Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Anyone for Freedom of Speech?

August 10, 2008

I haven’t been blogging for a while- summer holidays and all that. Of  course during my unnoticed absence many things haven’t changed. Random House publishers have decided to postpone indefinitely (read cancelled) The Jewel of Medina, the debut novel by journalist Sherry Jones. It is a novel about the prophet Muhammed’s child bride. The reason they cite is that they have been warned that the novel may incite some Muslim’s to violence.

I cannot help but compare this step with the kind of furore that follows every blasphemous piece directed towards the Christian faith. There we constantly hear the message that Christians can be offended if they want this is about freedom of speech. But clearly we are being told here that freedom of speech is not really a right worth defending. Freedom of speech has its limits- a potential threat and the literati will go running. Perhaps we’ll yet have public readings of the book. Or maybe those champions of free speech who so excoriate Christianity will publish extracts and broadcast extracts- anyone for television rights?! Random House have said someone else is free to publish the novel. Watch this space as the champions of free speech stride forward.

Unfaithful Blogging

January 11, 2008

I haven’t been very faithful to my blog recently. In fact I’ve been posting elsewhere. Someone picked up on one of my posts and it created a forum discussion. I came across it and joined the discussion. You can follow it up at the link below. It’s about good, evil, morality and justice. Hopefully I’ll get back soon to blogging here.
http://metanet.2.forumer.com/index.php?s=1088ced4817d1328d3531632bc580ca2&showtopic=21009&st=0

Golden Compass Resources for Christians

December 10, 2007

Golden Compass has at last hit the screens. But despite the controversy it has not faired as well at the US box office as the money men would have hoped.  Its not a film- or book- I know an awful lot about, fantasy is not my thing. But if you do want to follow it up and see what Christians are saying about it or you simply want to consider the issues as a Christian believer Peter Whyte has put together a really good resource on our church website. You should check it out at

www.gilnahirkbaptist.org.uk/resources/culture/truecompass.php

The Protestant Revolution-Part 4

October 24, 2007

Well, I’m glad it’s over. I felt obliged to watch this series but in truth it was awful. The fourth episode proved no exception in this series. It was completely lacking in any nuanced understanding of the subject and made some wildly inaccurate claims. Contrary to Hunt’s claims early Protestants did not view wealth as an index of God’s favour. Indeed they considered wealth to be a snare. Hunt, who is obsessed with the implications of the priesthood of all believers, completely overlooked Calvin’s concept of all work as vocation.

The series was a great opportunity missed to explore the true contribution of Protestantism to rise of modernity.

Pilgrimage, Spirit and Truth

June 25, 2007

An article in today’s Washington Post considers how religious pilgrimage is one of the growing trends of our age. A trend accomodated by cheaper travel and internet information. The piece focuses upon a pilgrimage to Medjugorje in Bosnia where there was supposedly an appearance by the Virgin Mary.

The trend is problematic for Christians for a number of reasons. Leaving aside reservations about Mariolatry, of which I have many, this article exposed to contemporary trend which are problematic. The first is how one person saw the idea of physical pilgrimage as reflecting spiritual pilgrimage where a person discovers the pilgrimage within. The object of the pilgrimage is not to discover God who is there but to uncover something within ourselves. Contrary to orthodox Christian teaching, and reflecting wider spiritual trends, the answer to our needs is discovered within ourselves rather than looking beyond ourselves to a right relationship with God.

The second problematic area is that the worship of God is being allied to a particular place. This is clearly contrary to Jesus own teaching that God is not to be worshipped in a particular place but ‘in spirit and in truth.’ This idea reflects not only a faulty understanding of true worship but is, we are told in the article, part of wider trend where people want to discover God in new ways. That brings to mind the old adage ‘you worship God in your way, and I’ll worship him in his way.’

The new trend towards pilgrimage reflects the spiritual confusion of our age- the smorgasbord effect as Os Guinness once called it. It calls us to once recognise the need to present the Christian message with biblical clarity and not to be conformed to the spiritual values of our age.

You can read the article at-

www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/24/AR2007062401422.html