Posts filed under ‘Faith’
I don’t really get how this question is so difficult to answer, yet it seems a cause of much debate. I’ve heard laity and clergy alike profess to have little idea what the answer is or should be. I suppose I have a pretty strong Anglican identity – I’ve grown up in the Church, loved, loathed and followed it in great detail for years. So for those of you who are confused, let me attempt to explain.
“You write a blog, don’t you?” It was an odd response to my suggestion that I needed to get cash out of a cashpoint before I could buy Keith’s new book. The deal: I could have a copy free in return for a review. I skipped a queue of books and got on with reading it straight away. I’m glad I did; of the various books on radical Christianity I’ve picked up in recent years, few have turned out to be both as radical and as reasonable as Seeking Justice.
Its the 6th birthday of Graham’s Grumbles today! To celebrate, I’m posting something here which I wrote for Student Christian Movement‘s blog series leading in to their Seeds of Liberation conference.
Tax has always been a contentious topic. In 1773, Britain tried to force American colonists to pay taxes on tea imports. In an act of civil disobedience, crates of tea worth nearly £1million in today’s money were thrown off ships and into the harbour. What became known as the Boston Tea Party became a rallying cry for many on issues of who gets taxed, by whom and at what rates. (more…)
British Christians are taking some time to get used to living in a post-Christendom world. Gone are the days when biblical stories are the mainstay of our common culture language. Those who surround us are often very well primed in dismissing the Christian faith, from either a faith or anti-faith perspective. I want to see the Church do something about it, and I think the answer may come from looking at the other faith communities around us.
A line in my last blog post, “On the Immovability of Marriage”, got an interesting response based on one line that I wrote that I’m "in support of individual churches, clergy and congregations following their consciences with” offering or denying Gay couples marriage. “ Given that you bring the example up, are you also in favour of them being able to follow their consciences in impose a ban on inter-racial marriage?” Merrick wrote. Here’s my response, which is far too long for a comment.
Its rare one reads anything proclaiming a positive future for the Church of England, or indeed for mainstream denominations in the UK, even more so that its a book and certainly not a book published by the Church of England’s own printing presses. But I’ve just finished reading such a book (title above, author Bob Jackson).
I wrote a post about a more radical perspective on the Good Friday narrative 3 years ago. Today, I want to ask the questions “why did the crowd call for Jesus execution” and “what relevance has this for today”. Perhaps the simplified version from Sunday School is missing some key details for understanding the crowd, its fears and its motivations in the scene where Jesus is condemned to die. It is one that should make many Christians feel uncomfortable whilst being familiar ground for many Activists in the UK.
There is an argument that about free choice that goes something like this: I have the right to make my mind up, and to decide as a I choose but if somehow my decision results in a later problem or inconvenience to myself, it wasn’t free choice in the first place. This arguments is applied in everything from bank bailouts to sexual health to the Christian doctrine of Salvation.
In the Church we have just looked at Jesus baptism. The story is quite simple, occupying only a handful of verses in each of the gospels where it occurs. It isn’t as world-changing as the birth, death or resurrection stories, and to many it seems quite natural; Jesus undergoes a ritual with which we are very familiar in British society. But it strikes me that something quite radical is going on – something that speaks of a new approach to changing the world.
I’m writing this on here but also sending it to the organisers of the network: its something that’s been bugging me. Or rather, the question “what can Christians who reject the mass distraction of the ‘Big Society’ do?” has been bugging me, but then someone else wrote a 5000 word declaration on pretty much that. But a declaration alone can do nothing, especially not one that contains more theology and politics than it does practicalities. You can find the declaration here.