Posted by: duncandrews | January 11, 2011

Head, hands and heart

The intro to my sermon on Col 1:9-14:

Every now and then you hear someone talk about churches as if they fall into three categories. Some are seen as being all about knowledge, about the head. You may have heard the accusation – so focused on the bible, such long (and frankly boring) sermons; such concern with telling people what they think is true, that they don’t care about really important things like actually helping people, in their real physical needs. And certainly, certainly no emotion! These churches are for respectable, educated people, who don’t get too carried away.

On the other hand, other churches get placed in the ‘social action’ group. Not overly concerned with theology or evangelism, but instead focused on action, on doing good in the society. They get their hands dirty, they actually help people.

Still other churches get described as emotion churches; places of the heart – sure the sermons are often more motivational than biblical – but the people seem alive, they actually get excited about being a Christian.

Head churches; hands churches; and heart churches.

Whether or not these characterisations are true isn’t the point here – although I’m sure they’re all unfair and they’re all true in different aspects. What is the point, as we come to the next part of Paul’s letter to the Colossians, is that, on their own, none of them is adequate. Paul’s idea of a Christian church, and of the individual Christian life, is much more all-encompassing than any of these. He sees a church, a people, whose heads, whose hands and whose hearts are together fully engaged in following Jesus. He says important things about how they relate to each other, which we’ll get to soon, but at no point does he play them off against each other.


  1. […] the magnificent letter of Paul to a small, unimpressive group of Jesus’ people in Colossae. I’ve posted before on this little gem, but thought I’d gather some more thoughts together […]

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