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The Christians of Southend held an event in 2005 they called ‘Love Southend‘. The Christians of Basildon have been inspired by this so are holding an event called ‘Love Basildon’.
Unfortunately it is quite difficult to find any authoritative information about ‘Love Basildon’ online, because there does not seem to be any. There is one newspaper report which tells me that 27 churches (almost 30) are involved, and that there will be an evening at the theatre with a kung fu star. I have also heard by other means that some balloons are to be given out in the shopping centre, but as far as I can find there is no other information available online anywhere, and I have done at least 2 or 3 searches. For an event that ‘wants to take the town by storm with a series of events this summer‘ I for one am mildly dissatisfied.
Until two days ago all of the ‘lovebasildon’ domains were still untaken, but I have just checked and lovebasildon.org.uk has finally been registered. Perhaps a website is on its way.
In the meantime I will have to show my love for Basildon in other ways. Perhaps I will make a t-shirt saying ‘I Love Basildon’ and wear it around Greenbelt. As a witness, sort of thing. I probably wouldn’t wear it around Basildon as I might get beaten up.
Update: The ‘Love Basildon‘ website is now online.
Posted by Dave at 4:13 pm on August 12, 2007 and filed under Church, Ecumenical matters, Religion.
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.
Today has been a Bank Holiday. This means lots of people take a day off so that they can sit at home and look out of the window at the rain. I have done so much looking out of the window that I have not finished my work, so I am having a late late night trying to do a drawing that does not really want to be done. I am such an idiot.
Anyway, enough about me. Here is a religion news story for those who have tuned in hoping for such a thing:
The University of Gloucestershire is introducing a Postgraduate course in Sport and Christian Outreach. Inspire Magazine reports here, and the Telegraph here.
Apparently a third of the Premiership clubs were founded by churches. This course will be useful for those churches who are thinking about starting a Premiership club.
Posted by Dave at 11:46 pm on May 28, 2007 and filed under Church, Ecumenical matters, Religion.
The Methodist Church has responded to my recent criticism of their yellow wallpaper by launching a new website. They do not actually say that this is why they have released a new website, but the timing seems terribly co-incidental otherwise.
Having had a look around it I think it is very good. It took me a little while to get to grips with the main 4 or 5 sections, but once I had done that I discovered a wealth of information about the Methodists and what they do.
As an aside, I have learnt that the cafe at Westminster Central Hall is called ‘Wesley’s Cafe‘. One assumes this because the Wesleys used to frequent it for tea and snacks. This might be why the wallpaper colour cannot be changed. If the pale yellow inspired ‘O For a Thousand Tongues’ they can’t really paint over it.
An additional news story because it is Saturday:
Vicars’ football teams required
This appeal has been made on the Diocese of Oxford website for football teams consisting of vicars. These will be required to play against other occupations. The Guardian are organising it. If too many teams of vicars come forward the winners will be decided on penalties.
Posted by Dave at 11:28 am on May 26, 2007 and filed under Ecumenical matters, Religion.
Premier (who do the radio) have launched a thing called ‘Cpanel‘, which describes itself as ‘the UK’s first online panel of Christians’. The idea is, to put it simply, that people who want to know what Christians think will contact Cpanel, who will ask Christians what they think and then tell the people who are asking what it is that Christians think what Christians think. According to Inspire, (where I found out about this) “Through Cpanel, a major opportunity exists for Christians to influence the nation’s leaders and policy formers over many issues of concern”.
Various points that I would like to make:
1) Christians who offer their opinions will be paid £2.50 per 15 minutes of survey time. It seems to me that this could be quite lucrative for those with long drawn out opinions, especially if you can do something else which also earns you money at the same time. If you are prone to waffle whilst multitasking then “sign up pronto” would be my advice.
2) Cpanel is a very silly name to have called it. If you search for Cpanel on the internet you will find that it is one of the main control panel systems for websites and therefore everything on the internet about Cpanel will be about website control panels. It is a bit like calling it ‘Google’ or something. There again, some words do have two meanings. Like ‘sprout’, or ‘undertaking’.
