Thursday, 30 April 2009

Baptist Assembly Buzzword Bingo

In common with (it seems) many other Baptist Bloggers, I'm off to Assembly tomorrow.
One of the things I love about Assembly is catching up with old friends and making new ones. I'm delighted that I'm staying in the same hotel as my old friend Iain; but Liz is a bit less happy about this because she says that when Iain and I get together at Assembly we turn into the grumpy old men from the muppets - sitting at the back shouting 'Rubbish! Get him off!'
So, to liven things up a bit, I thought I'd instigate a game of Baptist Buzzword Bingo.
Some of these are dead certs, and don't count beyond the opening meeting! Some I hope not to hear but fear I will, and some are probably just wishful thinking. So, in no particular order:
  • baptistic
  • missionary God (HT: NB)
  • missional
  • crossing places
  • community
  • confession
  • intercession
  • just
  • really
  • wanna
  • alternative
  • cross-cultural
  • environmental
  • Bible
  • biblical
  • theology
  • buzz-groups
  • ecclesial
  • ecumenical
  • partnership
  • get out there
  • bring in the harvest
  • podcast
  • pension fund
  • missio Dei
  • friends
  • Hi! How are you?
  • Where are you now?
  • Who are you?
Any further suggestions for words you'd like/hate to hear?

Monday, 27 April 2009

Worship Star

In his fascinating book 'Selling Worship' Pete Ward says the following:
'Though it would always see itself as led by ministry and the Spirit, the charismatic scene is at the same time sustained by a wide range of companies and businesses. As the market has developed, new organisations emerged, but there have also been those that have fallen by the wayside. Along the path, a number of key alliances and business mergers have characterised the British scene. These activities represent the 'means' to engage in ministry. For a group such as Wesley Owen Bookshops, merchandising is explicitly acknowledged as the way that they are involved in sharing Christ. The connection between selling and faith has a long history but it was to find particular energy [in] the charismatic movement... For British worship music the one escape from the size of our market was the possibility of breaking into the lucrative American scene. For the previous thirty years the tide had flowed only one way from the USA to the UK, but in the mid-1990s this was to change. Leading the way was the Littlehampton-based band Delirious? Released in 2004, their latest album, World Service, has been supported by tour dates ranging across the USA. With sales of over a million and an American-based contemporary Christian music Dove Award to their name, the band has found significant success in America... Where Martin Smith was to lead, others were soon to follow. At the turn of the millennium, British worship bands and the songs they had written were to become very successful in the USA.' (pp. 98, 114-5, 116)

HT: Andy G

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Book Review

Over the past 9 months since its publication, one or two people have said some quite nice things about my book on Revelation. However, what follows is the first one which actually brought tears to my eyes.

Every year I receive a Christmas and Easter cards from Mrs. Y. who used to play piano for Sunday School when I was a small child. I haven't seen her since she moved away following the death of Mr. Y. when I was in my late teens, but I remember her well, and, it would seem, she remembers me also:

April 2009
Dear Simon & Liz,
Recently I purchased the book you mentioned in your Christmas greeting. Written by Simon, on Revelations. This is a book I've been interested in since my early days. Many hours I've listened to sermons, lectures, & discussions etc some more interesting than others. Your Book is easy to read, & understand, very interesting, & helpful to any one wishing to know more about the Book. Your Book is a joy to have & will always be on hand when needed. Thank you for the many hours of research, & study you must have spent to produce a work so full of usefull information.
On page four you mention the church you attended in your early days. This was Sevenoaks, well known to me for many reasons, especially the Young People, & Sunday School. Simon: You was the most attentive, interested, & eager to learn of any of them. I felt sure the Lord had work for you in future years, as you grew from small boy, to youth, & young man. You have always been on my prayer list. I thank God I've lived to see the early promise realized. May God continue to bless, & guide you, in future that you will still be a Blessing to many.
My early life was spent in Buckinghamshire & in the Family Home I sat many hours listening to Gran Frather, Father, & Friends, as they searched the scriptures & also as they preached the good news to people all around.
Plesae excuse my terrible writting, & mistakes - my health isn't so good after illness & surgery, also my sight is a problem. It is difficult to write, & after see what I've written. I was so pleased with your work & Book. I had to write a word of appreciation.
My thoughts, & prayers are still with you, & Liz as you work together in God's service. My busy days are over at 89. God bless you.
Yours Sincerely,

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Rain stops play

My basic approach to sport: 'Not interested unless it has an engine and at least two tyres'.
So, with eager anticipation I tuned in for tonight's opening round of the Moto GP Championship in Qatar, only to find that in a country which gets 8 days rain per year, the race was cancelled due to rain!
Just as those who live with snow for 6 months of the year must look on our reaction in the UK to a light dusting of the white stuff with a mixture of amusement and disgust, so also my reaction to those who cancel a motorbike race due to a shower of rain...

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Post-Rapture Greeting Cards

Having previously noted the 'post-rapture pets' service, I'm delighted to be able to draw all our attention to the existence of the 'post-rapture greeting card' service...

Ship of Fools puts it this way:

'Let's face it. As the global financial system crashes, the Rapture can't be long delayed. Which makes now an excellent time to put your affairs in order and get ready for your ascent into the clouds of heaven. But while you're doing that, spare a thought for your wicked unbelieving friends and relatives who are going to be Left Behind™.

'Thanks to a new service, the Post-Rapture Post, you can now leave them a greeting card, to be delivered after the Rapture, saying hi and bye, and explaining the way of salvation. But how will the card be delivered, since all the Christians will have gone? The answer is simple. The Post-Rapture Post is run by atheists, who will ensure your cards are actually delivered. But why are they offering this service, when they don't believe? "I need the money to support my sinful lifestyle," explains one of the site's founders.

'Order your cards before you go. Only $7.99 a card!'

Thanks to Craig for pointing this out...

The Four Atheist Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Julian Baggini identifies Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens as "the four atheist horsemen of the apocalypse," describing them as "the biggest phenomenon in popular atheism since Bertrand Russell."

Baggini, the author of Atheism: A Very Short Introduction, offers an assessment of Dawkins, Dennett, Harris and Hitchens which is far from positive: "the kind of comments the four horsemen make in newspaper articles and interviews... has been unhelpful in many ways. In short, the new atheism gets atheism wrong, gets religion wrong, and is counterproductive."

Thursday, 9 April 2009

G20 Protest

One of the 'four horsemen of the apocalypse' at the recent G20 Protest.

Also, Jesus expelling the money-changers:

From this BBC report. Spotted by Helen.