Monthly Archives: January 2013

The World To Come

That’s an extraordinary complex, interconnected, and diverse reality, a reality in which individual identities aren’t lost or repressed, but embraced and celebrated.  An expansive unity that goes beyond and yet fully embraces staggering levels of diversity.


A racist would be miserable in the world to come.

Dangerous Wealth

But a crown, much like a mansion or a car, is a possession.  There’s nothing wrong with possessions, it’s just that they have value to us only when we use them, engage them and enjoy them.  They’re nouns that mean something only in conjunction with verbs.


That’s why wealth is so dangerous: if you’re not careful you can easily end up with a garage full of nouns. (page 44)

Lone Ranger

Whilst it’s true that a Lone Ranger can learn a lot through self-study, Lone Rangers (and even Brains on a Stick who know the Bible inside out) aren’t exempt from need-to-know and need-to-grow moments.  Yet when they are faced with one, their isolation guarantees that the only thing they’ll know is what they already know.


As for wise counsel, a warm hug, or a swift kick in the rear, those are rather hard to self-administer.  If we don’t have those kinds of relationships in place, it’s usually too late to pull them together once a need-to-know or need-to-grow crisis hits with full force.

Jesus and Community

Begins by saying that this is not going to be along talk, but to notice something that M.Scott Peck found, that the opposite of true community, was pseudo-community.

Talks about the importance of doing the thing, rather than knowing about the thing.

Stop doing dumb things

Stop doing dumb things – look at the book of proverbs – December 2nd 2012

Looks back at that stupid thing, that you used to say at primary school.  If someone said “I really love this hot dog”, then everyone would say “Well if you love it so much, why don’t you marry it.”

Invites everyone to say to each other first of all “Welcome to the school for fools.”


The thing that Israel loved is proverbs.

Wisdom is the dispute between two women – wisdom and folly.  Wisdom showed up in different places:

1. Wise attitudes

2. Wise initiatives

3. Wise sexuality

4. Wise financially

5. Wise humility

6. Wise Commitment – trust in the Lord with all your heart

Jesus is wisdom personified, and one day, because we love wisdom so much, we are going to marry it.


Jesus and His Father

And then there is the picture of the tree which is small but which has the capacity to grow.


The jar has a lid, the tree has a roots.


Then talks about the humanity of Jesus and the heresy of docetism.


Talks about how Jesus grew, and may not have been a physically great specimen, but when he died the Spirit entered into him and was able to draw him out of death.


There is thing about trying to pretend to be smart – if you are the smartest person in the room then you are in the wrong room.


Also great comparison of 10 year olds who were given maths problems, and some of them gave up and were frustrated, but others loved the challenge, even though they were getting these wrong all the time.


Jesus spoke about his intimacy with his Father in a way that no-one had done in Jewish literature up to that time, calling him Abba.

Hitchens Quotes

Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody—not even the mighty Democritus who concluded that all matter was made from atoms—had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance, and other infantile needs). Today the least educated of my children knows much more about the natural order than any of the founders of religion.

God Is Not Great

If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in a quite different world.

God Is Not Great

I try to deny myself any illusions or delusions, and I think that this perhaps entitles me to try and deny the same to others, at least as long as they refuse to keep their fantasies to themselves.


No evidence or argument has yet been presented which would change my mind. But I like surprises. – shortly before he died

The Reasons for God – part 1

But you cannot go on ‘explaining away’ for ever: you will find that you have explained explanation itself away.  You cannot go on ‘seeing through’ things for ever.  The whole point of seeing through something is to see something through it.  It is good that the window should be transparent, because the street or garden beyond it is opaque.  How if you saw through the garden too?  A wholly transparent world is an invisible world.  To ‘see through’ all things is the same as not to see. – C.S. Lewis (page 37)


We should criticise Christians when they are condemning and ungracious to unbelievers.  But we should not criticise churches when they maintain standards for membership in accord with their beliefs.  Every community must do the same. (page 40)


Christianity answered this historical challenge by a reorientation of the worldview… People sensed in their hearts that Jesus di not mock their respect for the sacred nor their clamour for an invincible Saviour, and so they beat their sacred drums for him until the stars skipped and danced in the skies.  After that dance the stars weren’t little any more.  Christianity helped Africans become renewed Africans, not re-made Europeans. (page 41 – African scholar Lamin Sanneh)


Love anything and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken.  If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal.  Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.  But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change.  It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.  The alternative to tragedy, or at least the risk of tragedy is damnation.  – page 48 – C.S. Lewis.


The reductionist project usually tries to reclaim some of the originally excluded aspects of the world, by analysing them in physical – that is, behavioural, or neuropsychological – terms, but it denies reality to what cannot be reduced.  I believe the project is doomed – that conscious experience, thought, value, and so forth are not illusions, even though they cannot be identified with physical facts – page 92


Everything we value – from sugar and sex and money to music and love and religion – we value for reasons.  Lying behind, and distinct from, our reasons are evolutionary reasons, free-floating rationales that have been endorsed by natural selection. –  Daniel Dennett page 136