Sunday, October 28, 2007


The missionary statesman, Max Warren, wrote (in his autobiography Crowded Canvas) of his father: 'He had a strong puritan streak, which, among other things, took the form of refusing ever to use public transport on Sundays. When he had to preach somewhere in London he would always walk to the church and walk back. Sometimes the church would be in South London and it might be a ten-mile walk each way. I never knew him to break his rule or to think it in any way remarkable to have kept it.'

Saturday, October 27, 2007


There's a famous quote from James Denney, which most pastors/preachers know and, hopefully, many of them live by: 'No one can bear witness to themselves and to Christ at the same time. No (preacher) can give at once the impression that they are clever, and that Christ is mighty to save.'

Thursday, October 25, 2007


The main task of a poet is to see. Poets are essentially people of vision. The vast majority of us can see; we all look out on to the same world. But it's possible to look without seeing.

The poet has a special sensitivity, a heightened awareness, an attentiveness which most people do not possess - or exhibit only at rare moments. Poets see what most of us miss.

Prophets are like that too. In fact, a common Hebrew word for prophet is 'one who sees', 'a person of vision'. Another word means 'one who raves', 'one who is beside himself'. (Shakespeare said something somewhere about the kinship between poets and madmen).

The Old Testament prophets (and Jesus) majored on two great evils: oppression and injustice, and idolatry/false religion: both of these sets of evils promote false religion.

Are poets/prophets born that way - or do they develop these sensitivities over time? The answer, I believe, is 'yes' :-)

More later...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I read a quote today (by Dr. Paul Francis, Scientist with the Australian Gemini Project, Canberra) which got me thinking:

'There are two great theories of 20th century physics: relativity (which deals with massive things) and quantum mechanics (tiny things). There are only two situations in the universe where you need to use both, because they are both massive and tiny: Big Bang and black holes. Trouble is, the two theories mix like oil and water.'

Sunday, October 21, 2007