Peace isn't so much an external property but an internal one. I can have a calm and tranquil surrounding but a busy mind or a busy and frantic environment and a calm mind. Peace of mind then is what people need most of all. This can either come from a vacancy of thought or a positive mood of thought that is focused on the present and is most likely grateful as opposed to needy. Peace as obtained via vacant contentment is hard to hold onto for long and is less preferable to thoughtful peace since it involves the abdication of responsibility and an escape from duty.


Sometimes it seems that one of the worst things that can happen to a man is that he is told in no uncertain terms that he is special. To believe of course that one matters isn't a bad thing but to be led to believe that one is a necessary man is tragic. Believed it can tend a man toward privilege refusing to work hard or join the herd but instead waiting for their own discovery by others. Destiny is not a guarantee but is an invitation and offer of what could be. But even this can tend a person toward self-reliance especially a person raised in the post-modern west. 


Reverence for God doesn't always need to look like fear and awe, careful speech and morals. Reverence for God is also unceasing gratitude and deep humility before God. To receive everything in life as the gift that it is and to enjoy everything in life without any sense of personal entitlement or pride at one's own accomplishments but instead in humility inspired by awe is reverent. It is flippancy that is the opposite of reverence not joyful carelessness. 


A people's ability to control its weather has a direct bearing on that same people's attitude toward God. Those who live in societies where the weather is kept at bay or under control, its people can decide to do without God, believing that he is tame and temperate. On the other hand for those who experience the catastrophic and unctrollable force of the weather there is, forced upon them, a humility and vulnerability that prevents them from disregarding the Almighty. 


Grace both propels and refreshes. It is the wind on our back that moves us onward into service of others, using our gifts for God's glory. But when tiredness prevails we turn into that same propelling wind and it becomes a cool and refreshing breeze. It is the reminder of God's love, of our adoption and acceptance that is all the rest and refreshment we need. Grace both propels and refreshes.


The world feels silent of God because I don't credit the natural world to God but instead see God only in the miraculous, supernatural and providential encounters. But noticing God only in moments where he appears to bend or break the laws of physics is problematic on several levels. First it narrows my vision to the point of being almost blind. Second it is often the case that a miracle is only a miracle until scepticism has tugged at it and reduced it something explainable. Not even Christians find it easy to live in a world of miracles. The joy over hearing of some miracle is counteracted by the presence of godly people who suffer silence in their prayers for healing and I become confused by or offended at God. Or else what happens is that my hopes of experiencing my own miracle are deferred long enough that I become sick and despise the testimonies of a few. I can tolerate only a world where miracles don't happen where nothing 'supernatural' happens at all but since I am not used to seeing God in the natural world I am left only with silence.


The experiences of faith and the Christian are not unique to Christians. The subtle and still small whisper of God I know is called by others the 'deep subconscious', providential moments are experienced by believers and non-believers alike, ecstatic experiences of spiritual experience are found in the cults and mystical religions around the world, the mental health benefits of prayer are enjoyed under the label of mindfulness, the peace of God can be found in a worship service and rock concert all the same, inspirational sermons that move people to action are given by politicians, scientists, lecturers and preachers alike. Remarkable acts of generosity and kindness aren't confined to believers only, decency and good morals aren't the reserve of the saints either. There is very little 'unique' about the life of the Christian. What ought to be seen more and celebrated is the purity of the source all the Christian expressions and experiences come from.


Why do archetypes exist at all? There is a true and better form of everything because there is an ultimate source of everything as well. The wellspring it all springs from is the memory harboured deep in our sub-consciences. Answering 'why' this exists there requires us to call on a worldview. For one person the answer 'because it is part of how our species learnt to survive' seems to settle the score. For others that stops a few stages too short of the source. For all things with a shadow we consider them to have a substance. Why not also with our archetypes.


Communication initiated between people often take the form of praise/wonder, complaint/concern, fact/observation. Some people, being predominantly external processors, express more ideas than others but what interests me is the percentage amount of expressions that are uttered within each category. I would imagine that 80% of verbal communication that happens between two people takes place within the benign world of fact or observation. Exchanges related to the events of the day that are neutral. What I'm thinking about is the final 20%. Of that 20% how much is given to the expression of positive wonders and how much to negative complaints? In part it depends on the amount of positive or negative experiences a person has, although these aren't easy to categories since they're open to interpretation. My observation is that one person may marvel more at the wetness of water and the joy of a sunrise and feel a great need to, in general, fulfil their joy by expressing and sharing it whereas another person may keep much of their joy to themselves, or perhaps wouldn't notice those things as wonderful. What is intriguing however is that those same peoples may behave differently toward negative experiences. The joy fulfiller may not feel the need to share every inconvenience they suffer whereas the more reserved person might. What's going on there? I wonder if it is linked in part to the ego states. Enthusiasm and praise is a primary child ego state expression. Does that mean that neutral observations are adult and that negative expressions 'parent'? Do people with a higher parent ego state than child express more negative experiences and viceversa?