3) The problem with the idea is that in general Christians do not agree about anything, therefore finding out ‘what Christians think’ is going to a bit difficult. A bit like herding ants.
These points might not be that well thought out as I am still not 100%, though I am better than yesterday when I was about 63 or 64%. Thanks for all the kind messages.
Posted by Dave at 7:58 pm on May 25, 2007 and filed under Ecumenical matters, Religion.
This is Tim, seen yesterday renewing and serving the Christian Resources Exhibition public by means of chocolate brownies. You might remember Tim as he draws cartoons and I wrote about him. He was on the Lee Abbey
stall stand (I called them ‘stalls’ last year and got told off by the organisers).
Anyway, I enjoyed my visit to the Christian Resources Exhibition as I always do. I met all sorts of people, and had all sorts of texts sent to me to which I will reply shortly. I took a few pictures and a lot of brochures – most of which I wanted, but a few were forced upon me by over-eager exhibitors. I met up with Dave for coffee, which was marvellous.
Over the coming days I’ll post a bit about some of the more bizarre and quirky Christian resources currently available to the churchgoing public. Some of them really are quite splendid. I might mention one or two worthwhile ones too.
I might go back to the CRE tomorrow (Friday). It depends.
Posted by Dave at 3:02 pm on May 17, 2007 and filed under Ecumenical matters, Festivals and Exhibitions, Religion.
On Thursday I went to London to do a bit of thinking. I need to do thinking as otherwise I do not have any ideas, and when I do not have ideas I cannot do any cartoons, and when I do not do cartoons then there are various problems.
I like to go to places which have some sort of church connection, as there is a chance I will see interesting leaflets or see church-type people doing church-type things, all of which help my thinking along a bit.
These are some photos of some of the places I went on Thursday:
Above: The cafe at the Salvation Army headquarters near the Millennium bridge. I often go here. It is modern and spacious and there are Salvationists going about their business. I have a lot of respect for the Salvationists. The man in the picture is a Salvationist, and as you can see he is going about his business.
Above: This is the cafe at the Methodist Central Hall. It is a bit more like a canteen than a cafe, but it suits my purposes just fine. It is opposite Westminster Abbey and just down the road from Church House, the Church House bookshop and the SPCK. In the picture you can see some Methodists lunching.
Above: The only problem with the Methodist canteen is the wallpaper. It is a bit yellow for my liking. That said, I do not think that the Methodists should devote their energy to changing their canteen wallpaper as thy have many more pressing concerns. If I am to be honest the yellow Methodist wallpaper is not one of my greatest worries either.
Questions for study groups
1) Where do you go to do your thinking?
2) Why do you think the Methodists chose yellow wallpaper?
Posted by Dave at 11:59 pm on May 12, 2007 and filed under Church, Ecumenical matters, Religion.
The Catholic Church of England and Wales is using a cartoon campaign to encourage young people from 10 years old upwards to think about becoming a priest or a member of a religious order. The website, ‘calledtoday‘ was launched today and there are posters going to schools and churches and anyone else with wall space and blu-tack.
I can see why they are only targetting it at 10 year olds – 8 or 9 year olds just wouldn’t be suited to being in a religious order at all.
The cartoons are in a ‘manga’ style apparently. I don’t really ‘get’ manga, but then I don’t get lots of things because I am old. I have to say I like the stories of real people on the website, but the poster doesn’t really make me want to look at the website in the first place as it doesn’t give me any idea what it is about.
Anyhow, the blurb about all this is on the Catholic Church website here, and the Telegraph has reported about it here.
As an aside, the Catholic Church website in England and Wales must be the worst religious website in the UK. I can’t look at most of it because the menus quite simply don’t work. It might just be Firefox they don’t work in, but I’m not about to fire up Internet Explorer to find out in case I break something.
I’m sorry, but I’m not even going to consider becoming a Priest in a denomination whose website doesn’t work. Also I am married.
