The point of a pin

Editorial by Anthony Woollard
from Signs of the Times No. 68 - Jan 2018

‘It’s all just theology’, we are told - and ‘theology’ by definition has little or no relevance to everyday life.

Theologians, it is said, are people who argue about how many angels can fit on the point of a pin. It was courageous, therefore, for our General Secretary Jonathan Draper to argue in our last edition that Modern Church’s role is first and foremost as a theological resource.

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Reading through Mark: South West regional day conference October 2017

by David James
from Signs of the Times No. 68 - Jan 2018

On Saturday 21st October, Modern Church South West arranged a study morning entitled ‘Reading through Mark’.

The speaker was Canon Chris Burdon, a group member, who was Director of Lay Training in the Diocese of Chelmsford and rearranged the New Testament syllabus there. He also wrote ‘Stumbling on God: Faith and vision in Mark’s Gospel’, and was thus well qualified to address the subject.

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When praying, hang on to your fingers!

by Jonathan Clatworthy
from Signs of the Times No. 68 - Jan 2018

It was common practice to cut off a finger or portion of one as a sacrifice to the gods for the recovery of a superior relative who was sick.

So wrote the anthropologist, James Frazer, about the islanders of Tonga.

Earlier, Captain Cook reported the same thing:

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Review - The poet’s quest for God: 21st Century poems of faith, doubt & wonder ed. Brennan et al

by Nicola Slee
from Signs of the Times No. 68 - Jan 2018

This is a blockbuster of an anthology of contemporary poems about the quest for God. Some 460 pages long, the range of authors, topics, poetic styles and approaches is vast.

It has been an exhausting as well as eclectic read, full of surprises as well as some frustrations (the lack of any kind of editorial organisation of the material is a major limitation to its usefulness).

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Review - Lifeline: A Reformation pilgrimage by David Osborne

by Martin Wharton
from Signs of the Times No. 68 - Jan 2018

David Osborne’s Reformation Pilgrimage describes and reflects upon his cycle ride through Germany in the summer of 2016.

His aim was to visit some key places of the Reformation, to reflect upon the significance of those major events and upheavals and to discern what some of the key players might have to say to the issues of our day.

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