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Showing posts from May, 2011

Dangerously Alive!

I finished the outstanding book, Dangerously Alive over the bank holiday weekend. Detailing the adventures of Simon Guillebaud in Burundi over the last 10 years, this book is not for the faint hearted. It will provoke, unsettle & make you smile in equal measure.

The book is full of stand out quotes, but from amongst them, these words by Robert Capon stood out all the more: As we move inexorably into the summer, another day, another week, another month - allow them to stir you from any sense of complacency or self centred, comfort eating religion that so easily settles over us. How about a different approach? Over to Guillebaud & Capon:

The Good News is no longer good news, it is okay news.
Christianity is no longer life changing, it is life enhancing. Jesus doesn't change people into wide eyed radicals any more; He changes them into 'nice people.'
If Christianity is simply about being nice, I'm not interested.

What happened to the radical Christianity, the un-nice b…

Myra Wattinger & the voice of God

I've been reading Jack Deere's excellent 'Surprised by the voice of God' again this week. His story about Myra Wattinger is well worth retelling here.

Alone & penniless, Myra wondered through the South Texas towns of the 1940's, finally getting a job caring for an elderly man. The pay was pitiful, but at least she had the security of a place to sleep & food to eat.
Myra had a history of what psychiatrists today would call 'rejection'. She & her husband had recently divorced. Although he was prosperous he refused to give her any money. Her parents had died when she was an adolescent, so she had no one to turn to for help.
As Myra sat in the house watching her elderly employer sleeping, she thought her life had sunk as low as it could go. Sadly, she was wrong. The devil had planned a new torment for her, something that would even bring her to the point of killing herself. One day, while the old man was sleeping, she found herself alone in the house w…

Mashed screw heads & some old authority on marriage

I’m preparing a sermon for our first wedding of the summer tomorrow & I’ve been captivated by the idea of Jesus teaching us about married life. In Mark’s gospel it says he gathered the crowds & ‘he taught them.’ His chosen specialised subject was marriage.

In this frantic 21st Century, post modern, internet age – it seems a little odd that we might be taught about marriage by a single guy from the middle east who lived 2000 years ago. Yet his is not just another voice in the multitude of relationship advice that is out there – another user guide for dummies in the Amazon top 10. No - He has something to teach which is so foundational that we would be foolish not to sit up & listen. Ultimately, it says more about who Jesus really is that His words are still shaping our lives in this generation

He speaks as the one who was there in the beginning when God made man & woman. He teaches as one who was involved in the planning process for marriage & worked on the design bri…

Osama Bin Laden & the vicious cycle of bad theology

There are many things that have troubled me this week. I still don't understand the AV voting system & I only have a few hours left to go to the polling booths! Spotify want to charge me for music which I have got used to streaming for free. The Turner prize nominations have been announced.....need I say more.

However, my most uncomfortable moments this week have arisen whilst watching the world press & internet feeding frenzy on the story of an older Arab man who was shot dead in front of his family. Osama Bin Laden also happened to be the most wanted terrorist in the world.

I'm uncomfortable about all of this on so many levels. Whilst not wanting to drop into a knee-jerk anti american conspiracy theory diatribe - I find the chanting, cheering crowds outside the White House deeply troublesome. I remember 9/11 - it was terrible. Is there a just reason for going after those responsible & bringing them to justice? Yes, absolutely.
However, has the link between these act…