Tag Archives: Poverty

The sweetest sound is the hungry being fed

Probably worth listing the stories in here, because writing them out will not be easy:

The blessing of the apple tree – page 25-27

The kingdom is like learning the art of burglary – page 31-33

The kingdom is like killing an important Lord  – pag 36

Perhaps – p46-47

The monologue of the beggar – page 50

As big as an egg – page 60-63

The gift of the begging bowl – page 68-69

The sweetest sound in all the world – page 71-74

 

 

 

Shame

Shame:

 

Shame is getting laid off and having to tell my pregnant wife

 

Shame is having someone ask me “When are you due?” when I am not pregnant

 

Shame is hiding the fact that I am in recovery

 

Shame is ragin at my kids

 

Shame is bankruptcy

 

Shame is my boss calling me an idiot in front of the client

 

Shame is not making partner

 

Shame is my husband leaving me for my next door neighbour

Continue reading

Formative Liturgies

 

On apocalyptic literatures capacity to unmask rival kingdoms: (page 92)

Revelation’s readers in the great cities of the province of Asia were constantly confronted with powerful images of the Roman vision of the world.  Civic and religious architecture, iconography, statues, rituals and festivals, even the visual wonder of the cleverly engineered “miracles” (cf. Rev. 13:13-14) in the temples – all provided powerful visual impressions of Roman imperial power and of the splendour of pagan religion.  In the context, Revelation provides a set of Christian prophetic counter-images which impress on its readers a different vision of the world: how it looks from the heaven to which John is caught up in chapter 4.  The visual power of the book effects a kind of purging of the Christian imagination, refurbishing it with alternative visions of how the world is and will be.  (from Richard Bauckham)

Desiring the Kingdom – Part 2 – Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge and the Kingdom

 

James Smith on Moulin Rouge, full of suggestive names (Sacre-Coeur, the central character “Christian”, a different kind of Pilgrim).

 

(page 78)

The proximity to Sacre-Coeur almost invites us to look for parallels and comparisons between the bohemian artists and the mendicant friars, the decadent painters and the celibate priests, both of whom reject a life of moneymaking for the sake of very different visions of the kingdom, of the good life.  But if both the bohemian and the friar desire a kingdom that rejects the pursuit of comfort and wealth, could it be that there are some covert similarities between their visions of the kingdom?  Does the Moulin Rouge already point up the hill toward the Basilica?  What at the end of the day is Christian after?

 

(page 78-79)

“Never knew I could feel like this, like I’ve never seen the sky before.” Sings Christian.  The world is “seen” differently because of love.  By the end of the film we learn that all of this has constituted a kind of education: “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love, and be loved in return.”

 

(page 79)

The kingdom might look more like the passionate world of the Moulin Rouge than the staid, buttoned-down, talking head world of the 700 club.  The end of learning is love: the path of discipleship is romantic.

 

(page 79)

I think a philosophical anthropology centred around affectivity, love, or desire, might also be an occasion to somewhat reevaluate our criticisms of “mushy” worship choruses that seem to confuse God with our boyfriend.  While we might be rightly critical of the self-centred grammar of such choruses (which, when parsed, often turn out to be more about “me” than God, and “I” more than us), I don’t think we should so quickly write off their “romantic” or even “erotic” elements (the Song of Songs comes to mind in this context).  This too is testimony to why and how so many are deeply moved in worship by such singing.  While this can slide into an emotionalism and a certain kind of domestication of God’s transcendence, there remains a kernel of “fittingness” about such worship.  While opening such doors is dangerous, I’m not sure that the primary goal of worship or discipleship is safety.

