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Great texts

  • John V. Taylor: The Christlike God (Scm Classics)

    John V. Taylor: The Christlike God (Scm Classics)
    A serious theological book which is the companion to JVT's classic work "The Go-between God". Anyone who is frustrated by (fellow) Christians that choose to define God so tightly that faith seems impossible, or seem to align faith with "happiness" despite the evidence to the contrary should read how faith is really a mix of " wonder and comprehension, illumination and darkness, loss and possession, abasement and bliss". If you want to stop to "think" about God then this is a book to read thoughtfully in the company of one of great Christians of the 20th Century

  • Jean Vanier: Community and Growth: Our Pilgrimage Together Revised Edition

    Jean Vanier: Community and Growth: Our Pilgrimage Together Revised Edition
    A revised collection of the thoughts and ideas of the founder of the L'arche Community - "faith without boundaries". This is a classic book - for everyone seeking faith and to grow in their faith

  • Rowan  Williams: Anglican Identities

    Rowan Williams: Anglican Identities
    As someone who is both a passionate but frustrated Anglican - glimpsing sometimes all that Anglican could be and seeing on a daily basis all that it isn't, this book was a wonderful account of what liberal Anglicanism - tolerant, inclusive, supportive, intelligent and profoundly spiritual, just might be. Of course it is not an easy read - it takes time and effort to grasp what RW is saying but the effort is worthwhile

  • John Drane         : Do Christians Know How to Be Spiritual?

    John Drane : Do Christians Know How to Be Spiritual?
    If you are a committed member of a local Church and wonder why others do not see the point - or wonder whether it might be possible to be more spiritual outside the confines then you could read this book which is a thoughtful introduction to what is meant by a post-christian society.

  • Tom Wright: Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense

    Tom Wright: Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense
    This is a detailed read from Tom Wright which makes the case for the Christian faith in contemporary society. Its thoughtful, challenging, and gentle.

  • W.H. Vanstone: Farewell in Christ

    W.H. Vanstone: Farewell in Christ
    Vanstone's final work, which explores the mystery of existence, the mystery of my soul, the mystery of meaning, - and none of this becomes possible without intellectual doubt. Is this what Dawkins et al will never understand?

  • John Pritchard: The Life and Work of a Priest

    John Pritchard: The Life and Work of a Priest
    This book should be compulsory reading for all enquirers, ordinands, and current clergy - perhaps adding in all elders and churchwardens for good measure. It charts in a profoundly hopeful way the joys and pressures of contemporary priesthood, and avoids the pitfalls of theological bias or the bland functional understandings of leadership.

  • Timothy Radcliffe: What Is the Point of Being a Christian?

    Timothy Radcliffe: What Is the Point of Being a Christian?
    A prophetic introduction to the Christian faith for those who struggle to find God amid the complexities of life

  • Robert Dimery: 1001 Albums you must hear before you die

    Robert Dimery: 1001 Albums you must hear before you die
    Just a great read - extensive intelligent reviews which bring back memories, stimulate to seek out, and inspire to add to the wish list.

All time Top Ten albums

  • Bob Dylan -

    Bob Dylan: Blood on the Tracks
    Probably the best single collection of orginal songs - performed by Bob with his inimitable non-music style - the best produced Dylan album into the bargain

  • Miles Davis -

    Miles Davis: Kind of Blue
    I remember the first time I heard this - on a loaned Walkman on a very turbulent flight to Belfast - it has rightly been described as a milestone in 20th century jazz. I remember playing to a group of spell-bound 9/10 year olds in a Primary school music workshop

  • Portishead -

    Portishead: Dummy
    Every once in while I listen to an album whose orginality leaves me instinctively knowing that music will never be the same - that the goalposts of repetoire have been changed for ever. Dummy is just one of those rare treats

  • Prefab Sprout -

    Prefab Sprout: Andromeda Heights
    In 1997 I escaped for the afternoon from the madhouse of an ordination training residential to the comparative sanity of my friend Tony's studio. During a tea break in a session, Tony said these imortal words " I've just found this amazing album" and my love affair with Andromeda Heights began - sanity was restored and I completed the residental and training.

