The Pope has said that non-Catholics are not the proper church. Well, he didn’t actually say it, but a document with his name on does say it so for the sake of this post we’ll assume he did say it in the planning meetings for the document. I have been trying to get my head around this as it could now be the case that us non-Catholics have not been the proper church all along when we thought we were. It seems to me that our status as the proper church or otherwise depends largely upon whether the Pope was speaking infallibly when he said it. If I understand things correctly the Pope sometimes speaks infallibly and sometimes doesn’t.
Here is my analysis:
If the Pope was speaking infallibly and was right then the Catholics are the proper church, making us non-Catholics not the proper church.
If the Pope was speaking infallibly and was wrong, then he was not speaking infallibly. Therefore the Catholics are not the proper church. Us non-Catholics would therefore be the proper church, but the Catholics certainly would not be.
If the Pope was speaking fallibly and was right then it would at first appear that us non-Catholics are not the proper church. But, a later Pope could overturn this when speaking infallibly, in which case us non-Catholics would be the proper church even though we had thought that we were not the proper church. Of course this later Pope might be wrong, in which case the Catholics would be proved to be not the proper church, making us the proper church.
If the Pope was speaking fallibly and was wrong then us non-Catholics are the proper church. The Catholics could still be the proper church too though, as you can’t blame the Pope for getting it wrong when speaking fallibly. After all, we all do that.
Of course, it could still be the case in several of these instances that neither the Catholics or us non-Catholics are the proper church, but that a third party that we have not yet thought of are the proper church and neither us nor the Catholics are the proper church. I do not intend to discuss this though as it makes the situation unnecessarily complicated which I do not want to do.
[Minor update to remove mistake made due to fallibility]
Posted by Dave at 1:02 pm on July 12, 2007 and filed under Church, Ecumenical matters, In-depth analysis, Religion.
Surefish are organising a ‘Great Big Hymn Sing‘ at the Greenbelt Festival and are trying to find which are the 10 most popular hymns using a public vote. You can listen to music files of the music to help you decide. It sounds like a complex process with the hymns being whittled down to 50, then 25, then 10, a bit like we don’t do in church, though it’s an idea.
At last year’s festival there was a very successful ‘beer and hymns’ evening in the beer tent. Unfortunately the concept became a bit hijacked by charismatic types who started to sing dubious praise choruses in the beer tent the following night, putting everyone off their organic real lager. The beer tent staff had to extinguish their over enthusiasm by turning up some 80s music on the PA system.
I know this makes it sound like I spend my Greenbelt Festival evenings in the beer tent – I was probably just happening to be passing by on both occasions.
Above: Beer tent at Greenbelt – view from behind the bar as seen by someone who was probably just happening to be passing by.
Update: St Clement Chorlton are holding a beer festival this weekend, via Rob on the Sanctus1 blog.
Posted by Dave at 1:38 pm on July 11, 2007 and filed under Church, Festivals and Exhibitions, Greenbelt, Religion.
Today I have been thinking about the concept of ‘evangelistic blogs’. I have not been thinking about this all day obviously – I did one and a half loads of washing as well.
Yesterday the people from the Christian Blogging Awards said that my blog might fit into the ‘evangelistic blog’ category. This surprised me somewhat, as I do not really set out to write and draw in an evangelistic manner. By evangelism I am meaning telling or otherwise communicating with other people about ones faith.
The thing about evangelism is this: People can spot it a mile off and they run a mile (so they generally end up two miles from it, depending upon the relative speeds of the evangelism and their running). I have found that evangelism is probably the least effective form of evangelism. If you want to communicate your faith to someone else the best way to do it is not to try.
This means that it is quite hard to spot an evangelistic blog. The fact that someone does not evangelise on their blog could mean that they are not really interested in evangelising, or it could mean that they are evangelising using a non-evangelising method.
One thing that I have noticed is that many Christians write blogs that are, by their subject matter, only going to be of interest to other Christians. There is a place for this in some cases, but it seems to me that if Christians are only ever expecting other Christians to read their writings then something is a bit wrong. I have to say that even some of the trendy ‘emerging church’ type blogs can be particularly bad at this. This is sort of what the cartoon above is about – the fact that there is a ‘Christian internet’ that is only of interest to other Christian types.
It is my aim on this web blog to be of interest to people of whatever faith and none, though I’m sure I fail regularly especially when I start to go on about Anglican goings-on for about ten days on the trot, as happens sometimes. Recently I have not been going on about Anglican goings-on that much, as I find them baffling. Instead I have been advancing the Tour de France as a very good thing that everyone should watch (This I suppose is evangelism in its own way). It is my aim that even when pontificating on religious news stories I do so in such a way that anyone could make some sense of it, but I fear that often I end up baffling people who do not have a keen interest in such matters.
If you have been converted to Christianity by this post please say so in the comments.
