Church on the Corner

Church on the Corner is an Anglican church in an old pub in Islington, London


The opening sermon of our Chaos Theology series is now online. The theme is identity. You can find the Beauty in the Breakdown video here and the sermon audio is here.[Sorry about the quality – working on that]

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12 thoughts on “Identity

  1. Anonymous says:

    Naomi your bible verses were great thank you

  2. mark fletcher says:

    Thanks dan, I like that idea of our true identity being reflecting the God in whose image we are made, the God of self giving love.

  3. Dan Passerelli says:

    Mark,
    Just listened to the sermon (was watching my kiddos the first time around).

    As you described our identity and beauty as God’s creation, the thing that kept coming to my mind was the phrase: “If anyone is in Christ – they are New Creation!” When a person is united to Jesus by faith, they become what they were created to be. Our true beauty, our true humanity, even, is re-created. Very cool to contemplate myself, my identity, as wrapped up in Jesus.

    Also, I really liked being reminded that we are made in God’s image. God is the God of self-giving love (I stole that phrase from NT Wright, who I think got it from Paul in Phillipians). So does part of being made in God’s image mean that we too are meant to be people who give ourselves in love for others? Like we can’t be who we were made to be until we start to give ourselves away? That would kind of put the whole “the universe revolves around me” thing into perspective.

  4. Dan Passerelli says:

    Jeremy,
    I like what you’ve said about Paul using the word “boast”. When Paul does boast, it’s in an upside-down way. He boasts in the things that show his weakness. He boasts in the cross. He boasts in what other people have become.

  5. mark fletcher says:

    Pete, thanks for your professional imput on the subject. What do you think is the best word to use when discribing a human self centred attitude?

    Tom, CS Lewis is really good on pride in the Great Divorce – in fact he is really good on exploring all sorts of sin, and the effect that they have on people.

  6. naomi says:

    On the subject of pride was just reading galatians this am. Would love to write more (actually would prefer more of a chit-chat)but have to sort out the year 10 timetables. See ya! Naomi

    Galatians 6:4
    Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else,
    Galatians 6:3-5 (in Context)

    James 1:9&10
    The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position.
    But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower.

  7. Tom C says:

    (a.k.a. “tmc” above…) …and we are therefore back at Mark’s point – pride in terms of dignity and value is no bad thing. It is good that we are “proud” to be Christians, or “proud” of our faith. But it is when our pride gets in the way of our relationship with God, or stops us from giving glory to God and reflecting that glory (but absorbing it in ourselves, as Jezza suggested), it becomes less constructive.

    On a separate note, this blogging is a jolly good idea!

  8. Pedro says:

    I think it is such a shame people are not able to be proud about things. Egotism in it’s definition is a preoccuaption with the part of our personality Freud called the ego. This part of our psyche requires stimulation in order for it to be satisfied and hence why some people who are often extroverted are also egotistical, which means they need more stimulation in their environments in order to stay content. Hence Pride is entirely seperate to egotism. Pride on the other hand is a centrally based discernment which is based around the values, beliefs and achievements of oneself. We can be proud of our faith, our country and our achievements. Where I think what we have been calling ‘pride’ becomes an issue is when a situation, person or group does not fit with our prefered state. This state is usually fixed and hence why it can be so difficult to be versatile enough to embrace a foreign school of thought. In order to encourage ourselves and each other pride is not what we should be addressing but the versatility to embrace situations, people and groups which do not fit with our prefered state.

  9. Jeremy says:

    Not entirely related to the above, just agreeing – let’s get some blog action!

    Having said I won’t comment, I guess the pride issue is a fine line. When we do something well, or acheive something, that can be offered to God as an act of worship, with gratefulness for the talents he’s given us. In that sense we can be ‘proud’ of what we’ve done, because we know it was through God and for God that anything was acheived. Paul certainly felt free to use the word ‘boast’ on certain occasions. When we keep that glory, absorb it rather than reflect it, then pride becomes destructive.
    Jeremy

  10. Tom C says:

    I agree. Like you all those years ago, this is clearly something God has put his finger for me. I am reading the Great Divorce and CS Lewis uses Self-Respect, Proper Pride and Injured Merit as examples of things we cling onto, rather than let go of. True in many ways. An interesting one though…

  11. mark fletcher says:

    Good question Tom, I think pride is a complicated word, with multiple meanings, and we need to distingush between dignity and value which are good and egotism which is bad. Pride in a theological sense is the attitude that places me at the centre instead of God. I tend to try and avoid using the pride word because of this complication.

  12. Tom C says:

    A question linking in with something that The Rev Fletcher mentioned about pride and how damaging it can be: can pride ever be justified? Is it right to feel a sense of one’s own proper dignity or value, or to have self-respect, or to take pleasure or satisfaction in your achievements for example? Or is pride only a problem when it stops you living your life (or undertaking a course of action) in accordance with God’s will? Your thoughts, ladies and gentlemen…

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