Links for (Almost) Friday (Again) | 9th May 2015

Every Friday I’m posting links to things I’ve read this week that I think you might find interesting too, in a second week in a row, I missed friday!, but in my defence I was moving through some time zones! –

UK Elections

  • The turns in the recent election in the UK was unprecedented. Especially in Scotland where my vote (in absentia) was cast. It is hard to take a national pulse living so far away, but the rhetoric of UK politics seems less and less inclusive and more tribal, a worry trajectory in my opinion. Giles Fraser, made some emphatic comments in his piece in the Guardian, and I was fascinated by the following quote, as I’ve often considered the secular approach to government as quasi-religious.

The anthropologist Mukulika Banerjee suggests a fascinating answer: elections are like religious rituals, often devoid of rational purpose or efficacy for the individual participant, but full of symbolic meaning. They are the nearest thing the secular has to the sacred, presenting a moment of empowerment.


  • Think Theology has a couple of posts on the “sin lifestyles that should get you kicked out of a church community”1, Matthew Hosier links 1 Cor 5:9-11, with a seemingly parallel list in deuteronomy making this interesting observation in Part II

Firstly, the sins listed here are those that in Deuteronomy merit the death sentence. While all sins are sin, some sins were identified as being so destructive that they merited the ultimate form of being cut off from the community. In a New Testament context the death sentence is replaced by being cut off from the life of the community through exclusion.

I’ve often wondered why you never really hear of ex-communication anymore. I’m not necessarily say I’ll be the first to start the petition, but you have to wonder if our market-place attractional, all-inclusive models of church leave us toothless to uphold the integrity of a new covenant community.

  • Jason Gorancy posted a longer post about the importance for ministers/pastors/churchmen and women to consider themselves ‘Theologians’, but theology that connects to the vocation of renewing the world not abstract thoughts.

A community that is awake and conscious of its commission and task in the world will of necessity be a theologically interested community

and later he includes this great quote from Karl Barth;

Like the pendulum which regulates the movements of a clock, so theology is responsible for the reasonable service of the community. It reminds all its members, especially those who have greater responsibilities, how serious is their situation and task. In this way it opens for them the way to freedom and joy in their service.

  • I’ve been having some good and wide ranging conversations with friends here in South Africa about the nature of the ‘unseen real’ or more commonly thought of as the supernatural. Our place of ministry is a colliding of many westerners with a reductionist picture of ‘unseen realities’, and more tradition african religious beliefs which then become projected into christian faith where every happening is sourced in an unseen source.
    Greg Boyd is well known for taking an unusual route through this. Unusual because he straight-forwardly speaks of the reality of angels, demons etc. but does it with the articulation of a well educated theologian. I found this excerpt from his book ‘God at War’, thought provoking Read more here

  • I had some reason to dwell in theodicy this week, that is, the problem of evil and suffering in the world. Ben Myers talks about how he teaches it as a theology subject, he quotes Rowan Williams;

“I suspect that it is more religiously imperative to be worried by evil than to put it into a satisfactory theoretical context, if only because such a worry keeps obstinately open the perspective of the sufferer” (p. 272). Throughout, Williams is attentive to the “uncomfortable question of who theodicy is being done for” (p. 271).

and in Ben Myer’s list of discussion points related to Theodicy he includes;

The life of prayer is the best stimulant of compassion, which is why Christians pray “deliver us from evil”


  • Jeff Goins had a pretty fun blog about trying to learn a skill, start a company and sell your first product within 48hrs, he chose coffee roasting (a saturated and highly skilled industry!) – Read more about his adventure here

  • Flickr often collate excellent photos from their huge membership base, these were particularly striking to me

  • If you are not sure what an aeropress is, then, check that out first, but if you do, you will know it is probably the most reliable way to make an espresso-style cup of coffee without shelling out the cost of a sports car on a espresso machine worth its salt. Tools and Toys posted some of their favourite recipes/methods last month, check them out here

  1. my title, not theirs.

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