Posted by Dave at 11:54 pm on July 10, 2007 and filed under Blogging, Cartoons, Church, Religion.
Premier Media are organising a blog awards evening in September, to be called the Christian Blog Awards. If you would like to be awarded for your blogging endeavours you need to send an e-mail to the organisers and then be able to turn up to a black tie event in London. You also need to be the UK I’m afraid. The rules are here.
These are the categories:
- Most Original Worship Blog
- Most Inspiring Leadership Blog
- Most Successful Evangelistic Blog
- Best Christian Newcomer Blog
- Best Young Christian Blog (under 25)
- Best Christian Review Site
- Best Provision for Youth Blog or Website
- Best Church Website
- [Update] Best Christian Social Action website or blog
- [Update] Best Creative Christian Blog
Unfortunately I do not really fit any of these categories, so I do not think I can enter. In fact the categories seem a bit narrow to me and probably rule out about 70% of the Christian blogs I read, which seems a shame. In my case I really need a category entitled ‘Best miscellaneous and in-depth analysis blog (with drawings)’. I will write to them and suggest such a thing. [Update: see below for new categories added after this was posted]
Also there does not seem to be a closing date. I will write and ask them about that too.
Thanks to Inspire Magazine for the information about this.
Update: I’ve received the following e-mail about the categories:
Thanks for getting in touch, and thanks for posting about the awards on your site. With the weblog awards being in their first year things are evolving as entries come in.
Some award categories have been mentioned on the site, but we were purposefully waiting for queries such as yours to come in as a method of creating new award categories. Many people have submitted their sites and said ‘i don’t know which category i fit in but would like to enter’, so if you do that yourself, you should see a few more categories being posted on our site in the next few days.
Looking at your site, whether you consider it to be or not, we think that your site is evangelistic in that it’s reaching people in a clever way… anyway, new categories will appear soon, fear not!
Thanks again for your interest.
Update 2: there are now some new categories:
We’re pleased to announce two new categories for the Blog Awards this year. They are Best Christian Social Action website or blog and after some wise prompting from a few entrants who weren’t sure which category to enter, Best Creative Christian Blog.
If you are interested in entering but you’re still not sure which of the ten categories to list your blog under, drop us a mail and we’ll do our best to recommend one!
Posted by Dave at 11:28 am on July 9, 2007 and filed under Blogging, Church, Religion.
We made a last minute spur of the moment to go down to Kent today to see stage one of the Tour de France, and I’m very glad we did. Rather than attempting to see (or not see) the finish in Canterbury we made our way to an obscure stretch of road somewhere in the middle of nowhere, unfolded our Greenbelt folding chairs and sat by the road in the sunshine eating lunch and generally having a marvellous time.
About two hours before the race the ‘caravane’ comes through – lots of weird and wonderful advertising vehicles dispensing free gifts. I rather liked these yellow wheely bins:
We collected quite a few goodies – I’ll try to gather them all together tomorrow and take a photograph.
The excitement builds in intensity as the race approaches. Then, all of a sudden… swoosh… as the ‘peleton’ zooms by at great velocity (note the clapping hands – included in the photo to give a sense of the atmosphere):
Nearly all of them sped by at once, except one who was a minute or two behind, and this guy, who tootled past 5 minutes later having obviously not had the best of days:
All in all a great spectacle. If you’re in the UK then you can watch the Tour every day (I think) at 7 on ITV4.
Other bloggers who saw the Tour:
Diamond Geezer was at the Prologue
Onionbag blogger took some great photos
Steve Collins took some good Prologue photos
John Davies watched Stage 1
Jonny Baker took Prologue pictures
I’ll add more as I find them.
Posted by Dave at 10:46 pm on July 8, 2007 and filed under Cycling.
Posted by Dave at 11:58 pm on July 7, 2007 and filed under Cycling.
I happened to be loitering outside Lambeth Palace this afternoon, and noticed this sign next to the door.
There are several observations one could make, but the one that particularly came to mind is that the safe arrival of guests at the Palace depends entirely upon the correct placing of six coloured drawing pins.
It concerns me that ne’erdogooders could, if armed with reasonable fingernails or, heaven forbid, some extra coloured drawing pins, create havoc in the Palace and therefore the entire Anglican Communion. Visitors to the Archbishop’s cottages could turn up at the library, visitors to the flats could be mistaken as Advisors, and all sorts. It would be a scene of utter chaos.
Let’s just hope and pray it never happens.
[Unrelated aside. Saw some of the Tour de France opening ceremony in Trafalgar square this evening. It has really buoyed me with enthusiasm for the race over the next two days. If you get the chance to be anywhere near London or Kent to see the Tour then I'd say do.]
Posted by Dave at 11:54 pm on July 6, 2007 and filed under Anglican goings-on, Cycling, Religion.
This cartoon is available to re-use on your blog. You can find the code at We Blog Cartoons.
