Saturday, 23 December 2006

Christmas weekend: columns

The Times has Pius Ncube of Bulawayo writing the Credo column: Homeless but not hopeless in Africa.

Christopher Howse writes in the Telegraph about Myrrh beyond the gloom. There is a leader entitled The babe in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

In the Guardian the Face to Faith column We must not forget that Bethlehem is under siege is written by Alan McDonald who is the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

The Guardian also has a leader, Beyond belief which is related to the front page report, Religion does more harm than good - poll.
(A related news report by Stephen Bates is Devout Poles show Britain how to keep the faith.)

The Church Times leader is Two cheers for sentimentality.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 23 December 2006 at 1:03pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion

Re: the Guardian poll - though I'm always a bit sceptical about any poll (including Christian ones)it looks as though aggressive evangelisation, hard-line religion and all the rest have done little or nothing to encourage people to the Gospel.

This sounds to me like the death-knell of the Evangelical project. Unless, of course, we are now to be told that all along the hypothesis was that 'the path is narrow that leads to life and few will find it', so the apparent rejection of religious allegiance is actually the triumph of the ConsEv strategy?

Perhaps that's the great thing about evangelism in general - if it works it's because God is on Our Side, if it doesn't it's because Satan Has Hardened Their Hearts or because only few are predestinated to heaven.

As Ayer would have said, 'death by a thousand qualifications'.

Posted by: mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) on Saturday, 23 December 2006 at 2:30pm GMT

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) has a parish website in NE Lincs. On the Linc2u site there is this report.
St. Matthew's Fairfield - Status - Offline. Church of England ~ Anglican. minister: Rev. David Rowett, a smallish band of the faithful attempt to help keep the rumour of God alive in this part of the Province.
Hope the rumour is not offline. Or is that his comment that is offline/side?

Posted by: Ken Sawyer on Saturday, 23 December 2006 at 4:24pm GMT

Ah, back in the good old days of HTML do-it-yourself written in Notepad and then uploaded by shovel I ran a site (and another, the diocese of Bolsover under Bishop Rodrigo Borgia) once reviewed in the Church Times, but that's another story). However, when I left the parish in 2005 the site lapsed with no-one to take it over.

I'm now to be found at, but my email on there isn't running at the moment. And the webmaster here actually knows what he's doing....

Posted by: mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) on Saturday, 23 December 2006 at 6:07pm GMT

You're a bit late, Ken Sawyer. As has been slowly revealed here he's now nearer my neck of the woods and was joined up as priest-in-charge where I was occasionally attending. And since he's been I've been more regularly attending too.

This 'death by a thousand qualifications' is something I thought I had undergone.

Oh dear, as for Bolsover, I used to attend (before 1994) where there was also another rather good priest of the dear old Church of England in Clowne, in that neck of the woods mentioned by David. He then managed to keep me interested when I had a Western Buddhist phase and had my temporary penultimate go at trying to get on with the Unitarians.

Today I met a chap in the market place who comes into the church regularly, who said he won't come into the Christmas things because they are "fable". So I said, "Well they are all legend," but had said I'd be going - obviously room for conversation there. This also followed a long chat with someone of developed views not that many million miles from mine, and very active. This idea that somehow the norm is something close to Reform and friends and why therefore the Covenant is just not so. I know I'm a bit odd but it seems there are quite a few odd bods about.

Posted by: Pluralist on Saturday, 23 December 2006 at 7:57pm GMT

I loved the imagery of the walls coming down in Bethlehem. I wish the walls of hate and violence would also come down in humanity's collective consciousness. That will only happen when the need for peace is greater than the need for victory at any cost. When faith in God is greater than fear of failure.

I loved the swaddling imagery - that is worthy of a bible study in its own right.

And on the comments on the polls. I have a church leader who told my daughter I am not a Christian because I don't attend church regularly. So if I were to answer a poll based on the decree of this evangelical, I would have to say that I am not religious. Or otherwise have evangelicals tell me that I am a liar.

I wish they would run polls that asked if people believed in God and then asked which faiths they identify with. And I do mean plural faiths, one Asian country's survey had something like 75% buddhists and 85% muslim - people could see that they were both buddhist and muslim. Same as some people would say that they are evangelical, protestant, CoE. All three labels apply.

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Saturday, 23 December 2006 at 8:34pm GMT

I am pleased to read that David Rowett is now involved in keeping the rumour of God alive now in Bolsover!
And also pray that there are rumour mongers active in NE Lincs!!

Posted by: Ken Sawyer on Sunday, 24 December 2006 at 2:23pm GMT

A bit off topic, but here is another hint of the queer cooties theory that seems to be active in Nigeria:

Posted by: drdanfee on Monday, 25 December 2006 at 6:23pm GMT

David keeps this rumour alive in Barton, North Lincolnshire. Humberside was divided into East Yorkshire and Hull north of the Humber, and then North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire to the south (instead of doing the obvious and going back to Lincolnshire). I pass a church thirty seconds walk from my current front door to go to his five miles away.

Posted by: Pluralist on Tuesday, 26 December 2006 at 12:23am GMT
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