you hear is a wondrous song, a musical masterpiece, proceeding from the stage at the centre of a circular arena. The sound, though not particularly loud at first, is filled with a thousand perfect harmonies. The intertwined music and lyrics seem more ancient than you can possibly imagine, but at the same time refreshing and relevant. The song never seems to end, and yet it somehow stays entirely captivating, telling a great tale of many movements. It is easily the most beautiful music you have ever heard.
Your heart is gripped in awe, and you are drawn to the source to which all the audience direct their voices. You gaze in the same direction, for on the stage is an awesome scene: a throne, overarched by a rainbow. The One sitting on it has the appearance of precious gems, and next to the throne there is an empty bloodstained cross. All around the throne is a host of musicians and vocalists, young and old, addressing their various sounds to the One in echo of His song. In front of them stands the Conductor, and you realise that you somehow know Him; He has the appearance of the Son of Man. You notice a large songbook in front of you. You pick it up in the hope of confirming what your memory is telling you. The title reads: “The Holy Word of God and The Gospel of Grace: The Wisdom by which the Earth was founded and the Heavens Established”, followed by the conductor’s name, “The Word who was with God in the beginning and is God, Who dwelt amongst humanity for their redemption”.
Now you remember. He is the One who saved you from the state you used to be in; the One who rescued you from the sea of destruction.
Welcome to the Theology That Sings blog. Here you'll find news of upcoming events, as well as notes and notices.