Posted by Dave at 10:08 pm on April 29, 2007 and filed under Cartooning, Ecumenical matters, Religion.
…as if we should do things his way
[Sorry, evangelical worship song joke there.]
The Spring Harvest / Word Alive split was not all about Steve Chalke and the penal substitution issue, writes Bishop Pete Broadbent on the Ship of Fools forum website. Here is his post in full:
It’s quite hard to produce an understated response to UCCF’s propaganda. The Word Alive Committee had 3 partners; UCCF, Keswick, and Spring Harvest – though it was always SH’s event. There had been a 4th partner – Proclamation Trust – but they walked some time ago. There were also a number of independent members on the committee, one of whom was Wallace Benn, who chaired the committee.
It’s been an extraordinarily difficult relationship to sustain over a number of years. Keswick have always been easy to work with. UCCF and the independent members have been a constant source of arguments and disagreements – over the charismatic movement (Word Alive has been an event where the charismatic has been deliberately played down); over the nature of the Kingdom of God, where some of the partners were unhappy with anything other than a “spritual”/”Johannine” understanding of the KOG; over the understanding of the atonement; over the precise meaning of exclusivism/particularism in relation to interfaith issues; over whether the only way to do bible teaching is to preach through a book sequentially; over speakers who’ve wanted to produce their own “sound” notes, rather than use the Study Guide we produce and ask people to teach from. We’re talking several years of painful walking on eggshells to try to keep these guys on board and produce an event that would serve the breadth of evanglicalism.
In the end, we couldn’t sustain it, because it was too much like hard work. We had a formula for ending it well. We could have said much more about why, from the Spring Harvest side of fairly normal evangelicalism, it wasn’t working. We didn’t. We tried to end graciously. But they didn’t want to. The result has been gut-spilling all over the place. So be it. I’ve told them that if they continue to go public on their propaganda as to why it’s all about Steve, I’ll continue to go public in refutation of what they’re saying. But if they belt up, so will we.
All quite illuminating. UCCF really aren’t coming out of this looking great at the moment.
According to Tom (in the comments section below) UCCF are meeting to discuss their response to events on Monday. Bishop Pete (in the same comments section) notes that Spring harvest have not been invited to this meeting, and he hopes they will ‘cease the press releases and shut up‘. I think really they all need to sit down with a glass of fortified fruit juice and have a chat about it and hopefully sort the whole mess out.
To hear what the more conservative people are saying about these goings-on you could follow the links at this post. But only if you have been blessed with a bit too much spare time.
If you have only slightly too much free time you could see the preceding posts on the subject on my blog:
- Word Alive is no more
- More on the Spring Harvest / Word Alive kerfuffle
- Unusual Word Alive sightings: Women speakers and Steve Chalke books
Posted by Dave at 11:23 pm on April 27, 2007 and filed under Ecumenical matters, Religion.
If you’re bored of my continual blathering about the Spring Harvest / Word Alive story feel free to click ‘next’ or ‘close’ or ‘no’ and be done with it. I probably wouldn’t have posted again on the subject had I not thought of a cartoon about it. [See 'Word Alive is no more' and 'More on the Spring Harvest / Word Alive kerfuffle' for my posts so far on the topic.]
I don’t normally link to forum posts, but this seems to be the only place that this information has been posted. Bishop Pete Broadbent on Ship of Fools:
I can tell you that:
1. Steve Chalke has never been proposed by the Spring Harvest Leadership Team as a speaker at Word Alive
2. Spring Harvest are not in partnership with Fusion.
3. UCCF have never allowed women speakers to speak on their own on the main stage at the Student Celebration, despite SH requiring it as policy
4. We never said we were putting “personality ahead of partnership”
5. We did not end the partnership over Steve Chalke, though it suits UCCF’s myth-making to pretend that we did
I have no idea why UCCF have released this press release. It looks very much like a piece of machismo propaganda to puff their new event.
Point 3 inspired the following brief scribble:
If you think I’m being unfair go and have a look at the endorsements page of the ‘Pierced for our Transgressions’ book and tell me how many of the 45 or so endorsers are women. (‘Tremper’ and ‘Lindsay’ are both men’s names on this occasion. I’ve checked.)
