Friday, August 31, 2007

Missional liberalism

This is the problem, I think, with liberal religion. What it seeks to do is to maintain a space between conservative religion on the one hand and secularism on the other. But in fact it spends too much time concerning itself with conservativism and not enough time dealing with secularism.

I worry that Unitarnianism in the West had a parasitic relationship with conservative religion. Where conservative religion is strong, as in the United States, Unitarianism does well scooping up a certain percentage who rebel against conservative religion, because it is refreshingly different. But where secularism is strong, as in the United Kingdom, it fails utterly as a powerful religious force. Unitarianism too often seeks to answer the question - why belong to this faith community as opposed to another faith commmunity? But too little seeks to answer the question - why belong to any faith community at all?

We have no idea how faith development works as a transition from unchurched to liberal church. The path of unchurched to conservative church is well documented. The path from conservative church to liberal church is well documented. But how does one go from unchurched to liberal church? It seems that few people do that. Are we prepared to accept the fact that we need conservative religion to define ourselves and to grow?

What is required is a strong missional liberalism that provides something more solid than secularism, as opposed to something less solid than conservativism. This will require a change in our culture and our theology if we are to have any hope of reaching the unchurched.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Kick-ass chalice

OK, this is a bit geeky-liturgical talk, sorry, but hey.

After my previous post about looking for a kick-ass chalice I was on the look out in Taize for something and found what I think is pretty cool.

It's a chalice that's actually a chailce. A chalice, along with a plate that could be used for communion. Plus an oil lamp that can be placed on top of the chalice giving - a flaming chalice. It's not designed to do that, but it works pretty well.

I haven't lit it yet, I suppose I need to get some oil. I'm not really sure how oil lamps work. I may set myself alight.

But - it's good, isn't it?



Saturday, August 11, 2007

In case you're interested...

This is pretty much my christology:

Thursday, August 09, 2007

DESO will close!

From Speak:

SPEAK's campaign to close DESO with Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and Fellowship of Reconciliation (FoR) has succeeded at long last! We warmly welcome the Prime Minister's announcement that he will shut DESO the arms marketing unit funded by public money. SPEAK have been praying and campaigning about this since 2003 and we hope it will mean an end to the wider Government promotion and support of the arms trade that our Counting the Cost arms trade campaign focusses on. Read more in SPEAK's press release and take action with our sample letter.

The Prime Minister's announcement said that in future military export promotion will be the responsibility of UK Trade and Investment, the body that supports all UK exports. UKTI reports to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, the former Department of Trade & Industry. We will monitor UKTI to make sure that military exports, which form less than 2% of total UK exports, do not use a disproportionate amount of its resources.

Take Action Today - let's keep up the pressure!
- Please write to the Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP, Prime Minister, 10 Downing Street, London SW1 2AA or email him saying how delighted you are that DESO is to shut and expressing your hope that this is the first step towards ending all subsidies for arms exports - see our sample letter.
- Pray that DESO's closure will see a real shift in wider government support and promotion of the arms trade!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Taize


I thought I would go to Taize and read a lot and sit in the church every night praying. I thought I would spend a lot of time sitting quietly in the sun reflecting on the meaning of life.

God said to me: You tit, you don't need that. There will be a time for that. What you need is to laugh, to giggle, to meet people, to talk to people, to connect with people. What you need is to make jokes, dance, play games. What you need to do is rap the theme tune of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Let's Get Ready to Rumble by PJ and Duncan. You need to be yourself and remember that you are a silly person, not at all the serious person you've been trying to be for the last year, maybe more. Do this, and you will understand Incarnation and will receive me.

God was right.

Nothing Can Ever...


"Nothing can ever come between us and the love of God,
The love of God revealed to us in Christ Jesus."