From the monthly archives:

October 2007

Waiting

by Richard on October 31, 2007

It isn’t easy, is it?

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Sing lustily!

by Richard on October 30, 2007

What a weekend I had! My church had the privilege of hosting a music workshop led by Andy Watts of The Carnival Band. We had an intense day of singing and playing on Saturday, and the music we learned formed the basis of family worship on Sunday morning. Then, in the afternoon, he had a [...]

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The truth of Genesis

by Richard on October 30, 2007

I was talking to someone recently about the evolution ‘debate’. He got very troubled when I spoke of the first chapter of Genesis as a myth. “If Genesis 1 isn’t true, how can we trust anything the Bible says?” he asked.
Imagine yourself in one of those photobooths that takes passport pictures. When you collect [...]

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Faith in fifty words

by Joel on October 29, 2007

Have you ever gone to a dictionary to look up the meaning of a word, found a cental word used to describe the original word, looked the latter word up, only to be referred back to the original word? I feel that way about the definition of “faith.” If faith is a gift [...]

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Martyn Percy is the Principal of Ripon College, Cuddesdon, Oxford, a frequent contributor to British radio and broadsheets, and a theologically literate sociologist of religion of international repute. I have just finished reading his latest book Clergy: The Origin of Species (2006). Debunking “a kind of ‘creationism’ at work in ecclesiology, in which [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on October 28, 2007

Hail the day that sees Him rise, Alleluia!
To His throne above the skies, Alleluia!
Christ, awhile to mortals given, Alleluia!
Reascends His native heaven, Alleluia!
There the glorious triumph waits, Alleluia!
Lift your heads, eternal gates, Alleluia!
Christ hath conquered death and sin, Alleluia!
Take the King of glory in, Alleluia!
Circled round with angel powers, Alleluia!
Their triumphant Lord, and ours, Alleluia!
Conqueror [...]

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Magic

by Richard on October 25, 2007

The Boss is back in charge: The Daily Telegraph reviews Bruce Springsteen’s latest album. (If you haven’t heard it yet, do yourself a favour.)

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Nicholas Lash on ‘The God Delusion’

by Richard on October 25, 2007

Cambridge theologian Nicholas Lash delivers an engaging and scholarly critique of Richard Dawkins’ “The God Delusion”. Take your time over it. It will be time well spent. Here’s a taster
Dawkins makes much of the fact that he is an academic: biologist, Fellow of the Royal Society, at present occupying Oxford’s chair in “the public understanding [...]

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Born Again?

by Kim on October 25, 2007

Last Friday I was browsing through the “Religion” section in Swansea’s Waterstone’s bookshop, amused to find Alister McGrath’s new book on “The Protestant Revolution” wedged among some Buddhist texts, when a guy reading from a Bible he’d taken from the shelf started talking to me. Having established that I was a Christian, he asked [...]

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Some new hymns

by Richard on October 24, 2007

I know. I’ve blogged about this one before. But it is definitely worth mentioning again. THE WENCHOSTER CATHEDRAL HYMN BOOK takes a good-natured pop at some of the church’s favourite hymns. How about Church of Alpha, to the tune “Dundee”
O Church of Alpha, by whose word,
House groups are filled with food.
To fill their hearts and [...]

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Lucky Love

by Joel on October 24, 2007

In the parsonage kitchen, I put up a horseshoe that points down. Some friends and family have warned me that such means my “luck” will run out. Actually, custom is such that a horseshoe can be displayed either way. I’m mostly of German descent and there seems to be some sentiment among [...]

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Wrestling Jacob

by Richard on October 23, 2007

Come, O thou Traveller unknown,
Whom still I hold, but cannot see!
My company before is gone,
And I am left alone with thee;
With thee all night I mean to stay,
And wrestle till the break of day.
So begins my favourite but least sung of Charles Wesley’s hymns. I understand that Isaac Watts, himself an incomparable hymn-writer, regarded this [...]

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What denomination would Britney Spears be?

by Kim on October 23, 2007

A Methodist? She can sing - alas, she lacks the requisite sobriety.
An Anglican? Well, she likes fancy dress - and she’s in quite a mess.
A Catholic? She could certainly do with spending a fair bit of time in the confessional.
A Southern Baptist? Hardly - she makes a poor case for Intelligent [...]

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Rediscovering the Circuit

by Richard on October 22, 2007

Wes Magruder is a UMC missionary working with his family in Cameroon and facing a familiar problem
I have recently wrestled with the age-old problem of ecclesial supply and demand: too many churches, not enough pastors.
In the case of the Cameroon Mission, the problem is particularly acute because of poor transportation and communication networks, as well [...]

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Grace alone, faith accompanied

by Joel on October 22, 2007

I only believe that we are “saved by faith alone” if that is meant to stand for something far grander and more transcendent. Otherwise, faith takes on the color of striving rather than receiving. In my area of the U.S.A., we Protestants on the whole tend to be a bit smug, or even [...]

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Methodist blogs

by Richard on October 21, 2007

The latest round up.

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on October 21, 2007

Father of Jesus Christ — my Lord,
My Saviour and my Head –
I trust in thee, whose powerful word
Has raised him from the dead.
Thou know’st for my offence he died,
And rose again for me,
Fully and freely justified
That I might live to thee.
Faith in thy power thou seest I have,
For thou this faith hast wrought;
Dead souls thou [...]

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The “4 All’s” of Methodism

by Richard on October 20, 2007

This is a more-or-less complete service I wrote for our Circuit, for use when no preacher was available. It is based around the “4 all’s”, the slogans which have been used to summarise the distinctive emphases of Methodist theology. I’m sharing it here for the same purpose, and of course if anyone wants to use [...]

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Standing up for the persecuted

by Richard on October 20, 2007

I heard an interview with a representative of Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a human rights organisation specialising in religious freedom. CSW works on behalf of those persecuted for their Christian beliefs and promotes religious liberty for all. He was talking about religious freedom in the Middle East, particularly the abuse (and sometimes persecution) of Christians. Iran [...]

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Trigger-Happy US Christians

by Kim on October 19, 2007

When it comes to shooting fish in a barrel - an image that Richard used in a pre-lecture chat with Rowan Williams, who subsequently deployed it himself - Richard Dawkins needn’t bother, as the Cod-squad seems to be turning the guns on itself with deadly accuracy. I refer to two reports in today’s Church [...]

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