A Chappo’s guide to holiness

This interview (.mov file, 2m 38s) with John “Chappo” Chapman is a reminder of what I still love about Sydney Anglicanism at its best: its straightforwardness, lucidity and Christ-centredness.

The interview relates to Chappo’s latest book, A Sinner’s Guide to Holiness. Some particularly choice points made in the interview:

  1. Chappo tells the story of an interview on Australian TV with various people who had reached the age of 100. One of them, when asked the secret of her longevity, replied, “I dunno, I just keep breathing”. Chappo says its the same with holiness: “if you’re holy on a day to day basis, you don’t realise how the years have slipped by”.
  2. Chapman also recommends reading the gospels regularly: “You see Jesus in action best there”, encountering him in real-life situations rather than just reading about him. This ensures that your picture of Jesus remains “rounded and balanced”. As Chapman says:

    If you don’t practise thinking about Jesus, you won’t think about him when you need to.

  3. “The new creation is a terrific incentive to do the right thing now”, Chapman concludes. Now there is “just too much to do, and too little time to do it”, but the prospect of the new creation helps us prioritise: “In the light of the new creation, do I have to do that now? No! If it’s a good and perfect thing, it’ll be there, and it’ll be great.”

John Chapman was the main speaker at the university mission in 1994 that played a major role in bringing me back to faith. Not that I heard Chappo speak – I only attended one of the surrounding events at a friend’s room in my college (which was all God needed). But in retrospect that’s still enough to make me think very fondly of him.

Note: For anyone tempted to make rude comments about a Lutheran blog posting on holiness (shock! horror!), do please go away first and read Article 6 of the Augsburg Confession (though also do read Articles 4 and 5 – especially Article 5 for any Sydney Anglicans that might read this. Craig excepted – he already knows this stuff 😉 ).

For anyone tempted to make rude comments about this Lutheran daring to post on the subject of holiness: fair point. 😉

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