Friday, 30 April 2010

Thomas, Richard and Harold

Rowan Atkinson shows how a funeral address should be done...

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Tony Peck blogging

My good friend Tony Peck has now entered the blogsphere at
Welcome, Tony!

Postcards from the Wall #14

The recent news that Tom Wright is departing from the Bishopric of Durham to take up a post as Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the School of Divinity in St Andrews seems an appropriate spur for posting this (slightly modified from the original) postcard.
The last two lines are my own addition...

Friday, 16 April 2010

My largest ever congregation this Sunday

For those who are interested (and apparently 80,000 are!), I'm leading the Sunday Worship service on Radio Wales this coming Sunday morning, and Gareth Evans is preaching.

When we recorded this service a couple of weeks ago (and also another one at which I'm preaching and Gareth is leading, to be broadcast next month) at Albany Road Baptist Church in Cardiff, we had a congregation of about a hundred - very normal, very 'safe' - and yet I was also very conscious of the tens of thousands who were also part of the congregation, or at least would be when it was broadcast. All in all a slightly surreal experience.

My overwhelming impression afterwards was of the huge commitment the BBC has to ongoing religious broadcasting. I've thought this before with the amount of effort they go to for the Pause For Thought slots I do occasionally. I can't image anything other than a public service broadcaster doing this.

Will I be listening to myself at 8.05? Not likely! I'll be watching BBC1 and the Chinese Grand Prix...

Friday, 2 April 2010

Good Friday and Coldplay

My favourite (if that's the right word) Good Friday song is the wonderful hymn written by Samuel Crossman in 1664.

My song is love unknown,
My Savior’s love to me;
Love to the loveless shown,
That they might lovely be.
O who am I, that for my sake
My Lord should take, frail flesh and die?

He came from His blest throne
Salvation to bestow;
But all made strange, and none
The longed for Christ would know:
But O! my Friend, my Friend indeed,
Who at my need His life did spend.

Sometimes they strew His way,
And His sweet praises sing;
Resounding all the day
Hosannas to their King:
Then “Crucify!” is all their breath,
And for His death they thirst and cry.

Why, what hath my Lord done?
What makes this rage and spite?
He made the lame to run,
He gave the blind their sight,
Sweet injuries! Yet they at these
Themselves displease, and ’gainst Him rise.

They rise and needs will have
My dear Lord made away;
A murderer they saved,
The Prince of life they slay,
Yet cheerful He to suffering goes,
That He His foes from thence might free.

In life, no house, no home
My Lord on earth might have;
In death no friendly tomb
But what a stranger gave.
What may I say? Heav’n was His home;
But mine the tomb wherein He lay.

Here might I stay and sing,
No story so divine;
Never was love, dear King!
Never was grief like Thine.
This is my Friend, in Whose sweet praise
I all my days could gladly spend.

And for something a bit more contemporary, here's Coldplay's great re-working of the hymn.

Women in Ministry

For the record (in case you missed it) (in case you're interested!) here's my piece from last week's Baptist Times write-up on the women in ministry discussions at BU Council.
Pat Took and I gave an unscripted double-act presentation for 20 minutes on the first evening, and this short piece for the BT is my attempt at taking that and reducing it to 500 words.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Facebook Passion

No, it's not what you think...

If you haven't seen this yet, it's worth a look. I particularly appreciate Bart Ehrman's appearances.

HT: RevMusings