Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence

German sociologist Hartmut Rosa has recently written The Uncontrollability of the World, in which he critiques our cultural attempt to eliminate risk, and reduce everything to a predictable set of results. While some areas of life need control, like me being in hospital(!), the ultimate attempt to control experience is, of course, impossible, and leads inevitably to a profound sense of depression and disappointment. 

Saturday, 2 October 2021

Shrodinger's Theological Cat

I am writing this in hospital. I was having some seizures, down my left arm; when after one particularly painful incident, I went to A&E. Here, they diagnosed focal epilepsy, caused by tumours in the brain. At the moment, therefore, the staff are investigating to discover if these are primary cancers or secondary ones, derived from elsewhere in my body.

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Prophetic Ministry

The prophets, Haggai & Zechariah, encouraged people to rebuild the temple, after returning from exile, and faced opposition and discouragement (Ez. 5.1). In the New Covenant, such temple imagery is transferred to the body: Christ’s physical body in history (Jn. 2.19-21), and his body now in the church (1 Co. 3.16 & 2 Co. 6.16).

Of all the spiritual gifts, however, it is only prophecy which is said to “build up” (edify) the church (1 Co. 14.4-5) – although all gifts are for the “common good” (1 Co. 12.7). Prophecy gives the assurance that God is present, and is speaking (1 Co. 14.24); whether manifested in charismatic utterances or anointed preaching.

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Ignatian Spirituality

Ignatius Loyola wrote his Spiritual Exercises, as a guide for discernment. Through them, we are encouraged to interpret our feelings, before God, to detect signs of whether we are moving towards, or away from, him.

Over a period of time, we examine our responses of consolation and desolation. Consolation is given by the Good Spirit, as an encouragement as we make intentions towards God. Desolation comes from the Bad Spirit, to discourage us, and make us move away from God. 

Saturday, 28 August 2021

Reconsideration of "The Rood"

After I finished writing my last Blopost here, I walked downstairs to make a coffee, and immediately realised I’d missed a whole area of reflection. I’d taken a completely negative view of the contextualisation implicit in The Dream of the Rood, missing the (very obvious) positive aspect, and the necessary nuance (and risk) involved in any attempt at contextualisation.

Thursday, 26 August 2021

False Contextualisation: The Dream of the Rood

 The Dream of the Rood (available here) is a classic piece of Anglo-Saxon poetry, from the 8th or 10th centuries. Rood is the old English word for ‘rod’ or ‘pole’, and came to be used of the Cross. The poem narrates a dream sequence, in which the author sees a tree being cut down, and eventually used in the crucifixion of Christ.

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

The Church in Wales

We visited a Church of Wales service while on holiday. There was an assortment of locals and tourists. No singing, because of Covid; just the liturgy. A lay-leader explained to us, that they had a tradition of supporting pilgrims, passing through, some as corpses for burial, to the holy island of Bardsey, which was known as a “thin place”, to be near the resurrection.

Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence