Wikio - Top Blogs - Religion and belief

Monday, 30 November 2009

Art & Christianity meme

Instead of simply responding to memes I've decided to start one. The instructions for this meme are:

To list an artwork, drama, piece of music, novel, and poem that you think each express something of the essence of Christianity and for each one explain why. Then tag five other people.

  • Artwork: White Crucifixion by Marc Chagall - the violence of the world is visited on the scapegoated Christ whose sacrifice becomes the centre around which history revolves.

  • Drama: The Singing Detective by Dennis Potter - multi-layered clues in fiction, fantasy and autobiography combine enabling betrayal to be reinhabited which in turn releases the central character from the prison of his own distress and self-loathing.

  • Music: Credo by Arvo Pärt - an arc of emotion beginning in the confidence of belief and moving through an agony of doubt before emerging chastened but still trusting. The arc of faith expressed through sound.

  • Novel: The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky - a rigorous and dramatic exploration of what it means to genuinely live out the Christian faith in the world.

  • Poem: The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot - the world viewed in the light of Christ is fragmented, tormented and desolated but in the act of holding the fragments together the presence of Christ - the third who walks always beside you - is glimpsed.

I tag Banksy, Paul, Philip, Sam, and Tim.


T-Bone Burnett - River of Love.

Sunday, 29 November 2009


Advent is a time of waiting. Waiting to celebrate the first coming of Christ and reflecting on our wait for his second coming.

Waiting is a common experience; one that used to characterise the British as we were known for our ability to wait patiently in queues. Now that would seem to have changed, as adverts claim that impatience is a virtue.

Reflect for a few moments on the spiritual significance of waiting through the use of two meditations. The first, by Alan Stewart, simply lists some of our common experiences of waiting:


Waiting for news
News you long for
News you fear
Waiting for answers

Waiting to rejoice
With tears of laughter
Tears of regret
Waiting to grieve

Waiting to remember
Waiting to forget

Waiting to greet
or to say goodbye
Waiting to embrace
or to push away

Waiting to feel
Waiting not to feel

Waiting in emptiness
Waiting in pain
In discomfort
In anger
Waiting in shame

Waiting to heal
Waiting to destroy

Tired of waiting
Inspired by waiting
Frustrated by waiting
Elated by waiting

Waiting for a beginning
Waiting for an end

Waiting for birth
Waiting for death
For growing up
For growing old
Waiting for growing helpless

Waiting for marriage
Waiting to break-up

Waiting to work
Waiting to rest

Waiting for rain
Waiting in the rain

Waiting for harvest
Waiting for justice

Waiting for gunfire
for a knock at the door
For freedom
For sanctuary
For sanity

Waiting alone
Waiting together

Waiting for God
And in the waiting
God waits
With us.

So, God is with us in our waiting. That is the first thing for us to realise and sense. It is something that we see both in the Christmas story and in the wider story of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection:


Elizabeth waiting years for the conception of a child.

Mary waiting nine months for the birth of God’s son.

Simeon waiting to see the salvation of Israel.

Eastern visitors following a star, waiting to worship the baby born King of the Jews.

Joseph and Mary living in Egypt waiting for the death of Herod.

Jesus working and waiting for his ministry to begin.

Jesus tempted and waiting for his ministry to begin.

Disciples asking, “when will this be?”, and waiting for fulfilment.

Jesus waiting in prayer at Gethsemene, his disciples sleeping, unable to wait with him.

Mary weeping at the foot of the cross and waiting for death.

Jesus in the tomb, waiting for the third day.

Disciples, fearful and hopeless, gathered together behind locked doors and waiting.

Disciples waiting in Jerusalem for baptism by the Holy Spirit.

Church waiting for the kingdom coming through the return of the King.

Love waits.
Birth waits.
New life waits.
Revelation waits.
God waits.

Waiting for human response.
Never demanding or compelling.
Needing, but never seeking, our recognition.
Only complete once we have received.

Why are we waiting? Why does God wait? The answer that the Bible seems to give is that he is waiting for us to respond to him. W. H. Vanstone wrote in Love's Endeavour, Love's Expense: “So it is with the love of God. For the completion of its work, and therefore its own triumph, it must wait upon the understanding of those who receive it. The love of God must wait for the recognition of those who have power to recognise … Recognition of the love of God involves, as it were, the forging of an offering: the offering is the coming-to-be of understanding: only where this understanding has come to be has love conveyed its richest blessing and completed its work in triumph.”