  • Moloko -

    Moloko: Things to make and do
    Brilliant music within the scope of the dance music genre. Crisp instrumentation, meets cool beats, and the voice of Roisin - how I love Moloko

  • Craig Armstrong -

    Craig Armstrong: Piano Works
    If I were not Tom Allen ( artistically and musically speaking) I would be Craig Armstrong - from my discovery of him through Massive Attack I have loved and admired his work - and Piano Works covers his repetoire in stunning style

  • Joe Cocker -

    Joe Cocker: Sheffield Steel
    The greatest album from the greatest rock intrepreter of them all - genius production meets some of the best songs of all time sung by that voice - I've confess that I have sampled the album to oblivion

  • Paul Simon -

    Paul Simon: Graceland
    Had to be a Paul Simon album and it had to be Graceland. A epoch making album which opened African music to the world but seamlessly combined that music with western rock and pop with songs to die for.

  • Cosmic Rough Riders -

    Cosmic Rough Riders: Enjoy the melodic sunshine
    Glasgow's finest produce the ultimate guitar-song album of pure delight and of a quality that puts Athlete et al in the shade - shame it was two years too early and the lead singer left after this debut album

  • Massive Attack -

    Massive Attack: Blue Lines
    OK so Bristol has launched Portishead, Tricky and Roni Size, but it was the staggering impact of this debut which created a genre in trip-hop and a collective approach to song-writing, band membership which has influenced a generation and spawned so many other deriratives. From the low-fi paranoia of "Five Man Army" and the unrepeatable melancholic splendour of "Unfinished Sympathy", this is a 20th century classic.

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24 February 2005



Interesting. I get jumpy whenever Christians try and force non-Christians (or Christians in this case) into a particular course of action. To speak or prophesy into a situation is one thing, to call people to repentance one thing, but to force them does not seem to square with Jesus.


that's an interesting parrallel to draw Tom, now you mention i can see a lot of similiarities! what frustrates me (amongst other things) is the way they are both so aggressive in their approaches - language and actions.

For Christian Voice certainly, they seem to be concerned about (what they belive is) morality rather than spirituality. when did they get sperated?


As I commented on Maggi's site, you need only look at Christian Voice's spoof website (announced and linked to on their own website) to see how crudely they engage with complex issues - and in ways that could be seen to encourage the persecution of gay and lesbian and other people (or at encourage people to stand back while it happens - which is much the same thing). They do not seem to understand that not to have a zero-tolerance approach to the bullying and abuse of people deemed to be gay/lesbian/other will also affect their own children, whatever their sexuality - that there are many kids who suffer bullying because of playground labels they have been given, whether or not those labels have any basis in reality. However, not entirely sure about the parallel, Tom - provocative and worth discussing, but could not be pressed too far, imho.

Tractor Girl

Having gone to look at there site earlier in the week I think you may well be right. What got the warning bells going with me was the quotes about this being a Christian country, which was put forward in an almost identical way to the BNP, in the last newsletter they (Christian Voice) put online (interesting they don't do that anymore). Also in that newsletter whilst they try to slightly distance themselves from Griffin, they do mention him in relation to agreeing with them on the dangers of a new law on religious discrimination.

Also in the run up to the election my prayers are with your community.

Senator Ted Kennedy

I'm glad the pope isn't a gay-woman-abortion.

Piet and Alison

It's always difficult for a South African to talk about race because of the baggage we carry and it's very easy to accuse us of any number of sins. What I will say is that I did not approve of racial discrimination in South Africa. But it was my home, it was where I grew up, and it's just the way life was. I didn't leave because of the end of Apartheid. I left because I felt my family's life was in danger. And funnily enough I find myself again in a country whose racial policies I disagree with. The policies here are the opposite of South Africa though. Here it is the whites that are discriminated against - obviously not as badly as blacks in SA but it's there all the same. For example, last year we got a leaflet in the door offering free hepatitis vaccinations but only if you were Maori, PI, or Asian. I didn't like that. You can get into medical school here if you are a Maori with lower qualifications than if you are white. A Maori and a European might both live in a socially deprived area; go to the same school; get the same marks and then the Maori will get a scholarship to university and the European will not. Racial discrimination of any kind is unfair and I think that what goes on here is often unfair. A Maori women who lives in the same street as us, a very pleasant, friendly woman, I should add, has had all of her fees paid to go to business school because she is Maori. If she was European she would not have got a bean.

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