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The Temptation of Jesus

I love discovering amazing books, but even more discovering great authors. There is no doubt that Adolphe Monod has crept into one of my top five loved authors. To my shame, I did not know anything about Adolphe Monod until I started reading his classic Farewell, which I picked up this book at a book sale at the Evangelical Library (London). I only picked up the book because it was published by Banner of Trust, I thought it must be okay. And it proved to be more than okay!  I discovered later that Monod is regarded as the foremost preacher France has produced in the last two hundred years. He was the pastor of the prominent Reformed Church or Paris an taught at the Reformed Seminary in Mantauban. You can read more on Wikipedia and Banner of Trust . I have not yet located a good biography of Adolphe Monod to read. But I am working my way through his books. The second book I have read is  Jesus Tempted In The Wildernes s .  As the name suggests this an exposition of the temptation of Je
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A Prayer of Anselm

Come now, little man, turn aside for a while from your daily employment. Escape for a moment from the tumult of your thoughts. Put aside your weighty cares. Let your burdensome distractions wait. Free yourself awhile for God and rest awhile in him.  Enter the inner chamber of your soul. Shut out everything except God and that which can help you in seeking him. And when you have shut the door, seek him.  Now, my whole heart, say to God, ‘I seek your face, Lord, it is your face I seek. ANSELM OF CANTERBURY

Christmas In Dark Places

It used to be summer when Christmas came round.  Underneath tall southern skies over sun scorched ground. With the backyard cricket, the barbies, the beach, and munching on mangoes to watch the Queen’s Speech. The slathering of sunscreen, the glorious glare And toasting the glow in the warm evening air. It used to be summer when I was young. A golden age in a land far flung. But there came a point, I crossed a divide, went up in the world and summer had died. December is dark now, the nights close in. So we huddle together as kith and as kin. It’s winter now when Christmas rolls round, We celebrate still though with different surrounds. We mull the wine and strike the matches, Light the fires, batten the hatches, Gather around the warming beam Of family love or a TV screen. So safe inside, no place to go, we toast marshmallows and let it snow. Our summer’s gone, if you’ve been around, you’ve felt the fall: life’s run aground. We’ve gone up in the world, seen summer die. So what’s our h

White Fragility, A Review

Robin DiAngelo has a sermon to preach. It is in form of a short popular book called White Fragilit y. Straight off the bat she tells us not to expect balanced analysis but a forceful argument “unapologetically rooted in identity politics”.  She understands identity politics as “the [political] focus on the barriers specific groups face in their struggle for equality”. The group she wants to save is black people, whom she blankets under “people of colour”.  So what is White Fragility about?  DiAngelo is sick and tired of white racism in the western world, and specifically the USA. She believes every white person, including babies, are guilty of racism by virtue of being white. So she wants to use her “insider status” as a white American woman to challenge this white racism by getting her fellow “white progressives” to force forward her thesis. In her words, “I am white...and I am mainly writing to a white audience”. I was immediately tempted to put down the book because being black Afri

I Am Mother

I think it is true to say that the Netflix film I Am Mother is one the most disturbing movies I have watched for a long time. The film is set in a near future. Human life has been wiped out. An artificial intelligence (AI) called Mother is living inside a bunker where thousands of embroyos are stored. It selects an embryo and initiates a program to grow a baby within 24 hours. The AI then goes on to raise the child as its mother over the next few years.  After 16 years, the girl, who now goes by the name of Daughter (Clara Rugaard) is a teenager. She has never been outside because Mother has told her that the air is toxic. Her time is spend being home schooled in science and ethics so that she can become a perfect human being. The bond between Daughter and Mother is unusually strong. To our surprise there does not appear to be any mental or pyschological trauma of having a machine as her mother.  The strength of the bond between man and machine is tested when a nameless Woman (Hilary

Social Networking

Social networking (social media) is now a significant part of our lives. We spend a huge amount of time online. A social networking service is an online platform which people use to build social relationships or networks with other people who share their interests,  backgrounds or real-life connections.  Many online services have some element of “social networking” so the list of these networks is potentially quite long. As communication technologies improve and people increasingly interact online, the definition of what constitutes a social network has become elastic.  For example on the one end we have Facebook which is focused specifically on building social relationships. At the other end there is Zoom and WhatsApp whose facilities are designed to build social relationships but would probably refuse to be classed as social networks.  Tim Chester’s Will You Be My Facebook friend? is a short book that tries to help us understand how social media relates to the Gospel. Chester argues