The Depleted Self – how narcissism is linked to bureaucracy

I am currently continuing my reading on the writings of former Professor of Pastoral Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary Donald Capps.  I hope to write a more detailed review of the book ‘The Depleted Self – sin in a narcissistic age’, but want to write something here that struck me about his one of his comments on psychotherapeutic literature relating to narcissism.  

71evB0k1zILFirstly, narcissism is far more than mere obsessional “self-love”, following Narcissus who fell in love with his own reflection, leading to his own suicide.  Capps very helpfully takes the reader through a maze of discovery drawing on contemporary theories, and critiques the Church for failing to distinguish between the old cultural value of guilt and the contemporary ones of shame, a cause itself of anxiety.  Theologians and Churches have rather denounced “narcissistic behaviour” and being locked into a “guilt” framework have thus focused on moralistic remedies that address superficial behaviours, and not underlying ontological causes and conditions.

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Sabeel-Kairos 2019 Conference – a celebration of Palestinian culture, solidarity and action

Sabeel-Kairos 2019 Conference – a celebration of Palestinian culture, solidarity and action

Below are the details for the upcoming Sabeel-Kairos Conference which I commend to you, and published here with permission:

Sabeel- Kairos Annual Conference:
Faith in Action 2019

Our annual conference will be held at 10am-4:30pm on Saturday 29th June at Carr’s Lane Church in Birmingham.
£30 including a buffet Lunch

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Tickets are selling fast, so make sure you get yours by BOOKING NOW for a great day of Palestinian culture, solidarity and action.  Don’t take our word for it, read what our supporters said about last year’s conference and book below:“Excellent.   Dynamic, clear and very thought provoking”

“a fantastic conference”

“I am Re-energised after the conference”

“loved the sales tables and to be with so many ‘like minds’ for a change.”

“Thank you for a stimulating, challenging and thought provoking conference in Oxford today.”

“The first impression when I arrived was so good in that it was a ‘full house’”

“The day ended in a warm prayerful way to send us away with thoughts to fill our minds and to share”

“excellent speakers”

“Speakers were great and interestingly varied in their focus”

“The conference theme was highly relevant.”

“The theme was good because it answered the oft-asked question ‘what can I do?’ with practical suggestions.”

“hard act to follow when looking to the future.”

“The food was marvellous”

COME ALONG to learn more about Investing for Peace, taking part in real activism, take part in campaign actions and meet like-minded people.
Ethical investment
Campaign Action
Lunch
Palestinian Crafts and Photography
Palestinian and expert speakers
War on Want
Activist Workshops
Palestinian Food
Great Day
Rifat Kassis, Palestinian Activist.  Founding member and Director of Kairos Palestine
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David Cronin, Journalist, Activist and Author of ‘Balfour’s Shadow’

*

Prof Adam Sutcliffe, of King’s College London and Independent Jewish Voices who will lead a session on antisemitism

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There will also be a campaign workshop by Ryvka Barnard of War on Want and Charlotte Marshall of Sabeel-Kairos.

buy Palestinian food and crafts and view photo exhibitions.
Come along to meet like-minded people, have good discussions, eat, drink, buy Palestinian food and enjoy Palestinian culture.  We are expecting this to be a great day and we can’t wait to see you all there!
£30 including a buffet Lunch

Sabeel-Kairos AGM 2019

The Annual Sabeel-Kairos AGM will take place towards the end of the day, and we invite all members to stay and take part and vote for new trustees and hear about our news.  If you are not yet a member but would like to vote and join in, please complete the membership form and pay here.

We are expecting to have space on the board for a Treasurer and another Trustee.  As well as someone with an accounting/ finance background to be treasurer, we are looking for another trustee with potential fundraising, HR or charity governance experience.  We welcome all people to stand for these positions at the AGM, from anywhere in the country, all ethnic backgrounds, ages and denominations.  Please consider standing for one of these roles to help support our small, but dynamic and energetic charity!


Sabeel-Kairos
was formed in 2017 as a result of the merger of Friends of Sabeel UK and Kairos Britain.
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Kairos Britain
A network of individuals, organisations and faith communities seeking a just and lasting peace in the region based on the realisation of full human and political rights for all.Friends of Sabeel UK
Supports the Sabeel Theology Centre in Jerusalem in its work for the promotion of religion for the benefit of the community.
Supports and encourages the Christian community in the Holy Land (Israel and the Palestinian areas of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem) in their life and witness.
Raises awareness in the United Kingdom concerning Christians in the Holy Land and promotes links with them.

P. T. Forsyth a Man of Faith

See the short video (June 2019) on The Fuel Cast, filmed at Torre Abbey ruins, Torquay.

