From the category archives:


Marilynne Robinson’s universalism

by Kim on April 16, 2016

“Is it conceivable that the God of the Bible would shackle himself to the worst consequences of our behavior? Reverence forbids… I know the refutation. If salvation is universal, what about Hitler, Stalin? Well, hard cases make bad law. I am not willing to open an abyss, conceptually speaking, just to accommodate Hitler and [...]


Death, thou wast once an uncouth hideous thing,
Nothing but bones,
The sad effect of sadder groans:
Thy mouth was open, but thou couldst not [...]


For us like any other fugitive,
Like the numberless flowers that cannot number
And all the beasts that need not remember,
It is to-day in which we live.
So many try to say Not Now,
So many have forgotten how
To say I Am, and would be
Lost, if they could, in history.
Bowing, for instance, with such old-world grace
To a proper flag [...]


Gravity waves and theology

by Richard on February 12, 2016

I’m still not finding the space for blogging that I’d hoped for. But here’s a good piece on the announcement that gravity waves have finally been observed.
Mind you, I have to say that gravity waves seemed like old news to me. I saw them years ago on Star Trek.



by Richard on January 11, 2016


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From The Washington Post (via Facebook)


Epiphany cartoon

by Richard on January 6, 2016


From The Independent

David Cameron has been urged to “come clean” over the role the UK Government played in voting Saudi Arabia on to the UN Human Rights Council after the kingdom’s execution of 47 people in a single day sparked outrage across the Middle East.
The leaders of the Liberal Democrat and Green parties have demanded [...]


Socrates and Corbyn

by Kim on October 1, 2015

Letter sent yesterday, 30 September, to the British daily the i – unpublished.
He relentlessly asked hard questions, had a BS detector in full working order, attracted a following of young people fed up with folly, insisted on human decency and justice, lambasted the affluent and powerful, and was branded a traitor by the state because [...]

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It is not whether God exists, but what kind.
– R.S. Thomas
It was beautiful as God
must be beautiful; glacial
eyes that had looked on
violence and come to terms
with it; a body too huge
and majestic for the cage in which
it had been put; up
and down in the shadow
of its own bulk it went,
lifting, as it turned,
the crumpled flower [...]


Howard Jacobson on the university then and now

by Kim on September 12, 2015

When I think what shrinking violets we boys who went to university in the 1960s were — at least those of us who weren’t rowers or rugger-playing “hearties” — it’s hard to credit that the campus is so far declined into savagery that Sajid Javid, the Business Secretary, considers it necessary to set up a [...]


Seventy years on August 6th, a Monday, at 8:15 am, the first atomic bomb, cutely called Little Boy, was dropped from a B-29, sweetly named the Enola Gay (after the pilot’s mom), into a lovely azure sky above the city of Hiroshima. It detonated less than a minute later above Shima Hospital. About a mile [...]



by Richard on July 14, 2015

Shropshire hills from Stiperstones chapel car park: just testing how well Instagram does at photo sharing…

A photo posted by Richard Hall (@connexions) on Jul 14, 2015 at 6:54am PDT


Time to be blogging again?

by Richard on July 13, 2015

I’ve been a blogger fora good few years, although it is fair to say that I haven’t exactly been very active recently. There are all sorts of reasons for that, but I needn’t bore you with them. I’ll admit that I’ve wondered in the last few months if it isn’t time to let this little [...]


A family address given today, June 28h, at Uniting Church Sketty (Methodist/United Reformed), Swansea.
Happy Birthday, Jackie!
Let me ask you a few questions.
• Do you like it when someone is a bossy-boots?
• Do you like a cup of tea? What would you say if someone told you that drinking tea is a bad idea? That he’s [...]


A truly transcendent experience

by Kim on May 30, 2015

Focussing on Ray Foulk’s coup in getting Dylan to play the 1969 Isle of Wight festival (29 May), Simon Hardeman fails to mention what made the climax of the gig so truly transcendent: that Dylan’s collaborative mates, the Band, one of the most sublime rock groups of all time, preceded him with a set of [...]


Sermon celebrating a gay partnership

by Kim on May 9, 2015

Here is the sermon I preached earlier today at Uniting Church Sketty [Methodist/United Reformed], Swansea, on the occasion of a “Thanksgiving Service for Bob and Andy”.
After two days of display of our dark side [the mind-numbing, heart-breaking, soul-destroying Tory victory at the General Election], it is wonderful to reflect today on what Abraham Lincoln called [...]


The Broad Road to the Deep Shit

by Kim on May 8, 2015

I’ve just started reading Richard Flanagan’s Booker Prize-winning novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North, and as the Tories, confounding the pundits — not to mention common sense and human decency — look set to win a slender majority in the House of Commons, I’m thinking: 5 more years of The Broad Road to [...]


No one has yet believed in God and the kingdom of God, no one has yet heard about the realm of the resurrected, and not been homesick from that hour, waiting and looking forward to being released from bodily existence.
Whether we are young or old makes no difference. What are twenty or thirty or fifty [...]


Philosophers have measur’d mountains,
Fathom’d the depths of seas, of states, and kings;
Walk’d with a staff to heav’n, and traced fountains:
But there are two vast, spacious things,
The which to measure it doth more behove;
Yet few there are that sound them, — Sinne and Love.
Who would know Sinne, let him repair
Unto Mount Olivet; there shall he see
A [...]