Saturday, October 29, 2011

Theological blather

I get like this sometimes. Apart from Kim Fabricius' shortsightedness in his quite unaccountable affiliation to the United Reformed denomination - it is neither - his take on matters of the Name is occasionally insightful and often howling...
Kim, high five for these and my apologies for adding a twist of citrus of my own.

I have often thought that a fitting soteriological image, a symbol for the work of Christ, is the toilet.  Apart from the handle, which is an Arminian attachment.
(Sanctum sanctorum. Nothing wrong with that. Ed)

I see that in the new English translation of the Mass, the blood of Christ is shed not “for all” but “for many”, with the annotation that not everybody chooses to be saved. As if the reversion to exclusivity isn’t bad enough, it’s compounded by an Arminian gloss. What a muddle. Perhaps the next translation will go Calvinist with “for a few”. (That's enough. Ed)

Paul’s list of ecclesial vocations in I Corinthians 12 is not, of course, exhaustive. In the UK, for example, for the church’s common good, there must surely be a charisma for arson.
(Been there, done that, in an imaginary kind of a way. Shame about the frescoes. Ed)

Paul wrote that he was not “ashamed” of the gospel (Romans 1:16). Nowadays you’d be hard-pressed to find someone ashamed of anything. Embarrassed  perhaps, but not ashamed.
(Far too near the knuckle, even for me. The squirm factor of the street preacher in a baggy suit is too, too close to home. Ed)

J.B. Phillips wrote a famous little book called Your God Is Too Small. But isn’t the problem that many people’s God is too big? 
(What is this, Goldilocks? Ed)

If (following Stringfellow and Nouwen), the kingdom of God is like a circus, the kingdom of the world is like a zoo. True, a zoo is not “nature red in tooth and claw”, but that’s only because the animals are either grazing or sleeping. Except for the chimpanzees: they are either grooming or mooning.  Yep, that’s the world…
(I'd like it placed on record that this makes no reference to sex. At all. Ed)

The “Zero Intolerance” church is the latest effort in market-ecclesiology of the United Reformed Church.  Very counter-culturally, there is a catchy sound-bite advertising offensive. Equally anti-zeitgeist, local congregations are offered the choice of opting in or staying out. And training (a euphemism for disempowerment) is, of course, de rigueur. The only thing the campaign is missing is a patron saint.  My suggestion would be Pelagius.

The United Reformed Church is now receiving applications for the post of Moderator of the Synod of Wales.  Unless all applicants are immediately deemed un-called, and therefore unfit, for this ministry, I’d rather we cast lots.
(Worked fine last time...Ed)

God is on the move. It is called “illegal immigration”.
(Unless you're a Mexican. In which case it's called Russian roulette)

Advice to a young minister: Remember that when you preach, you are speaking to everyone in particular.
(Caveat orator. Applies to old preachers as well. Ed)

Have you ever thought that the parable of the Prodigal Son might be an autobiographical story about living post-exilically?
(If we wait long enough we'll all find our when the Islamists reconquer Jerusalem. Ed)

My body is finally turning into a temple. But it’s age, not sanctity: I no longer have the energy to be a brothel.
(I'm tired. Ed)
You married, dearie?

And, since an image is de rigueur otherwise absolutely nobody reads anything one might write, here's the Pope celebrating the arrival of the seven millionth soul on the planet with the secular humanist and philosopher Julia Kristeva at the recent interfaith, er, encounter in Assisi. Peter and the wolf.

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