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Showing posts from June, 2011

3 Strikes & You're Out!

In solidarity with our colleagues who are exercising their democratic right to strike for their working conditions today, I thought I would post my top 3 strikes in living memory.
These are what we would call old school, proper strikes. No questions of these conflicts being voted through by a minority of members, or protesting over pensions - this was the hard stuff, these disputes matter in the here & now to millions of workers who were living hand to mouth. And these were no knee jerk, down tools reactions which our Gallic cousins are famous for - these strikes were entered into with a heavy hearted foreknowledge that it would hurt the strikers & their families even as they sought to change the direction of the government. In descending order:

Strike 3: The General Strike 1926
Amidst the changing social landscape of the post world war & flu pandemic turmoil, the Baldwin Government took on the Miners. As a million men were locked out from the pits, the TUC took 2 million oth…

A new Nicene for 21st Century Pagan Britain

Father’s Day was well celebrated last Sunday. What slipped by unnoticed, unless you conform to a more traditional denomination, was the fact that it was also Trinity Sunday.

The language we use to describe who God is & how He works in the world is up for grabs again. During the first 400 years of Christianity, believers went to great lengths to load their language with rich theological meaning that would resonate with their culture, & most importantly, be understood by the ordinary man on the street. Creeds like the Nicene which now most Christians find dusty & dry were bright with colourful revelation about the God of the bible to a world which thought & spoke from a different cultural language. These mighty creeds crossed the bridge into pagan cultures & allowed the gospel to take root.

In the 1600 years or so since the Nicene Creed, we have come full circle. What commentators call post-christendom is really nothing new. It is simply a return to a challenging age o…

Ed Miliband, Terry Virgo & Ernest Shackleton - a new kind of leadership.

It’s the time of year for football managers to play musical chairs, scrambling for the nearest vacant seat that offers more money or security. In politics, Ed Miliband looks increasingly likely to be stabbed in the back by a Labour party who gambled on the wrong brother & lost. In Libya, Syria & that other corrupt world power, FIFA, leadership is in question. The pace of leadership change is huge – the patience of the paying public shorter than ever. Like never before, the world needs more leaders, but what kind of weak, people pleasing leaders emerge from the bad soil of this kind of distorted culture?

Reading Terry Virgo’s new book, ‘The Spirit Filled Church’ , a high bar is set for leadership. Read this passage & get your idea of leadership redefined by some glorious truth rather than the demands of a self centred world:
‘If the church is perceived as simply a gathering of people who attend religious services, little leadership is required. Leading the meetings & p…

Fredrick Alliston & the life of a dangerous Hindu radical

Fredrick Alliston (Great Grandad) left on a boat for India around 1897 where he lived for 25 years. His story is one of huge decisions made at great cost with both eyes fully fixed on a greater hope to come.
Serving as a Salvation Army Officer, working as an Evangelist to the Hindi speaking natives, Fredrick operated out of the British compound. His desire to see locals impacted by the gospel, frustrated by the colonial British culture into which he brought converts & their desire to simply assimilate Christianity as Britishness.

Here is where Fredrick made the call that all heroes of the faith have made at some point down through the centuries. He decided that his need to genuinely reach Hindus with the gospel was greater than his need to live in safety & comfort amongst the 'little England' crowd in the compound.

This was no easy turning point for any man, particularly one with a wife, Louisa, & by now a growing family of small children. How quickly we make choices …