Facebook. Don’t we all just love it. I was first sent an invitation and joined up back in November when it was still more of a student thing. I found it a really marvellous way to catch up with people who had been in my youth group when I was a youth worker, and it still is. Of course now it has mushroomed, overtaking other social networking websites by a long way in the circles I move in.
There are downsides of course. I have heard people talking about Facebook as being a sort of an online ‘gated community’ or ‘walled garden’, as discussed by this popular web blogger. I can’t remember why this is a bad thing, but I seem to recall that it is. Something to do with the fact that if you are in inside it is all very well, but outside there is wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Then there are the security and privacy aspects, which do concern me. Richard has some things to say about this. I’m wondering whether there are implications that we haven’t quite realised yet. I know you can set your privacy levels and everything, but I think there are some security issues that will become apparent before too long. Some of us might just realise that we’ve shared just a little too much with just a few too many people. There are people I know who have chosen not to be a part of Facebook -perhaps one day we will realise how wise they were.
One of the good things about Facebook is that for most people it isn’t a mad rush to get numbers of friends, as Myspace often seems to be. There are people who have 700 friends or 1286 friends or something like that. These are, one supposes, people who will be friends with anything that moves. Personally I tend to prefer to only add people as friends if I know them… more or less. I’m not sure what the social implications of not adding someone as a friend are if they request it. I suppose they’ll just hate you for ever.
Posted by Dave at 12:07 am on July 6, 2007 and filed under Cartoons, New Weblogcartoons cartoons, Technical.
Christian Aid are about to undertake what they describe as the longest protest march ever in the history of, well, everything. It is in aid of Global non-warming. There are no vacancies for marchers, but there is one vacancy for a driver to drive an electric vehicle around Britain at 4mph. To me this seems like quite a good deal. You get all the fun of being involved but without the blisters. At 4mph you can take in details like flowers in the hedgerows etc. If you see something interesting slow down to 3mph for a bit. Heck, you can always speed up to 5mph for a bit to catch up.
If you don’t get this job (and most of you won’t as there is only one vacancy) there are various big rallies and small teas you can go to. You can join a group on the Facebook too. It’s all in aid of campaigning for the supremely important cause of stopping the world’s poor being having their lives ruined by the selfish actions of the rich, ie us.
Posted by Dave at 1:38 am on July 5, 2007 and filed under Environment, Justice.
From the event page for New Word Alive on Facebook:
In addition, you agree not to use the Service or the Site to:
- register for more than one User account, register for a User account on behalf of an individual other than yourself, or register for a User account on behalf of any group or entity;
To quote the Old Testament prophets: Dear me, dear me, dear me.
I hereby call upon New Word Alive to repent or I shall start to rend my garments and pronounce all manner of judgements against them, perhaps waving a copy of their doctrinal basis whilst I do so.
Update: New Word Alive have heeded my rebuke and removed their illegal username from the wall. Oh well, there goes my shocking exposé. I hope some of you enjoyed my exposé whilst it was an exposé.
Posted by Dave at 11:12 pm on July 4, 2007 and filed under Church, Religion.
1. When a blogger starts to tear paragraphs out of the paper and post them it is a clear sign that they have lost their way, unless of course they did not start out with a clear direction in the first place.
2. When a blogger posts at 23.59 hours it is a sure sign that they have falsified the time so as to give the appearance of daily posting when in fact they have fallen short of their stated ideal.
3. A 23.59 hours posting is also a sign of a lack of inspiration and, in extreme cases, faltering morale.
Posted by Dave at 11:59 pm on July 3, 2007 and filed under Utter nonsense.
This is a three minute cartoon, which explains why it looks a bit odd. The dogs look like crosses between sheep and rabbits, but that is just the angle. The man walking is stooped over owing to the burdensome cares of life which are weighing heavily upon his weary shoulders. The trees are just there for scenic effect, so I have put a minimal amount of effort into them. You will notice that there is one tree near the three dog walkers, but three trees near the single non dog walker. This is hidden symbolism.
I have noticed that it is not really acceptable to go walking in our local country park without a dog or a child. I suppose this is why people have dogs or children. The advantage of a dog over a child is that a dog can be walked on any day of the week, whereas children are mainly walked at the weekends.
Yesterday I went walking for about two hours. We are blessed with a country park that is a few minutes from the house and it does not take long to get to a point where you could be in the countryside as long as you go in one particular direction. From some of the lofty points you can see Canary Wharf and the Gherkin, as we are the first bit of quite high ground that you come to if you go east from London. It really was quite beautiful yesterday evening, what with the sunshine and everything.
I have put up a poll in the left hand column to see what you take when you go walking. It will help me to see whether I am odd when I walk, or whether it is the people giving me odd looks who are odd.
[Update: results of poll are to the right.]
Posted by Dave at 7:44 pm on July 2, 2007 and filed under Essex Life, In-depth analysis.