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.
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).
Three out of every 10 children in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Italy and Spain, Caritas claims, have been pushed to the brink of poverty. (Source: Gavin Hewitt, BBC.)
Latest stats 25 January 2013
Tremlett in the Guardian gives some of the grim stats for Spain. Almost six million people are out of work (26% of the workforce). In the south-western province of Cadiz, where unemployment averages a record 40% over all age groups.
A movement west to east 14 January 2013
“This is where the centre of gravity in Europe now lies. It has shifted dramatically to the East. In the early decades of the European project, it was driven by those who had survived the war on the Western Front.Allan Little. A further indication of the shift west to east.
120 daily protests in Spain 13 January 2013
In the past year there have been 36,000 demonstrations and rallies in Spain, regarding the economic scenario. It is now running at just under 120 on a daily basis. Some numbering in the thousands.
Locksmiths in Pamplona refuse to change locks so as banks can re-possess homes. “When you set out all you have is an address and the name of the bank, but I recall an elderly, sick man who was barely given time to put his trousers on.”
Bread lines 26 December 2012
Valencian baker producing bread cheaply and long lines. Great help for those in crisis, pressure on other bakeries. Food lines in Western Europe becoming more common.
Jesus the asylum seeker 24 December 2012
Had a wonderful evening in Roehampton… hosted by Andy and Clare Smith, and put together by Adrian and Pauline Hawkes. Met Ziya and Amanda for the first time (hope not last time). A suggestion from Ziya was understanding Jesus as an asylum seeker who found refuge in Egypt.
Peace on earth, goodwill 21 December 2012
In 2003, Iraqi townspeople, having just lost their hospital in U.S. air strikes, saved the lives of three wounded U.S. peacemakers. Seven years later, the Americans returned to thank them. Yes Magazine.
Revelation videos 20 December 2012
I have uploaded all the videos (21 in total approx 15 minutes each one) to their own page. Ideal for personal or small group study.
Does he have faith? 30 October 2012
A fascinating article on President Obama’s faith. The discussion is even more fascinating (from a European perspective) as to how a decision is made on yes/no his faith is genuinely Christian / biblical.
La autoridad by Mark:
Estoy de acuerdo, el concepto del Antiguo Testamento de Dios tiene un lugar para su n
La autoridad by Martin Scott:
Gracias. Y otro pensamiento. Cuando uso el nombre de Jesus - estoy usando con integri
La autoridad by Mark:
He aquí un pensamiento:
La idea hebrea del nombre es que es más que simplemente un
Eye for an eye by Jane:
I agree with Mark and, like him, it's taken me a long time to get there.
Eye for an eye by Martin Scott:
Mark thanks for the very moving comment. God's way of handling crime, punishment and
Eye for an eye by Mark:
Ann I am truly sorry but for most of my life I was one of those conservative right wi