God waits for us; waits for our recognition, understanding and response to his love. So, let us make it our aim and prayer this Advent to see him more clearly, love him more dearly, and follow him more nearly day by day.


Bob Marley - Waiting In Vain.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Subversion of scapegoating

I've been tagged by Philip Ritchie for the following meme:

Summarise the Bible in five statements, the first one word long, the second two, the third three, the fourth four and the last five words long. Or possibly you could do this in descending order. Tag five people.

My version is a Girardian attempt:

of scapegoats
subverted by the
act of God becoming
the ultimate sacrifice for all.

Sam and Banksy have also come up with some great responses to this one. I tag Paul Trathen, Elwin Cockett and Tim Goodbody.


The Staple Singers - When Will We Be Paid.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Windows on the world (79)

Mersea Island, 2009

Windows on the world

My camera shutters
a window
on the world.
The lens
a foreground
which is itself
a frame
for something
This is how
we humans see;
bounded by our own
yet able
still to see

That something
is the hint
and glimpse
of possibility,
the something
the excess
which Ricoeur
as our being,
our human being,
as constant change,
as constantly
who we are.

free imaginative
Husserl suggested
we can
vary the
form, colour,
material and uses
of an object
in our mind
and by
what is common
to these
its essence.

utilised this
when naming
the animals
in Eden;
the essence
of each animal
in naming
he knew
that none
could be
his soulmate
so knew
he needed

new ways of
we know
to be
of creative


Moby - Wait For Me.

Saturday, 21 November 2009


Let there be

Let life exist

Let possibilities be actualised

Let potentialities be realised

Let there be

synergies and union

Let there be

the imagining of possibilities

Let there be

the birthing of new life

Let there be

the nurturing of essence

Let there be

growth and development

Let there be

transformation and change

Let life be

Let life be cherished

Let what is be what it is

Let essence determine development


David Grant - Life.

Christmas Bazaar


Wizzard - I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Strange ways

Our journey's through life and faith are often strange and convoluted. That certainly appears to be the case for Ann Rice, whose Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt I have just finished reading.

Brought up a cradle Catholic, she exchanged her belief in God for the belief that there is no God while at University in response to her imperative need to read authors that were banned by the Roman Catholic Church. She married a convinced atheist and became famous as the author of popular Vampire novels. Her novels, however, reflected her search for meaning within a personal life touched by tragedy. The combination of her personal search and the research for her novels returned her to the history of Rome and beyond this to the mystery of the survival of the Jews. In 1998 she returned to the Catholic Church. Eventually this led to her own search for the historical Jesus as she read extensively on the subject with the result being the first two novels in her Christ the Lord trilogy.

The first of these is written in simple, sparse prose with the story told in the first person. The storyline incorporates some of the miracles found in the apocryphal infancy gospels but these are mainly restricted to the period in Egypt. The remainder is an imaginative fleshing out of the minimal Gospel stories of Jesus' childhood. Very little happens in terms of action but Rice's dramatisation of Jesus' growing understanding of who he is and what he has to do is effective and moving.

Rice's personal story and the novels written since her return to Catholicism seem to be a reminder of the continuing potency of Christianity in its ability to inspire artists and their work.


Martyn Joseph - Strange Way.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Memorable Musical Moments Meme

I was tagged by Banksyboy for this meme:

Think of eight memorable musical moments, not necessarily all time favourites, but those when, for example, you felt compelled to wait in the car when listening to this amazing song on the radio because you just had to know who it was by. Or the piece you heard on the tv in a drama that drove you straight onto iTunes to download... (remember once we spent the princely sum of 6s 8d on a vinyl single?!). Optional details for each song give where, why and Spotify or youtube links ...

