26 July 2006

"Beyond Belief" programme on Mary Magdalene

Mark Goodacre, in his NT Gateway blog, links to a programme from the Radio 4 series Beyond Belief about Mary Magdalene.

Mark's blog entry is here, whilst the audio file of the programme can be found here: Beyond Belief: 24 July 2006 (RealPlayer required)

The programme discusses Mary Magdalene in "myth", the popular imagination and in the Gospels, with due reference to The Da Vinci Code and to one woman's remarkable personal testimony.

Labels: ,

24 July 2006

Christianity and popular culture

I’ve been prompted by 22 July – the day the church remembers Mary Magdalene – to think a little about the Christian response to popular culture. Mary’s “public profile” is as prominent as ever, being a central character in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.

Christian responses to the book and film vary, as ever, from condemnation and boycott to engagement. I have been helped by Steve Hollinghurst’s thoughts, and by his published material (Coded Messages )

It strikes me that the Church often needs to stand against contemporary views and events – a prophetic role, if you like – but that we cannot stand outside popular culture.

In the Declaration of Assent, (which they make at ordination and on taking up each new post) Ministers in the CofE are challenged both to affirm the traditional inheritance of faith and “to proclaim [it] afresh in each generation.” That is the key, for me.

Steve has much of interest to say about what form this proclamation might take and has also written very helpfully about the Christian response to The Da Vinci Code. (The Da Vinci Code)

He also points out here (Orthodox or Authentic) that Jesus, in sharing God’s love for ordinary people and meeting them where they were, scandalised those who held “orthodox” beliefs. Those of us in the Church ought to feel uncomfortable at this point!

Labels: ,

20 July 2006

On Owen Hargreaves

This one a late comment on England's World Cup ... 17 July 06


This is way late, by way of a comment on the World Cup, but ... I wasn't able to watch the England v Portugal game live and ... well it took me a while to work up the enthusiasm to watch the tape

Lots I could say, but one thing that stands out is that, after his performance out-of-position at right-back, and then his heroic efforts v Portugal, Owen Hargreaves deserves a written apology from every one of the "experts" in the media who questioned his inclusion in the squad! (Yeah, like he's ever going to get an apology from those people!)

Well done, Owen Hargreaves! All credit to you!!

Labels: , ,

A political resurrection

This one more of a rant ... 21 June 06


The re-emergence of former Home Secretary Charles Clarke in the media is interesting. Only a few months after the pundits and "commentators" conspired to kill off Mr Clarke and label him as a failure and a liability, they are now resurrecting him as a politician gifted with remarkable insight and judgement about all aspects of government!

I'm bound to ask - which is he?! Or does that depend on how he suits the media agenda?

Labels: , ,

Michael Owen's injury

This one was mid-World Cup - 22 June 06


Obviously Michael Owen's injury is a terrible blow for him, and hurts England's World Cup chances significantly, since he is a world class player. But you can't help but marvel at the attitude of the media pundits and journos.

Having spent so much of their time just recently insisting that Owen is not worth his place and should be dropped from the team, they are now wailing and gnashing their teeth and bemoaning the end of the world (cup) because he is out!

Labels: , ,

US Open Golf

Moving this post over from an earlier blog - 20 June 06. I'm just starting off in the blogsphere ...!


Got to feel sorry for Colin Montgomerie! I've never been much of a fan myself - supporting Lee Westwood because of my North Nottinghamshire roots - but you can't help but feel for Monty! To be in with a chance of his first "Major" and then double-bogey the last! Then to see Phil Mickelson do the same!!

It would have been so sweet for Monty to win his first Major in the US of all places - where the crowds have given him such a hard time. Ah well ... Of course he has been going through personal difficulties of late, which in the scheme of things are more important, but I hope this doesn't affect him too badly. It would be great to see him bounce back - again! And lots of very fine golfers have never won a Major - or achieved all that Montgomerie has achieved in the game.

Congrats to Geoff Ogilvy btw! He was gracious in victory.