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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Easter Week Begins

..... or so the Guardian tells us.

Actually, it does begin. On Sunday. This, on the other hand, is Holy Week. We'll commemorate now, and celebrate later.

Really, I expect better of the Guardian. Apparently all their journalists spend a lot of time in Chapel, calling on a higher power to protect them from evil. You'd think they'd have got the church year right by now.

The Banned for Easter Hymn List

Every now and then I check over the Beaker Banned Songs List to give it a spring clean.  There's always stuff to add,  what with there being no end to the writing of songs. And sometimes something like "Shine, Jesus, Shine" has been on the list so long it's acquired a kind of retro charm, and gets reinstated.  But with Easter coming, it's important to do a quick check.  So the following are not going to be sung at all between now and.... ooh, say the Second Coming?

"How Deep the Father's Love for Us. - that whole "Father turns his face away" makes my head hurt. Is it heresy? Is it orthodoxy? Dunno. But it's got many sons being led to glory, and no mention of how the daughters get there. Unless they're helping to lead the sons, obviously. I suppose that would make sense. The sons wouldn't necessarily get to glory if being led - they'd only lose the person leading, take a wrong turn at the next roundabout, and then refuse to ask for directions.

"In Christ Alone" - I've no problem with the line " the wrath of God was satisfied." Much better, in my mind, for God to have satisfied rather than unsatisfied wrath. God with unsatisfied wrath would be terrifying. I mean, the world's scary enough as it is. But I've only got one life, and there's only so much of it you can use up discussing penal substitutionary atonement and the theological outlook of Anselm.

"There is a Fountain filled with Blood" - sorry, the imagery's too weird.

"Lord of the Dance" - heretical drivel written by a drivelling heretic. A friend used to be creative and try and give it some drama, by playing "I danced on the Friday" in a minor key. He never went the logical step further, and removed the black keys from the keyboard.

"Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen - we should really leave this and "LOTD" to the Catholics. Apparently this is the kind of stuff they have to sing since Vatican 2. But I don't think we should be encouraging them. Nor should we intrude on private grief. Let's move on.

"Trust and Obey" - in another, parallel universe, the message of this may well be true. But not with the physics of this one.

Incidentally, in discussing Anselm's theology of atonement, the correct term is "penal substitution". I'm sure that's what Grobitt was trying to say yesterday. But what he was actually proposing would be much less use in the long term, but dreadfully radical in the short. And would carry the risk of rejection.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Wash and Pray

May I refer you, my brothers and sisters, to the attached news item - in which it is revealed that there is dissension within the Church of Rome regarding whether or not the Pope should wash the feet of women.

Naturally, being the Catholic Church, the argument is over what tradition and Church Law says. Is it any wonder, my brothers (for I am now heading into deeper waters, into which the shorter gender should not wade for fear it may go over their heads) - is it any wonder, I ask, that they have this disagreement when the look to the rules of Men, and not to the Good Book, to resolve their doubts and guide their meditations?

It is quite clear to read. Our Lord, to set an example of humility, said that others should do as he did, when he knelt, tenderly, to wash the apostles' feet - making an example of reaching down, that the first should be last and the ruler the servant.

But he did not wash the feet of women. Humility is all very well, but there are limits.

In Otter News

Apologies to all those confused by this afternoon's misprint on the PowerPoint. You're right, they don't have hands. More kind of webbed paws. It did spoil a rather lovely chorus.

Still, respect to Hunge for finding a great picture as background to the slide.  That was a really benevolent-looking otter.

Justice Still To be Done