From the monthly archives:

April 2010

Wittgenstein on High Street evangelists

by Kim on April 29, 2010

Wittgenstein died on this day, April 29th, in 1951. Though he was not a confessing Christian, one can only describe the Socrates of the twentieth cetury as a seriously devout soul with a refined religious sensibility and an acute eye for the practice of faith. In Recollections of Wittgenstein (1984), Rush Rees, [...]

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Politics and morality

by Richard on April 27, 2010

As the General Election approaches, Dave Perry reflects upon the morality of our political choices
In order to placate the hyper-wealthy doom-mongers of the faceless ‘money markets’ we are told that massive cuts in public services are inevitable because our national debt has to be reduced. But in reality cuts in public services are always disfiguring. [...]

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Next Sunday is the 5th Sunday of Easter. It also happens to be the Sunday before the General Election. The lectionary readings for the day provide rich pickings for a “topical” sermon.
In Psalm 148(:11), the poet calls for “kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the [...]

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Gratuitous link

by Richard on April 25, 2010

1st Hope Scouts, my Scout Group. It’s a new website so we’re trying to attract a little search engine action.

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on April 25, 2010

Let him to whom we now belong
His sovereign right assert,
And take up every thankful song,
And every loving heart.
He justly claims us for his own,
Who bought us with a price;
The Christian lives to Christ alone,
To Christ alone he dies.
Jesus, thine own at last receive!
Fulfil our hearts’ desire,
And let us to thy glory live,
And in thy cause [...]

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Reclaiming St George

by Richard on April 24, 2010

Excellent article in the Guardian
George could stand for the best of the English radical tradition. At present there is no great celebration of England’s contribution to the history of dissent – despite the abolitionists, the suffragettes, the Diggers, Ranters and Levellers and all those who have sought to combat racism, nationalism, debt, poverty, colonialism [...]

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St George

by Richard on April 23, 2010

April 23rd. St George’s Day. St George is, of course, the patron saint of England. And the Scout Movement. I’m not sure he existed, but he definitely killed a dragon to rescue a princess. That makes him a fearless hero, unless you regard dragons as an endangered species. That would change your perspective.
Anyroad, David Keen [...]

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Has anyone noticed that no one seems to be proclaiming that the volcanic eruptions in Iceland are a sign of God’s judgement? Why not?
First, because no one seems to have been killed. How can there be a divine judgement without a shedload of smiting?
Second, where are the wicked - the liberals, [...]

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Unpicking the silver lining

by Richard on April 23, 2010

Over at In the Agora, Eric Seymour expresses mild irritation at what he sees as poor science journalism.
An AP story appearing in many newspapers today suggests that unusually bright blue skies seen across Europe in recent days were due to the lack of a “semi-permanent haze” caused by commercial airline traffic. Everyone knows that under [...]

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Ministry of Lies

by Richard on April 22, 2010

Angela Shier-Jones has another terrifyingly honest post about ministry.

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Vocations Sunday

by Richard on April 21, 2010

This coming Sunday will be observed in some traditions as ‘Vocations Sunday’. Preachers who aren’t ready for Sunday yet might like to look at the Vocations Sunday resource I prepared for the Methodist Church in Wales.

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Have you signed the Westminster 2010 Declaration yet?
Protecting human life, protecting marriage, and protecting freedom of conscience are foundational for creating and maintaining strong families, caring communities and a just society. Our Christian faith compels us to speak and act in defence of all these.
A quick skim through the signatories suggests that many of my [...]

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Methodist blogging

by Richard on April 21, 2010

For a good while, the splendid Allan Bevere has been providing us with a weekly round-up of Methodist blogging.
But no more.
On Saturday, he announced that he’s going to be doing things a bit differently from now on. Not a weekly round-up. He’s going to do it daily! And then there’ll be a round-up of the [...]

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“The report of my death was an exaggeration,” Mark Twain famously wrote in the New York Journal in June 1897, but die this incisive, humane, street-wise, pugnacious, politically radical, and immensely entertaining American writer and humorist finally did, thirteen years later, on April 21st 1910. To celebrate the centenary of this icon of American [...]

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Vote for Policies

by Richard on April 20, 2010

With an election approaching, Vote for Policies is a fascinating and very useful website. It sets out the policies of 6 political parties on 9 main areas - economy, democracy, health, immigration, environment, welfare, crime, education and Europe - and invites you to choose ‘blind’ from the list. At the en, it tells you which [...]

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The end is nigh!

by Richard on April 20, 2010

Virtual Methodist has discovered a report that the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is reminding sheep and goat keepers that the 2010 round of Sheep and Goat Identification Inspections will commence shortly.
Gulp!

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‘Hope in God’s Future’ consultation

by Richard on April 20, 2010

Hope in God’s Future is a draft Methodist Conference statement on climate change. You might remember that this report caused some little controversy in Methodist blogdom when it came out last year.
A process of consultation on the report has now begun to take the mind of the church.
If you are a Methodist (member or regular [...]

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The Synod of Wales in the URC has just emailed me a “Pre-Election Briefing for Church Leaders: Making Public Statements”, which comes from the “Joint Public Issues Team: Baptist, Methodist and United Reformed Churches Working Together”. This italicised paragraph from the briefing is followed by my response to the Synod. I would be [...]

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Scout numbers climb

by Richard on April 19, 2010

The Scout Association is reporting it’s biggest rise in membership in almost 40 years.
UK Scouting has experienced its biggest growth spurt since 1972, taking total membership to 499,323.
Census results, released today, show 16,568 new adult and youth members in the UK since 31 January 2009. This is 3.45 per cent up on last year (2009: [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on April 18, 2010

Thou God of truth and love,
We seek thy perfect way,
Ready thy choice to approve,
Thy providence to obey:
Enter into thy wise design,
And sweetly lose our will in thine.
Why hast thou cast our lot
In the same age and place?
And why together brought
To see each other’s face?
To join with softest sympathy,
And mix our friendly souls in thee?
Didst thou [...]

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