Thursday, December 08, 2011

How to transform a nation

Finished and sent off my CV.....

I read this post called 'What happened to the book reviews' by Tim Challies and couldn't agree more. If you're a bit of a reader you will soon start to notice that the pool of Christian books draw from the same, fairly limited, canon. The quotes from Lewis, Chesterton and others continually reappear which is not in and of itself wrong but just goes to show that only the few are able to write anything original or with quotes you have not read before.

A friend tells me my sentences are too long so I am putting On writing on my Christmas list. I told him to read Ephesians 1 and that Paul's written Greek could also be a bit lengthy :) Also, if you want to see a man who has done a bit of reading then check out Rick Warren's personal library. For years, so he tells us in this fascinating interview called 'How to stay mentally fresh for ministry' he read at least a book a day. Is this perhaps a contributing factor to his being possibly the most influential pastor alive and the author of the world's best selling non-fiction book? See him interviewed here about the Purpose driven life.

If you are interested (which you probably aren't), the best non-fiction book I have ever read is Peter the Great by Robert Massie. It is a massive tome and I read it day after day every evening lying on a sofa in my flat in Moscow. He remains an inspiration for me and he literally transformed his nation. So imagine my joy to discover that Robert Massie, now 82, has written the biography of Catherine the Great. This one is also going on the Christmas list.

Now of course, there are not many who manage to transform a nation. It takes creativity, courage, new thinking, battles, rule breaking, preparation, learning and resilience. Peter the Great has all those things and, it has to be said, an extreme partying and vodka habit. Wouldn't it be a thing if someone felt called to do that for the Church of England (apart obviously from the Vodka and prostitutes:).

Andreas Whittam Smith of the Church Commissioners said this to General Synod:
“I have seen large companies perfectly and impeccably manage themselves into failure. Every step along the road has been well done. 

“Every account is neatly signed off.”  

Then finally they find they have “gone bust”, he said. “I sometimes feel the Church is a bit like that.” 

He added: “I wish that all of us would have a sense of real crisis about this. 

(h't David Keen)

Now would be a good time for a Peter or a Catherine or even a Warren don't you think?

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