Who was P. T. Forsyth?

Peter Taylor Forsyth was born in Aberdeen, Scotland on this day in 1848 to a working-class family, and was educated there through his university years.  Afterwards, he became a Congregationalist minister serving in five successive congregations in England at Shipley, London, Manchester, Leicester and Cambridge.  

 

 

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Jeremiah the Man of Faith

See the short video on The Fuel Cast, filmed at Torre Abbey ruins, Torquay.

 

JEREMIAH

Jeremiah is a towering figure in the Old Testament at the time of the 7th and 6th  centuries BC.

 

In many ways, he is the nearest a man can get to chasing after God’s own heart.

A phrase commonly associated with King David.

But without his particular “weaknesses.”

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Book Review ‘Be Afraid’ exploring Horror, Culture and Theology

Below is my review of ‘Be Afraid – How Horror and Faith Can Change the World’ by my friend and fellow Baptist pastor Joe Haward, which was recently published in the Baptist Times.  Given a very limited word count, it was not possible to dig deeper into my comments about the theological method which relies heavily on the work of Rene Girard.  This brings an interpretive framework that can draw out different conclusions than one might expect, but is a conversation/debate that is well worth having, as it could stretch the reader beyond their theological comfort zone, which is never a bad thing in and of itself but a reference point worth remembering.  My commendation for the back cover has been edited, but here is my full version: 

IMG_0386“The bold plan in this book is to bring together the horror genre of popular culture and Christian theology, in such a way as to draw out an insightful conversation between the two. We live in a complex, violent and confused world that swings between extremes of multiple and competing ideologies, and thus continues to make the same mistakes. Using a wide range of contemporary film, writers, thinkers and ancient texts, Haward interprets “horror” theologically and shows therefore, how this genre is indeed rich pickings for discovering theological insight to “see beyond” the cultural impasse. The irony is that the “alternative vision” is a very, very old vision located in the peaceable Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

The book is well worth a read, here’s the review:

“Rare is a conversation with horror, which is why I welcome this book. Joe Haward helps Christians to make the links with theology and the horror genre of popular culture. He draws out key characteristics and then makes one direct comparison after another with biblical themes as they relate to zombies (resurrection), vampires that eat flesh and drink blood (Eucharist), violence and sacrifice (atonement), and so on.

Be Afraid Joseph Haward

It is interesting for a reader like me, because I don’t like the horror genre; but even so, many in our churches do, which means there is a preaching opportunity to be had here.

Haward’s theological method draws on the work of Rene Girard. As such, he regularly alludes to the scapegoating mechanism and mimetic rivalry, and shows how these ideas are put forth in horror and ancient religions. Sometimes this method can be at odds with biblical reception-history, yet the insights offered can prove fruitful. Reading his interpretive conclusions alongside two or three good commentaries on the subject will be a great way to interact with Girardian theory.

Haward is good at interpreting contemporary Western culture, and he is relentless in exposing consumerism, violence, trafficking, the worst excesses of social media and the human obsession with an utterly godless dystopian future. Throughout, he shines the light on the Person and work of Jesus Christ, who He is, what He has done and what it all means. If anything else, this is a master-class in helping anyone interested in the art of interpreting film through a Gospel lens.”

Isaac the Man of Faith

See the short video on The Fuel Cast here, filmed at Torre Abbey ruins, Torquay

ISAAC

Genesis (17), 21-35 (Hebrews 11)

Isaac, the miracle son of Abraham and Sarah was named after the seeming joke, that God would provide them a son in their exceedingly old age!

 

So the OAP’s laughed.  But when Isaac was born, he became the living embodiment of this great divine joke-promise.

 

I’ve not really got on that well with Isaac.

Between you and me, I’ve always found him a bit boring.

And he seems to like digging wells.

References to digging wells and drinking water litter Isaac’s story.

And this might tell us something else of his character.

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Can Science Explain Everything – a review

This review in the Baptist Times of ‘Can Science Explain Everything?’ by John Lennox, is written by my former tutor, the Revd Dr Ernest C. Lucas, who is Vice-Principle Emeritus of Bristol Baptist College and a former research biochemist:

“John Lennox is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University. He is a well-known speaker and writer on Christian apologetics, especially in the area of science and faith. This book is intended to be an introduction to the “Science and God Debate”. It is especially written for those who think that “God and science don’t mix”.

Can Science Explain Everything

In response to the claim that it is not possible to be a scientist and believe in God he points out that many of the outstanding pioneers of modern science were convinced believers in God, and that more than 60 percent of the Nobel Prize winners from 1901-2000 identified Christianity as their religious preference.

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