Wednesday: Trust

Below is my script for Pause for Thought on BBC Radio Devon:

As my daughter and I were recently watching Disney’s ‘The Jungle Book,’ she snuggled in as the snake began his manipulative charm on Mowgli, singing, “Trust in me, just in me…’

Even she could see his sinister intent!

So far this week we’ve looked at the themes of following and anxiety, and now we turn to trust.

Not everyone who says they can be trusted are to be trusted.

Trust is a crucial aspect of human flourishing, and great damage is done when trust is broken.

holloway-kaa-the-jungle-book

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Tuesday: Contentment

Below is my script for Pause for Thought on BBC Radio Devon (at 25 minutes and 38 seconds in):

 

Recently, I  was watching The Jungle Book with my two year old daughter.

Yesterday we looked at the ‘Elephant March Song’ and what it means to follow.

The second song that got my theological juices going was Baloo’s song ‘The Bare Necessities’.

 

Most people thrive when they have enough of the right things in life.

But how to determine what is enough is the big question.

What might be enough for one person, is ruinous to another.  

baloo

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Monday: Following

Below is my script for Pause for Thought on BBC Radio Devon (at 24 minutes & 22 seconds in):

In my role as a Baptist Minister, I meet incredible people.  Whether in the church I serve; or with trainee youth workers in the South West, or international missionary Bible students.

Their motivation to pursue the truth of Christian faith is compelling and inspiring.

 

The other day, I came home from work and was summoned into the living room by my recently adopted two year old daughter.

 

She was watching the 1967 version of The Jungle Book – I was commanded to sit and watch it with her.  And of course I obeyed!

colonel

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“Is there a God?” asks Stephen Hawking

“Is there a God?” asks Stephen Hawking

Is there a God? asks world famous theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author, Stephen Hawking in his posthumously published book Brief Answers to the Big Questions.  He begins answering it with these words:

brief-answers-to-the-big-questions“Science is increasingly answering questions that used to be the province of religion.  Religion was an early attempt to answer the questions that we all ask, but nowadays, science provides better and more consistent answers, but people will always cling to religion because it gives them comfort, and they do not trust or understand science.”

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An Honest Spiritual Life

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“…what is an honest spiritual life?  Perhaps we should say that it is one in which the taste for truth (rather than sincerity) has become inescapable.  We don’t know what we shall be, what face God will show to us in the mirror he holds up for us on the last day, but we can continue to question our own (and other people’s) strange preference for the heavy burden of self-justification, or self-creation, and weep for our reluctance to become persons and to be transfigured by the personal communion opened for us by Jesus.”

 

 

Rowan Williams, Silence and Honey Cakes, pg. 60

Banishing Amiable Religiosity

During his 1907 Lyman Beecher lectures on preaching at Yale University* (these lectures became his classic Positive Preaching and the Modern Mind), Forsyth shared the three ways in which he thought the Church suffers:  i. from triviality.  ii. from uncertainty.  iii. from satisfaction (with itself, or more specifically, complacency).

He later went on in that address to emerging pastors and preachers to make this statement:  “What we need is not the dechurching of Christianity, but the Christianizing of the Church.”  This was his answer to the three ways the church suffers.  But how was this to happen?  Here’s what he said and he may well have been speaking yesterday:

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The Span of My Life

The Span of My Life

415poJLcTBL“When I consider the span of my life absorbed into the eternity which comes before and after – as the remembrance of a guest that tarrieth but a day – the small space I occupy and which I see swallowed up in the infinite immensity of spaces of which I know nothing and which knows nothing of me, I take fright and am amazed to see myself here rather than there; there is no reason for me to be here rather than there, now rather than then.  Who put me here?  By whose command and act were this time and place allotted to me?”

 

 

Blaise Pascal, Pensees, Section one: Papers Classified by Pascal:  III Wretchedness 68, pg. 19 (Penguin Classics, 1995)