Saturday, November 24, 2007

Everything I needed to know in life I learnt from He Man

After all, if practical jokes go wrong, you can lose an arm.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Me and Jesus: Episode 8

'Jesus is not a proposition to be believed, nor an outward figure to be seen and adored but simply a spirit to be loved, a spirit of obedience to God that must be incorporated into our spiritual being.'

Keshub Chunder Sen, nineteenth century leader of the Brahmo Samaj

I suppose I'm growing into a place where I can more comfortably identify as Christian. What I really want, what I've really been waiting for is to be 'convicted,' to have some kind of a definite moment of decision that sets a direction for my spritual path. I've been waiting for an 'ah ha!' moment when I'm sure that this is right for me.

But perhaps there is something important about making a commitment without this 'conversion' moment. Perhaps today in postmodern Britain covinction is frowned upon, and for good reasons. Perhaps I can be faithful while being unconvinced, perhaps I can be committed while being critical, perhaps I can believe while doubting. Perhaps I need to do that. Perhaps that's a spiritual lifestyle that needs modelling.

Perhaps God is calling me to a vocation of being an open, stumbling, ambivalent, critical Christian. Perhaps I can be 'in Christ' while still asking 'what the hell does being in Christ mean?'

Perhaps I won't become a Christian by reading a book, even the Bible. Perhaps I will only become a Christian by doing the Christian thing.

When I think of places where I've felt the spirit of God most I think of a few places: a community of prayer and reconciliation in France, a tiny queer Methodist church in Massachusetts, a group of young adults campaigning for internation trade justice in Manchester. Christian places, Christian communities. Maybe I should look at these places rather than in books to convince me of the rightness of the Christian path for myself.

So I stumble along the path towards being an unconvinced faithful Christian.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Polish Anabaptist Unitarianism

If you're interested in re-engaging with the radical Anabaptist roots of Unitarianism to provide models for a stronger, evangelical radical Unitarian movement for Post-Christendom (like me), then you might be interested in this. If you're not, then you'd probably find it a bit boring.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Waste of time?

How much preaching is a sheer waste of time? We pray, we study, we reflect, we craft a sermon, we illustrate it with stories, we deliver it with passion and integrity – but it has very little impact on those who listen to it. They are too polite to say so usually, but it did not really engage their attention, address their concerns or affect their lives. Some give up after a few weeks or several years and leave our churches. How many of the thousand people a week who have left British churches in the 1980s and 1990s did so because they were bored by our sermons? Others remain and listen to perhaps 100 sermons a year, but with what result?

Stuart Murray Williams