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I found myself astonished by the sheer scale, and immediacy, of media outpouring over the death on Monday of David Bowie. I don’t know what it was like elsewhere in the world, but from the first “We heard half an hour ago…” on the non pop-culture BBC Radio 4, pretty well the whole radio output of the day seemed to be replaced by every available media person’s appreciations, however trivial. Here was the BBC news: “I’m sorry to have to cut short your thoughts on tomorrow’s national doctors’ strike, but you’ll appreciate that in the light of David Bowie’s death this specially extended programme…”
Holly (this growing on our spread) – a most fallen plant by Genesis literalist standards, being both poisonous (like the ivy, in fact) and thorny. But it is undiminished, nevertheless, in its Christmas appeal and the allegorical lessons to be learned from the English folk carol first published in the early nineteenth century. And so it’s clearly an integral part of Christ’s good Creation. Have a good Christmas all – we’ll be back soon.
…last week marks the fiftieth anniversary of two events in my life. The first was that I launched a message in a bottle from an International 14 dinghy in the Afon Dwyryd estuary in North Wales, expecting that… well, realistically, even at the optimistic age of thirteen, I expected that would be the last I heard of it. But what I hoped was that the river would sweep my pop-bottle out into Cardigan Bay and then the Irish Sea, and that the ocean currents would carry it hither and yon until many years later, I’d receive tidings back from some exotic shore.
I find myself reading an old (1956) book by psychologist A. M. Meerloo, The Rape of the Mind – the Psychology of Thought Control. His study of the techniques of individual mind control under Naziism and, particularly, Communist brain-washing – which he more correctly calls “menticide” – arose from his first-hand experience as a Dutch resistance worker and later examiner of both Nazis and Communists.
In 1972 I formed my first band, an acoustic folk-rock duo, with a talented guitarist named Dave. The commerciality of our style (a cross between the Incredible String Band and Yes) may be gauged by our name, which was Peculiar Lucan Sauce. Be that as it may, I used to repair regularly to Dave’s house in Guildford to rehearse, and very nice coffee his Mum served, too.
This is to wish everyone a Happy Christmas from all at The Hump. The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all … Continue reading
One of the things that fed the philosophical turmoil I referred to here over the centuries was the same conundrum that binds the prevalent materialist worldview, and so influences ours, now.
This is a guest post by J. Richard Middleton, in response to issues raised by Jon Garvey in a post called Middleton on the empty temple. A native of Jamaica, Richard is currently Professor of Biblical Worldview and Exegesis at Northeastern Seminary, in Rochester, NY, USA. Trained in both philosophy and Old Testament studies, his writing and research have focused on the biblical worldview, creation theology, Hebrew narratives, lament literature, and eschatology. His most recent book A New Heaven and a New Earth: Reclaiming Biblical Eschatology will be published by Baker Academic in November. I’m delighted to respond Jon’s post, which reflects on a previous post of mine where I … Continue reading
Since we’ve been talking about worldviews, let me refresh a theme I’ve covered a little before, and that is how difficult it is for us moderns – whether Christians or not – to escape from our materialist worldview at its broadest. By this I don’t mean the idea that the material is all that exists (snare though that is), but the fact that, for all of us civilized folks, material explanations for things remain the default “reality.”
The news that “creationism” has been banned in science lessons in British Academy Schools by HM Government almost passed our national press by, whereas there are a multitude of Google hits from the US. In fact, on the main “secondary” source, a UK site, nearly all the comments are from US culture warriors of one persuasion or another. My conclusion from this is that (a) Americans are too obsessed with it and (b) the British are too complacent.