Sunday, December 24, 2017
Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Monday, December 18, 2017
Saturday, December 16, 2017
Tim Challies Collected Best Book Lists 2017
Buzzard Best Books 2017
'My secret is that I need God'
Asian Christianity and Christian History (h/t Jesus Creed)
R C Sproul (1939-2017)
Is Jerusalem Important?
Who is going to be the new Bishop of London? (Gavin Ashenden is a hoot and when his hut door blows open it's the sort of thing that makes me fall in love again with the good old C of E )
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Anyway, the other morning he was leading worship and quite amazingly he saw a cloud coming through the open doors at the back of his sea facing church and he thought- finally it's happening! It was only once the 'glory cloud' got nearer to him and began to smell of sausages that he realized instead of a 'glory cloud' it was in fact his youth worker barbecuing below.
Undaunted, he waits on patiently for the glory to fall......
Monday, December 11, 2017
2. Speaking of books, a pal put me on to a fellow called Ryan Holiday who produces a monthly book recommendation email that I now enjoy. It's where I discovered 'The Shepherd's Life'. These are his Best reads of 2017.
3. If you want a stunningly good talk on calling then 'Real Security and the Call of God' is for you.
4. I am engaging in a more real way with the incarnation as we have a baby which is due to arrive any day.
5. My devotional for 2018 is 'Seeking God's Face' which I began in Advent. I've done a few years of BiOY and sensed it was time for something new.
6. I am mulling on the fact that I am just as loved by Jesus even though less people are coming to our church than a year ago. Surprisingly, no one is interested in inviting me to speak at a conference to share the profound things I am learning about my heart, myself and the gospel as I reflect on the nature of Jesus's upside down kingdom. My friend, mentor and fellow race runner is pastor of a slightly declining church too so we make an interesting pair in this season of our lives.
7. I have been really enjoying cooking recipes from Leon One Pot.
8. I've been wondering what Eugene Peterson would say to my pal who told me his church has grown so much he no longer has time to work on sermons. He is a far more gifted leader than I and a very good big-hearted friend and encourager. He tells me he now uses superb sermon outlines of a gifted mega-church pastor and his folk absolutely love their content and the church is growing even more. So many things to muse on from these couple of sentences. Now, I've googled the preacher in question and he has written a blog post complaining about 'pastoral plagiarism' by other pastors. I then googled his name and 'sermon outlines' and discovered his own website sells PDF's of his talks. If you sell PDF's of your own talks then it should not be a huge shock that people then preach and use them? I could write so much more on this but I won't....
9. 'Our entire story is predicated on the assumption that we're massive screw-ups. What's supposed to be unique to Christians is how we’re the first to recognize the trouble we're in, the first to cry uncle. If we want to lead in anything, it's this prayer: Help me, I've made a mess of things.
And boy, how often have we made a mess of things. We've screwed up more than a few of the basics: neglecting care of the poor and the children, failing to nurture creation, participating in systems of power rather than sacrificially laying down our power for others. And yet this is why we need the church all the more. This is not the time to surrender the whole idea of church, nor is it time to retreat into empty theological ideals or rhetoric that have nothing to with our place and our neighbours. We don't need religious platitudes. We need an actual community of friends who take responsibility for..... [fill in the place name of your church]'
Love Big, Be Well, p.26
10. This is a good piece on the Pope wanting to change the Lord's prayer.
Saturday, December 09, 2017
Thursday, December 07, 2017
Wednesday, December 06, 2017
Monday, December 04, 2017
Seth Godin is one person who helps me stay connected to 'the workplace' and to the world of ideas and marketing in which I once worked. His post 'Reading at Work' has a list of twenty books he thinks we should all be taking a look at and making time to read with colleagues at work.
I've put 'The True Believer' on my Christmas list.
Sunday, December 03, 2017
Saturday, December 02, 2017
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Monday, November 27, 2017
Thursday, November 23, 2017
Reversed Thunder, Peterson, p.55
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
2. I am enjoying reading 'Walking with God'. It may simply be because Eldredge is a dry-fly fisherman.
3. I am currently reflecting on the book of life as I prepare to preach on Sardis on Sunday (Rev 3)
4. I have been falling asleep to this talk 'How the gospel changes our heart' on a few nights recently. It's excellent when you finally manage to get through it.
5. 'What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us' A W Tozer
6. Our personal prayer life is contested.
7. You know something is up when you are spending your evenings reading 'The Diary of David Brainerd ' in tiny print in Vol 1 of Edwards complete works. I should be watching a box set like everyone else.