Desiring the Kingdom – Part 1

More specifically, I want to distinguish liturgies as rituals of ultimate concern: rituals that are formative for identity, that inculcate particular visions of the good life, and do so in a way that means to trump other ritual formations.  Admittedly this might include rituals not associated with traditional religions (e.g. rituals of Nazi facism or other rituals of totalising nationalism); indeed, expanding our conception of what counts as “worship” is precisely the point.  Our thickest practices – which are not necessarily linked to institutional religion – have a liturgical function insofar as they are a certain species of ritual practice that aim to do nothing less than shape our identity by shaping our desire for what we envision as the kingdom – the ideal of human flourishing. (page 87)

 

So one of the most important aspects of this theology of culture is first a moment of recognition: recognising cultural practices and rituals as liturgies.  We need to recognise that these practices are neutral or benign, but rather intentionally loaded to form us into certain kinds of people – to unwittingly make us disciples of rival kings and patriotic citizens of rival kingdoms. (page 91)

 

On apocalyptic literatures capacity to unmask rival kingdoms: (page 92)

Revelation’s readers in the great cities of the province of Asia were constantly confronted with powerful images of the Roman vision of the world.  Civic and religious architecture, iconography, statues, rituals and festivals, even the visual wonder of the cleverly engineered “miracles” (cf. Rev. 13:13-14) in the temples – all provided powerful visual impressions of Roman imperial power and of the splendour of pagan religion.  In the context, Revelation provides a set of Christian prophetic counter-images which impress on its readers a different vision of the world: how it looks from the heaven to which John is caught up in chapter 4.  The visual power of the book effects a kind of purging of the Christian imagination, refurbishing it with alternative visions of how the world is and will be.  (from Richard Bauckham)

Letter to Diognetus

They obey the prescribed laws, and at the same time surpass the laws by their lives.  They love all men, and are persecuted by all.  They are unknown and condemned they are put to death, and restored to life.  They are poor, yet they make many rich; they are lacking all things, and yet abound in all; they are dishonoured, and yet in their very dishonour are glorified.  They are spoken of as evil, and yet are justified; they are reviled, and bless; they are insulted and repay the insult with honour; they do good, yet are punished as evildoers.

Third Way – Part 4

Quotes of the month

Key Words Luxury Decadence Atheism Culture Mission Colonialism Crucifixion Passion
Source Third Way
Author
Page May 2004
Quote What you see on Footballer’s Wives is a world in which charity and fairness, generosity and a sense of perspective about yourself are all swept aside, – Archbishop of Canterbury on how ITV captured the ethics of a nation

I conclude that Pilate acted impartially throughout, although I cannot rule out the possibility that he was subconsciously influenced by thousands of people, led by the Jewish elders, shouting “Crucify him! Crucify Him!” – Private Eye competition to Huttonise history

When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said “Let us pray”. We closed our eyes and when we had opened them we had the Bible and they had the land. – Desmond Tutu

If someone lives in hell and he has a means of going to paradise he will accept it – Tamam Abdo, mother of a 16 year old who was stopped at a security checkpoint with and 18lb bom inside his vest

Fancis Wheen quotes Kipling:
He that hath a gospel
To loose upon Mankind,
Though he serve it itterly
Body, sould and mind
Though he go to Calvary
Daily for its gain
It is his disciple
Shall make his labour vain.

Quotes of the week

Key Words Glamour Forgiveness Fame Parenthood Patriotism Nation Families Father Son
Source Third Way
Author
Page April 2004
Quote If something is worth doing, it is worth overdoing – Justin Hawkins, front man of the Darkness

If you don’t learn from suffering its worthless. I think suffering hones the Spirit, I don’t think it makes you nicer – Actress Jane Lapotaire after her brain haemorrahage

I think I’m tired with love. I am exhausted with all the times I’ve had with love – Actress Diane Keaton

I thought awards were divisive and damaging until I got one and then they became strangely meaningful and real – Bill Nighy

When she had her tonsils out I had to be there – but not for this. The clinic told me it was confidential – the Mum who found out about her 15 year old daughter’s abortion by reading her diary

I will give my loyalty to the United Kingdom and respect its rights and freedoms. I will uphold its democratic values. I will observe its laws faithfully and fulfill my duties and obligations as a British citizen -The new British citizenship pledge for immigrants

Anyone would think St Peter stands at the Pearly Gates with a tape measure – Anne Widdecombe on measure to curb obesity.