Sin. Simply put sin is missing a mark, a term from archery I'm told, different from transgression which requires a law/rule to be broken, sin exists even when there isn't a rule since it has to do with relationships and principles as well as rules. The apostle Paul makes this distinction when he says that sin existed before the law existed, and he points to the presence of human death in the world which is the consequence or payment for sin. We die because we sin, acknowledging that every person dies therefore every person sins, regardless of what laws they do or don't have. Laws do not prevent sin they merely expose its presence. Sin therefore includes transgression (as one of its 'types'). Missing the mark is both accidental and wilful and there are sins of commission and omission. That is, there is sin we commit by doing what we know we shouldn't and by not doing what we should have done.

A family tree of terms could look like:


Missing the mark                 Violating universal principles


                                    Commission           Omission 

Transgressions can be decided by a society can vary across societies. Cooking dinner for your familiar in a pair of dirty trousers may not be considered a transgression in the west but in many cultures it would be. Sin however remains the same even if doesn't break any societies transgression. Cannibalism is a sin even if a group of people don't have laws against it and in fact practise it.

My suggestion is that religion did not invent sin it but merely named it. What we call 'falling short' or 'breaking a law' the monotheistic religions call 'sin'. Where does this falling short occur?

Relationally: Between persons. across families, tribes/nations.
Principally: Against the laws of nature or a society or against our own principles
Mathematically: Breaking the laws of logic

Given that sin is a junk draw term, a catchall for falling short or missing the mark we must consider in what forms sin appears within our shared morality.

Jonathan Heidt's work on morality makes the case for morality being like taste sensors on our tongue. Universally there are five different categories of morality that people experience:

- Care/harm
- Purity
- Fair/unfair
- Freedom/oppression
- Loyalty
- Authority

Some people recognise the value of all six aspects of morality whereas others stress only a few. For a lot of modern westerners it would appear that the only question to be considered is ‘does it hurt anyone?’ (An example of the care/harm moral sense). His results from various studies showed that left-leaning liberal types are generally 'less moral' than right-leaning conservatives in that they only seem able to recognise categories of: care, fairness and freedom as moral terms whereas conservatives are generally able to appreciate the value of all six.

An example of why morality may be construed within the purity paradigm is that, since it is an extension of our disgust sensors, without it we can put ourselves in danger. In the days of closer community living we can perhaps understand how the decision to not adhere to standards and ceremonies of purity is an immoral decision on the basis that it endangers the whole.

Whether we are discussing our moral sense or the discovery of virtues in the ancient classical sense, sin is what we do when we fail to live up to a or our shared standards.

Timothy Keller defines sin as ‘anything that does not lead to human flourishing’ which moves on in its definition from ‘missing the mark’ which is amoral and could refer to anything, onto utility and value.

The question then follows ‘who decides what amounts to human flourishing?’ And rather than making a case empirically all human societies actually base their decisions on what sin is from shared values. All of these moral codes have always come from within a religious worldview (since the more fact based empirically assessed world is a late arriver on the human scene). 

The Bible writers describe a world and society that has a clearly moral way of viewing the world. There is both an original blueprint (telos if you like), a problem and boundary markers to live within. Sin is not the ravings of a Being infatuated by ceremony and sacrifice but is the working against the Creators instructions.

The OT presents humanities original state in an archetypal story of our conception. In it we see the Creator’s commission to embody his activity in the world through work and creation and the proper functioning of the humans with one another and with God. Following the exile from our genesis instructions then come later (many hundreds of years later) in the form of the Mosaic law, an attempt to codify the life of the Israelites into laws concerning their corporate life and worship life. The laws are summarised into the famous Ten Commandments. 

To work against or miss the mark of either our archetypal state in Genesis 1 or the 10 commandments is to sin.

