At 7.00am yesterday morning the monument that marked where Franco held a secret meeting in some woods in Tenerife was taken down… down… down. Just three weeks ago Gayle and I with Jonathan, Rachael and Masie Birch were right there praying for it to come down. At one level it might well have come down without us – but what the heck we are well happy.
For Gayle and I as we come to the end of our seventh year it marked a huge full-circle scenario. This year our focus has been on the Civil War as Franco died 40 years ago this year. It is full circle when armed with revelation from Michael Schiffmann we went to Palma and discovered that the key family there was the source of the finances that started the Civil War (Franco was based in Tenerife, mainly to keep him out of trouble). In Palma right by where we lived and in the square that housed the ‘upside down church’ that was, according to the sculptor, the device to root out all evil, was the first monument in Spain that was honouring some of Franco’s crack troops was removed, so to go in the past few weeks to Tenerife and see this monument, and today to see in the papers its removal.
Without the personal involvement you might not enjoy it as much as we did today, but here is a video from someone who filmed after it had gone, then in the news links there is a video of it actually being demolished.
Sin duda, el día de ayer se inscribe en la historia al haber puesto fin a uno de los símbolos del franquismo más significativos en la Isla.
(Undoubtedly, yesterday is part of the story that brought to an end one of the most significant symbols of the Franco regime on the island.)
A few days ago Gayle was accepted on to the ‘Political Theology for Peace (Distance) PGCert of Achievement’ distance learning course at Lancaster University. She is somewhat daunted but levels of anticipation far outweigh any levels of dauntedness!!
Political Theology for Peace is a single module combining distance learning with an intensive teaching weekend at Lancaster. The ten week course aims to serve peace practitioners already located within the various occupational spheres of society and enables them to investigate contemporary political theology as a context to evaluate and test an innovative, inclusive, reconfiguration of the politics of Jesus known as kenarchy.
Obviously Gayle and I are biased toward kenarchy, and the short book that we are re-reading The Fall of the Church is a book I recommend wholeheartedly. It is so much more profound than the simple narrative of Constantine = bad!! The implications for the people of God as we grapple with the eschatological call to shape the future are very far reaching.
We are convinced that this course will be a major contribution to the next phase of our life here in Spain. Gayle is daunted and full of anticipation. I remain undaunted!!
This post is not simply to inform you of Gayle’s application but to flag up the course as a valuable resource. Check out the link and it might well resonate as an invaluable tool. If so consider applying also.
I am the main contributor to this site, though there are guest writers from time to time. Hopefully, what is presented are perspectives not the final word!
I am currently developing a part of the site with a focus on the 'gates of society'. That section will develop more as a forum with links to other articles, so that it becomes a resource for the future. I will also be looking for other contributors into the various subject-areas.
In my spare time(!!) I enjoy putting together wordpress sites, and also coaching people to make their own - open to hearing from you on that too.
Just some more blogs? No, of course not, nothing even similar... well maybe very similar indeed, but hopefully you can use them differently. At the foot of this home page you will find 10 more blogs, these ones are grouped together, they will only be replaced every few months with a new set of 10. They can be downloaded as an emagazine, or read here as blogs (click on one and read, or use the 'emagazine' link in the menu above). Here on this site you can also add your comment.
Their core focus will be toward the gates of influence in society. They will not be the final word, hopefully provocative with some practical aspects thrown in.
The first four volumes will be uploaded here in quick succession, after that a breather before the next one. You can access earlier volumes from the emagazine page using the menu at the top of this page.
So you see - nothing like a blog!!
I develop WordPress based web-sites specifically made for your site. This site here is based on WP and uses a theme that I have developed. It can be as simple as a set of posts and some pages, or a few additional elements can be added such as this animated set of tabs that are activated here. I also plan the sites so that they are mobile-friendly, being responsive, they adjust to the device being used to view them.
If interested in a site feel free to make contact. I also have various courses on WP theme development. If interested in taking one of them online, or indeed you would wish to contact me about presenting a course to a small group.
