Posts by brian

On Quoting Shakespeare and Scripture…

Posted by on Jun 4, 2020 in Blog | 0 comments

A delightful post widely circulated on Facebook highlighted how many English expressions originate from Shakespeare. Here is a taster: “If you bid me good riddance and send me packing, if you wish I was dead as a doornail, if you think I am an eyesore, a laughing stock, the devil incarnate, a stony-hearted villain, bloody-minded or a blinking idiot, then — by Jove! O Lord! Tut, tut! For goodness’ sake! What the dickens! But me no buts — it is all one to me, for you are quoting Shakespeare.” (Bernard Levin) Even Prince Charles has got in on the act, and in this YouTube clip...

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Faithful Improvisation: Following Jesus Today

Posted by on May 20, 2020 in Blog | 1 comment

I’m currently reading the revised edition (2018) of Samuel Wells’ book, Improvisation: The Drama of Christian Ethics. It’s a great read, and tries to answer the question of how we should play our part in the drama of God’s work in the world when we have no closely worded script, and when we are constantly facing new challenges. What follows springboards both from ideas in the book as well as from insights in a Nomad podcast with Samuel Wells on 6 May 2020. Wells draws his key idea from the theatre, and in a similar way to Tom Wright suggests that though we don’t...

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Praying the journey…

Posted by on May 6, 2020 in Blog | 5 comments

My Sabbatical leave is almost over, and what an unusual season it has been. I spent part of it at Carson Newman University in Tennessee, and after seven wonderful weeks close to the Smoky Mountains, Rosemary and I had to dash back to Australia to avoid being locked out, potentially for many months. It did make for an abrupt end, though the major task for my Sabbatical, remained. That was to make significant progress on a book on the formation of spiritual leaders, which is my current writing project. I am now at the two thirds through stage, so am pleased about that. Naturally because I am...

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Is sin passé? David Brooks and The Road to Character

Posted by on Apr 30, 2020 in Blog | 8 comments

I’m surprised at how much I am enjoying reading David Brooks’ motivational book, The Road to Character. Amazon classifies it in the “personal transformation/ self help” category, and knowing how flooded and shallow this market is, I am only reading it on the strong recommendation of someone whose work I respect. First thing to note about this book – don’t think shallow and trite. An easy read, yes, but shallow and trite, no. And while an easy read, it is unsettling and inspiring at the same time. And for a book that makes no claim to be Christian, it is...

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Remembering the Friday…

Posted by on Apr 10, 2020 in Blog | 2 comments

We are sometimes a little uncomfortable with Good Friday, and tend to rush past it to arrive at Easter Sunday as quickly as possible. Yet unless we feel the weight of the Friday, we will miss much of the mystery of Easter. If you are a theologian you might say that a theology of suffering must precede a theology of glory, lest the latter becomes trite and superficial. So this Good Friday I have been noting the things I need to remember… I need to leave the last supper and walk to the Garden of Gethsemane. I need to pause – is that Jesus, crying out to God, “Father if it is...

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