From the monthly archives:

November 2007

Supply-side Jesus

by Richard on November 30, 2007

OK, it’s an oldie. But still a goodie.


Silent night

by Richard on November 29, 2007

Here’s a story to warm your heart as the Christmas season approaches. A school choir in Llandudno, North Wales went to the local shopping centre to sing carols, only to face complaints from the shopkeepers that their singing was too loud. But they didn’t just complain. Oh no. It seems that their singing was so [...]


Taking the Bible literally

by Richard on November 29, 2007

The scriptures ought to be interpreted according to their original intent and their actual form. To understand them otherwise is to proceed from mistaken assumptions. Should such an approach be dignified with the word “literal”? Literal meaning should not be seen as something other than the actual historical meaning.
It is precisely the critical scholar who [...]


Stupid quizzes…

by Richard on November 29, 2007

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Northeast


Judging by how you talk you are probably from north Jersey, New York City, Connecticut or Rhode Island. Chances are, if you are from New York City (and not those other places) people would probably be able to tell if they actually heard you speak.



The Inland [...]


The Tyger (from Songs of Experience)

by Richard on November 28, 2007

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze the fire?
And what shoulder, & what art.
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What [...]


Hearing and listening*

by Richard on November 28, 2007

And did those feet in ancient times
Walk upon England’s mountain’s green?
Blake’s Jerusalem is sung with patriotic fervour, despite the fact that William Blake did not intend his original poem that way would be horrified at this appropriation of it. But the combination of a stirring tune by Parry and the words about England’s green [...]


Honestly! You put the fear of God into me!

by Richard on November 28, 2007

This was originally posted by Mike Blakey, who was murdered a year ago. I’ve reposted this in tribute to him. He’s still missed.
Before I became a Christian, one of the things that put me off was the doctrine of fear that I perceived to be central to the Christian faith. The promise of God’s [...]


Reflections after a Funeral

by Kim on November 27, 2007

I had a funeral today. Rewind: pagans have funerals, Christians have “services of death and resurrection”. It was my second in as many weeks. (I’ve been a minister now for twenty-five years, and though I’m not superstitious, it is uncanny how they always seem to come in twos and threes.)
Stan was seventy-seven. [...]


The futility of time travel

by Richard on November 25, 2007

via A Few Things Ill Considered


Hymn of the day

by Richard on November 25, 2007

Jesus — the name high over all,
in hell or earth or sky;
angels and men before it fall,
and devils fear and fly.
Jesus — the name to sinners dear,
The name to sinners given!
It scatters all their guilty fear,
it turns their hell to heaven.
Jesus — the prisoner’s fetters breaks,
And bruises Satan’s head;
Power into strengthless souls it speaks,
And life [...]


Christian Voice gets it’s day in court

by Bene Diction on November 22, 2007

Long long ago in far away posts I highlighted a gentleman from Wales named Stephen Green and his Christian Voice. Green caused a stir in the theatre community when he protested a show called “Jerry Springer, The Opera.” The show ran in the West end in 2003. The BBC aired it in 2005. The [...]


Conservapedian obsession

by Richard on November 21, 2007

I hadn’t come across conservapedia before, so I doff my cap to my friend Bene Diction for introducing me to this gem and contributing towards the completeness of my education.
conservapedia, for those ignorant souls like me who haven’t heard of it, is a conservative response to the ubiquitous wikipedia.
Tired of the LIBERAL BIAS every time [...]


That’s what I call a creepy-crawly!

by Richard on November 21, 2007

From the BBC…
“The immense fossilised claw of a 2.5m-long (8ft) sea scorpion has been described by European researchers.
The 390-million-year-old specimen was found in a Germany quarry, the journal Biology Letters reports.
The creature, which has been named Jaekelopterus rhenaniae, would have paddled in a river or swamp.
The size of the beast suggests that spiders, insects, crabs [...]



by Kim on November 19, 2007

Apropos Richard’s Parable of of the Couple of Beers (see below), students of the gospels will be aware of the the accusation that Jesus was a “drunk” (oinopotes) (Matthew 11:19, par. Luke 7:34). The word can mean simply “drinker”, but it is coupled with the word phagos, which means “glutton”, not just “eater”, so [...]


Keeping everything in perspective

by Richard on November 19, 2007

From my archives…
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. [...]


Hymn of the day

by Richard on November 18, 2007

Who would true valour see
Let him come hither;
One here will constant be,
Come wind, come weather;
There’s no discouragement
Shall make him once relent
His first avowed intent to be a pilgrim.
Whoso beset him ’round
With dismal stories
Do but themselves confound;
His strength the more is.
No lion can him fright
He’ll with a giant fight
But he will have a right to be [...]


Christmas is coming … II

by Kim on November 16, 2007

Richard has just had a pre-Christmas gripe. Here is my moan: Round Robins. You know, those insufferably cheerful encyclicals containing descriptions of “our family’s life this past year”. They are becoming more and more common - particularly, I hesitate to concede, among ministers.
Why, for starters, are they invariably written by ministers’ wives? [...]


Christmas is coming…

by Richard on November 16, 2007

Christmas is coming
The goose is getting fat
Please put a penny in the old man’s hat
If you’ haven’t got a penny,
A ha’penny will do.
If you haven’t got a ha’penny,
God bless you!
Christmas is [...]


Great Dane

by Kim on November 15, 2007

I’ve been dipping into some Kierkegaard lately. Here are ten short excerpts from the writings of the great Dane to get the blood moving on a chilly autumn morning - and to get on your nerves through the rest of the day.
“It is easier to become a Christian if one is not a Christian [...]


%&$# the paradigm!

by Kim on November 13, 2007

I have long been unhappy with the standard paradigm on “Christianity and other faiths”: exclusivism, pluralism, and inclusivism. Exclusivism, in its ideological hostility to other faiths, so privileges Christianity that it rules out dialogue in principle: truth hectoring error is a rant, not a conversation. Pluralism, bless, in its we-all-worship-the-same-God tolerance, so relativises [...]

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