Thursday, 29 July 2010

The whole truth?

I went to my football club's AGM last night. Much more fun than church AGMs - no quorem required, and no-one really cares that much. Added advantage - being in a licensed building meant a couple of drinks afterwards.

One of the guys had to witness to an employment tribunal, and as a Jew, was happy to swear by Almighty God, to tell the truth, etc. One of the other witnesses was a bishop in what my friend called a 'sub-sect of Christianity', and yet he refused to swear by Almighty God upon the Bible, instead choosing to 'affirm', which is most commonly worded as follows:
‘I do solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm that the evidence I shall give shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.’
Which, to me, just sounds like the legal equivalent of a child saying: 'I really, really promise not to lie. No, rrrreeeeeaaaaallllllllllyyyyyyyy.... pinky swear!'

But that aside, what are the implications for people of all faiths? For instance, the guy sitting next to me last night would probably describe himself as atheist. He, however, saw no issue with swearing on the Bible as, well, if you don't believe in it, follow your convictions through because it doesn't really matter, does it?

I think it's important that people get the chance to feel like they are making a promise before God - this may salve their conscience of having to tell the truth, however painful. But I'm not sure I'd be more honest if I swore on the Bible. The Bible is a book that I regard as the word of God, not a straightjacket with which I feel I have to tell the truth because I swore by it.


In a related note, the discussion of the club social activities came up. As you can imagine, a lot of this involves pub crawls and considerable drinking. Now, I have not the desire, inclination or money to participate fully in those kinds of events, yet I want to be social, to make friends and to be the best Jesus possible to these people.

I'm thinking of going teetotal. Any better ideas?

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Eternal Life

So, I was lying in bed last night, listening to the dulcet tones of Conrad Gempf (he used to be found here, but it seems real life got in the way) explain some delightful things about Jesus. I've been sauntering through his 'Jesus Asked' podcast, because Conrad has some enlightening things to say, and his voice is nice to fall asleep to.

Anyway, I reached the section where he talks about the conversation with the Rich Young Ruler, as he's known. He comes to ask Jesus "What must I do to inherit eternal life?"

Now, as we all know that Jesus was a good Christian boy, he would have answered "Well, you probably need to say 'The Sinner's Prayer', join a baptism class, and come along to Alpha on a Wednesday night. Oh, and we could use some help with the Sunday School..."

But no. Conrad points out that if you got 100 Christians, chosen for their proclivity for wearing WWJD, they wouldn't come up with Jesus answer did:
"You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honour your father and mother.'"
To 'inherit' eternal life, follow the commandments laid down in the law. S'what Jesus said.


Monday, 26 July 2010

Marriage, rubbish films, and so forth

There's an interesting debate going on over here. Sam's a friend of mine whose, er, forthright views sometimes cause a stir. This time he's talking about marriage, and I would have to say I agree with him. Go and get stuck in.


I was 'forced' to watch a film called Hot Tub Time Machine. I say 'forced' because there was a get out clause of 'if you think it's s**t, we'll watch something else.' However, when you watch a film that's basically drivel, there's always a part of you that really, really hopes that it will pick up.

It didn't.

The basic premise: three long lost friends, thrown together because of one of them apparently tries to commit suicide, take a trip to the town famed in their youth for a wild time. They get in the hot tub of their hotel suite and are transported back to 1986. They then have to relive their lives in 1986 in order to get back to now.

Theoretically, a good idea, if a little kitsch and far-fetched. However, this is basically an opportunity for old men to kiss young women, people to get beaten up, and to play some pretty horrific music.

There were about two laugh-worthy lines and a whole lot of drivel.

Not one I'd recommend.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Ironic that he would take her name, really.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Please God, no.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

The Astute...

...among you will have noticed a considerable change in how the blog looks. This is because the old look was getting tired, and I had a day off. Let me know what you think.

Lots of massive props and kudos and credit must go to this man, for not only is he a good friend and quite smashing bassist, he also made all the code work so everything looks pretty. Heap praise upon his clever little head, please.

PS. Isn't The Astute an awesome band name?

Global Warming

So, I returned to the original list of 'run out of inspiration, tell me what to write about' ideas, and the next on the list that I want to write about is global warming.

I'm massively going in for the non-researched option here, as that's much more fun when it comes to science.

Climate change is a funny subject. Now, while I don't deny that our increased use of fossil fuels is bad, and clearly having a bad impact upon the environment, and we're all bad, etc. - I'm still unconvinced as to how bad it is.

Don't get me wrong, I'm the guy who cycled to university for two years, takes a rucksack shopping, and recycles fiendishly. I would rather have a good impact on the environment. But in the grand scheme of things, I can't actually work out what's wrong.

Weather patterns severely changing? Well, haven't they always? There was a time where winter fairs took place on the River Thames every year. Maybe I'm just ignorant about the facts - which is what you get when you don't research things.

But honestly, even if I did research it, who would I believe? The 'Top Gear' model of climate change, which is silly and arrogant, or the 'Environmentalists' model, who certainly live up the second part of their name. To ignore climate change is foolish, and to 'do our bit' seems a bit like urinating into an onrushing Northerly.

Should we listen to the scientists and be more careful about how we act as consumers? Yes, very much so. But there is so much doom-mongering going around that I'm just inclined to revert back to my usual philosophy in times of trouble:

Ahhhh.... it'll be fine.

And has been mentioned previously, it's still bloody cold in my flat.

Thoughts, opinions, discussion are all welcome. We're all friends here.

Friday, 16 July 2010

The Black Panther

I know, I know, it's been a long time coming. But I have duly done my research on the Black Panther. And you know what I found? Do you really want to know? Well, wait for it. I'm going to put it on another line for extra effect:

It doesn't exist.

