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  • If the Bible was submitted for University Assessment...

    ... it would not get very good marks for presentation.

    Ok, this is not orginal, someone else will have done it so much better, somewhere else, but I am too bog-eyed from proof-reading to look.

    Neither Paul nor Jesus (as recorded) give references, simply asserting 'it is written.'  Of the few references supplied in the New Testament one of them (I can't remember where, but "it is written") is blatantly to the wrong prophet.  I'll let them off publication houses and page numbers - a tad tricky with a hand written scroll...

    Paul in one of his letters (Romans?) manages to submit an incomplete sentence - long, complex, even erudite but... 

    Mark's Greek is almost as bad as mine, he muddles tenses and clearly did not have a 'proficiency in Koine Greek' certificate before he registered.

    Any others?

    I think this is proof I need to lie down in a darkened room!!

  • "Out of the Closet Meme"

    Over at Faith and Theology I came across this rather fun 'meme.'  I am pretty safe that no one will ever tag me with any 'memes' and to be honest they are usually more fun to read than to respond to, but this one I quite like, so here are a few off the top of my head comments...

    I confess that I have never heard of most of the theologians people blog about

    I confess that I never understood a word of my philosophy of religion classes but still managed to get a good mark for the assignment

    I confess that I have long forgotten which heresy went with which heretic and never really cared anyway, because I think that so-called heresy is a necessary corrective to, well, heresy of the so-called orthodox variety

    I confess I'm a happy heretic

    I confess that I'd like God to be a universalist even if I can never quite get there; if not can God be anihilationist please

    I confess I don't like theological labels

    I confess that I often wonder if one day I'll wake up and think its all a load of tosh (but after 30+ years of wondering that, maybe I won't)

    I confess that I like debate and sometimes play advocate for the dark side just to make it more fun

    I confess that I am stubborn, pedantic, workaholically-inclined and have an odd sense of humour

    Oh yes, and I also confess that Jesus is Lord and I am truly glad to count myself among his followers

  • Church Health - Healthy Churches: UK/USA

    A late night blog trawl and I saw something that sounded like I ought to have read it - a reference to What is a Healthy Church? a USA publication that picks up 'nine marks of a healthy church' as follows: -

    1. Expositional preaching
    2. Biblical theology
    3. Biblical understanding of the Good News
    4. Biblical understanding of conversion
    5. Biblical understanding of evangelism
    6. Biblical understadning of Church Membership 
    7. Biblical church discipline
    8. Promotion of Christian Discipleship and growth (one for you Kez?)
    9. Biblical Church leadership

    I have no idea what the book actually says, but these 'marks' sound somewhat different from those in the UK published  Healthy Churches Handbook which are as follows: -

    1. Energised by faith
    2. Outward looking focus
    3. Seeks to find out what God wants
    4. Faces the cost of change and growth
    5. Operates as a community 
    6. Makes room for all
    7. Does a few things and does them well

    I know which set I prefer, and it's not American!  So I don't think I'll feel too bad about not having read this imminent new work or its predecessors in time to write about it. 


  • Don't you just love Endnote? (No!) (Updated)

    Why, I asked myself was I getting 'Congregational Studies in the Uk' every time I referenced said book directly from Endnote?  Yes, it was 'UK' in the data entry table but, aha, Chicago 15th A does not like the UK or even OK or indeed anything much except USA.  Chicago 15th B likes UK, but does other things I, or my supervisors, don't like.  Oh, I love it, not, but it is quicker, and more accurate, than manually typing in all the references, which as I have 158 at the last count, is definitely a good thing...

    At least I have now found out how to make it reference doctoral theses correctly from said format, but there's still some tweaking needed here and there.

    Ah well, into the final stages of editing now...



    OK, so another ten minutes of messing around and I discover in the 'preferences' menu that I can set UK as something for it not to alter the case of, have found out to do multiple citations prperly and half a dozen other useful things.... Grrr.

  • It's kitch - but I kinda like it

    Someone at church passed this story to me today (I later found it online).  It is decidely kitch, and may induce vomitting in some readers, but I like it, if only because we get away from the old bloke in the long white frock syndrome...


    A little boy wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with a bag of potato chips and a six-pack of root beer and started his journey.

    When he had gone about three blocks, he met an old woman. She was sitting in the park, just staring at some pigeons. The boy sat down next to her and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the old lady looked hungry, so he offered her some chips. She gratefully accepted and smiled at him.

    Her smile was so pretty that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered her a root beer. Again, she smiled at him. The boy was delighted! They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word.

    As twilight approached, the boy realized how tired he was and he got up to leave; but before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned around, ran back to the old woman, and gave her a hug. She gave him her biggest smile ever.

    When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him, "What did you do today that made you so happy?" He replied, "I had lunch with God." But before his mother could respond, he added, "You know what? She's got the most beautiful smile I've ever seen!"

    Meanwhile, the old woman, also radiant with joy, returned to her home. Her son was stunned by the look of peace on her face and he asked, "Mother, what  did you do today that made you so happy?" She replied! "I ate potato chips in the park with God." However, before her son responded, she added, "You know, he's much younger than I expected."

    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime! Embrace all equally!

    Have lunch with God....... bring chips. 

    (Or, if you want something a bit more Biblical - it has faint echoes of Matthew 25 and Hebrews 12:2 (I know how to use a concordance!))