Recent Meanderings

1. I really enjoyed listening to this talk on the relationship between theology and science by Professor John Polkinghorne.

2. Ben, the father of a growing family, gives us a great wee review and critique of Spong’s latest book, Jesus for the Non-Religious. I reproduce his punchy conclusion here:

‘in spite of Spong’s characterisation of his own book as radical, “shocking” and “audacious” (pp. 10, 290), the real problem is that this book is not radical enough. The Jesus who emerges from these pages is ultimately indistinguishable from any other respectably innocuous, politically correct member of the Western middle classes. Instead of provoking a challenging political or theological response, therefore, this Jesus serves to justify our own values and assumptions. To adopt such a Jesus is like the new tendency of consumers to purchase “carbon offsets” as compensation for their own greenhouse emissions: one makes a seemingly radical gesture precisely in order to ensure that nothing changes! Like purchasing a carbon offset, Spong’s Jesus – far from challenging us or provoking us to action – simply reassures us that all is well. Bishop Spong’s Jesus may be useful and consoling, then, but he is not especially interesting, much less unique. He poses no threat, no challenge. He makes no demands. He tells us nothing that we didn’t know already. And for just that reason, it’s hard to see why “the non-religious” – or anyone else, for that matter – should have any special regard for this Jesus’.

3. I was inspired by this. The photo gallery is brilliant and you can read more here.

4. The ongoing Karen-Burmese conflict on the Thai-Burma Border continues to sporadically make news. The discussion starts about 18 minutes into this podcast.

5. ‘Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule’ (Stephen King). Whadda load of debris, dregs, dross, junk, litter, lumber, offal, refuse, rubble, rummage, scrap, sweepings, trash, waste, balderdash, bilge, bunkum, claptrap, crap, drivel, gibberish, hogwash, hooey, junk, moonshine, poppycock, rot, tommyrot, balderdash, baloney, bilge, etc… you get the idea.

Clive James on Writing

– ‘Writing is essentially re-writing; and easy writing makes hard reading. Don’t make the reader do half the work of the writing; do it all yourself!’ – Clive James, from an interview here.