The Dragon

My daughter has a story book about a boy who wakes up one day and sees a little baby dragon in his room. It’s all rather harmless and when he tells his mother about it, she tells him to stop making stuff up and get dressed and come down for breakfast, using her repeated phrase, and the title of the book, “There’s no such thing as a dragon!”

Continue reading “The Dragon”

The Abolition of Man / After Humanity: A Review

The Abolition of Man‘by C. S. Lewis (HarperCollins 2001 Edition) and ‘After Humanity – A Guide to C. S. Lewis’s The Abolition of Man‘ by Michael Ward (Word on Fire Academic, 2021).

A Review:

I don’t know how I managed to miss Lewis’s book up until this point. I found it engaging, not all inaccessible or difficult, but a little frustrating. I understand (I think) why Lewis didn’t want to tie his concerns to Christianity or even to theism. I also understand (I think) why Lewis reacts so strongly to the smuggling of a relatavist assumption into a school text book though the separation of fact and value, of course, finds its root deep in the Enlightenment far earlier than the authors Lewis has in his sights.

Continue reading “The Abolition of Man / After Humanity: A Review”

Bonhoeffer: Against stupidity we are defenseless

What a great little video and marvellous insights from a heroic pastor and theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

“‘Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice. One may protest against evil; it can be exposed and, if need be, prevented by use of force. Evil always carries within itself the germ of its own subversion in that it leaves behind in human beings at least a sense of unease. Against stupidity we are defenseless…..”

CHAPTERS 0:00 The Darkest Chapter 0:21 All for naught 0:34 Country of poets and crooks 0:55 Letters from prison 1:21 Facts for the stupid 1:35 Self-satisfied savage 1:46 Cautiously understand stupidity 2:00 A moral defect 2:18 Making people stupid 2:32 Stupid socializing 2:47 Sociological-psychological law 3:06 Stupid, not stupid 3:27 Control 3:47 The “stupid” spell 4:04 The power of liberation 4:22 Patience is a virtue 4:29 The thought lives on 4:46 Action springs not from thought

The entire Bonhoeffer quote on stupidity is here.

“Lord, deliver me, deliver all of us from a life of stupidity. Amen.”

Held by Love

A few years ago when I visited Cambodia with a team from church, I read Mike Higton’s excellent but demanding little book called ‘Difficult Gospel – the theology of Rowan Williams’. It really is full of profound insights and commentary and hightly recommended. I re-read a bit of it today (pg. 17-18) and share it here – wonderful stuff:


“We are all of us precarious creatures.  We live in environments we cannot control, and are hedged about by limits we cannot overcome.  We face frustrations, we face competition for scarce resources, and we are jostled in a confined space by the egos of others

Continue reading “Held by Love”

Pity Me

I recently finished reading the superb little book(let) by Leo Tolstoy called ‘The Death of Ivan Ilych’, and had several really interesting moments of pause.

I may write more about the story, not least so that others who like short stories will pick it up and use their Christian imagination to think upon the issues raised.

About two thirds through, with Ivan dying, in his 40’s, following an accident putting up some fancy curtains in his posh house, and in apparent great unfathomable pain, we come to his inner thoughts about deception, what he called ‘The Lie’:

Continue reading “Pity Me”

Critical Theories Exposed

Normally, I just pop a short review on whatever websites when I’ve read a good book that should be widely read (in my view at least). Sometimes I write something about a book in more detail on this blog – normally theology or some such. ‘Cynical Theories – How Universities Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity – and Why This Harms Everybody’ is one of those books that although is not theology, is excellent at charting our cultural waters, and evaluating and assessing various trends over the decades and centuries.

Here’s a taster of what is proving to be a very important book. In articulating the morph from “original postmodern’ thought to the new Theorists, we read,

Continue reading “Critical Theories Exposed”

A Word for Our Times – Why the Gulag Archipelago is a must read!

I am just starting the audio version of the Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and the Forward by Jordan Peterson is simply magnificent.  Below is the video recording of Peterson reading his own Forward, but I would advise getting the book whether in print or as I have, audio – This is supremely important today in the Western world, as a neo-Marxist tyranny threatens everything and everyone once again.  To quote Peterson on this point, “The hypothetically egalitarian, universalist doctrines of Karl Marx contained hidden ­within them sufficient hatred, ­resentment, envy and denial of ­individual culpability and responsibility to produce nothing but poison and death when manifested in the world.”

 

 

First, you defend your homeland against the Nazis, serving as a twice-decorated soldier on the Eastern front in the criminally ill-prepared Soviet Red Army. Then you’re arrested, humiliated, stripped of your military rank, charged under the auspices of the all-purpose Article 58 with the dissemination of “anti-Soviet propaganda”, and dragged off to Moscow’s infamous Lubyanka prison. There, through the bars of your cell, you watch your beloved country celebrating its victory in the Great Patriotic War. Then you’re sentenced, in absentia, to eight years of hard labour (but you got away easy; it wasn’t so long ­afterwards that people in your ­position were awarded a “tenner” — and then a quarter of a century!). And fate isn’t finished with you yet — not by any means. You develop a deadly cancer in the camp, endure the exile imposed on you after your imprisonment ends, and pass very close to death.

Despite all this, you hold your head high. You refuse to turn against man or God, although you have every reason to do so. You write, instead, secretly, at night, documenting your terrible experiences. You craft a personal memoir — a single day in the labour camps — and, miracle of miracles! The clouds part! The sun shines through! Your book is published, and in your own country! It meets with unparalleled acclaim, nationally and internationally. But the sky darkens, once again, and the sun disappears. The repression ­returns. You become (once again) a “non-person”. The secret police — the dread KGB — seize the manuscript of your next book. It sees the light of day, nonetheless; but only in the West. There your reputation grows beyond the wild­est of imaginings. The Nobel committee itself bestows upon you its highest literary honour.

Continue reading “A Word for Our Times – Why the Gulag Archipelago is a must read!”

Biblical Theology – by BW III

The whole house shook as the package hit the floor with a resounding thud!  In a few months I am teaching a module to undergraduates in Biblical Theology, and I could think of no better resource to add to my own notes and books from teaching in previous years, than this beautiful beast of a book by the great theologian Ben Witherington III.  His 2019 published work is called, ‘BIBLICAL THEOLOGY – The Convergence of the Canon’ and rocks up at nearly 500 pages!!

Continue reading “Biblical Theology – by BW III”

The Atonement: Historic and Superhistoric

“When we speak of the centrality of the Atonement, I have said, we mean much more, worlds more, than its place in a religious system.  We are speaking of that which is the centre, not of thought, but of actual life, conscience, history and destiny.  We speak of what is the life-power of the moral world and its historic crisis, the ground of the Church’s existence, and the sole meaning of Christ himself.  Christ is to us just what His cross is.  All that Christ was in heaven or on earth was put into what he did there.  And all that man’s moral soul needs doing for it eternally was done centrally there.

Continue reading “The Atonement: Historic and Superhistoric”

Website Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