Maybe on my deathbed I’ll speak to him again. I’ll call him a bloody scab and then I’ll die – Former striking miner Ian Whyles on the son he’s not spoken to for 20 years.

I earn £100 a day for arthritis research. But I can charge £65 for servicing a fire which takes less than an hour – Dr Karl Gensberg swapping academia for gas fitting

I think it pushes one over the edge so that they see the enormity of that sacrifice – It’s very violent and if you don’t like it, don’t go. – Mel Gibson on The Passion Responding to US Jewish groups he also said “To be anti-Semitic is ot be unchrisitian and I’m not”

Never again will I have to endure another sermon from some sanctimonious God-botherer on the evils of violent cinema – Mark Kermode on the same film

God will forgive – that’s his Job – Catherine of Siena

The bullying of the poor

Key Words Poverty Justice
Source Third Way
Author Galloway, George
Page September 2005 20
Quote I cannot accept the levels of inequality that exist in our own country and, even more markedly, across the world. In the words of Mary Brooksbank, the Dundee jute woker who wrote in the 1930s:

Oh dear me, the world’s ill divided
Them that work the hardest
Are the least provided.

You can read an autocued and earn half a million pounds a year or you can spend your entire day with a water port on your head in Africa walking seven miles to and from a well in order to get dirty water to keep your family alive – though not for very long. And that I simply can’t accept.

War and terrorism

Key Words War Peace Violence Justice Poverty
Source Third Way
Author Ustinov, Peter
Page September 2005 20
Quote War is the terrorism of the rich and powerful,
and terrorism is the war of the poor and powerless.

Journey of faith

Key Words Journey Faith Conversion
Source Third Way
Author Third Way
Page 2005 Sep – p5
Quote Paul Vallely writes on the journey of faith
“All religion must contain three elements” according to von Hugel
“An institutional element to care for our infancy, when we need stories, structure, trust, stability, protection and discipline. A critical element for adolescence – when the critical faculty comes into play and we systematise, theorise and search for meaning; a time to impose, or discover an order, a consistency, a unity and an identity; a time when, as St Anselm wrote, faith seeks understanding. And the mystic element for our adulthood a time for working through our layers of inner consciousness, as we reach after the transcendent and the incommunicable whereof we cannot speak.”

Judgement and the hand of God

Key Words Disaster Suffering Tragedy Judgement
Source Third Way
Author Third Way
Page 2005 Sep p5
Quote The lifting of God’s hand of protection the implementation of His judgement of the Nation most responsible for endangering the land and people of Israel. – Stan Goodenough, columnist for Jerusalem Newswire, on Hurrican Katrina.

A direct “coming back on us” for what we did to Israel, a home for a home – Bridgett Magee, Louisiana resident, agrees.

Between the steeple and gargoyle

Key Words Pain Achievement Perfection Sin
Source Third Way
Author Higgins, Gareth
Page 2007
Quote Believing therefore that I needed to be perfect, I tried desparately to fight it. It was only when I found a friend who advised me that life is lived between the stepple and the gargoyle – the sacred and the profane – that I began to see that fighting with yourself in the cause of perfectionism is only a path to making you bleed. In effect, I was trying to amputate my own shadow.

I started to call my shadow Richard III (after the scene in the film with Laurence Olivier), and strangely enough that made him seem smaller already. I would have conversations with , asking him what he wanted, and didn’t he know that I’d already given enough of my life to him? I’d offer him a cup of tea, invite him to play if he wnted to. And if he didn’t, I’d begin to learn to ignore him.

Listening to music

Key Words Conscience Honesty Integrity Guilt
Source Third Way
Author Higgins, Gareth
Page 2007
Quote Frank Serpico, the New York cop immortalised on film by Al Pacino, was once asked why he had risked his life to denounce corrupt officers when he could have easily let sleeping dogs lie. He said, “Because if I didn’t, what kind of person would I be when I listen to a piece of music?” In other words, only total commitment to truth-telling allows us the peace of mind with which we can fathom beauty. It’s a tisk commitment in a devious society where an honest confession is as likely to lead to ostracism as widespread acclaim. But it remains the only kind of leadership I am willing to follow: one that is honest about its struggle and recognises the difference between temporal access and personal integrity.

