Vetting the bishop and other #FakeNews

“Health and Safety gone mad” is one of those perennial Daily Fail stories designed to inspire rising levels of anger and frustration in their readers. Such stories are aimed at further disgusting the eponymous resident of Tunbridge Wells, and are always worth dosing with the sauce of scepticism.

It is in such a spirit that I approached their latest weekend offering

Top headmaster blasts terror rules that meant he had to vet a sermon by Eton’s Church of England chaplain

There may have been a brief pause after the Grenfell tower tragedy caused a number of anti-EU journalists and politicians to swallow their calls for a post-Brexit bonfire of health and safety regulations, but it looks as though normal service is now being resumed. Continue reading “Vetting the bishop and other #FakeNews”

Lost in translations?

translation cover imageAt the start of the week, Scot McKnight posted about a new translation of the New Testament. This, by Orthodox lay theologian David Bentley Hart, won’t be published in the UK until January.

I confess that my first reaction is, “Another one?” It is hard not to see the continuous production of published NT translations, meeting some perceived lack of scriptural accuracy, as something of a first-world problem.

In these brief remarks, I’m reliant on McKnight’s post and what little I can see from Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature. Continue reading “Lost in translations?”

Praying for the health service

As part of a diocesan resource to help people pray this St Luke’s tide for the health service, I’ve written these propers for a eucharist (although some of them can obviously be used outside the context of eucharistic worship). I thought I’d post below a slightly edited version here for others also to use as they wish. The full resource is available from our diocesan website. I’m assuming people will use the collect of St Luke’s day. Continue reading “Praying for the health service”

BC, BCE, and the hypocrisy of academic dating

Fighting between dating systems

One indicator of changing attitudes to Christianity is the lessening degree of outrage over the evergreen argument about replacing BC/AD with BCE/CE in dates. Yesterday’s Telegraph had the latest iteration of this hardy perennial. It was a relatively restrained and educational account, despite a word from zombie archbishop George Carey.

A number of [school] authorities have already adopted the policy, while several more are reported to be considering making the switch from the traditional to the more politically-correct chronological form compulsory.

Compare this with the version in the Evening Standard some 15 years ago, and one can see that a choleric splutter is on its way to becoming a resigned shrug. Continue reading “BC, BCE, and the hypocrisy of academic dating”

Biblical Studies Carnival

Phil Long has posted the Biblical Studies Carnival round-up for September. These carnivals – a long-standing blog tradition – are always a good way to discover new blogs or posts you may have missed, and Phil’s is no exception.

But let this also serve as notice that I shall be hosting the October carnival on this blog, which will be posted on 1 November. (I last did one a long time ago, on a blog far, far away, scattered many moons since on the winds of cyberspace.)

If you have posts to which you wish to draw my attention for that round-up, then leave a link in the comments here.

Living comfortably: the fiction of a stipend?

Living Ministry Research Project logo

This week’s Church Times reported “Clergy living comfortably“. However, my eye was caught by the paragraph that suggested all was not quite as well as the headline suggested.

Overall, about three-quarters of respondents indicated that, financially, they were “living comfortably’ or “doing all right’. Eighty-two per cent of ordained respondents were able to draw on other sources of income than that received for ministry. Those unable to do so were “much more likely to struggle financially’, with several reporting dependency on tax credits and benefits.

It took a while to track down the report, which appeared to be referenced neither in the CT report, nor on the C of E website in any obvious place. It turns out the project is on one of the many proliferating branded sites. Continue reading “Living comfortably: the fiction of a stipend?”

Ten: a photographic selection

I’ve taken advantage of a few days’ leave to tackle one of those tasks I’ve never really found the energy to get round to: cataloguing, winnowing, and keywording my photos. Here are ten of those I was pleased (for one reason or another) to reacquaint myself with.

Clubbing together in Corinth (a review)

Detail of Roman banquet

It’s always interesting to read a book which works hard to overturn a consensus. I’ve just finished a scholarly monograph which attempts to do just that: The Pauline Church and the Corinthian Ekklēsia by Richard Last.

Last’s aim is to set the Corinthian church in the context of Greco-Roman associations. He thinks previous scholarship has overestimated both the size and the distinctiveness of the Corinthian church. As he makes his case he pays particular attention to questions of membership dues, elections of officers, and honorific awards. Continue reading “Clubbing together in Corinth (a review)”

Worcestershire Multifaith picnic

I make no great claims for my ability with video, but since yesterday I was filling in, in the absence of professional colleagues, I thought I’d use the opportunity of a very enjoyable afternoon to start learning some new skills.

The event was Holland House’s Interfaith Picnic (co-organised with Worcestershire Interfaith Forum) which included a fantastic vegan buffet meaning everyone could share the same food. The skills I was trying out for the first time were editing in Final Cut Pro X, and recording sound (for the interviews) separately on a Zoom (with a cheap lapel mike) and synchronising it in post.

This is what I made of it:

2017 Worcestershire Interfaith Picnic on Vimeo.