(Pre-note: if in the last few days you tried to leave a comment and was not able to, my apologies. I tightened up on spam control to such an extent that all comments were stopped!! Effective but not what I wanted to achieve. It should be fixed now.) Gayle has just applied for a post-graduate […]
40 years ago today Franco died. We have for the past 5 years focused on the issues surrounding the Civil War and are very thankful for the changes. Since we were in Tenerife and prayed at the monument commemorating the start of the Civil War we read (yesterday) that: Now 40 years after, the Canaries […]
I have been away in the UK for a week – maybe some comments in a later post – West Midlands with faithful friends in the Net and Amblecote and then Scotland with YWAM. While away I need remind no-one about the horrendous scenes in Paris, one headline saying that: Bataclan police ‘really saw hell’. […]
Ecclesiology has been somewhat lacking in theological innovation, so suggested Thomas Finger, in his two volume Theology that I read many years ago. Lacking, he suggested, because the theologians were in the main paid for by institutions that were in turn normally tied to the ecclesiastical structures. His background (Anabaptist) influenced me enormously, and through […]
It is amazing to think in a few weeks’ time we will have been in Spain for 7 years. If we have learned anything it has probably through the mistakes we have made. Over that time our lives have ‘evolved’. No way would we have predicted we would be where we are now (nor where […]
There is a major flaw in the creeds. We read for example in the ‘Apostles Creed’: I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was […]
‘A kingdom of priests’. Radical words and a radical concept. Not kings and priests. Not kings nor priests. But a kingdom of priests. The means of rulership, and what must define rulership, would be a priestly path. Not a kingly path. So a few presuppositions: God never wanted a separate priesthood. This is pretty radical […]
Revelation from the future; expectation from the past. An inevitable clash. We have to walk forward cautiously, seek to interpret, re-interpret, exercise faith – more or less yesterday’s post in summary. I have documented on numerous occasions the ‘Spanish experience’ of the square filled with 100,000 people waiting for the word of the Lord, and […]
A while back I posted on the inevitable and ‘correct’ response to revelation being that of expectation, but that expectation is normally misleading. The example of Peter (flesh and blood has not revealed this to you) indicated a high level of revelation (flesh and blood has not revealed this to you) and yet the expectation […]
A pattern in the book of Revelation is one of ‘hearing’ then ‘seeing’. John will hear a voice, for example, and then he will subsequently see something. What he sees will either clarify what he has heard or become the lens though which what he has heard will bring about a change to what would […]
In this issue there are a number of articles to respond to. Dyfed reviews Roger Mitchell’s thesis Church, Gospel & Empire. Roger’s book is his thesis so we should not expect it to be an easy read, however, with Dyfed’s review I think the book will be accessible for most. In a recent blog Roger […]
It is a simple question. Should religion be treated as a gateway in the model of the city that we explore on this blog? Martin and I have both, perhaps instinctively, said no. Then Martin invited an article on the topic: then I got to thinking: then, well, you’ll see.
“So the business leaders of today are not capitalists in the sense in which Arkwright and Rockefeller were capitalists. Modern titans derive their authority and influence from their position in a hierarchy, not their ownership of capital. They have obtained these positions through their skills in organisational politics, in the traditional ways bishops and generals […]
So much talk about the economy, but what is the economy? Is it just pounds and pence? Dollars and Euros and cents? The Cambridge dictionary defines it as “the system of trade and industry by which the wealth of a country is made and used.”
For some time I have been wrestling with the issues of money, care for the poor and how our present western economic system seeks to support people in need. As a community at Antioch, Llanelli we have a focus on ‘God’s presence and the poor’ and over many years see the day to day pressures of folks who are increasingly struggling financially in these challenging times.
‘How is it that the best of church experience in both traditional and radical expressions tends to relapse to hierarchical domination and control?’ This is Roger Haydon Mitchell’s chilling question in his introduction to his newly published PhD thesis, Church, Gospel & Empire.
It has been received wisdom for a while now that economic power is shifting from the old world to the new world. Continental Europe is faced with tremendous headwinds to do with spiraling social costs and an ageing population that means growth over the next 100 years will be hard to come by. In the developing world on the other hand very low wage rates and high worker motivation are combining to create a compelling long term argument for excess growth rates and wealth creation for those markets.
I watched a film recently ‘Ides of March’. A film looking at people on the campaign trail. The governor has sex with the intern (definitely a big ‘no’ in the film)… However, the areas that were far more challenging though were to do with the ethics of winning votes. One example were meetings with fellow politicians to gain their endorsement. Making a deal so that votes could be guaranteed – in return a position in the forthcoming government.
Definitions of course have their limitations, but I was provoked and challenged when sitting listening to a Zimbabwean speak. His question to us was to consider what are we were investing into. To help us he used the two phrases of ‘artificial’ and ‘creational’ wealth. One he said was how the (industrialised) West defines wealth, but is illusionary. This he, therefore, termed ‘artificial’.
Abortion, gay marriage, Sunday trading (sorry, strike that one off, as we like that now)… All evidence that we are losing it. The ‘look, once we could see Cathedrals and church spires on the landscape, now Mosques are where churches once stood’ type of statement are all laments about what is disappearing.