8. Mrs C and I have been fascinated by Trump: An American Dream.
9. I have not been able to get past the Calvin quote on page 17-18 of 'The New Catechism'. As Peterson says 'Reading Calvin is prayer'
10. A Vicar pal sent me this interview in which Bill Johnson talks about the glory cloud (18 mins in) and asked what I think. When the glory comes scripture describes people as 'face down' in awe, not filming it on a mobile.
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Thursday, November 16, 2017
This seems like a primer which I have just started to read.
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Monday, November 13, 2017
Free to shine, Opening the gift of Tongues, p 43
'I am convinced that the need of the church is to realize again the activity of the Holy Spirit. You see, we organize meetings, organize campaigns, but that is because very largely we have forgotten the element that I am trying to emphasize to you. When the Spirit comes his evidence is unmistakable and the results amazing and astounding'
Joy unspeakable, p 120
Sunday, November 12, 2017
Oh and I have been fasting all media for eight weeks and it's been a joy and I do recommend it.
My reading was as follows and as to its fruit - well only time will tell:
Taking my God for a Walk: A wonderful tale of a man walking the Camino.
When breath becomes air: A moving and wonderfully written book about death and dying. It made me sob uncontrollably.
Conclave: A total page-turner on how you pick the Pope.
The Rosie Project: Light, funny and profound.
Joy Unspeakable: It is hard to sum up what this book has done in me and one of the reasons I can't is it's still in motion. Get this book, read this book and may it set you aflame.
Face to Face with God: I read this with Lloyd Jones and was struck how similar it was in parts.
Great Revivals: A taster book of where God has moved his hand through history.
Defining Moments: The stories of revivalists and what we can learn from them.
Living Forward: One quote in this prompted me to start writing a book.
Draw the Circle: A forty day journey of prayer which is worth the walk. Packed with interesting facts and perspectives.
The Shepherds Life: A wonderful book about being a shepherd by a shepherd. An immersion into beautiful writing and life in the Lakes.
Grace Outpouring: The account of what happens when you pray. This book tells the incredible story of the place I stayed in Wales. I can't recommend it highly enough. You should visit and then see what happens next.....
The Way of Blessing: I read this while I was in Wales and it follows right on with the story of what God is doing through Flald y Brenin.
The Revival We Need: Recommended by Roy Godwin and it cut me to the core. The impact of this book on my heart and soul is still under way. I will keep you posted.
Intercessor: I read this nearly thirty years ago and have revisited it after a visit to The Bible College of Wales. If Rees Howells has never crossed your path it's time he did. Astounding.
Thursday, November 09, 2017
Wednesday, November 08, 2017
We are all so very broken (including Driscoll himself as most know) and I am so thankful for the Cross.....
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Monday, October 30, 2017
Friday, October 27, 2017
Saturday, September 30, 2017
Friday, September 29, 2017
Monday, September 25, 2017
Saturday, September 09, 2017
Wednesday, September 06, 2017
Saturday, August 26, 2017
Saturday, August 19, 2017
3 keys to a powerful prayer life
Donald Trump and America's identity crisis
Four thoughts on virtue signalling
11 Beliefs about JW's for when they knock on your door and 8 Beliefs about Mormons for when they knock on your door
3 things I know about church planting
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
- "The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45)
- "The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10)
- "The Son of Man came eating and drinking" (Luke 7:34)
Monday, August 14, 2017
Saturday, August 12, 2017
A theology of holidays
Google and diversity and James Damore on Why I was fired
Waves are free
John Macarther elbow drops Joel Osteen
Tools of the Titans
The productivity secrets of tech types
Thursday, August 10, 2017
Ben Meyer quoted in 'Surprise the world' which inspired our current sermon series on missionary habits.
Don't miss the next installment on Sunday and make this little book your August read....
Wednesday, August 09, 2017
2. Roger Olson has summarized what he considers to be the basic tenets of liberal theology.
3. An interview with Eugene Peterson pre-gay marriage gate.
4. 18 books on suffering
5. Apparently research shows that sabbaticals are good for organisations which is good as I am about to take one.
6. Interesting post about Google doing what the church perhaps should be?
7. I am walking a stretch of the Camino and a friend met the man who wrote 'Taking God for a Walk' so I've bought it as preparatory reading.
Wednesday, August 02, 2017
2. In my many discussions about the state of the C of E with Vicar pals over the last week, one quoted Bonnhoeffer who said it doesn't matter that you are walking down a train away from the engine it's still going in the same direction. The only way to go another way is, at some point, to get off the train.
