Thinking Faith blogs

Do not trust in these gods!

This is a short tract about men and women who are believed to be divine.

      

Do not put your faith in Prince Philip, Maradona or Tendulkar

 

Mathematician Pythagoras was worshipped by many.

He urged his followers to worship the Number 10.

He died in 495 BC.

Alexander the Great was revered as a god.

Some say he is responsible for 3,500,000 deaths.

He died in 323 BC.

Caesar Augustus was worshiped by millions.

His followers believed he could wipe away their sins.

Time to grow?

Like many who are not schoolteachers, NHS staff or other key workers, in these recent weeks I have been getting used to spending most of my time at home, getting very acquainted with Zoom and the various tools we are using for online teaching at the university where I work. It’s been quite enlightening (and at times quite shocking!) to see how this period of enforced restriction has affected my sense of time: little jobs can stretch out to fill a whole day, and often I will look at the clock (or the calendar!) and be startled to see how much time has passed.

Writing acknowledgements: depending on others

Just over a week ago I submitted my doctoral thesis. One of the most enjoyable parts of the final few weeks of this process was writing the acknowledgements. Before sitting down to do this, I had thought to myself: "I'm not going to be one of those people who writes pages and pages of acknowledgements. It's self-indulgent and a bit too much like showing off. Surely a paragraph or two will be enough."

Become a Consumerist Today

Become a Consumerist Today

My name is Ron and I am a lad from London.

I am a consumerist.

My life is all about consuming cars, motorbikes, haircuts and films.

I will be a millionaire in ten years.

This is what I believe.

Take it or leave it.

The world is a stockpile of raw materials.

Iron ore, copper, soil, plants, animals are there for the taking.

We turn this stuff into commodities like fridges, tellies, golf clubs.

Nice!

I am a selfish calculating machine.

George MacDonald, Anxiety, and Joy

George MacDonald (1824-1905) was a Scottish clergyman and writer who profoundly influenced the fiction and non-fiction works of C.S. Lewis. One of Lewis’s lesser-known publications is an edited collection of MacDonald’s writings: the book can be hard to find in print now, but a dear friend gifted my a copy of it two years ago, offering me a valuable 'guided tour' of MacDonald's profound, if at times abstruse, writings on life and faith.

What is Evil?

        Trying to redeem the humble 'tract'. Saying something important in just 400 words.

 

How do you Make Sense of Evil and Suffering?

 

I’m sure you’ve noticed all the evil and suffering in the world.

Ponder the wars, rapes and murders that we hear about on a daily basis.

It’s probably over the top to mention Hitler but you get my point.

Former England football manager Glenn Hoddle was sacked because of his take on evil.

In 1999 he said that disabled people deserve to suffer because of their bad karma.

Solitude and unity: a medieval perspective

Like many of you, I spent yesterday morning, not at church, where I would usually be, but sitting on my sofa at home in front of a laptop, watching a livestream of my pastor preaching to an empty building. In just a week, it seems, everything has changed. The Covid-19 pandemic means that ordinary Sunday services, along with most other kinds of social gathering, won't be possible for some time to come. It's unprecedented and unsettling (though I'm very grateful for the technology that enables virtual connections of various types).

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