On a (sort of) related note, I was intrigued by Graham’s post in my comments that Wesley Owen staff were forbidden from selling Steve Chalke’s books at Word Alive:
We were passing the Wesley Owen stand when some one asked if they could buy one of Steve’s books. The assistant told the enquirer that they were not allowed to put Steve’s books out at Word Alive.
It seems to me there might have been some money to be made by someone selling Steve Chalke books in brown paper wrapping to passers by, but I digress. I tend to think that attempting to silence the opposition’s point of view through censorship might not be a great strategy in the long run. Let both sides of the debate make their points and allow people to make their own minds up.
Posted by Dave at 10:56 am on April 26, 2007 and filed under Ecumenical matters, Religion.
Dear me. A lot is being written and said and it is a bit hard to keep up. I’m posting these without any in depth commentary as I have to get on with work today.
1) UCCF: Statement about the Word Alive situation (Update: original source)
It is basically saying that can’t work with those who don’t hold to ‘orthodox Christian teaching’ and that Spring Harvest ended the relationship.
2) Bishop of Durham, Dr N T Wright: Article on ‘Fulcrum’
Lengthy, but worthwhile article. It doesn’t address the specific Spring Harvest / Word Alive situation, but is talking about the theological whathaveyous behing it. He has harsh things to say to both Jeffrey John and the authors of a book ‘Pierced for Our Transgressions’, which is a conservative evangelical take on penal substitution by IVP and Oak Hill College types.
3) Bishop of Spring Harvest, Pete Broadbent: Statement about the Word Alive situation (Update: Bishop Pete has posted the statement in the comments of this blog too)
It’s terribly sad that UCCF are now coming out with an official statement that simply isn’t true to what actually took place. I don’t want to get into a public row with UCCF, whose ministry among students I support. But this is just simply to say that I dispute most of what is contained in the statement as being either misunderstanding (willful or otherwise) or total fabrication. I could hope that they would withdraw their statement and hold their peace.
The ‘Pierced for our Transgressions’ authors respond to Bishop Tom Wright.
Posted by Dave at 7:55 am on April 24, 2007 and filed under Ecumenical matters, Religion.
The organisers of the ‘Word Alive’ Bible study holiday have decided to remove themselves from the ‘Spring Harvest’ Christian Butlins holiday because they do not like Steve Chalke. Instead they are setting up a new more Biblical Bible study holiday in Pwllheli and Steve Chalke will not be invited. Well, that is my amost certainly flawed understanding of the situation based on this statement from the UCCF on Adrian Warnock’s site:
“Steve Chalke has made his dislike of penal substitution very clear by likening God’s act of punishing Jesus in our place to a cosmic child abuser. In good conscience, we simply could not allow Steve to teach during the Word Alive week. We’re very sad that after 14 years of fruitful ministry, Spring Harvest has decided to end the Word Alive partnership because we feel unable to shift on this position.”
This all might seem terribly uninteresting to many readers, but I look back with fondness on my various trips to both Word Alive and Spring Harvest during my time as a human being. It is sad that they cannot get along. I would very gladly go back to Spring Harvest given the opportunity. Spring Harvest organisers (if you are reading) – if you would like me to come and talk about doing drawings or draw during the sermons I will do so. I am prepared to stay in a budget chalet, though those ones that look like log cabins look quite nice.
This is a picture I did back in 1997 whilst at Spring Harvest. Warning: by today’s standards it is not very funny, and it is not very good by any standards.
Links for those who want to read further:
Website for Spring Harvest
Website for Word Alive as it was
Website for the ‘New, more sound and biblical Word Alive’
Dave 42′s site, where I found out about this. He makes good points about why this is a sorry state of affairs.
Update: UCCF Statement
Further Update: Bishop Pete Broadbent has posted a response in the comments below.
Posted by Dave at 10:21 am on April 20, 2007 and filed under Ecumenical matters, Religion.