Michael Jinkins on ‘Myths and urban legends about John Calvin’

Firstly, don’t forget to enter the Who said it? competition. It closes on Friday. Suggestions so far have been fascinating. Now, enjoy this post by Michael Jinkins on ‘Myths and urban legends about John Calvin’: Recently I asked Serene Jones, president of Union Theological Seminary in New York, what resources she finds particularly helpful in her […]

Innovation, Renewal, and Betrayal

I’ve been reading Michael Welker again, this time his essay on ‘Travail and Mission: Theology Reformed According to God’s Word at the Beginning of the Third Millennium’, published in Toward the Future of Reformed Theology: Tasks, Topics, Traditions. I was struck by Welker’s use of the word ‘innovation’ to describe the reformed habit of semper reformanda, the subject I tackle […]

On being ecclesiastical tourists

While in the mad throes of writing lectures for an upcoming course that I’ll be teaching on the church, I am grateful to be re-reading Michael Jinkins’s very fine book The Church Faces Death: Ecclesiology in a Post-Modern Context. In one little section, subtitled ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Church’, Jinkins offers a great reminder of the challenge and […]

December stations …

Reading: The Vivisector by Patrick White Defending Constantine: The Twilight of an Empire and the Dawn of Christendom by Peter J. Leithart The Architecture of the Scottish Medieval Church, 1100–1560 by Richard Fawcett Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon The Protestant Era by Paul Tillich Argula von Grumbach: A Woman’s Voice in the Reformation by Peter Matheson […]

September stations …

Reading: Love’s Work by Gillian Rose. A Savage Country: The Untold Story of New Zealand in the 1820s by Paul Moon. Judaism and the Visual Image: A Jewish Theology of Art by Melissa Raphael. Forrester on Christian Ethics and Practical Theology by Duncan B. Forrester. The Broken Middle: Out of Our Ancient Society by Gillian Rose. Nostalgia for the Absolute by George Steiner. Lincoln’s […]

some friday link love

The Guggenheim puts 65 modern art books online. (Also downloadable here). Mehdi Hasan’s piece, God need not be the enemy of science, ends with these words: The biggest threat to science and scientific progress is not religion or religious believers, with our superstitious or supernatural beliefs, but the arrogance of those atheist fundamentalists among the scientific […]

Around the traps: To the memory of ulcers scraped with a tin spoon

Rowan Williams on the Big Society. Les Murray and the Poetry of Depression, a review-piece by Meghan O’Rourke. The latest edition of Zeitschrift für Neuere Theologiegeschichte (Vol. 18, No. 1, April 2011) is now available and includes an essay on ‘Albrecht Ritschl and the Tübingen School. A neglected link in the history of 19th century […]

Critics, writing, Sudoku and some other interesting stuff …

The New York Times recently ran a fascinating multi-author series on criticism, and on why criticism (still) matters: Beyond the Critic as Cultural Arbiter by Stephen Burn With Clarity and Beauty, the Weight of Authority by Katie Roiphe The Intellectual at Play in the Wider World by Pankaj Mishra The Will Not to Power, but […]

Here and there …

Michael Jinkins on ministers and trust. Amnesty International’s interview with Aung Khaing Min. Stanley Hauerwas asks, ‘Just how realistic is just war?’ Mark Van Steenwyk and Jarrod McKenna interview Stanley Hauerwas. Jamie Smith talks about ‘the good life’. Bruce Hamill shares a tale of two liturgies. Paul Fromont shares a reflection from Monica Furlong on […]

On the cost and grace of parish ministry – Part X

In an earlier post, I drew attention to some words from Michael Jinkins’ (in Called to Be Human: Letters to My Children on Living a Christian Life) about the relationship that exists between friendship and a thoroughly-human life. I suggested there that ‘effective pastoral ministry is impossible apart from friendship precisely because human flourishing is […]

On the cost and grace of parish ministry – Part VII

In his book, Called to Be Human: Letters to My Children on Living a Christian Life, Michael Jinkins tells of a letter that he received from a young minister. [BTW: I highly recommend Jinkins’ wonderful wee book, Letters to New Pastors]. This young minister recalls how he loves being a pastor, but is struggling to […]