procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


i still struggle to understand the proximity/distance thing with death.

one kills at least 90 in norway, one woman joins the 27 Club.

meanwhile, a train crash in china kills at least 30, and there is a famine in africa too.

the first two make the news, and push the others off the front page.

what is it about celebrity that makes the suffering of millions not worthy of mention (particularly where it is a suffering we can help)?

and is it because i look more norwegian than chinese that that story draws my interest?

is it compassion overload in cases like famine and asian train crashes? they seem to happen a lot, but it isn't every day that a westerner goes on a killing spree?

each life is a life that is precious to God and to countless of their family and friends, so what is it in my heart that needs to change?

(i guess i could also ask why do i care more about my friend than the person i walk past on the footpath. my heart goes out to those i am closer to - is it selfishness, self-interest? do i have an interest in them because i can get something out of them?)

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Jesus' family

there's a great post by peter bolt on Jesus' family.

my favourite was the name of Jude's grandson, Zoker! now that's a good boy's name...


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

'marriage equality'

i got a bit fiery listening to deborah cameron on 702 local sydney radio this morning.
i wrote:
seriously - what bollocks. the use by your guest and his organisation of the term 'marriage equality' is such a perverted use of 'equality'. it is a re-imagining of what marriage is, and has nothing at all to do with equality. by using it he is saying that the issue is equal to the fight against racism or slavery - for true human equality.
what he wants is to re-imagine marriage as no-longer a committed relationship open to welcoming children but as the epitome of a skewed idea of 'freedom' - everyone doing whatever they want.

how would you say it differently? or at which points would you disagree?


Saturday, July 02, 2011

this is the word of the lord

the response is supposed to go, 'thanks be to God'.

i remember the Don getting a bit sermonic when, getting up to preach after the bible was read, chastigated the reader for not offering a 'this is the word of the lord', whereupon he said it, and all the good Anglicans in the room responded 'thanks be to God.'

this is definitely not having a go at the Don, and his point was well taken, and he was making a point rather than having a go at the bible reader.

but i am reading John Goldingay's, 'Models for Scripture' (Eerdmans, 1994), and he suggested this might not always be the correct response (p10).

so after Mark 14.1-12 was read, he wanted the reader to say 'this is part of God's story'. or after Job or Ecclesiastes, 'isn't is amazing the things you can say to God'.

after either you could still respond 'thanks be to God.'

perhaps after prophetic oracles such as Isaiah 5.1-7 they could say 'this is the word of the lord', but a more appropriate response would be 'God help us.'

now i love formal liturgy as much as the next guy, but i like the point Goldingay is making here - 'word of God' is a model for parts of scripture, not scripture as a whole. it is used by scripture to describe particular words (cf eg Heb 4.12; Isa 55.11).

an automatic response to the reading of scripture can imply an lack of genuine listening; it would be good if there were a flexibility in responses that recognised the diversity of scripture.

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