3. I am planning to walk a stretch of the Camino as part of my sabbatical.
'There was never a pilgrim that did not come back to his own village with one less prejudice and one more idea.'
4. We are preaching a little series inspired by the book 'Surprise the world'. This quote struck me from it from another book he wrote called 'The Road to Missional'
'Trailers are tasters, short film versions of the soon to be released feature, and they usually include the best special effects or the funniest scenes or the most romantic moments, depending on the film, of the upcoming feature. now, watch those around you in the theatre at the end of each trailer. If it has done its job, usually one person will turn to the other and say, 'I want to see that movie'
This is a great metaphor for the missional church. If it does its job well, people will see what it does and say, "I want to see the world they come from' p. 86
5. Every week I pray with a bunch of pastors and we are due to discuss this talk over breakfast during August. It is packed with interesting thoughts on evangelism to a post-Christian world. It's ten years old but its themes still very much chimed with me.
6. If you are wondering what Keller would say about post-modernism ten years on then listen to 'The Closing of the Modern Mind'.. You'll need 90 minutes and a notebook and pen. Here is a taster:
Thursday, July 27, 2017
Monday, July 24, 2017
Friday, July 21, 2017
Bishop: ‘When you think about the cross of Christ, what do you see?’
Young man: ‘I see Christ and two thieves crucified either side of him…’
Bishop: ‘What else do you see?’
Young man: ‘I see the soldiers gambling…’
Bishop: ‘If that is all you see, I think you will have trouble with the Christian life. When I see the cross – with all that – I see old Bishop Taylor Smith. I was crucified with Christ.’
Saturday, July 15, 2017
Charles Spurgeon's schedule and David Murray's push back
Peterson on Same-sex marriage and Some thoughts on rhe Eugene Peterson debacle and Three responses (Quoting Keller, Alberry and Stott posted pre-retraction)
Spurgeon's secret for raising Godly children
The most personally convicting book I've read in ages
Friday, July 14, 2017
'I think this little catchphrase, perseverance of the saints, is dangerously misleading. It suggests that the perseverance is something that we do, perhaps in and of ourselves. I believe that saints do persevere in faith, and that those who have been effectually called by God and have been reborn by the power of the Holy Spirit endure to the end. However, they persevere not because they are so diligent in making use of the mercies of God. The only reason we can give why any of us continue on in the faith is because we have been preserved. So I prefer the term the preservation of the saints, because the process by which we are kept in a state of grace is something that is accomplished by God. My confidence in my preservation is not in my ability to persevere. My confidence rests in the power of Christ to sustain me with His grace and by the power of His intercession. He is going to bring us safely home'
R C Sproul
Thursday, July 13, 2017
In a timely way, to help with some reflection, J D Greear has just written this post entitled 'If you don't care for the poor you don't understand the Gospel'
Saturday, July 08, 2017
Should Christians attend gay weddings?
Surviving early struggle in church planting
Five honest struggles most church leaders don't want to admit
How to be a faithful friend to those who are same-sex attracted
Love strengthened by faith helps us know there will be justice for Manchester
Friday, July 07, 2017
'What I am going to say next will come as a shock to some, but here it is. You can eliminate every single thing Jesus ever said in his life about the poor and social justice, and still you will not undermine his main message one bit. As severe as that may sound, this is precisely what one of Christ's closest followers actually did.
Thursday, July 06, 2017
'Our influence will grow as we cultivate a way of living and working that feels far less draining over time and far more energized by the Spirit to the point of overflowing. We will experience more and more moments when we feel as if we are living and leading from abundance rarther than out of sheer willpower or our own detached-from-God human efforts' An Unhurried Leader, p 12-13
3. A friend is reading 'A trip around the sun' and being impacted by the idea of the need to belong before you believe in a post-Christian context.
4. Mrs C is off to Just One with a pal. Do pray for this amazing event.
5. I totally agree with Ian Paul about mitres. They look ridiculous and are add odds with what it means to be Anglican. If you don't agree then read 'Anglican and Evangelical: Can they Agree?'.