God and ideas of God

Key Words God Theology Goodness
Source Third Way
Author Higgins, Gareth
Page 2007
Quote The notion that God is always better than our best ideas of God

God and angels

Key Words God Angels Belief Doctrine
Source Third Way
Author Wisniersak, Eva
Page 2007
Quote I don’t believe in God, but I do believe in angels. I think they were the ones who brought me back to safety.

Ewa Wisnierska, the German paraglider who was carried six miles high in a thunderstorm. She survived hailstones as big as tennis balls, temperatures as loas as -50 degrees C and oxygen deprivation

Finding someone to love

Key Words Love Need
Source Third Way
Author Allen, Lily
Page 2007
Quote It’s not surprise to me that 15 year old girls are deliberately getting pregnant, they just want someone to love.

Hitler and the devil

Key Words Evil Satan Demon
Source Third Way
Author Mailer, Norman
Page 2007
Quote Hitler exceeds human comprehension. For me the only answer is the existence of the devil… Hitler is the devil’s greatest feat against Jesus Christ.

Another mans religion

Key Words Tolerance Pluralism Religion
Source Third Way
Author Mencken, H L
Page 2007
Quote We must accept the other fellow’s religion but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart

Superman

Key Words Weakness Strength Hero
Source Third Way
Author
Page 2007
Quote Talked about the flawed analysis of saying “Jesus was the greatest hero of all”

In a letter from Matthew Vernon, St John’s Cathedral, Hong Kong
“Ironically, Christopher Reeves was a Christ-like person. Not when playing Superman so brilliantly, but after he broke his neck and was paralysed in a riding accident.”

Fashion and the good

Key Words Fashion Appearance Vanity
Source Third Way
Author Corner, Frances
Page September 2006
Quote Frances Corner, head of the London College of Fashion, on the appointment of its first chaplain
“Fashion should be able to make you feel good, and spirituality can have the same role.”

Worship and football

Key Words Football Sport Creation Worship Idolatry
Source Third Way
Author Smith, Delia
Page September 2006
Quote Footballers are not false idols. They are not like a piece of wood. People are worshipping God when they worship footballers because he is the creator of sport and football is his creation.
References Worshipping the creation (Romans 1)

Joy in Stevenson

Key Words Joy
Source Third Way
Author Chesterton, G.K.
Page September 2006- page 20
Quote Chesterton admired joy in others. For example he wrote about Robert Louis Stevenson, “gaiety was valuable to Stevenson precisely because is the most difficult of all the virtues … As most men have triumphantly maintained a level of sobriety, he maintained a level of exhiliration. He discovered the new ascetism of cheerfullness, which will prove a hundred times harder than the old ascetism of despair. He rode on the great galloping gift-horse of existence with the joy of a horseman at once dextrous and rekless, and did not, like so many more ambitious philosophers, nearly fall off in his desperate efforts to look the gift-horse in the mouth. He could enjoy trifles because to him there was no such thing as a trifle.”

The same article also spoke of the Spurgeon on sickness, “the greatest eartly blessing that God can give to any of us is health, with the exception of sickness, Sickness has frequently been of more use to the saints of God than health has.”

On art and voyeurism

“Although he that grives with the grief-stricken is to be commended for his work of charity, yet the man who is fraternally compassionate would prefer to find nothing in the others to need his compassion.  Only in the impossible event of good-will being malevolant could a man who is truly and sincerely filled with pity desire that there should be miserable people for him to pity.  There is a kind fo compassionate sorrow that is good, but there is no kind that we should rejoice to feel.”

This in the end was all mere scratching of the heart, “followed by sweling and inflammation and sores with pus flowing.  Such was my life, but was that a life my God?”