As the Bible’s story unfolds it is shown time and again through story, history and prophetic injunction that the people of Israel (who are meant to be for us typical and representative of humanity in general) are unable to avoid sinning. This leads to reflections on the nature of sin and our nature. Human beings, it is concluded, are unable to avoid sin. We are sinners, those who are unable to keep the law of God and restore the blueprint of Genesis 1. We are inconsistent, short-sighted, stubborn and unsubmissive creatures who can see that the ideals of Christian virtue and the Ten Commandments are good and even beautiful and yet we are unable to live up to them on a consistent level. 

Further reflections in scripture show that the issue is one of worship. It is taken for granted that we are creatures prone to devotion and worship but it is also acknowledged that the things we worship have a huge influence on us and the lesser the object of our worship is the more destructive it can be for us. To be devoted to addictive substances destroys us (that much is obvious), but to be devoted to the accumulation of wealth or to social standing can also have a destructive influence on us. A person devoted to their own beauty (who worships Aphrodite) is vulnerable to abusing their body and becoming distorted.


Safety but for what. Safe spaces, health and safety, dieting and healthy living. Safety belts, better glasses to keep one safe. Safety safety everywhere, but for what I ask? For fruitful development and full flowering as children. But the world does not know this and indeed is not a safe place, nature will not play by those rules and does not know what is expected of it. In fact one cannot mature until accepting and mastering the world as it is risks and dangers and all. Safety to choose the risks we want, but we won't will we? Why step outside the warm and into the cold?

Our emphasis on safety and health and safety is, ultimately, safety from death. Our drive to create healthy and safe lives is born out of our drive to live forever; but aware as we are that God isn't to us as he once was we cannot count on a welcome reception. And so we stress safety to prolong our lives. But then what our our lives for? Riches and comfort? Are the richer and more affluent more significant than the rest, or are they not just cashing in on the hard work of previous generations? Knowing that our lives are short we can expend effort trying to preserve our lives, but at the risk of never really living; or we can peruse a riskier path of exploration to tame the unknown and discover the reason God made us for.


Standing on the shoulder's of giants. All of us are, but only those faithful to the spirit of the giants before us stand on tiptoes. It is one thing to recognise the enormous debt that we owe to those who came before us, but it is another thing entirely to try and continue their work by pressing further on.

And what is that further on? Is it only procreation and greater taming of nature still? But when at last we tame nature fully we will have tamed ourselves since we are part of nature and so we will once again be trapped. There is a line that the human soul crosses that marks it out from the animals and puts it in a different category, that of salient being, conscious and fully alive - representative of the divine life on the earth.


On a Christian doctrine that doesn't close down and narrow the world but allows an exploration within the worldview Christ opens up. For many people are tuned out to the Christianity of their religion and tradition but stray into dangerous fields because they refused to think Christianly about the world.


We all end daily pills to pop.


When we're young we pop pills to escape life's monotony. When we're old we pop them to restore and preserve it.


On theophanies.

Questions. Could it be that many of our struggles with life's pain stems from the fact that we don't ask enough questions? We ask a few; the 'whys' and the 'what fors' but we stop at the point we ought to press forward and ask many more: why should I expect life to be anything other than hard? Why have I enjoyed ease and comfort until now? Why do I presume to know life's purpose and my outcome? Why am I so confident that this pain is for no purpose? What makes me think I am entitled to anything other or better than this chaos?


On self and theophany.

All ages and all people have fought life's apparent contradictions. It seems peculiar that Jesus said so little on the subject of pain. He doesn't address in much detail at all what is surely one of the oldest and most heartfelt questions: why does God permit such brutality and where is he when it hurts?

Could it be that his day was different from ours in respect to their own assessment of human nature and therefore the expectations they placed upon life?

"If you, though you are evil know how to give good gifts..." he says and no one bats an eyelid.
"But Jesus didn't entrust himself to them for he knew what was in a man." John 2:24

Jesus and the people of his day were familiar with human depravity. Kings massacred infants, enemies pulled the skins off their victims backs and criminals were often dismembered. The human race was a race of savages that occasionally displayed moments of exalted goodness. They were fallen but carried a latent divinity, an origin and a destiny in God.

In their day to day living they lived in fear; of starvation, of being attacked by bandits, of being assaulted by soldiers of having their property robbed and the exaction of their wealth. No one bat an eyelid when Jesus casually called them evil because everyone knew they were. They knew that every one of us is capable of wickedness without much persuasion, that we'd betray our family members for personal safety or a loaf of bread.

Could it be then that he didn't address it in the way we would have thought he would because he didn't have the same problem we do?