6. From time to time, I spot a corporate book that looks interesting like this one. Reminds me of the days when I had a job in the real world :)
7. As readers will know we in the C of E love filling our meeting agendas with discussions about sex (do look the agenda shown on Cranmer's blog linked in the next sentence with words 'persecuted church'- it beggars belief ) We should of course be talking about mission, evangelism and the persecuted church. I have been mulling on the growth of bi-sexuality in young people that the article cites (Point 10). It is often spoken about in these church debates that what we are for is 'Loving committed relationships' (by the way, so to are those in 'the world' as adultery for most people has never been considered life enhancing) but I perhaps question how you can achieve that if you are in relationship with more than one person of different genders or am I missing something? Now, or course it is possible to do so if you exercise abstinence over one or other part of your bi-sexual inclination. Bisexuality is not something I have read or thought about in any great depth but I have been helped by the work of 'Living out' in my understanding of this complex ethical arena. I realize I have more to learn about all this. You might also be interested in this tangential piece 'The revealing Conservatism of J K Rowling' By the way, did I mention that the average age of a person with their bottom on a pew is 66?
Wednesday, July 05, 2017
I have been praying, reading about and learning about mission. I have recently read a book called 'Surprise the world' which has inspired our summer sermon series. Michael Frost recommends we cultivate the BELLS model of mission:
I really recommend you putting this book in your beach bag as summer reading. It is very short, easy to read and contains habits that if we adopted them would transform our communities and churches.
Monday, July 03, 2017
2. I am currently reading a lot about mission. Michael Frost's idea of 'BELLS' that he explains in his little book called 'Surprise the world' is extremely helpful. I have to say it's also an encouragement that we are doing some elements of mission pretty well- particularly eating which is the 'E' of 'BELLS'.
'Sharing meals together on a regular basis is one of the most sacred practices we can engage in as believers. Missional hospitality is a tremendous opportunity to extend the kingdom of God. We can literally eat our way into the kingdom of God! If every Christian household regularly invited a stranger or a poor person into their home for a meal once a week, we would literally change the world by eating!'
Hirsch and Ford quoted in Surprise the world, p.48
3. This is an interesting discussion about the Supreme Court gay wedding cake case.
4. 73% of Anglicans according to BSA think sex before marriage is 'not wrong at all'. I would want to ask if the same group think sex outside marriage is 'not wrong at all' and if not what's the difference? Survey data like this makes me despair at the comprehension of the basic tenets of the gospel, the work of the Cross and realization of the scandal of grace in the C of E.
The word 'porneia' means sexual immorality. In deciding how to translate porneia, we need to avoid extremes or too much laxity and rigidity.......Porneia was, in fact, a generic word for sexual infidelity or 'marital unfaithfulness' (NIV), and included "every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse' (Arndt -Gingrich)
Issues facing Christians Today, Page 294
Sadly, too many Anglicans it would seem do not these days read the Bible, let alone owning a copy of Stott's seminal text on ethics.
5. On the subject of the gospel someone on our current Alpha course said this. 'There are only two categories of people- 'sinners' and 'redeemed sinners'. That phrase has stuck with me all this week. Tomorrow we are exploring the question 'How can I have faith?'.
6. This account about MLJ's needing to 'make room for the cross' convicted and moved me.
7. I have a theory that ecclesiastical and academic titles are the enemy of power in preaching.
8. This Spurgeon line from a handout someone gave me following a gathering of one of our Community Groups is worth a ponder:
'He made you for an end. Find out what that end is; find out your niche, and fill it. If it be so little, if it be a hewer of wood or a drawer of water, do something in this great battle for God and truth.'
9. A few comments on Ordination services that a good number of Vicar pals/ Non-ordained folk have been commenting on as many happened across the country this weekend.
a. In a service with so many guests and people who do not yet know Christ to not preach the gospel clearly and accessibly is surely a radical missed opportunity. To steal a cricketing analogy, on the biggest game of the year we should really try to pad up someone who can hit the ball about a bit and with a proven track record for unction in preaching.
b. Why not have a bit of testimony? We have twelve or so folk who are giving their lives for the good of the gospel and in service of the church so why not ask a couple of them why they are doing it. It may inspire others in their own call:
What was life like before you were a Christian?
How did you come to know Jesus?
Why do you want to be a priest?
c. Don't sing the prayers
d. Choose hymns that people know with a tune they can follow.
e. However committed the person, no one wants a service to last two hours.
10. I went to the licensing of the Vicar of my old church last week. Firstly, the bun fight afterwards was a little taste of heaven seeing old friends and faces, eating sumptuous food and drinking good wine. Secondly, in the morning I had discussed whether or not we can be considered 'the treasure' in the parable of Matt 13. The answer of most of the commentators is no. So this bit of the liturgy was interesting to me:
The Bishop extends his hands over the Vicar and people and says:
The Lord declares this day that you are his own, his treasured possession; work together as a people holy to the Lord your god, and may God meet all your needs from his glorious riches.