It doesn't exist, ladies and gentlemen. It is non-existent. There is, in fact, nothing to write about.

I know, after all that waiting, it comes to diddly-squat. However, I can tell you that what people THINK are Black Panthers are in fact either Jaguars or Cougars. Slightly screwed up versions of the above (something about alleles and genetics. Ask Scott.)


So, to disambiguations of the above subject. There are many to choose from. I shall pick the ones I find most amusing/interesting, which is pretty much how I choose everything in my life, from vegetables to friends.

The New Black Panther Party (NBPP)
This is an organisation, run by blacks and Muslims (from what I can work out) which has nothing to do with the civil rights movement of a very similar name. In fact, it's far removed from the Black Panther Party (BPP). Why do I say that? Because the BPP, despite their left-wing extremism, were fundamentally for the improvement of life for black or oppressed people. The NBPP, however, are just a bunch of racists. They are anti-white and anti-Jew.

Because, as every upstanding human knows: the best way to counter racism is to be a racist yourself. Well done, NBPP. You have excelled yourself. Now, go away.

One of the greatest footballers the world has ever seen was nicknamed the Black Panther. Unfortunately, he lived in a time when nearly everyone was racist, and Portugal were underachieving... oh, wait, that would be 2010, right? Nevermind.

Go find him on that well known video hosting site.

Finally, the coolest Black Panther of them all: the comic book hero.
The Black Panther is one of the best superheroes I've come across. Here is a list of some of The Black Panther's powers:
  • Superhumanly acute senses
  • Strength, speed, stamina, and agility at the peak of human development
  • Resistance to magic
  • He can pick up a prey's scent
  • He can MEMORISE tens of thousands of scents
  • Proficient in African martial arts, and fighting styles 'known to no discipline'
  • A skilled hunter and tracker
  • He holds a PhD in Physics from Oxford and is 'considered one of the eight smartest people on the planet.'
  • He also has access to the most powerful army on earth, of Wakanda.
  • And finally, HE'S MARRIED TO STORM. As in, HALLE BERRY.
My goodness. No wonder men feel emasculated in these modern times.

Thursday, 15 July 2010


I've been staring blankly at my blog for the last four days, in the hope I would write something amusing or if not that, at least. I haven't, and now I come to the end of my working week, leaving you all bereft of insight, amusement, and probably purpose. For this, I am truly sorry. I hope you can get over it swiftly, and keep on coming back.

If not, screw you. We don't want your type around here anyway.

Any suggestions for what to write about from anyone, be you first time visitor, or regular sufferer, are very welcome. Go on, help me out here.

Monday, 12 July 2010


So, can I just put in a polite request for everyone who pretends to care about football because you have some distantly related cousin who once went to Ghana by mistake to stop caring now? It's not that I want to diminish enthusiasm for the beautiful game, it's just that catching up on everyone's Facebook opinions about a game they don't really understand is pretty tiresome.



And last nights result meant that New Zealand were the only team unbeaten in the World Cup. I think Spain should graciously give up the Jules Rimet trophy and let it go to the deserved winners.

Sunday, 11 July 2010


Just watched the first two episodes of Rev. Take one small-town rural vicar, place him in a dying, urban Anglican church, and add a smattering of moral dilemmas and et voila, a rather good comedy. The lead character is played by Tom Hollander, who was quoted as saying:
"I emerged from this show with a great deal of respect for vicars. They put up with a lot and do really good work for people having a bad time."

Hollander added: "Clearly our ambition is not to fill churches - and nor would we stand any chance of doing that. But if Rev. makes people think, 'Maybe I'll poke my head inside the local church and see if something nice happens', that would be great."
Ambitious aims, although I don't think he realises it. I think I'll do a more detailed review of each episode (mainly to get to watch them again) in due time, just because it should be fun.

However, for now, I shall recommend the second episode to you, for it ends with some fantastic theology. The scenario unfolds that the church has been 'taken over' by a charismatic church who need a space while their premises are refurbished. One of the regulars of the dying church, Colin, gets friendly with one of the newcomers, Pip. During a service, he then pinches her posterior (this IS a comedy, after all) claiming 'Jesus told me to do it.' The charismatic vicar, Darren, is asking for Colin to be barred from the church, because Pip is a 'vital part of the congregation.' Adam responds:
"Colin isn't vital to anyone, Darren. Except God. And if God loves you, Darren, then he loves Colin, just as much.'
Tres enjoyable. Find it on iPlayer.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010


I know I pointed these guys out previously, but I do so again because currently, they're cycling the length of Britain. RIGHT NOW.

Check my friends out here.

Sunday, 4 July 2010


Just had a delightful little conversation with a lady in my church who I can never make head or tail of. It went something like this:

Me: So, what did you used to do?
Her: Oh, you wouldn't want to know, it's inappropriate.
Me: Really? It can't have been that bad.
Her: Oh, I wasn't quite a lady of the night. I just worked in television.

What a woman.

Friday, 2 July 2010

While on the bus going through Golder's Green earlier, I saw a sign for 'Gentle Dental Care.' My mistake was to somehow misread this and presume it wasn't for the Chosen People: 'Gentile Dental Care'.


I'm currently preparing a sermon on Encouragement. I'm not getting very far, which, well, it's not very encouraging. Any ideas, crazy or otherwise welcomed.

Thursday, 1 July 2010


I see Tony Blair is to be awarded a peace medal. That's up there with ironies like 'Rooney awarded World Cup Golden Boot', 'Immigrant Given Job at The Daily Mail,' and 'Hitler named 'Most Peaceable Vegetarian''.

What IS the world coming to?