Friday, October 21, 2011

Places I've been...

For once, I'm NOT short of blogging inspiration, and this is at least partly because of lots of inspirational reading I've been doing, on and off the net  (well, mostly on, if I'm honest!).  Before I wax lyrical on my own, I thought it would be worth sharing a few of the gems I've been inspired by in the past week or so:

Probably the post that touched me the most, was this amazing poem by Joy Wilson.  I've just discovered her blog, and will keep following it.  She's also written a book, called "Uncensored Prayer", which I have ordered from Amazon.  More on that when it arrives!  Her poetry is raw and real and, in the words of one reviewer, "not for the faint hearted" but as I read this one poem it could have been MY story.  It threw my morning off balance in the most incredible of ways - I just wanted to cry, and talk to Jesus.  It brought me closer to God than I've felt in quite a while!  Find it here.

This punchy and insightful guest post by Alise Wright, on Jamie, the very worst Missionary (one of my fave blogs) really hit the mark!  Alise is a Jesus-follower married to an atheist and I think probably straddles the divide between "Christian culture" and the rest of the waking world, in a unique way!  

Derek Flood has been an ongoing source of insight and encouragement.  I've already recommended his four part article (kind of like a mini-book, but REALLY worth the time it takes to read it) Penal Substitution vs. Christus Victor.  This week, though, I delved into his (much shorter) article on relational theology.  He has a way of taking the ideas I've been groping at, and laying them out clearly!
(Derek is also a professional animator, and the image on the right is his artwork.  You can buy prints via his webpage)

And finally, a bit of a thought-provoking discussion with Michael Camp, of Deep Thought Pub, on homosexuality in the Bible.  Something I've been wrestling with for a while, as I have dear friends and family members with same-sex partners.  I don't believe God's love excludes anyone because of lifestyle or sin, but it's sometimes hard to reconcile this with some passages in the Bible.  Michael and I both agree that the law is NOT part of following Jesus, but the discussion was eye-opening, nonetheless!

(nb. I think one of the reasons I'm enjoying engaging with Michael, is that we both have boozy sounding blog names!!)


  1. I liked the discussions and work at Deep Thought Pub.
    As you are on a journey from a legalistic and rigid interpretation of the Bible to one based on love, respect and relationships, reading some of the works at the liberal end of the Christian tradition could well be a very valid and informative part of your journey. (IMNSHO the promotion of an angry exclusive and judgemental position is that of the "Christian Right")
    I come from a liberal social justice and social change and radical tradition from the sacramental end of the Anglican Church, so my journey has been a different one to yours. But we certainly now have more overlaps. I’d maybe describe my journey as one of questioning the questions as well as questioning the answers.
    I love the cartoon I found on Facebook this morning at “Being Liberal” has 3 Judgemental Christians from Westboro Baptist Church holding up signs “God Hates Fags”, “You’re Going to Hell” and “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” with the Devil telling them “As it turns out, God actually hates small-minded, bigoted, blind fanatics….”
    With this sort of so-called Christianity, their God is my Satan.

    There’s an interesting personal explanation of angry and judgemental versus the loving Christianity of service and social change at

    This is the site for a new book on The Christian Left: Progressives with Soul

  2. This is an interesting journey too, “My personal evolution to become part of The Christian Left — or, “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Practice the Golden Rule” - The Christian Left Blog

    I feel an kinship with this one too, Christians Tired of Being Misrepresented

    “If you are frustrated with public figures or outspoken Christians who speak and act in ways that do not represent who Jesus Christ is (unconditional love, forgiveness, and an advocate to the rejected by society), join us as we challenge them in their lies and bigotry in a creative and constructive way.”

    “We are Christians who are tired for being misrepresented by Right-Wing Fundamentalists who have hi-jacked Christianity and over the course many years made it into the complete opposite of Christ's teachings. Christ's main teaching was 'love they neighbor'. Many fundamentalists today who have right-wing views are not living that example.”

    “We are here to expose the lies of the Christian right, to be the example. But we are also here in fellowship and as a safe haven for the many who have been rejected by the Christian right, and there are MANY.”

    and then Mark Sandlin makes some good arguments for change at his blog, “The God Article: questioning the answers,”

    Sandlin has a number of really thought provoking posts including “The Death Throes of Fundamentalism in a Thinking Church” and I reckon “Amen to that !” and Clobbering “Biblical” Gay Bashing

    “We Christians are good at a lot of things. Helping others. Dressing up on Sunday. Quoting scripture. Pot luck meals. Taking care of church members. Weddings. Funerals. Worship. But perhaps the thing at which we are the most persistently exceptional is misinterpreting the Bible then running amuck in the world because of it. Honestly, mad skills. And history backs me up on this one.”

    Sandlin goes on to may a point I really agree with, that while theologians picked a theme for Christianity it would be “love and grace” or something similar and “the opposite of the oppression, belittlement, hatred and marginalisation represented by the numerous atrocities committed by the Christian Church”

    Hope these are of interest.

    So keep up the questions, it’s by asking the impertinent questions, that we move towards pertinent answers !

    cheers David

  3. Thank you, David - There's a lot there to explore and digest. I'm cautious, though, of the whole "right-left divide, thing". I don't believe Jesus was either, and the language and rhetoric is often divisive and unhelpful. The thing I love about Derek Flood's theology, is that it is relational - which goes beyond social justice and is able to embrace the spectrum of traditions and political persuasions.


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