Today Tony Benn passed away. A man of integrity. He said: ‘One on the practical level of action… I am extremely cautious and conservative. [In] the realm of ideas… I try to be very free.’ Here is a great interview BBC.
Italy → Europe 27 November 2013
Well, well, well Mr Berlusconi has been expelled!!! This is something we have followed for some time. A few years ago Gayle had a dream that indicated there was a process of shifts in this order:
Vatican → Rome (government) → Italy → Europe.
This follows the statement by the pope this week:
“We have to find a new balance. Otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards.”
Faith in the workplace – beyond personal? 2 October 2013
David Westlake writes about the work place… noting that in the recent talks he listened to on faith in the workplace that they talked of: 1. Personal fulfilment 2. Personal morality 3. Personal stewardship 4. Personal evangelism and 5. Personal performance. He writes ‘You might have noticed a theme!’
UN urges Spain to deal with past
United Nations experts have urged Spain to investigate what happened to thousands of people who went missing during the civil war and nationalist Franco dictatorship. (Estimates are of 300,000 unmarked graves.) A rebuke for the Amnesty Law of 1977. More to be uncovered – cannot move forward by simply covering over the past. Read.
What if…? 27 August 2013
What if what we’re supposed to do is neither world-denying nor, to be sure, naïvely world-affirming, but instead robustly world-redeeming? What if our calling is to imagine engaging the world so as to make the good things of the world better versions of themselves? J.R. Daniel Kirk.
Outgoing chief rabbi 25 August 2013
Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, “If people work for the maximum possible benefit for themselves then we will not have trust in industry, in economics, in financial institutions, we will not see marriages last… It’s the fault of what we call culture, which is society talking to itself.” (Read BBC article).
Peter Enns referring to Newbigin who distanced himself from inerrancy as it is more Muslim than Christian and he held strongly to the Incarnation. Nice take!
Stealing language 1 July 2013
Great article by McKnight on how ‘complementarian’ was hijacked by the hierarchists re. men/women and the Bible. A bigger issue is of stealing language – disempowers those who used it prior. He (not often a she!!) who tells the story controls the glory.
5.4% increase in millionaires 19 June 2013
Spain is in crisis financially, but the number of millionaires (US$) has increased 5.4% over this past 12 months. Source.
Eating together 23 May 2013
The second group exhibit very different traits and practices; these are churches where eating together is the new ‘Sunday service’. For these small communities, access to communal spaces, such as cafes, large vicarages and community houses, can make a crucial difference to their growth and sustainability. Young adults attending these types of churches may struggle to make the leap to more traditional forms of church as they get older. This suggests the determining factor here is not their age or life stage and that these new forms of church will continue to grow and develop. The recognition of these small sacramental communities as church is vital, both for the sustainability of these fledgling churches and for the building up of the wider church.
Beth Keith (Church Army in Sheffield) report: Authentic faith: fresh expressions of church amongst young adults
Short post on Revelation 12 May 2013
Kurt Willems (good Anabaptist name) has a good post on Revelation and how to read it.
Open Theism 9 May 2013
A set of videos from a recent Open Theism conference. Very easy to follow… Boyd claims ‘open view is how everyone naturally lives’.
I have just completed a chapter for a forthcoming book that Roger Mitchell is putting together. Kenarchy and the eschatological hope is my title. Hope it is accepted as I really enjoyed writing it. The core is the eternal nature of the Incarnation, with the implication that the parousia is the presence of Jesus of Nazareth, not another Jesus.
Change of view 7 April 2013
When we finally realize that our existence is to improve the world, and not escape it, we will grasp that the church is not the point. The kingdom is the point. (in Missional Communities by Reggie McNeal).
Much of the material that will be central to these posts will cover perspectives on the 'gates' of society, the places of influence that shape the culture. If transformation is a desired outcome, such aspects as strategic prayer and understanding the redemptive gifts of places will play their part. As prayer opens up space, filling it will be vital, not in a controlling, top-down sense, but with a servant spirit. Finding appropriate terminology is difficult. Maybe 'transformation' is not the right term, perhaps 'transfiguration', where inner qualities burst through.
I have chosen to use the term 'gates' and although they can be defined any number of ways these are the seven ways I have chosen to group them by:
These are in two formats. Epub can be read in many ereaders, such as Ipad, kobo etc.; if using a kindle then the format will be mobi. If there are difficulties in reading the format an internet search should show any peculiarities for your specific ereader