May 112010

I don’t generally blog on politics. It’s not a subject which particularly enthuses me – at least in the traditional sense. I have no particular love of party politics. The confrontational Westminster style is just irritating and the negative campaigning is simply depressing. But this blog entry isn’t about any of those things anyway. Rather, it’s about a train of thought that was triggered by watching a programme from a few days ago.

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Jan 182010

I was at the evening service in my home church last night and, I must confess, didn’t particularly engage with the theme of the sermon. It struck me as bordering on eisegesis rather than exegesis. To be fair, what it was doing was asking questions of the text that weren’t (I would have said) inherent in the text – the questions didn’t arise from the text; they were being imposed upon it (in my opinion). But, as I said, it did kick off a train of thought that I’m still wondering about.

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Nov 252009

The last ‘proper’ Barth class was today and, whilst the readings have often been heavy going, their challenge to faith and theology is very clear. There have been many quotable parts, but my particular favourite came with the readings for today. From Church Dogmatics IV/3, the context is Barth challenging how the church (or more accurately, the faith community) sees itself in the world. He has already challenged the notion that the faith community must hold itself apart from the world. Rather is must be utterly ‘for’ the world whilst holding on to its distinctiveness (holiness). Anyway, on the back of that comes an enormously challenging section on what being ‘for’ the world, and having solidarity with the world, means. He says:

Solidarity with the world means that those who are genuinely pious approach the children of the world as such, that those who are genuinely righteous are not ashamed to sit down with the unrighteous as friends, that those who are genuinely wise do not hesitate to seem to be fools among fools, and that those who are genuinely holy are not too good or irreproachable to go down “into hell” in a very secular fashion.

Barth CD IV/3, p774

Aug 292008

The internet makes the world a small place sometimes, especially when it comes to connections. Being a bit sad, I regularly look at the search terms used to find my blog and also keep tabs on who’s linking to me. Well, a new link popped up today from The page is ‘highlighting’ Scottish Christian bloggers. I’m not sure I’d ever claim to be a highlight, bit I will admit to being a little chuffed to have been listed. You’ll also find a few familiar names on the lists (hence the ‘small world’ reference).

This made me think again of Stewart’s point about the use of social media technology and my recent thoughts on it. This, in my mind, is where the technology we have does become useful. Creating links and sharing resources. Maybe it’s not ‘community’ as I would have it but when I noticed my name in the list of links then there was a sense of ‘belonging’. Maybe that’s at the root of what Stewart’s getting at – a need for inclusiveness, a need to participate. I feel ‘part of’ that group of bloggers because I have been included and I participate. Any community, be it virtual or otherwise, be it secular or Christian, needs inclusiveness and participation before it will really work. That, I suspect, is the real challenge to social media – how to make it genuinely inclusive and participatory. (And, arguably, a challenge within our real communities as well.)

So, it’s a small world indeed, and one that we can be part of, but there are challenges to be faced if our small world is not to have communities which are still a million miles apart.