Keith and Kristyn Getty – modern hymn writers extraordinaire

First published on 21 July 2009, and updated on 27 Feb 2010

I like to think of myself as someone who keeps up with trends. That’s what I do for a living after all (see http://www.graemecodrington.com, if you’re interested). But I now confess to you that I have only recently realised that the legacy of John and Charles Wesley and other great hymnwriters of ages past is being carried forward by a new couple: Keith and Kristyn Getty.

I am a bit of collector of two specific types of music: Christmas albums (I have bought a minimum of two new Christmas albums every Christmas for the past 20 years, and have nearly 60 Christmas albums in my personal collection), and worship music. Listening to worship music is probably the most powerful way for me to personally do daily devotions. Over the past few years, though, good worship music has been a bit hard to come by. The big music houses around the world realised worship music was a winner (financially, I mean) about 7 years ago, and so most major Christian recording artists have realised (at least one) worship album in the past few years. But, as with all things, they’ve become a bit stale – formulaic, repetitive – and worst, we’re now getting compilation after compilation album that just repackages old stuff.

So, it has been refreshing to discover some great worship writing talent in the UK (I moved to London last year, and we have now been at our church, Dundonald since September 2008 – our worship leader, Andy Fenton is a fan of the Gettys).

Continue reading Keith and Kristyn Getty – modern hymn writers extraordinaire

Creation and evolution Myths

First posted on 10 February 2009

I am an avid reader the New Scientist magazine. This magazine is obviously pro-evolution, and anti-creationism. Well, that’s what you’d think. They actually present very balanced articles on creation and religion, but have very little time for unthinking fundamentalist religion that poo-poos science. Or is just anti-scientific.

I believe that there is a way to harmonise science and religion. I believe that there are great questions that Christians can ask scientists that help us all have excellent conversations about God, creation, eternity and so on. But the way in which many Christians approach science is counter productive, and unhelpful.

Maybe I’ll come back to this issue sometime soon and talk about how I think we can harmonise science and religion. For now, for those of you interested in becoming better acquainted with science and creation, you may find the 24 myths and misconceptions about evolution to be very helpful. This is available from the New Scientist website – click here.

At very least, it will help you stop sounding like a moron when you speak to people who have done some work in scientific fields.

Continue reading Creation and evolution Myths

The Adoption Option

Originally posted on 9 July 2009

My wife, Jane, and I adopted a Zulu orphan in July 2005. Since then, we have discovered hundreds of families who have done the same – responding to the tremendous crisis in sub Saharan African, brought on by the AIDS epidemic.

Often, as Christians, we read the Bible selectively. We’re so quick to claim certain promises, and get hot under the collar about certain instructions and commands. But, then, we feel happy completely ignoring others. My wife and I became increasingly convicted about James 1:27, where it is very clear that “religion that is pure and acceptable to God is to take care of widows and orphans…”. That doesn’t mean adoption, of course – there are many ways of taking care of others. In fact, adoption means that we have reduced our impact because our focus is now on only one orphan, rather than the possibility of caring for many. But, religion that is acceptable to God must include significant amounts of social action and social justice.

In May 2008, I spoke at TGIF in Hyde Park, Joahnnesburg, and told the story of my family’s adoption of our third daughter, Rebecca. I told her story, our story, and gave details on the process of adoption in South Africa. For those interested in the story, it was recorded and is available for download as an MP3 file, by right clicking here (select SAVE AS).

The Transformational Gospel vs the Evacuation Gospel

Originally posted on 7 May, 2007

I attended a conference in Uganda in 2007 which was a significant moment in my “emerging church” journey. It as the first time I really understood that the “stories” of my faith were incomplete, and that a future church would need to find new ways of expressing what it meant to be church. The talk I make available below was one of those “aha” moments for me. I hope it can be for you, too.

A message by Claude Nikondeha, from Burundi, delivered at Amahoro Gathering in Uganda

Download the MP3 recording here

The sections marked (GC) in italics are my commentary, not Claude’s words.