1. King Crimson's In The Court Of The Crimson King - heard on late night radio in bed under the covers as a child when I was supposed to be asleep. Had to wait 9 minutes + to find out who it was it by. It seemed to go on forever and I was lost inside it. (View)

2. Instantly loved the sound of Norah Jones' Don't Know Why when I chanced to see the video on one of the music channels - pity the rest of the album wasn't quite up to the same standard. (View)

3. Watching The Jam play In The City on Top of the Pops. 60s cool with 70s relevance. (View)

4. I've watched lots of chick flicks with my daughters and have to report that A Walk To Remember is one of the best; genuinely moving, well acted story with a soundtrack by Switchfoot who I'd never heard before watching the film. Dare You To Move is a classic track which all our family still listen to - one of the few songs that we all respond to. (View)

5. Listened to Randy Stonehill's cover of Strong Hand Of Love on a Greenbelt compilation cassette and had to hear more of Mark Heard's wonderful lyrics and music. Heard is aptly celebrated in Bruce Cockburn's Closer To The Light. (View)

6. Came across Buddy & Julie Miller via their cover of Mark Heard's Orphans of God on the Strong Hand Of Love tribute album. (Listen)

7. Wings of Desire either turned me on Nick Cave's music or reinforced that interest - can't remember which. Also loved the opening poem by Peter Handke and was thrilled to hear the version by Van Morrison on The Philosopher's Stone. (Listen)

8. Heard Larry Norman's Sweet Sweet Song Of Salvation on a Key Records compilation then got Upon This Rock followed by the rest of his early Seventies output. Humour, honesty and intelligence combined with great musicianship and tunes. One of a kind. (View)

I tag Philip Ritchie, Sam Norton and Paul Trathen.


Noah And The Whale - Love Of An Orchestra.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Windows on the world (78)

Bradwell, 2009

The Low Anthem - Cage the Songbird.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Meditation on a green plastic milk bottle top

I wrote the following meditation for today's All-Age service at St Johns Seven Kings which has been planned by our Peace & Justice committee and which focuses on the Countdown to Copenhagen:

Each of you was given, as you arrived, a green plastic milk bottle top. Please hold it in your hand now and spend a moment looking at it.

It is a familiar everyday object; one that we see most days but do not think about. We handle it when we remove it in order to pour out our milk and then replace it to help in keeping the milk fresh. When the milk bottle is empty then we throw it away.

The world's annual consumption of plastic materials has increased from around 5 million tonnes in the 1950s to nearly 100 million tonnes today, which means that we use 20 times as much plastic today than we did 50 years ago. All plastics, including these bottle tops, but also many of the materials used to make the clothes we are wearing and the carpet we are walking on, plus hundreds of the other products we take for granted, are made from petrochemicals and a main ingredient in petrochemicals is oil. Our increased use of plastics uses up the world’s limited supplies of oil more quickly.

It is estimated that only 7% of plastic waste is recycled at present, so 93% of an increasing number of plastic items, including our bottle tops, currently go to landfill. These bottle-tops are a symbol of waste, a sign of our throw-away society. How many do we throw away each week, each month, each year?

Bottle-tops are hard to recycle because there are only a few companies that genuinely recycle them and only a few charities that genuinely collect them. We will have to go out of our way if we are to recycle bottle-tops, just as we also have to go out of our way if we are to recycle items that are not on our Council’s list for collection in our recycling boxes.

It is easy to recycle the paper, tins and plastic and glass bottles that the Council will collect from our homes but more difficult to recycle the cardboard, printer cartridges, bottle tops and other items that will only be recycled if we take them to the recycling centre. Will we do the easy thing or the harder thing when it comes to recycling?

Our bottle tops are green and green is the colour that we associate with the countryside and with environmental care. Our bottle tops can be reminders to us that we can be green, if we do the extra things that make a difference when it comes to recycling or conserving energy or lobbying MPs for Government action on climate change.

Please take your green milk bottle top home as a reminder of actions you want to take as a result of today’s service – like recycling things you currently throw away or switching off appliances that are usually left on stand-by or going to The Wave on 5th December to demonstrate your support for a safe climate future for all. Put the bottle top in your pocket and each time you touch remind yourself of what you have said you will do.

Let us pray ... Lord, we hold these bottle tops and they remind us of our wasteful, throw-away world which is rapidly using up the resources you have given to us. Make us truly sorry for our wasteful actions and turn us into those who conserve the world’s resources and lobby for Governments to stop the waste and stop climate chaos. May we be part of a wave of people around the world seeking and achieving a safe climate future for all. Amen.


Athlete - Hurricane.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Gospel Reflection

My latest Gospel Reflection for Mission in London's Economy can be read by clicking here. Based on Jesus' words about the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem (Mark 13. 1-8), I write about the sense that nothing we build as human beings lasts.


