From the monthly archives:

March 2012

God’s April foolishness

by Kim on March 31, 2012

Palm Sunday tomorrow. It’s also April Fools’ Day.
There are many theories about the origins of April Fools’ Day. Perhaps the most widely accepted explanation concerns events surrounding the replacement of the old Julian calendar by the new Gregorian calendar in the late 16th century. In the old calendar, [...]

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Micheal O’Siadhail in Swansea

by Kim on March 30, 2012

The poet Micheal O’Siadhail gave a poetry reading this week at Swansea University (sponsored, I must say, by the Chaplaincy). Bearded, bedraggled, bow-tied, this Irish word-wizard captivated, entranced his audience. Most of the poems came from his recent volume Tongues (2010). O’Siadhail introduced the poem “Lullaby” with a reflection on his [...]

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Blessed be the starved womb
and the replete womb.
Blessed the slug in the dew
and the butterfly among the ash-cans.
Blessed the mind that brings forth good and bad
and the hand that exonerates it.
Blessed be the adder among its jewels
and the child ignorant of how love must pay.
Blessed the hare who, in a round
world, keeps the tortoise in [...]

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The right answer to the wrong question?

by Richard on March 28, 2012

Equal Marriage: the right answer to the wrong question? #BigRead12 (@nedlunn) p.ost.im/p/eVMxtC
— The BigBible Project (@bigbible) March 28, 2012

(Posted as an experiment with a new Twitter feature, but it points to a useful contribution to the ‘gay marriage’ debate, albeit one I ultimately disagree with)

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More theological doodlings

by Richard on March 26, 2012

Kim’s been doodling again over at Faith and Theology. Here’s a snippet:
My own local church is discussing the blessing of civil partnerships. There is an emerging concern that, regardless of the theological merits of the matter, we might become known as the church that does gay marriages. On “not being ashamed of the [...]

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A little light entertainment

by Richard on March 25, 2012

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on March 25, 2012

Would Jesus have the sinner die?
Why hangs he then on yonder tree?
What means that strange expiring cry?
(Sinners, he prays for you and me)
“Forgive them, Father, O forgive,
They know not that by me they live!”
Adam descended from above,
Our loss of Eden to retrieve,
Great God of universal love,
If all the world through thee may live,
In us a [...]

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From the Methodist Church
A coalition of national Churches and charities has welcomed reports that the Government plans to enforce a minimum unit price on alcohol sales. But the groups warn that a long delay on implementation could cost lives.
The groups wrote to the Prime Minister back in February asking him to introduce a minimum [...]

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Best ASBO Jesus yet

by Richard on March 22, 2012

ASBO Jesus

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World Water Day

by Richard on March 21, 2012

From Christian Aid
This World Water Day, 22 March 2012, we look at Bolivia’s glaciers, which are melting at an alarming rate. Farming communities on the slopes beneath the Illimani glacier in La Paz have land to farm, but not enough water to grow the crops they need to feed and sustain their families. Organisations like [...]

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Feeling cultured

by Richard on March 21, 2012

It’s World Poetry Day today. Here’s one of my favourites from the pen of Spike Milligan
Said the General of the army,
“I think this war is barmy!”
So he threw away his gun.
Now he’s having much more fun.
 
 Feel free to share a poem in the comments.

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Taking the lead on marriage

by Richard on March 21, 2012

Benny’s blog offers some useful thoughts on the mutability of ‘marriage’:
A common assertion among the latter is that you simply can’t change marriage. Marriage is what marriage is, and no-one has the power to alter it – not government, nor church nor equality activists. According to the Archbishop of York, it [...]

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Stuff happens

by Richard on March 21, 2012

A nice post from Mark Byron: Some things just are
Somewhere in the middle is a livable spot where things are. Not due to a lack of faith or a micromanagement from above, but just are. Rather than blame yourself or blame God, it might be more comforting to have bad things just happen.
Our faith then [...]

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Climate Change: what the data say

by Richard on March 20, 2012

RealClimate has a post about the latest updates to various climate data sets. The money quote comes at the end:
But even while scientists work on ironing out the details in these products, it’s worth pointing out what is robust. All data sets show significant warming over the 20th Century – regardless of whether the raw [...]

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The gospel in the theatre

by Richard on March 20, 2012

Very glad to give a bit of a plug for my friends at Applecart whose show “i am mark” is previewing in Wolverhampton before moving to the West End
Commanding demons and controlling storms, a lone man strides out of the desert and, gathering a nation around him, he turns towards certain death in an occupied [...]

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ABC Religion is a constant source of worthwhile reading, and this is no exception: Michael Stafford provides an insightful piece on the opposition to the science of climate change
Do not be deceived. The opposition to the scientific evidence supporting anthropogenic global warming (AGW) among some conservatives may, at times, hide behind a pseudo-scientific veneer. However, [...]

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In the Huffington Post, Dr Naim Ateek responds to claims of anti-semitism
When I discuss the question of tribalism vs. universalism, I am talking about the lively debate within the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament to Christians). There was a dynamic debate in these Scriptures that moved religious thought from exclusivity to inclusivity, and this phenomenon [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on March 18, 2012

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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David Ford lecture: vote of thanks

by Kim on March 15, 2012

Tonight (15th March), Professor David Ford gave a public lecture at Swansea University on “The Future of Christian Theology”. Here is the vote of thanks I gave.
In a shop in JFK, returning from visiting my mum last October, I bought a book by a guy named Nicholas Carr called The Shallows: How the Internet [...]

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Ozone Holes and climate change

by Richard on March 14, 2012

Back in the day I was a huge fan of Isaac Asimov. Many people know him as a science fiction writer, which of course he was, but he’s less well-known as a writer of popular science. That’s a pity, because he was a very gifted communicator. It’s probably his writing more than any other that [...]

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