Tuesday, September 16, 2008

By Request

As a follow up to the post with the Apache break - a request has come in for the following-

There you go Rob. I aim to please.

Friday, September 12, 2008


I blogged about this fascinating film here.

I've only just come across this interview with the director David Di Sabatino, from the Mars Hill website.

worth a listen. (I recommend skipping the pastor's waffling for the first 10 minutes)

ht: jon swales

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Breaking News

William is going to have a little brother or sister. Went today for a 12 week scan at Southmead, and everything looks ok so far.
Due date is 25th March.

This calls for a celebration. How about the greatest breakbeat ever -

The break from apache by The Incredible Bongo Band.

Oh, ok, here's a bit more -

or how about the Amen break, from Amen Brother by The Winstons-

the basis of all Drum and Bass, here it is looped and speeded up to 160 BPM -

Recorded from vinyl into Garageband, trimmed, looped, sped up, then converted to mp3.

Do I know how to waste time or what? But hey, it's a good day.

sad news

I was shocked and saddened to read this news. I can't claim to have known Bigbulkyanglican, Tom Allen, but I have been reading his blog for years. I always enjoyed his passion for music, his thoughts on mission in a traditional setting and his wisdom. My sympathy and prayers are with his family.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Just testing out this new piece of software called macjournal
It lets me edit a blog entry offline then publish it straight to my blog.
Need to play around with it a bit to see if it actually gives me anything worthwhile.

Related Tags:

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Open Source Theology

A couple of entries on open source theology which I found interesting. The first is Andrew Perriman's review of a chapter by Mark Driscoll in a book called The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World edited by John Piper and Justin Taylor. A very fair review which highlights some of the points of conflict between Reformed and Emergent theologies.
The second is a review of Rob Bell's latest tour film the gods aren't angry which sounds like another fascinating presentation in the mould of everything is spiritual

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Dispatch 2 from the Emergent Frontier

Dispatch no. 2 from The New Christians by Tony Jones

"Emergents reject the politics and theologies of left versus right. Seeing both sides as a remnant of modernity, they look forward to a more complex reality."

This dispatch is more concerned with the US situation, where I believe both the theological and political spectrum are much more polarised than they are in the UK. We don't have 'the culture wars' in anything like the same mode.

In theological terms it is true that both fundamentalism and liberalism were responses to modernity, and both rely on a foundationalist epistemology. The fundamentalist or conservative evangelical builds on a foundation of the inerrant word of God, the bible, or a particular interpretation thereof. For the liberal, the foundation is the "feeling of utter dependence" that Schleiermacher spoke of. If any of the postmodern critique of the enlightenment project is valid then both of these traditions are in trouble and begin to look naive.

It terms of politics I take this dispatch to be an expression of the frustration which is exemplified in Jim Wallis' book God's Politics, subtitle - 'Why the American Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It'. (The fact that Gordon Brown endorsed this book so strongly shows we in the UK are in a different situation), or in bumpers stickers that say 'God is not a Republican (or a Democrat)'. The ethics of the kingdom simply do not line up straightforwardly with the left or right in this polarity.
One may be pro-life and against the war in Iraq for example. Or one may take a conservative line on sexuality, but not believe that it should be the single issue which decides an election, and that matters of social justice and concerns about poverty may be more important. I sympathise with the annoyance of Christians in the US who are sick of the so called 'religious right', but who are also nervous about the emergence of a new Christian left. I do not think the answer is an anabaptist disengagement from politics, leaving a secular vacuum into which may be sucked all kinds of forces opposed to the Lordship of Christ. So yes, a more nuanced approach for a more complex reality is needed in terms of Christian political engagement.

I understand the sentiment of this dispatch, but like I say, I don't think it applies in anything like the same way in the UK context.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Dispatch 1 from the Emergent Frontier

Dispatch no. 1 from The New Christians by Tony Jones

"Emergents find little importance in the discrete differences between the various flavors of Christianity. Instead, they practice a generous orthodoxy that appreciates the contributions of all Christian movements."

I think I broadly agree with this, although I expect that sometimes it is the discrete differences between the Christians traditions which represent the contributions that they make, if that makes sense.

If this dispatch means recognising that the various different Christian traditions all have strengths and choosing to see the best in the other traditions, then I'm on board. I don't think this means we should try and iron out the differences between us or that it means we can't critique one another.

'Generous Orthodoxy' is a phrase I like, obviously the title of Brian McLaren's book which had the fantastic subtitle of 'Why I Am a Missional, Evangelical, Post/Protestant, Liberal/Conservative, Mystical/Poetic, Biblical, Charismatic/Contemplative, Fundamentalist/Calvinist, ... Emergent, Unfinished Christian'. To some people this might read as 'why I am confused', but personally I think it's healthy.

It also reminds me of the approach taken by Richard Foster, and the other folk at Renovaré. In particular it is the approach taken in Foster's book Streams of Living Water. This arranges the Christian traditions into 6 streams:
Contemplative - the prayer filled life,
Holiness - the virtuous life,
Charismatic - the Spirit-empowered life,
Social Justice - the compassionate life,
Evangelical - the Word-centred life and
Incarnational the sacramental life

It is apparently also what Phyllis Tickle describes in her upcoming book The Great Emergence which sees the coming together of 4 quadrants - the Social Justice, the Liturgical, the Evangelical, and the Pentecostal. At least I think they were the four that Andrew Jones mentioned in his talk at Greenbelt.

I actually think I learned something of this approach in the Vineyard. Wimber used to stress that Jesus loves the whole church, from the Roman Catholics to the snake-handling Pentecostals. It is also part of my journey into the Anglican church, which I see as deep enough to explore some historical roots and broad enough to embrace the strengths of other traditions.

So yes, a tick for dispatch no. 1