Posts filed under ‘Religion’
Despite certain stereotypes and even the best efforts of the media, most Western Christians today do not hold to a literalist view of creation – they believe something approximating to a divinely inspired and intended creation worked out through the processes described by modern science. In fact, science degrees are thought to be more popular than arts degrees amongst UK Christians students. But this only refers to ‘hard science’ – what of the Social Sciences? Is the Church unable to extend its understanding of divine inspiration beyond Biology, Chemistry and Physics?
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.
I’ve been hearing a lot about petitions doing the rounds over coffee after Church services lately. This is not, in itself, a bad thing. But the choice of petitions often leaves a lot to be asked of a church’s priorities and a recent article on the Guardian site showed that this trend is spreading into other church-run activities, like playgroups.
After a few requests, the sermon I preached at St Lawrence’s two morning services on Sunday is now here for you to enjoy. Its about 50% longer than a regular blog post, but I don’t really want to start hacking great pieces out of it. Also, sorry for the second paragraph joke. I realise putting that on the web, where it can be read by people who aren’t actually in Yorkshire may cause issues. It was a joke. Enjoy!
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 find the undertones of Cameron’s speech on Christianity quite disturbing. Whilst some have read it in a very favourable light, a look at the manipulation of American Evangelicalism by Karl Rove and other Republican Party Grandees should show just how dangerous this speech is. At a time when Bishops and other church leaders are raising their voices in opposition to
It annoys me that the Church is so bad at hearing and dealing with criticism. There are plenty of things the Church needs to hear, reflect on and respond to, particularly from its own members and especially if it is to regain credibility as a place where people’s hurts are healed.
I reckon that marriage and family issues are probably those in which the myopic approaches of the conservative church leave the most to be desired. Experience shows that all to often, the Church simply replicates the isolationist values of the most uppity, withdrawn parts of secular society, focusing on a few laudable values and missing the bigger picture entirely. Even a face-value reading of the bible at times contradicts this.
So I guess half the blogs in Britain are talking about the Pope’s visit right now, whether supportive of the protests or the Pope himself. I’m now going to attempt to sum up the energy to address my personal feelings on the Pope’s visit.
I only made 3 days of Momentum this year, arriving by sleeper and day train just in time for Monday’s main morning meeting and working on the Church Action on Poverty stall through to the end. It was again a very good experience and a chance to get away and think about the spiritual basis for much if not all of what I do. The event has matured, but after last year’s event, few questions were answered.