Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022)

No doubt we are all saddened and moved by the death of our Queen.  Whether a staunch Royalist or not, one cannot but be moved that the end of an era has now happened.  I remember making a flag to wave for the Queen as she swept through Weymouth and Wyke Regis in her black car in 1976.  At the time, my friend Gary stood on my foot and as I looked down in disproportionate agony, she passed by.  I’ve never quite got over that. 

Only last year my 5 year old daughter was invited to knock on the Queen’s front door at Sandringham.  Obviously she was disappointed the Queen didn’t answer the door personally and invite her in for afternoon tea; we all were – I wanted to explain why I was looking down when she came to Weymouth, and maybe even dob Gary in – I’m sure she would remember!  Anyway, we went into the marvellous house anyway, and what a treat it was. 

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BOB: ‘Brilliantly Difficult’ documentary film OUT NOW

A great documentary charting the work of political cartoonist, and cultural interpreter extraordiaire Bob Moran, former cartoonist for the Telegraph, has been made available here. It is a truly inspiring account that has helped thousands (millions?) around the world especially during the past two and a half years.

Since this is a theology blog, it would be remiss of me to fail to point out that characters like BOB and his wonderful family are the type of people God raises up “for such a time as this” – and that their courage gives courage, just as in days of old.

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How Tyrannies Come In

Rev Dr William Philip has written a great piece in Evangelicals Now about the rise of the veneration of the scientist in our day as that which uses elected figures as puppets and assumes themselves to be the source of all guidance and authority in all matters of public and private life.

I have written several posts over the years denouncing and exposing this mode that functions as science, but is in fact the illigitimate disordered version of it, namely scientism, see here for an example.

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The World Has Already Decided Its Own Fate

In his ‘Theo-Drama: Theological Dramatic Theory, Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988) reflects on Revelation 18:1-24, and writes,

“In Revelation, Babylon is not overthrown in the battle with the Logos, although the Lamb and his followers make war against the kings subject to Babylon: it is destroyed and burned by its own adherents, who turn against it in hatred.

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Let My People Go

The battle for inner courage and then for action was on display in the life of Moses. Given his instructions from I AM at the Burning Bush in Exodus 3, he set out to return to the Egyptian royal court and make his one simple, four word request: “Let my people go!”

This is the tension of human history between those who love, crave and have power over other people, and the masses who simply long to be free and live free without interference. This spirit of Pharoah the tyrant is rising again like a foul smell or a painful memory we all thought had gone away. But oh no, he is arbitrarily doubling down as Pharoah increased the work load and reduced the means by which to make it harder: More bricks, less straw. Or, work harder for less; face the lash of the whip more often; increase the sense of hopelessness and defeat and you’ve shown what a big man you are. This time last year they said we would be free. And we are still not free. Next Easter for freedom, or next year in Jerusalem, as faithful Jews pray. The worst part of three weeks to flatten the curve is always the first TWO years!

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The Weird Sheep, the Scape Goat and the Carnival Clown (or Prophet)

The ‘weird sheep’ is a phrase I recently came across in a video interview with Bret & Heather Weinstein where they talked about the concept of the ‘weird sheep’, a theme they develop in their new book ‘A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century: Evolution and the Challenges of Modern Life’. This intrigued me, because I’d not heard of the term before (at least not phrased exactly like that), yet the idea of it resonated. I had, however, heard of the ‘black sheep’. It’s likely we all know about this because we’ve all got one or two in the family. It could even be me, or you.

1. ‘Weird sheep’ was a great concept to think about. Every society needs those who do not fit the normative roles and expectations of polite society. They are the ones on the margins, those who say weird and wacky things, those who, when they are socially present, others raise a knowing eyebrow to each other, signalling that “we all know they are the odd one and we are the normal ones” = the normal ones who always think they know and see things clearly. But it is the weird one that will alert a complying, self-satisfied and generally happy to maintain the status-quo crowd that something is up, or wrong, or about to go down.

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