Whole Bodies, Transformed Minds: Martin Luther King Jr., Romans 12 @ WBB

If there was to be one text that could be said to be at the heart of Wine Before Breakfast, Graduate Christian Fellowship and pretty much everything that we do in campus ministry at the University of Toronto, it would likely be Romans 12.1-2:

“I appeal to you, therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Monday, January 18 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States. Dr. King once said that Christians are too often like thermometers, registering and reflecting the temperature all around them, when in fact we are called to thermostats, influencing and changing the spiritual, moral, and cultural atmosphere of the society in which we live.

Kind of sounds like the distinction between being “conformed to this world” or being “transformed by the renewal of our minds.”

And in our ministry we are unabashedly all about transformation. Heck one of our folks once wrote a book about such transformation. But we also stand with Paul (and King) by insisting that transformed “minds” without bodies presented as living sacrifices is a pious intellectualism that doesn’t really amount to very much. No, the whole point of a transformed mind is that we might be discerning people, perceiving in the midst of our day to day personal and professional lives what embodied discipleship looks like.

There is no mind/body dualism for Paul. And there is no possibility of separating worship from this whole matter of transformed minds and sacrificial bodies either. Whole-bodied, mind-transformed, non-conformist living is precisely what worship is all about. Indeed, this way of living is worship!

So this week we come to Romans 12 at Wine Before Breakfast. This week we come to the heart of our ministry, and to the radical implications of the story that Paul has been telling and retelling in the previous 11 chapters of this letter.

Scott Flemming has the joyful task of preaching out of Romans 12. No pressure, Scott!

Andrew Asbil will be serving the bread, the band has some U2 and some more Marley on tap, and the food will be good as usual. Just the kind of thing that embodied discipleship needs.

One last thing, friends. In Romans 12 Paul identifies hospitality to be one of the defining characteristics of the body of Christ. Let’s extend that hospitality to other folks who need to be fed deeply on a Tuesday morning. Bring your friends. In fact, if you are going to heed Paul well, then you should bring your enemies too.


Wine Before Breakfast
Wycliffe Chapel @ 7.22am


Towards a Christian Political Economy: Goudzwaard Visits U of T

Bob Goudzwaard has been a leading Christian political economist in the Netherlands for the last forty years. Professor Emeritus of the Free University of Amsterdam, former member of parliament, advisor to political parties, think tanks and NGO’s around the world, Goudzwaard has had a profound influence in shaping a Christian political-economic imagination.

We are honoured to co-host with the Institute for Christian Studies a series of seminars with Goudzwaard and an evening conversation with him about his life of discipleship at Graduate Christian Fellowship.

Here is the outline of his schedule with us:

 Monday, Jan 18            First seminar:
                                 Is there an order in all of this disorder?
                              Natural Law, creational norms and political economy.  
          9.00-11.00am in the CRC Campus Ministry Office, Wycliffe College

Thursday, Jan 21            Graduate Christian Fellowship:
                                    Goudzwaard in Conversation

                        Dinner at 6.00, Conversation begins around 7.00pm
                        CRC Campus Ministry Office, Wycliffe College

Monday, Jan 25            Second seminar:
                        Modernity, Postmodernity and Globalization:
                                    What’s the difference?
9.00-11.00am in the CRC Campus Ministry Office, Wycliffe College

Monday, Feb 22            Third seminar:
                        Ideology, Idolatry and the Crises of our Times
                        9.00-11.00am in the CRC Campus Ministry Office, Wycliffe College

Tuesday, Feb. 23            Fourth Seminar
                        Spirituality, Deep Roots, Biblical Faith and Hope
9.00-11.00am in the CRC Campus Ministry Office, Wycliffe College

Note: While these four seminars are also integral to a course that Brian Walsh is teaching for Trinity College, they are open to all who are interested.


GCF: Truth and Hospitality

This week at GCF – Truth and Hospitality: Being the body of Christ when we disagree

Have you ever wondered why there are so many different church denominations?

According the ever-reliable Wikipedia there are at least 40 denominational groups in the world, and that doesn’t include all the divisions within each broadly-defined denomination.

And then there are divisions within individual churches. Or the dividing lines that arise within Christian campus groups like IVCF or Campus for Christ, with which some of you are familiar.

As a Christian community that strives both to seek truth and to be a safe place for honest questioning and discussion, Graduate Christian Fellowship (both alumni and the current community) includes people who hold various theological beliefs and social values.  What binds us together as a Christian community?

Read more GCF: Truth and Hospitality

WBB Still Hanging out with Paul

Title: WBB Still Hanging out with Paul
Location: Wycliffe College Chapel

“The word is near you,
on your lips and in your heart.”

That’s just one of the passages that Paul cites in Romans 10.

In what is something of a hermeneutical tour de force, the apostle waltz’s through Deuteronomy, Isaiah and the psalms.

Read more WBB Still Hanging out with Paul