Todd Rundgren - The Walls Came Down.

c4m webpage update (28)

This week I have begun adding summaries of the presentations given at commission4mission's recent Study Day to the c4m webpage. To date, my introduction and the presentation by Peter Judd, Cathedral Dean, have been added. Peter Judd shared stories of commissioning a range of works from artists such as John Piper, Mark Cazalet and Peter Eugene Ball.


Bruce Cockburn - World of Wonders.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Faith-based leadership models (2)

The Management Agenda 2003, produced by Roffey Park, claimed that nearly three-quarters of workers are interested in "learning to live the spiritual side of their values". The report also claimed that more than 40% of UK managers would value the opportunity to discuss workplace spirituality with their colleagues and that 53% were experiencing tensions between "the spiritual side of their values and their work."

George Starcher, in a paper entitled ‘Towards a New Paradigm of Management’ available from the European Bahá'í Business Forum, argues that a new paradigm of management is emerging from the current context. A paradigm involving:

• the formulation and communication of purpose, vision, and process (leadership);
• the balancing of economic and material goals with spiritual and human values; and
• the recognition by growing numbers of organisations of a social responsibility as well as an economic mission.

Starcher suggests that Bahá’ís feel that this new paradigm must inevitably reflect the new spiritual values and teachings inspired by Bahá'u'lláh. But each of the faith communities contains resources for leadership. Sometimes these come through the teaching of these communities and sometimes through the examples of past or current leaders within the communities. In recent years such teaching and examples have been increasingly applied to the realm of work with the result that a broadly-based Spirituality at Work movement has emerged in this country to provide additional resources relating to leadership.

This series of posts tries to summarise and signpost people to some of the resources for leadership that the faith communities and the Spirituality at Work movement contain. The range of resources now available for aspects of management and leadership from these sources is vast and this section can do no more than dip a toe into the ocean. The fact that each heading in subsequent posts does not contain resources from each faith group is not an indication that those faith groups not mentioned have no resources in that area.


After The Fire - One Rule For You.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Five deeply de-Christian doctrines

Philip Ritchie tagged me with this meme on which topic lots of fellow bloggers have already posted (see here and here, for example). The problem with memes is responding quickly enough partly because if you're slow, like me, at doing so all the people you would tag have already been tagged and partly because others have then said all that you would want to say. Anyway, here's my response to this one:

List five doctrines that are taught within the Christian church that you believe to be deeply de-Christian.

1. The prosperity gospel - all those church adverts claiming to transform us from losers into into prosperous, healthy overcomers are simply buying into the spirit of capitalism not the Spirit of Christ. Jesus told us to take up our cross not our cheque books in order to follow him and to become servants not superstars.

2. Faith causes healing - this doctrine arrogantly locates the source of any healing that does occur in the faith of human beings rather than the grace of God and condemns all those who are not healed as lacking in faith.

3. "This world is not my home, I'm just a'passing through, my treasure's all laid up somewhere beyond the blue" or "Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace" - Oh no they won't, the things of earth will grow more precious and more significant in the light of his glory and grace that's why he taught us to pray, 'Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven'. This doctrine is brilliantly demolished in Tom Wright's Surprised by Hope; read it and create signs of the coming kingdom (heaven on earth) in the here and now.

4. Systematic theologies - God has not chosen to communicate with us systematically instead his communication is diverse and diffuse - creation, incarnation, scripture etc. To try to tidy up God's revelation into harmonious, systematic categories is to say that we know better than God and distorts the diverse revelation which he has gifted to us. To live in God we need to live with the creative tensions of his revelation instead of resolving it all to our liking.

5. The lingual trumps the visual - the idea that words are more important than images in Christianity which underpins arguments such as that scripture is the Word of God (not Christ), that evangelism is more important than social action, and that art to be Christian must have a message. But the Word become flesh and lived among us, faith without works is dead, and the greatest artistic creation ever - the universe itself - did not come emblazoned with a message from its sponsor.


Extreme - Peacemaker Die.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Windows on the world (77)

Serpentine Pavilion, 2009

M. Ward - Chinese Translation.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Jesus' wartime stories

Jesus told wartime stories. You can find them in Matthew 25. 1-13 and the other stories which are recorded for us in Chapters 24 and 25 of Matthew’s Gospel. That seems an odd thing to say about a story that is to do with a wedding and which does not mention war but the context in which Jesus told these stories to his disciples was one of trying to prepare them for a coming conflict.

