Tuesday, January 04, 2005

new year reading

Always good to start the new year with a book.

Mine is Brian McLaren's A Generous Ortodoxy - a book with a ludicrously long sub title that makes a point but means the cover is the ugliest I've seen in a long time!

For those of for whom the Christian faith is the only way of making sense of the world, this seems to me to be quite an important book. In rapidly changing times, asking the question what relevance does faith have, particularly faith in Jesus, seems pretty crucial. Crucial too is the supplementary question 'what shape will that faith have in the twenty-first century'. All Christian ministers need to be asking this of themselves and their congregations.

McLaren has done this in a series of books over the past six or seven years with considerable panache. This new one seems to be no exception. I'm looking forward to the journey.

Yesterday was the last day of long the Christmas lay off (in England at least) so the family watched the extended version of the Return of the King, the final part of Peter Jackson's amazing Lord of the Rings trilogy. All gathered round the telly with wine, chocolates and excitement.

As well as stupendous set piece scenes and the wonderfully observed relationship between Frodo and Sam, what struck me last night was the theme of power and its potential to corrupt. And bubbling under the surface all the time was the question of whether Aragorn would succomb to the temptation to seek power for itself or for the benefit of all of Middle earth. It's a good question for all of us with power to consider - whether that power is in our families, our churches, our workplaces or in government of some kind.

It's also a ripping yarn of a movie - four hours just flew by!

and now it's back to the routine - at least in the UK. have a good one.

1 comment:

Ben Mizen said...

I am ploughing through the Mclaren book too. The ugliness of the cover never struck me until you mentioned it.

Sometimes when it comes to faith and those whose industry relies upon it, i feel that the shape issue can be a bit "square peg-round hole". The "one shape suits all" nature seems culturally limited and based upon the positional authority of an institution rather than permissional authority of Christ. I guess for many it is a tense time with no easy models or answers to solve the problem of a "declining modern church".

I like what Rowan Williams said about a "Mixed Economy" where new and old models can co-exist. It seems very modernistic to have one "off the peg" solution for everything. Now where would be the fun in that... i mean why would we even bother praying and listening to God in that case!

... if we are also discussing movies, i watched "This Is Spinal Tap" last night. It's not quite the same as LOTR and I am left struggling to find any spiritual point at all... though i did laugh loads