From the monthly archives:

April 2011

I believe: help thou my unbelief

by Richard on April 30, 2011

PamBG on faith and belief
I think we all use guide wires at some point in our faith lives. As a culture, for instance, we say “In God we Trust” but what what we really trust in is the stuff on which that slogan is written: The almighty dollar. We say that we believe that Jesus [...]

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Another hoax from Benny Hinn

by Richard on April 29, 2011

TV this morning was full of comings and goings in London. There’s a bit of a wedding going on. (I wish them well, of course. I’m just not big on these ‘national occasions’) So I’m flicking through the channels looking for an alternative, and there’s not much doing. Eventually I end up where all the [...]

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Christianity is not based on a historical truth; rather, it offers us a (historical) narrative and says: now believe! But not, believe this narrative with the belief appropriate to historical narrative, rather: believe, through thick and thin, which you can do only as the result of a life. Here you have a narrative, [...]

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Red Kites’ big comeback

by Richard on April 28, 2011

From the BBC: Almost extinct Red Kite makes comeback
The RSPB is celebrating the “remarkable” comeback of the Red Kite, a bird which had almost become extinct in Britain.
For more than 400 years the bird of prey was killed as vermin and by the 1960s there were just 20 pairs.
But the organisation’s 2011 Big Garden Birdwatch [...]

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Hell’s Bells

by Richard on April 28, 2011

Andrew Brown on Rob Bell in Cambridge
On stage with our own Maggi Dawn, Bell was a fascinating performer. What he said made very little impression on me compared to the conviction and elegance with which he said it. He was always in movement or absolutely at rest; he never fidgeted or slumped. In this he [...]

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David Wilkerson

by Richard on April 28, 2011

Bene Diction reports the death of evangelist David Wilkerson, best known as the author of The Cross and the Switchblade and founder of Teen Challenge.
Wilkerson died in a road accident. He was 79.

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Stephan Lewandowsky, The Drum
Indeed, tragically and paradoxically, among Republicans acceptance of the science decreases with their level of education as well as with their self-reported knowledge: Whereas Democrats who believe they understand global warming better also are more likely to believe that it poses a threat in their lifetimes, among Republicans increased belief in understanding [...]

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All the best music

by Richard on April 27, 2011

I couldn’t resist sharing this latest offering from ASBO Jesus.

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Obama Trumped by the Compassless Don

by Joel on April 27, 2011

I don’t even really feel like linking to a story, but I will do it, since the news didn’t just fall out of the sky and land on my head that Barack Hussein Obama II, aka President Obama, finally decided to release his full (long form) Hawaiian birth record (which, by the way, has no [...]

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I can’t say that I would have predicted this, but according to a new survey for the Public Religion Research Institute, more Americans believe that Christian values are at odds with capitalism and the free market than believe they are compatible.
I’m not sure what to make of it, but there are some fascinating nuggets in [...]

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Poly Styrene, RIP

by Richard on April 27, 2011

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That’s what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you on to another book, and another bit there will lead you on to a third book. It’s geometrically progressive — all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than [...]

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Miracles for sale

by Richard on April 27, 2011

Big Bible has a report of the Channel 4 documentary Miracles for sale. (For those outside the UK, the whole thing appears to be available on YouTube) Stage illusionist Derren Brown takes a member of the public (a hip-looking scuba diving instructor) and trains him in stagecraft sufficient to convince a crowd of Texans that [...]

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In search of a body

by Kim on April 26, 2011

In the study of sixteenth-and seventeenth-century spirituality entitled The Mystic of the Fable, [the French Jesuit polymath Michel] de Certeau said this: “Christianity was founded upon the loss of a body — the loss of the body of Jesus Christ, compounded with the loss of the ‘body’ of Israel, of a ‘nation’ and its genealogy.” [...]

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It gets better… today

by Richard on April 26, 2011

Stonewall’s campaign against homophobic bullying in schools: “Two thirds of lesbian, gay and bisexual young people have experienced homophobic bullying. However, where schools have said homophobic bullying is wrong gay pupils are sixty per cent less likely to have been bullied.”

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An Easter meditation

by Richard on April 25, 2011

Will Willimon : God comes to us
The Resurrection is a sign that Jesus is determined to give back the whole world to God, including you. He will stoop at nothing, even a cross, even allowing you to make a crude poke in his side, to get to you. So, if you’re having trouble believing in [...]

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Rowan Williams’ letter to a 6 year old

by Richard on April 25, 2011

From The Telegraph
There’s a charming article in today’s Times by Alex Renton, a non-believer who sends his six-year-old daughter Lulu to a Scottish church primary school. Her teachers asked her to write the following letter: “To God, How did you get invented?” The Rentons were taken aback: “We had no idea that a state primary [...]

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“Galilee, Easter Day” by Luci Shaw

by Kim on April 24, 2011

Quietly the old lake
leans against the land,
rubbing a shoulder
along the pebbles, water-worn,
sun-warm. The lips of the ripples
mouth old secrets. Their edges
lend the shore a small silver. Stolid,
the gray stones move a little
in the glancing light.
But we, waiting for
the Great Appearing, will we
listen and learn — we who gingerly
walk the rough border
where he [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on April 24, 2011

Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!
Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!
Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, [...]

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Good Friday Sermon: Lose your faith

by Richard on April 23, 2011

Our friend Kim, posted at Faith and Theology*
Lose your faith in God. For as the French mystic Simone Weil insisted, there is a kind of atheism that is purifying, cleansing us of idols. Lose your faith in the god that the cross exposes as a no-god, a sham god. Lose your faith in the god [...]

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