Throughout the teaching recorded for us in Matthew 24, Jesus is telling his disciples about a coming crisis for which he needs them to be ready. This crisis will culminate in an invading army marching into Jerusalem’s Temple and laying it to waste. The wartime scenario that Jesus was describing here actually occurred about 40 years after his death and resurrection in AD70 with the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem by the occupying Roman army.

What Jesus was doing through his teaching and through these stories was to try to get his disciples ready for that coming crisis so that they would respond appropriately. As loyal Jews their natural tendency might well have been to stay and fight but Jesus makes it clear to them that they must get out and run. As a result of Jesus’ disciples fleeing Jerusalem, the message of the Gospel spread around the world. Their message was that all that Jesus did and said was true and that this was confirmed by the coming to pass of his prophecy about the Temple.

How prepared are we, I wonder, for the crises that we face in our day and time and are we ready to use them as opportunities to share and show the good news of Jesus? That is ultimately, the challenge of this story for us.

We can, in a sense, lay this story like a template across the crises that we remember and face and use it to assess whether we are more like the wise or foolish women in our response. Ultimately, in relation to the Second World War we would probably want to say that the country responded more like the wise than the foolish women. Whether we are talking about those who were on the front line or those supporting the war effort from home, the country was prepared to accept and make sacrifices in order that the war would eventually be won.

But that is not always the case in situations of conflict. We could, for example, ask the same question of the current conflict in Afghanistan. If it is true, as senior people in the Forces have suggested, that our troops there do not have the equipment they need for the task they have been sent to do, then it may be that our Government has acted more like the foolish women in the story than those that were wise.

We can apply this story too to crises that are not to do with warfare such as the current credit crunch. The way in which banks have been prepared to lend money to those who have no means of repaying those loans, for example, suggests that they too have behaved more like the foolish women in the story than the wise.

In the background of the credit crunch crisis are the twin crises of climate change and the peaking of oil supplies. Experts tell us that as a human race we have only a short number of years in which to address these issues before these crises hit us full on and it will be too late to respond. As in Jesus’ story, the question is, how will we respond? Will our response be wise or foolish? Will we be prepared or unprepared for the crises that are to come?

For Christians the question of how we respond is also a question of how prepared we are to share the good news of Jesus in the face of the crises that we face now and those still to come. What have we to say as Christians about conflict within our world? About the credit crunch? About climate change and peak oil? Jesus’ call is clear we are to be ready to face the crisis and prepared to share his good news. As we look back this month to honour those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus’ question needs to echo and re-echo in our lives and world; are we ready?


Monsters of Folk - His Master's Voice.

c4m webpage update (27)

This week posts on the commission4mission webpage have been to do with our showcase exhibition and Study Day at Chelmsford Cathedral. One post has images from the exhibition while another is the first in a series summarising the various presentations given at the Study Day by the Bishop of Barking, the Dean of Chelmsford Cathedral and the Chair of the DAC for Chelmsford. The series begins with the introductory presentation that I gave at the Study Day.

Philip Ritchie has also posted about our exhibition with subsequent discussion of the exhibition following in the comments to his original post.


Paolo Nutini - Coming Up Easy.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

The Art of Life

In one translation of Exodus 31. 6 God says, "To all who have an aptitude for crafts I've given the skills." Creativity, this passage suggests, is a gift of God.

This phrase however can sound as though it is only certain chosen people who have the aptitude for creativity but that is not the witness of the Bible, taken as a whole. God's Spirit gives each person gifts, as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12, but the gifts that we are given differ from person to person. This means that we are all creative but in differing ways. As the Archbishop of Canterbury has said, "artists are special people and every person is a special kind of artist."

Ultimately, creativity is a gift of God because God is creative and we are made in his image. He is the Creator, the one who said "Let there be" and life came to be; the One whose glory is proclaimed by the heavens and the work of whose hands is proclaimed by the skies. We are made in the image of the Creator God and therefore we too are creative.
God is the ultimate creator, who created from nothing, and we are sub-creators, able to, as Dorothy L. Sayers put it, "rearrange the unalterable and indestructible units of matter in the universe and build them up into new forms."
Does this mean that we should all strive to be 'artists' in the sense of being musicians, novelists, poets, painters etc? Edith Schaeffer, in her useful book Hidden Art, answers that question by saying no, of course not:
"But it does mean that we should consciously do something about it. There should be a practical result of the realization that we have been created in the image of the Creator of beauty ... the fact that you are a Christian should show in some practical area of a growing creativity and sensitivity to beauty, rather than in a gradual drying up of creativity."