Could it be that the reason we struggle to reconcile suffering so much is because we think too highly of ourselves? This is true on the level that we are surprised by another persons poor behaviour and supremely confident in our ability to understand the world. Suffering hurts us so much and the questions of pain are so acute since we cannot entertain a world where we are not good and where we are not capable of solving the problems presented to us.

Jesus instead did teach that God is good and willing to forgive and that by his Spirit would give us the strength to bear up under the weight of our own existence. This was the answer to the theophanies of his day and if we're able to handle its premise (that we are evil and fallen and deserve only death) it is enough to comfort us as well.


When an intellectual says that since there is no objective moral truth, that disasters such as the holocaust are not morally wrong they prove that intellect alone will not lead us to truth.


Asking 'why then and not before?' leads me to ponder the development of ideas and social movements in the last 150 years.

Consequences for various aspects of society based on the Industrial Revolution:

Invention: Factories
Consequence: Mass migration from country to city
Social consequence: Individuals become 'cut off' from extended families.

Invention: Motor car
Consequence: Greater mobility resulting in much greater relocation
Social consequence: Individuals become less accountable and more autonomous, more able to choose who they see and where they live and go.

Development: Factory becomes centre of production
Consequence: The home and household loses some of its social significance

Development: The home becomes a place of rest and leisure
Consequence: Those who work in the home become providers of leisure and entertainment.

Development: Men left the home to work in the factory
Consequence: Women remain in a new household stripped of much of its social and community significance.

Consequence: Women demand equal voting rights and access to education.

Consequences for various aspects of society due to rise of expressive Individualism:

Event: Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection
Consequence: Human beings, put under the scientific microscope, are uncoupled from beliefs about their being sacred or semi-divine.

Event: Emergence of modern psychology & Freud's writings
Consequence: The animal instincts of the human are exposed more fully
Social consequence: Reduced degree of accountability for actions and decreased expectations for moral or civilised behaviour.

Event: WWI
Consequence: Emergence of the industry of PR, developed by Edward Bernais (nephew of Freud)
Social consequence: People are manipulated into buying certain products and aspiring to certain ways of living and become much more consumer oriented.


Observation. Due to the radical reorientation of the home caused by, among others things, the Industrial Revolution it now feels and seems strange to 'work from home'. Indeed even for myself as a pastor I feel an 'office' is more official and makes me feel more official and professional, less amateur. Two hundred years ago of course, the home was the place of work, the centre of a family's work life. The home of the pastor was always on display to the church and the community, the church could watch how the children were raised and how the Christian life was lived out in the home. Now, since the home is a place of leisure and pleasure, to visit the pastor in his home is to learn about his private hobbies, his golf handicap or favourite box sets.

And yet, given the prominence of church-as-household in the NT ought we not as pastors but much more content to see our home as our office? The strangeness we feel about 'working from home' is a culturally conditioned one, and yet for the church to visit us at home rather than the office reinforces the central value that as a church we are a household and a family. To quote John Piper's popular book: Brothers, we are not professionals - so avoid offices more and embrace the fireside chat or the kitchen table coffee more.

Just a thought.


Suffering and pain are self-evident. Living at any other place and at any other time in history 'comfortable' would not be a word a child would use to describe their expectations for life.

Our day and our age prepare us so poorly for suffering. We don't have the emotional or spiritual resources to deal with it. Even within the church with our sentimentalising of the Father's love for us we overlook the self-evident reality that pain is ever-present. The longer we live the more we will suffer until we eventually die. Why does it rock our confidence so much and cause us to question God as deeply as we do? Is it because atheism is so instantly accessible to us and a constant temptation? Is it because we expect too much of the kingdom now and aren't prepared to wait for the 'yet to come' aspects of it?

From the perspective of any of the writers of scripture we are living in much more of the fullness of the kingdom now than they ever dreamt possible, and yet we want more. We want more life, more health, more comfort, more peace. We shall never rest until we live in paradise.

But the paradise of the kingdom, the life of the kingdom and the peace of the kingdom cannot be entered without first submitting to the king of the kingdom. To submit to the king of the kingdom requires a willingness to accept the world the king has created for us; the world we have made following the fall.


Safety, but for what? Safety, safety, safety I hear talk of safety and non-offence everywhere. But safety is a terrible goal to live for. Risks and the rewards attached to them is a much more satisfying and full life to live, but risks require a lack of safety.

If we are not careful we will be so safe that we never truly live before we die.