All: To God be the glory for ever and ever. Amen
Saturday, July 01, 2017
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
2. I friend is being ordained on Saturday which is exciting and I am planning to attend. He invited me by text saying 'You got me into this; so you'd better come'. He will make a fine Vicar. I read this reflection on the nature of ministry and found it a timely challenge.
3. I am greatly enjoying 'The Story of Reality' :
4. Someone asked me on Sunday about the C of E's latest agenda items on sexuality. I pointed them to Ian Paul's piece entitled 'Three miracles'. Won't it be great if the GS ever gets around to speaking about mission and evangelism before deciding to schism.
5. I preached on Sunday about heaven and hell and I tried to tell it as Jesus did. One of the most challenging sermons I have ever listened to is 'Why we all need to gospel' by Francis Chan.
6. Sometimes on a Monday morning it pains me how few in Barnes are in church.
7. I am increasingly convinced that pastors need the skills of the cross-cultural missionary. Yesterday I was reading a book by Andrew Walls and this quote struck me:
'About the third year of my liberation from slavery of man, I was convinced of another worse state of slavery, namely, that of sin and Satan. it pleased the Lord to open my heart......I was admitted into the visible Church of Christ here on earth as a soldier to fight manfully against our spiritual enemies'
Samuel Crowther quoted in 'The Cross-Cultural Process in Christian History' , p157
8. This morning I wrote a sermon in my head after reading Paul's experiences in Athens. Given the above, this sermon should be one of our go-to texts.
9. I am going to do some mulling on 'The Five Marks of a Servant Leader'. Number Five reminds me of a Nouwen quote my pal used on our recent church weekend. Christians should seek to be 'downwardly mobile'
10, I enjoyed this review of David Fitches 'Faithful presence'
Saturday, June 24, 2017
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
2. The Grenfell tower disaster requires 'prayer not rage'
3. I have been mulling on the parable of the wheat and the weeds.
4. A line from Leading with a limp has stuck with me:
'Courage is fear that has said its prayers' Ann Lamott
5. I spent some time with some of the ''Senior Management" of the C of E and was left encouraged that there is something of a strategy for survival. The big idea for survival is resourcing churches that have planted to themselves plant churches. Now there's an idea. Did I mention I wrote 'Why plant churches?'
6. This article told me the average salary in Kensington and Chelsea is £123k which represents dreadful inequality. That seems to me staggeringly high or have stipends just not kept pace with everyone one else's incomes? Someone tell my Bishop- actually the truth is none of us do this for the money. I suppose a few Russian billionaires must up the average a tad.
7. Many in our days are crying for human justice. In commenting on the destruction of evil and the divine justice of the Wheat and weeds (Matt 13) Michael Green writes:
'All this is very unacceptable to people today; we do not treat evil with great seriousness, and many do not believe in a future life, a heaven and a hell where the great separation will be finalized But it is an undeniable part of the teaching of Jesus. Are we going to claim to know more about it than he?'
Green, Matthew BST, 157
8. I read 'Healing Kenosis and the Third person' with interest. I also mused at my many memories of SS reading this article that appeared a while back in GQ.
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Dads be tender with your children
A video to make you think about the best memory you have about your dad (Thinking about my own dad made me cry with thanks and loss)
5 warning signs laziness is creeping into your leadership
Make two lists
A summer list of leadership books
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
2. I have revisited and been humbled again by a book I read a while back called 'Leading with a limp':
'Few leaders operate out of confidence built on anything but the crumbling foundation of arrogance. Few know peace that is not dependent on performance. Few exercise freedom and creativity that are not bound to conventionality. And few possess the capacity to care for people that is not shadowed by either the urge to please others or to knuckle under the tyranny of "should".
Take a different path. As an act of leadership, consider the risk of giving up your life through facing, naming and bearing your weakness, and imagine the paradoxical yet promised benefits. Let's walk into that reality, but it's imperative to remember that all movement into reality requires enormous faith'. (p.8)
3. Tuition fees policy was a winner for Labour. However, I am still pondering how righting off the debts of largely middle class/privileged university students can be considered 'socialist'.VAT on private school fees was to be given back to the wealthy in no university fees.
4. I spotted someone recommending Ann Lamott's Ted talk.
5. I spent the early morning listening to an Irish friend talk about Northern Ireland. So helpful to hear from someone who actually knows something about Northern Ireland and the DUP. Much hangs in the balance once again.