She continues by writing that, "it may be helpful to consider some of the possibilities all of us have for living artistically, but which are often ignored." This is what she calls 'Hidden Art'; the development of our talents (whatever they are) and their use in a way which will enrich othr people's lives. By doing so, we express the fact of being creative creatures made in the image of our Creator God.

Just as the expressions of our creativity will be diverse because we all have differing gifts and differing contexts for the use of those gifts, so creativity itself often also results from diversity. This is increasingly being recognised within society as, for example, in the recent sixth Brussels Debate where participants argued that cultural diversity enlarges and values the different ways of seeing and doing things in other cultures and that this opennes gives the capacity to select and absorb elements of other cultures, helping to produce new ways of thinking, seeing, imagining and creating.

Each photo in my weekly Windows on the world series (see examples above) aims to tell a similar story. Each photo has both a foreground object which acts as a frame through which we glimpse something beyond. This mirrors the way in which each of us view life both from our own individual perspective and are able to see and engage with the perspective of others and, even, of God. These photos are, therefore, an attempt to see ordinary scenes from different perspectives and through fresh eyes. This is what art at its best does for us and, through seeing differently, we are opened up to new possibilities.
The philosopher Paul Ricoeur has argued that human being is possibility; that we are constantly changing by constantly exploring the possibilities of who we are and who we can become. This exploration occurs as we imagine possibilities that help us clarify the essence of who we are. We come to know the essence of a thing by exploring its various possibilities through imaginative variations. The philosopher Edmund Husserl gave an example of this in identifying the 'Essence' of a table. By 'free imaginative variation' we can alter the form, colour or material of the table. WE can also imagine possible uses of a table: we can eat a meal on it; we can write letters or do a jigsaw puzzle on it; we can stand on it to fix the lightbulb etc. By then looking to see what there is in common among the various examples, we can determine the essence of the table.
We see this happening too in what is otherwise a rather strange Bible story. In Genesis 2. 18-25, God brings all the animals in the Garden of Eden to Adam for him to name and, at the end of this naming process, Adam recognises Eve as his soulmate. The key to this story is that names in ancient times described the essence of the thing that was named. So Adam looks and listens in order to understand the essence of each different creature and then creates a name that reflects that essence. By so doing, he also sees what is different between himself and the creatures, so that when he sees Eve he is able to immediately recognise her as his soulmate.
This is also what I understand the Bible as doing for us. The Bible is a diverse book. In fact, it is more of a library than a book; a library of 66 different books containing biography, drama, history, law, letters, prophecy, poetry and proverbs. Mike Riddell calls it "a collection of bits" assembled to form God's home page while Mark Oakley uses a more poetic image in writing of the Bible as "the best example of a collage of God that we have." They use these images because the Bible contains, as Oakley writes, "different views, experiences, beliefs and prayers" drawn "from disparate era, cultures and authors" which are not systematic in their portrayal of God. As Riddell states: "The bits don't fit together very well - sometimes they even seem to be contradictory. Stories, poems, teachings, records, events and miracles rub up against each other. They come from all over the place, and span at least 4,000 years of history."
The point is that the Bible gives us many different perspectives on God and on human beings. These different perspectives produce new ways of thinking, seeing, imagining and creating in us. As we see God and human beings from different perspectives and through fresh eyes we are opened up to new possibilities. As we see and imagine possibilities we have the same experience as Adam and come to know ourselves better - we see the essence of who we are - and we change to become more like the people that God created us to be.
This is living creatively, living artisically, and it is something each of us are called to do and be. The art of life is to be open to the diversity of life in order to see life's possibilities from different perspectives and, as we compare and contrast these possibilities, to identify the essence of who we have been created by God to be and to become. By understanding ourselves and by responding to the essence of otherws, we are able to develop and use our talents for the enrichment of other people's lives. In doing so, we express the fact of being creative creatures made in the image of our Creator God.
The Call - Uncovered.

Windows on the world (76)

Piccadilly, 2009

Bon Iver - For Emma.