Traditional and quote 'boring' church services are merely modes of Christian expression that either became lazy in their contextualisation or disgusted in the state of society, so disgusted in fact that it refused to charitably adapt for them and speak in new words and in new ways. In so doing they behave nothing like the saviour they represent and claim to speak about. There is much about modern society that requires patience to communicate the gospel effectively to, many layers of worldview and ways of thinking that need to be tackled, but to not go on this journey with people is to show a casual disdain toward the people Christ died for.


I am grateful for gratitude. For whatever reason my mind has a natural bend toward thankfulness and exultation over life's 'simple' wonders. This is a source of rest, refreshing, humility and perspective that I experience as inner health. Gratitude then is not only appropriate but also good for me.


Female vicars. Sexless, masculinsed women in gowns. Churches led by women and not men are churches that fit into what wider society wants them to be. Benign, anaemic, toothless and harmless institutions. Men will put up with one and listen politely and afterwards carry on as they did before. Rarely do grown men listen to challenges from their mothers.

Young worship idols. Churches with big stages and bright lights, tv personalities, white teethy smiles and polished presentation. Churches that are as noisy and hurried as the world is; suggest no place for calm reflection, and the promise that all mystery and uncertainty in God's dealings with us can be solved by an upbeat melody and the occasional key change. In the long run they'll create attitudes of easy believism, superficiality and frustrated shallow Christians.


A church's life is in its unspoken acts of service. A church's future is in the potency of its prayer life. A church's health is in the clarity and fire of its preaching.


Thin. Thin is the word that best sums up the experience of regular online Bible studies, prayer meetings and church services. It is a two dimensional experience of fellowship that never leaves a person feeling like they have had fellowship, but only the appearance of the thing. Comparable perhaps to how we 'see as through a mirror dimly'.


Relationships require courage. Forming a new relationship always requires courage on at least one person's part. With existing relationships it is easy to forget this since the friend's presence is an obvious reality. There can be no new relationships without some act of courage however small to initiate contact with another.


Healthy and safe, but for what? In our society we are all drilled from a young age and in our workplaces on the importance of staying safe, preserving our lives for as long as we can. I can't help but wonder however what all the emphasis on getting and staying healthy is meant to be for. It occurs to me that some of the most life fulfilling and enriching experiences and activities in life are ones that require us to not stay 100% safe. It strikes me that a person could live their whole life staying safe and die at a ripe age and yet not experience what it is to truly live.


"As the Spirit was active at the world's foundation, so it was expected that the Spirit would be active as well at the world's renewal." - Dale Bruner, Matthew Commentary

If it may be permitted that the natural understanding of the universe's age as old is true then it is worth considering how 'long' the Spirit was involved orchestrating and delivering the foundations of the world. A mere two thousand years since Jesus' incarnation doesn't even register on the Holy Spirit's timeline of activity in comparison. Given the Holy Spirit's preoccupation with glorifying the Son it can be understood that his involvement in Creation was to create a world suited as a gift for the Son and in the Renewal in creating a people as a bride for the Son. 


There are two kinds of new normal. There is the one that arrives in fanfare and is announced by all; often ushered in by a crisis no one can miss this new normal. As with the Coronavirus pandemic all eyes are fully open to the changes we must now get used to; perspex screens, masks and social distancing. There is another kind of new normal however that is much more subtle, it happens gradually like the boiling of a pot or the flavouring of a dinner. No one announces its arrival and once it is here no one really notices it as 'new' but only what 'is' since we cannot imagine or conceive of a world in which this normal doesn't exist. 

These new normals are deadly and without canaries to warn us will end up killing us and dismantling our social structures. 

This thought occurred to me recently when reading Glynn Harrison's excellent book 'A Better Story' in it he points to many of the effects of the Sexual Revolution on society. The promise of the revolution was 'better sex and more freedom' and whilst it has certainly made us more free (if freedom is taken to mean only the throwing off of restraints) it hasn't brought us much that is better. I have grown up in the post-revolution world and so have known nothing else but its dogmas. 

It was only when a new friend I made several years ago commented with surprise at the amount of divorced or remarried couples he knew of in the church that I began to consider whether this normal wasn't always around; I had no idea that it was new at at all. 

