Friday Link List | 11th December 2015

Here’s this Friday’s link list, enjoy some reading this weekend;

…If you read something you think should be featured submit it here, starting your message LINK LIST SUGGESTION.

  • I spent a crazed evening last Sunday live streaming the first every WSL big wave event held at Pe’ahi or Jaws as it is more widely known. Check out mind-blowing images here

“How Lewis came to be recruited and by whom remains a secret. The records of the Secret Intelligence Service, known popularly as MI6, remain closed. Perhaps one of his former pupils at Oxford recommended him for his mission. It was an unusual mission for which few people were suited. J. R. R. Tolkien had the knowledge base for the job, even beyond that of Lewis, but Tolkien lacked other skills that Lewis possessed.”

“Unlike premodern Christians, modern Christians are often functional empiricists, who instinctively believe that only visible things are real. At best, we are deists: of course, there is God up there somewhere, but he is a long way off. We do not think that we have to press through a crowd of angels every time we move; we do not think that a small angelic deployment runs ahead of us into danger; we do not think, as the poet Francis Thompson does, that we disturb an angel every time we turn a stone; we do not think, to quote Thompson again, that Jacob’s ladder is pitched between heaven and Charing Cross. ”

“My fear? That apocalyptic theology too much looks like a kind of gnosticism. That is, the only way to know God is by knowing what apocalyptic theologians know, and what this means is that one must be born again to know this kind of knowing. (This is the second section’s emphasis of this chp.) That is, soteriology and reconciliation are pre-conditions for knowing. Perhaps I overstate, but I must register this fear of the approach. There is then an emphasis on God’s revelation in Christ and less emphasis on the incarnation as a reality in history — and God trusting us to make sense of that incarnated reality.”

“The principle of the relaxed grasp is about releasing people into God’s hands so He can put them into yours. We don’t serve in order to be good leaders, but we’re more likely to be good leaders if we serve people rather than grasping them as ours. If we serve people well, we influence them, and if we influence them, then we have spiritual authority in their lives. Serving equals influence equals authority. Those who do not take hold of this Jesus-approach to leadership assume they have the right to insist on people submitting to them and respecting them.”

“With as few women as enter the world of Christian academia, you typically start with a small pool to begin with, and once you layer on limitations of discipline, expertise/specialization, approach, the book idea itself, or any theological parameters, you are left with a handful—at best. And the few (any?) women you are left with are already booked up years out or have other priorities, commitments, or preferences. Many simply say no. I am not making excuses, but, strategy or not, publishers are constrained by the shape of the academy. The representation of women in our academy—or lack thereof—is alarming.”

“Among the inconvenient truths about terrorism that European and American publics avoid facing up to is this: aerial bombardments with drones, cruise missiles and fighter jets are merely expensive, knee-jerk reactions by governments designed to give the semblance of “doing something” to their electorates. They have no clearly defined military or political end in view. If no conventional war has ever been won by air campaigns, how much less likely the unconventional war against ISIL (or al-Qa’ida).
The UK and US governments have clearly not learned from the fiascos in Iraq and Libya. These military adventures left over a million Iraqis killed and the region awash in advanced weapons that have fallen into the hands of new militias of which ISIL is the most dangerous.”

“Do you see what happened there? Our over familiarity with the story can cause us miss it, but Mary did something astonishing. She chose to accept God’s plan for. This might not sound like much of a new insight until we consider that, by indicating that she freely accepted this great responsibility, we realize that she was free to refuse. Mary could have declined being the mother of Jesus, the vessel through which the incarnation entered the world. Some will argue that God’s will is absolute, that Mary did not truly have the choice, but her agency in this moment is critical. In that moment after the angel informed her what would happen- in that momentary pause before she answered- she was free to choose.”

  • Part 1 and 2 of an interesting 3 part series on Baptism by Alistair Roberts

“Christians, even those who say much about ‘incarnational’ faith, can say surprisingly little about the way that God claims our bodies.”


“My body defies the distinction between subject and object: it is both the site of my interiority and subjectivity, yet also an object that exists in continuity with the world and as a part of nature that others can act upon. My body is the site of my consciousness, my sense of self, and my action, but before these come into being, my body receives meaning and identity from other sources. My ‘self’ is never simply my subjectivity: it is also my bodily objectivity and in this objectivity my body is the bearer of ‘given’ meanings that precede me, my subjectivity, my choices, and my actions.”


“Once again, this reveals problems with some popular language about baptism. When we speak of baptism as expressive of the candidate’s ‘decision,’ we either implicitly resist the givenness of our selves, or we fail to address God’s salvation to the most basic dimension of our humanity.[1] Insistence upon the reality of original sin is, in part, insistence that alienation from God is an aspect of our givenness in a fallen world, not merely a result of our subjectively chosen action. The waters of baptism run deeper than action, deeper than choice, and even deeper than consciousness and subjectivity. They declare a new givenness, that my body is now defined by its relation to Jesus Christ and his body.”

“I remember the weeks leading up to that day when the numbers in my checking account suddenly swelled dramatically. They were anxious. I stood at the doorsteps of The Dream. A lifetime of expectations about how totally, utterly awesome it would be to be a millionaire. I’d be able to buy all the computers and cameras I ever wanted and any car I desired!”
I can only speak to the experience I did have. The one I do share with millions of people who have the basics taken care of, but who still yearn for the treasure perceived to be behind the curtain. For those who might contemplate giving up all manners of integrity, dignity, or even humanity to pull it back.
We humans acclimate to our surroundings incredibly quickly. The buzz is not going to last. Until you realize the next rung of the ladder isn’t where salvation hides, the siren song will keep playing.

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