The problem with a Gospel that only promises release when Jesus returns, is that Jesus has not yet returned. The people are not released – they live in suffering, poverty, famine and wars.

“The Gospel is not a doctrinal formula for the salvation of the individual but it is the Good News of God’s movement through Jesus Christ to carry out his purpose for the entire human race.” Rene Padilla

Jesus did not come to announce an evacuation plan, but a transformation plan.

Continue reading The Transformational Gospel vs the Evacuation Gospel

The Archbishop of Canterbury on Global Warming

Originally posted on 11 Nov 2009

Recently, Dr Rowan Williams gave an excellent speech on the issue of our responsibility towards Creation and a Christian response to environmental crises. The Bible has a clear message about caring for the environment – not just for the here and now, but also because at the end of time this planet will be renewed and restored to pre-Fall glory and be the paradise heaven of God’s Kingdom.

I don’t agree with everything Dr Williams says, but his message is well made and worth listening to. You can read it on his own website, listen to it online (42Mb MP3), or see an extract below.

Continue reading The Archbishop of Canterbury on Global Warming

Evangelising the generations

Originally posted in 2002, and then updated in July 2009

It has been a tremendous privilege over many years to be able to (almost) seamlessly blend my ministry and work aspirations. This is something many people spend their whole lives striving for – to integrate what they do for a living with the passion in their hearts. I fell into this very young, and have been privileged to continue to do so.

Specifically, the work I do on different generations, and seeing the world through other people’s eyes (see http://www.graemecodrington.com) has application in many different areas – from schools and churches, to marketing and HR departments of large corporates, and even government institutions, too.

A few things have happened recently to remind me of work I did a number of years ago on evangelising the next generation. I wrote a chapter on “Generations at church” in my 2004 book, “Mind the Gap”. Now, EE3, the global evangelism movement, will be providing my book to its members. I have also been in contact with the organisers of the upcoming Lausanne Congress on World Evangelisation, to be held in Cape Town 2010.

So, previously unpublished on this blog, is an article I wrote in 2000 for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association magazine.

Continue reading Evangelising the generations

Welcome to Future Church Now

This is the new home of Graeme Codrington‘s blog on the future of Christianity, emerging church, missional theology and all things spiritual.

I am a business strategy consultant, living in Johannesburg, South Africa. My focus is on helping organisations to understand the forces that are shaping the future of work, and working with them to develop practical responses to the trends that will disrupt their industries in the next decade. I work with a number of business partners in TomorrowToday Global, a company I co-founded in 2002. I blog on issues relating to these trends here, and have a Twitter feed here.

In addition to doing Chartered Accounting articles at KPMG and a Bachelor of Commerce (with majors in accounts, business economics and business information systems) and a Doctorate in Business Administration (majors in leadership and future studies), I also have a Bachelor of Arts (major in theology), an Honours in Theology (major in youth work) and a Masters in Diaconology (a combination of theology and sociology). I have worked as a youth worker, honorary youth pastor, articled clerk, auditor, computer trainer and solutions developer, strategy consultant, futurist and professional speaker.

My church background includes Salvation Army, Brethren, Church of England (while living in London) and Baptist. I was ordained into Baptist ministry in South Africa in 1999. I left the Baptist church a few years later, in protest to both their treatment of female pastors and their unwillingness to even engage in dialogue on homosexuality issues. I now worship at a Methodist church in Johannesburg. My wife is the campus pastor of our church.

I have been blogging on the issues related to “a new kind of christianity” for over 10 years, with a long archive at this site and elsewhere. This blog is home to my musings on this topic.

If you are a Twitter user, then you can follow this blog, and also other interesting tweets seen by Graeme Codrington on the subjects covered by this blog. Follow me: @futurechurchnow

Enjoy it, and contribute to the conversations!

Graeme Codrington's musings on a new kind of Christianity