Been at a conference in Leeds all week, right, and when the lovely lady in the ticket office found me a really cheap train ticket homewards, I could hardly believe my ears to hear myself saying, “Thanks very mʊch.” Since I’d thought my very Scottish ʌ was by now impervious to change, I count this a major achievement. Who knows, if I spend much more time down in that part of the world, I could yet acquire me a whole new accent.
A shocking post in which Jeremy dropkicks fluffy bunnies and doesn’t care if he looks like the Grinch.
This alleged ‘recovery’ of Lent and Easter is not actually a matter of historical sensitivity and an inheritance regained but of historical unawareness and an inheritance lost. Whether or not it is the high-grade muppetry of entire churches being urged to tattoo one of the stations of the cross on some part of their anatomy, or some gore-drenched re-enactment of the unrepeatable sacrifice, or some spotlit image-fest in which a total insensitivity to physical representations of the Christ – the image of the invisible God – is displayed, or some be-robed priest-figure half a step away from incense and obeisance, it does not come from Scripture and it does not belong in Christ’s church. It is a replacement of God’s order with man’s notions, a disruption of God’s regular rhythms of true religion with the unholy syncopation of mortal religiosity. As John Owen somewhere says, where genuine spirituality is substantially absent, men will turn either to fanaticism or to ritual – or perhaps to both – in an attempt to fill the void.
Frankly, it seems odd to me that many of those who have proved very quick to abandon all manner of patterns and habits and convictions of Christians over decades or centuries, retain Lent, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter (Resurrection) Sunday as set in stone in the calendar, one of the high points of the Christian year (which pattern, we are informed, provides the central event in the church year – the climax of worship, expectation, and celebration, an exercise of the church’s discipline).
for having to spend all of Friday night preparing seminar materials: asking really, really tough questions.