Here's some normals we're familiar with, normals that we might never have considered 'new' since no one announced them with the same fanfare we've become used to in the past few months:
  • Common acceptance of the validity (thought of course emotional painful reality) of abortion. There were 209, 519 abortions in England and Wales last year (it increases year on year and is the highest its ever been since the passing of the Abortion act in 1967 - 18 out of every 1000 women aged 15-44 had an abortion last year)
  • Living together before being married (>66% of couples)
  • High divorce rates (42%)
  • Addiction to or regular use of porn. I have long assumed (from experience in youth work) that every boy (and increasingly a lot of girls) struggle with being addicted to or a regular user of porn. And the stats show that children are accessing it younger than ever before.
  • Sexually 
  • 48% of all children born today will not be found living with both natural parents by their sixteenth birthday
  • Father absences in homes: In 1972 1 in 14 households in the UK were fatherless, now it is 1 in 4. In more than 236 local authorities in England and Wales more than 50% of 
  • Mental health disorders.Common. Expected even. One 
  • In 2015 one in five teenage girls had experienced a major depressive episode in the last year.
  • Suicide: The biggest killer of all men under the age of 50, and increasingly among the young. 46% more 15-19yr olds committed suicide in 2015 than in 2007.
  • Loneliness. We're familiar with the commonplace loneliness among our 
I'm sure there are 

Mental health disorders are treated by many as being as inevitable as the common cold or as genetically predisposed as cancer and yet there is plenty of evidence to suggest that for the most part (though of course not in every case) it is more a symptom of something else, resulting from other factors at work in a person's life.

Whereas in our current crisis we're going to great lengths to protect the elderly and vulnerable from Covid-19, many of the new normals listed above are simple accepted (or in some cases celebrated); and yet it is our young that are most at risk from them all.

"Family insecurity and insecurity are bad for kids in terms of almost any outcome that you care to mention" (Harrison) and whereas we all accepted that divorce would harm our kids (although in many cases even that is done 'for the sake of the kids') cohabitation (the new normal) poses a much greater threat to the stability and security of our kids: 

In a study from the UK Marriage Foundation the author found that, independent of mothers’ age or education, more than half of couples who only get married after the birth of their first child have split up ten years later, compared with only one quarter or couples who marry before having children.’

This has huge knock on implications for the mental health of our young since (in one survey of 10,448 eleven year olds) 18% of those living in stepfamilies had significant mental health problems, compared to 6.6% of those living with both natural parents. Boys were affected most of all, displaying conduct problems, hyperactivity and attention-deficit issues.

There are two kinds of new normal, one that gets noticed as 'new' and one that gets accepted simply as what 'is', but if it hasn't always been this way shouldn't we be more concerned that it's new and start to question whether we're all happy with it?


Do we lose faith or just stop it? I think that using faith is a constant process of losing it; I lose what I previously held onto in favour of something better and truer. It is when I stop the process of losing and growing that I die. 

Despite going through periods of stopping my faith or trying to switch it off, I have learnt to try and run the tape forward and skip the wandering meander of indecision, unfulfilment and restlessness that always eventually leads back to losing and using my faith. In practical terms 'running the tape forward' means pursuing God in private and quiet, by bringing my angst and doubt before him. 


Sek-u-lerrr are we sure?


Be Kind. 

There is something of the uncanny about the site of million pound houses on the beach front with moral encouragements like this one plastered across a flag on its boundary line. It reminded me of the luxurious lifestyle of the inhabitants of The Capital in Suzanne Collins' books The Hunger Games.

Can those within the system, who benefit from the beauty and luxury of social inequality tell the rest of us to behave better? Marie Antoinette's 'let them eat cake' comes to mind.


Everyone is happy with a certain degree of social inequality, but then everyone also has their tolerance limit. I have no problem with the fact that I am grotesquely wealthy compared with over 90% of the planet, that sort of inequality doesn't cause me any problems. But I'll campaign and complain about the wealthy politicians and Etonians of the upper middle-classes.


I don't have a problem with death until someone I care about is affected by it. The fact that people die doesn't trouble my faith, I have reconciled it philosophically with the fact of a loving God. But then my child dies and I'm up-in-arms about it, protesting in God's face and threatening to 'stop my faith' altogether. 


Auschwitz affects us all, but those who believe in the goodness of God and the goodness of man most of all. 

I cannot move past this into easy-believism and faith speech pentecostalism. Not only Auschwitz affects this, but history in general. God, what does active faith and expectancy look like in the face of your passivity at Auschwitz; and the African slave trade; and the Rwandan genocide; and the 27million enslaved at present. Oh God I find myself reaching for the either the eject or self-destruct button when I consider these things; which one I should choose seems hard to tell when they're so closely linked. 


Data is neutral and always requires interpretation. Critical and negative, cynical interpretations have the effect of both making one feel wise and also protecting oneself from disappointment. Positive people inspire confidence and make the world a better place to be in. Choose therefore to interpret the data positively. 


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