6. I had to take a deep breath of air after reading today's Cranmer post.
'If “Mission is God’s way of loving and saving the world”, does not the mission leader (at every level) need not only to be “sympathetic to” that love, but to have tasted it? You might know in your brain that salt is sodium chloride, but until it has touched your tongue you cannot truly know the full meaning of Jesus’ exhortation for believers to be the salt of the earth.'
7. What a terrible fire in London.
Saturday, June 10, 2017
Bring the Books!
What if ebooks came first
Can I forgive someone who doesn't confess wronging me?
Scottish church and gay marriage
The Tory election was a self-inflicted disaster
Bernie Saunders vs the Christian worldview
How I started reading the Bible every day.
Thursday, June 08, 2017
For those of you still working it all out Ian Paul has these three posts:
Why I am a Christian voting for Labour
Why I am a Christian voting Conservative
Why I am a Christian voting Liberal Democrat
The only advise I am willing to offer is vote for someone. If you don't vote you can't complian....
Tuesday, June 06, 2017
1. For a long time it's struck me that it's very possible to lead a church without both prayer or personal Bible reading. This was born out when I read an interview with David Platt, a Bible teacher and preacher I respect. who confessed at the height of his success speaking internationally and writing he had all but stopped engaging with God in the scriptures for himself. There is a stat that is sometimes trotted out that pastors spend less than 5 minutes a day in prayer and scripture which of course I have no way of verifying. The best I could find was this which is happily a tad more encouraging.
2. I have a Facebook Vicar friend who is brimming over with successful initiatives and enthusiasm and offers this across the internet in short films about his church, marriage and life constantly. He really is, as far as I know, a genuinely good and Godly chap, but I have decided that it would not be helpful for me to mirror his approach. I learnt recently that the word enthusiasm comes from the Greek roots en and Theos, meaning in God. Batterson writes on this....'the more you get into God, and the more God's Spirit gets into you, the more impassioned you become' (Play the man, p 81). Though I agree and am something of an enthusiast myself, I resist going on camera as one because I am not sure it would be good for my heart.
3. There was a lady interviewed about her son on the BBC post-London Bridge who spoke about 'religions' in a way that I imagine many secular people would. She quoted the first commandment as 'Thou shalt not kill' and of course it's semantics to point out that it's not. However, we are, as the Archbishop has noted, a theologically illiterate nation and he has had some courage on 'Today' to say as much. He is doing his job which is directing the conversation towards Jesus.. I also read this piece in the Sun quoting my local MP who seems to suggest radicals go to Syria 'for foreign travel and to find a wife'. She might perhaps do well to educate herself slightly better on the theology of Jihad.
Monday, June 05, 2017
2. Archbishop Cranmer has a challenging piece about some of the more stark realities of Islam that politicians to date have been reluctant to articulate. For more about the why's of relativism in our culture do read 'Against the flow'.
3. This was an interesting piece on leadership.
4. I have been mulling on the trend in the C of E to make more 'senior' appointments to head office of varying types and titles tasked with dreaming up new ideas all captured in courses or pamphlets. A Vicar pal commented to me recently that expansion in the upper tiers of an organisation is generally an indication of its final days. He went on to say 'We are greatly deluded to think the answer to decline is more management from above'....'the church is a bottom up organism'.
5. I listened to 'On the mountain' while I was away and it's worth your time.
6. Mrs C did a short talk on our church weekend which she would not want me to tell you about.
7. Batterson's 'Discipleship Covenant' is an interesting idea for any believer not just as a rite of passage for a son. He quotes Diana Nyad's little phrase 'You must set your will' (Play the man, P.168) which is a challenging one.
8. I think people have warmed to Corbyn because he has an integrated front stage and back stage. For more on this, you should dive into the work of Simon Walker. I genuinely have nothing more than a hunch but I think due to this fact he may even be our PM by Friday. Millennials like 'authentic' and he seems to be that.
9. I appreciated Tim Challies on 'Prioritize the local church'
10. I spent the evening with Mrs C watching 'One love Manchester' which told me a few things
a. I've turned into my dad
b. Justin Bieber with just a guitar and voice was simple and moving. I confess I had never heard a song of his (see point a)
c. Imogen Heap was a bit flat or was it just me who thought that?
d. No cameraman was interested in a rear view shot of any artist apart from Little mix.
e. It struck me as interesting that a large crowd chose to sing about love on the day of the festival that celebrates and remembers its outpouring. For more see Acts 2.
f. What a sweet young women Ariande Grande seems to be.