Sunday, 26 April 2009


Any one got any spare curtains for the Assist guy's? An asylum seeker just got indefinite leave to stay (brilliant) but they've got no curtains (not so good - though not really the opposite equivalent to forced repatriation, just, you know, its a dignity thing). I'll pick up from around Sheffield. I'll also ask what other stuff they need at the moment as, if you are like me, you will have a large pile of stuff to car boot but no discipline to get up for the 6am start.


Thursday, 23 April 2009


Theo Hobson on how 'no real alternative' most alternative worship is, and toying with something more authentic - from the good Ship of Fools


Ok, its growing on me....

Don't have it yet? Check spotify to listen to U2 or almost anything else for free

Monday, 20 April 2009

Been a long time.... (3 months in 1 post)

I'll try and condense everything I intended to post but didn't get round to into (as close as I get to normal) sentences:

  • Got a new Job - Corporate Responsibility - doing good (trying to) feels good doesn’t it?
  • Israel / Palestine - read Esther - violence (without God) is cyclical - that’s what's so radical about the Jesus story - refusing revenge = chance of change
  • Light is a powerful universal symbol that we miss because we can flick a switch
  • I wanted Easter to be a 're-personalisation' of a transformative story / person /(ongoing) event
    Taking up your cross is not about (the myth of?) 'redemptive' suffering (the cross = general suffering association is later) it’s about going up against the dominion system and the 'way' of transformation through death/resurrection
  • I don't miss the blogosphere because - as U2 sing on up till now disappointing new album, ' your enemies will define you' / real people matter more
  • I do miss the real people on the blogosphere
  • Write a Book = vanity v useful ?
  • My old church was great
  • Is there a balance between reconciling oneself to not being able to change everything and wanting to change everything?
  • Too many good books to be read
  • Is it only me that one day thinks its all made up, one day thinks its all true, one day doesn't care but just want to get on, one day doesn't think at all etc etc?
  • Individualism is its own worst enemy
  • Justice / Holistic Worship / Proclamation?
  • Rowan was profound when he said that God doesn't promise to stop us ruining stuff (God is not a responsibility mop (the Gospel is as much a responsibility distributor as receptacle)
  • Easter = Love wins/ Life = trying to believe and do that
  • I think its still worth doing something in Sheffield on Spiritual Development to give a bit of a map for fellow travellers
  • Things are complicated, but even harder when simple
  • G20.....?
  • Engage......?
  • Good to be back?

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Theology that changes things

As an advocate of social change, who likes to sit at home and do as little as possible, I've been wondering:

What kind of theology changes society as well as people’s hearts?

Here are a few historical perspectives:

Postmillennialism to Pre-millennialism. These ideas can be highly tedious hair splitting exercises in interpreting Revelation. On the other hand, they can reflect very different perspectives about the relationship of God to social change. Certainly from the time of the Puritans until the end of the 19th century Protestantism had held the view that Jesus would return after the establishment of God’s kingdom on earth. This meant that social change was both desirable and achievable. It meant human beings were a part of the process of the return of Jesus. At the end of the 19th century, and coinciding with the mainstream church becoming less interested in social change, the church moved to the idea that Jesus would return before God’s kingdom was established on earth. If Jesus was to return to earth first, what happened to the earth before that was pretty academic. I, personally, do not want to advocate either, but I do think a theology that hopes for the kingdom of God established on earth is preferable.

Imminence and Transcendence Most churches have historically preferred transcendence over imminence. Look at the songs we sing – they talk about God ‘up there’, beyond us, understood by admiring the wonders of creation. By contrast, such songs did not appear amongst black slaves in North America. Instead, God was among them – he worked out his purposes through the slaves. They saw God as imminent. Thus, they did not wait for God to come as a bolt from heaven, for when they acted God acted.

Predestination and Free will. I have no desire to unpack these philosophical ideas! Just to say, that advocates of free will (e.g. Wesley, Finney) were active in bringing social change. I’m sure either extreme is mistaken and maybe reflects the failure to grasp what the slaves recognised – that God acts through us, so such distinctions are irrelevant.

Who is up for a theology that incorporates the imminence of God with a belief that God will establish his kingdom on earth?