Towards a Church without Standards

arnie-levin-user-name-and-password-new-yorker-cartoonWhen I was at school we were introduced to the art or science of debate. I thought that this would be good. I could argue for what I believed and wanted. Instead we discovered that we were told whether we were to argue for or against the motion. It was a good discipline and a good lesson. I often discovered that the act of preparing and delivering an argument changed my mind. Continue reading

Silence as a Prelude to Preaching


Therefore at such a time the prudent person keeps silent, for it is an evil time.  (Amos 5:13)

I think Amos’s words are wise. The prudent person, the wise person, does keep quiet most of the time. Let others do the speaking. Let others share their wisdom. Learn from them. If necessary let silence be a tactic and let them make fools of themselves. There are many reasons to remain silent. Not many of them are bad. Continue reading

Communion, A Sometimes Violent Grounding


On Sunday 5 June 2016 I will be leading a celebration of the Sacrament of Communion. My own Sacramental theology is in a state of flux. I do not know where metaphor begins and ends. I am confused by the semantics of the whole thing. My experience is that something very profound happens within me and to me and that this is more than a mere suggestive symbolism and that the sign does in some mysterious way embody the reality to which it points. Continue reading

The Prophet who Lunched


Jesus is the minister’s best teacher but not if the minister wishes to learn time management. Jesus was a waster.

Jesus wasted time. He squandered it. That was one of his things. He lived long before watches but the sun will have moved across the sky on many a day when Jesus does not appear to have done much. He made that into an art. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John tell us little but the little we learn teaches us that here was a man who could tell a story, enjoy and upset a dinner party, and generally gather with friends and strangers. Continue reading