Allah in Arabic script

Miroslav Volf has an interesting article on whether Allah is the same as God. In some places, apparently, it matters a lot:

Under the influence of Malay militants, in 2007 the Malaysian Home Ministry decided to enforce the 1986 law prohibiting use of the word 'Allah' in non-Muslim publications. The Malay-language edition of the Catholic weekly Herald was forbidden to use 'Allah' to denote the God Christians worship. In a parallel move, in 2009 the government also ordered customs officials to seize some 15,000 Bibles because they used 'Allah' as a translation for 'God'.

Thinking Anglicans logo

Thinking Anglicans, to which I am grateful for much information, has juxtaposed two items of news which made me reflect on the similarities. One is about women bishops, the other about same-sex partnerships.

Both are stories of majorities becoming minorities and then becoming unpopular schismatics. At each step along the way the amount of respect due to one’s opponents has to be reassessed, and may not last long before it needs to be reassessed again. How will the decisions being made now look in 10 years’ time? In 50 years? Will they look like politically-inspired fudges or far-sighted solutions?

Communion rail

Last Sunday I took the Communion service in a familiar church. Time was when I used to do that every Sunday. Doing it occasionally, as a retired priest just helping out, brings back memories but it’s different.

The bit that stuck in my mind afterwards was going along the communion rail, giving a wafer to the adults and a blessing to the children. What’s happening? We had just had a Common Worship eucharistic prayer which interprets the action in terms of the Last Supper, but that probably wasn’t uppermost in anyone’s mind.

A homeless person sitting outside a bank

On Wednesday Sam Wells gave the Archbishop Blanch lecture at Liverpool Hope University. Sam is Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields on Trafalgar Square, London. He sees a lot of homeless people there.

God judges Adam, William Blake

On Tuesday I was in town doing some shopping, and there was a man with a microphone telling us to turn to Jesus if we want to get to the other side when we die. When I got home my next job was to start preparing Sunday’s sermon, and the lectionary gave me the Parable of the Unjust Judge.