Saturday, 5 February 2011


Matt Idom writes in The Huffington Post about Worshiping God, Not the Bible.

Jane Williams continues her Comment is free belief series: The Book of Genesis, part 8: Why this story? “Genesis has shaped human history for generations, but it continues to offer new insights and raise new questions.”

Nick Spencer writes in The Guardian about Christianity: a faith for the simple. “Christianity’s founding ideals are anti-elitist – so should we be surprised if its followers are less educated than average?”

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times about When mob bigotry is the spirit of the age.

Jill Hamilton writes in The Guardian about When sharing faith means sharing germs. “Baptism and the kissing of icons may raise health concerns, yet faith often trumps our modern obsession with hygiene.”

Christopher Howse writes for The Telegraph about Two days before the royal wedding.

Mark Vernon writes for The Guardian about Uncertainty’s promise. “Whether with science or religion, only by embracing doubt can we learn and grow.”

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 5 February 2011 at 11:00am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion

That Jill Hamilton article about hygeine is just a little odd. Do we have any record of diseases being spread by kissing of icons? It's not a pratice I'm particularly keen on, but for reasons other than hygiene.

Similarly, I doubt a dip in a river with elevated nitrate levels would do anyone a button of harm. It might do harm to fish and algae living in it permanently, but a quick total immersion is hardly going to be a problem.

I remember being bamboozled by the obsession with hygiene beyond common sense when visiting Germany as a boy in the late 1980s. Somehow, in the past 25 years, we seem to have caught up with them, and not in a good way. (You New World types were probably always as bad.)

I have an awful fear that some of the large body of people within the Church of Ireland with an essentially Zwinglian Eucharistic theology might use spurious concerns about hygiene to move away from the common cup.

Posted by: Gerry Lynch on Saturday, 5 February 2011 at 1:35pm GMT

"Wrestling with the tenants of Darwinism" -- from Matt Idom's otherwise well-written article.
Dear me! The Queen continues to be in danger of losing her English. It's "tenets of Darwinism". It's the second or third time I've seen this particular Malapropism or eggcorn.
Thank you Giles Fraser for your comments, but with regard to Primate Orombi, I believe he stayed away not only because of GLBT issues, but because, on Its way to the 75th TEC General Convention in 2006, the Holy Spirit apparently tripped over someone's foot, and settled into the body of ... a woman, ++Jefferts-Schori! Oh, noooo!

Posted by: peterpi - Peter Gross on Saturday, 5 February 2011 at 5:48pm GMT

Bravo, and a very hearty thanks to Giles Fraser. I hope this is very widely read.

Posted by: Nat on Saturday, 5 February 2011 at 5:54pm GMT

"Things are moving far too slowly"

Hear , hear !!

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Saturday, 5 February 2011 at 7:19pm GMT

Nick Spencer "Christianity's founding ideals are anti-elitist – so should we be surprised if its followers are less educated than average?"

Yes, the Gospel is very simple. But are the proudly anti-intellectual Fundamentalists really followers of that Gospel, or another (more congruent w/ Caesar)?

It's an open question.

Posted by: JCF on Saturday, 5 February 2011 at 7:44pm GMT

Some auto-correct functions in electronic devices have a limited vocabulary, and will malaprop at will, or so I am told. Maybe that's where the 'tenants' came from. Spell check can also lead you astray if you are not vigilant. I also bet 'tenants' occurs more often in written texts than 'tenets,' thus causing a program to 'prefer' it.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Saturday, 5 February 2011 at 9:12pm GMT

According to, 'tenet' is one of the 100 most frequently mispronounced words. If one pronounces it 'tenant' it's a short leap to misspelling it.

Posted by: Richard on Sunday, 6 February 2011 at 6:46pm GMT

" I must always remember, it is not through the bible that I am found. No, that is more about the one God I understand the bible to be revealing. And in that sense, it is more about honesty than anything else. God is the author of grace, not the bible. The bible reveals that grace, but can never dispense it. And as one reads the very real, very human struggles of biblical characters that, in all honesty, have the same failures and hang ups as the rest of us, we actually begin to see ourselves. Honestly."

- Matt Idom -

Not a bad summary of the real problems associated with bibliolatry. The trouble is that with anyone who has a fundamentalist attachment to the KGV or any other version of the Bible for that matter, it would seem to block out the need for using the brain. Has the Holy Spirit stopped revealing to The Church God's ongoing agenda of redemption?

'Sola Scriptura' is no substitute for the judicious application of 'Scripture, Tradition, and REASON. After all, The WORD became flesh..!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 11 February 2011 at 5:02am GMT
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