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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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« Young Adult Faith | Main | Clergy Training »

14 September 2006



that is pretty terrible. urgghhh.


What is it exactly, the dregs in a beer glass or something worse? If so are they trying to attract drunks to church for Christmas and are vicars and their congregations prepared for the potential sudden influx? Will sermons this Christmastide be about the good work done by Alcoholics Anonymous as well as 'inviting Jesus into your life' and will the details of the nearest AA group be given out with the hymn books and notices?


Absolutely Tom - we have put up with this nonsense for long enough - its time to can CAN !

Dr Moose

It's strange really... I rather like (at least some) of the CAN stuff. Even the "face of Jesus" in the beer froth - although it took a second look.

Ho hum.


I understand that it has not yet been released to the wider public - but it will be another spectacular "own goal" or rather open goal for those who want to have a go - guess my response to Dr Moose would be that it is not a question of whether we in the Church "like it or not" - but does it communicate to those outside the Church - and the answer must be a resounding no - I am a 22 year old media specialist working for a real world PR company and clinging on in there at my local Church!


Remind me who Jesus spent time with? Sinners. Prostitutes. Drunks. Lepers. The dregs of society.

I'm just surprised that CAN bought such a gospel-relevant and scripturally sound campaign.

Tom Allen

Would Jesus also perhaps in our own day have some concern for the man waiting at home for his acoholic spouse to (maybe) return home safely from the office party, or for the woman wondering whether her pre-Christmas present is to be another battering,or for anxious family longing for this years Christmas present to be a much needed liver transplant - I guess the "irony" of the ad will be slightly lost on them.


Did you listen to the radio ads on the website you linked? They sounded rather good I thought.


Yes Carl of course I have heard the adverts for the past few years - my question to you is have you heard them in the context of the radio progammes in which they are broadcast - then they sound odd or out of place. Last year's ones sounded like your DAB had mistakenly cut to Radio 2. So the question is not whether we like them (they are pleasent enough) but whether they are actually communicating with the claimed audience - I am highly sceptical of that.


“For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.' But wisdom is proved right by her actions." – Matthew 11


Mark - not sure what you are trying to say from your quote - the rest of us are discussing the advert I think - does it work? - for which the previous verse to your quotation might seem more appropriate critique of how the Church tries ( and fails?) to communicate:

" We played the flute for you, and you did not dance, we waildd and you did not mourn"


Find Jesus at the bottom of an empty glass?
Have a pint with Santa this Christmas?

Please please what about the poor sods who are struggling with alcoholism - and that includes many christians and clergy
What will CAN choose next year for their ironic ad - perhaps a cancer patient.
I learnt in six form media studies that if an ad needing explaining it had failed!!

John Carter

Thank you guys, Tom especially, for providing Ruth Gledhill and others with someone to create controversy and put the ad on the front page of the nationals. We have had a mammoth and largely positive response from across the world. Rosie, I urge you to check out before jumping to your conclusion. Dr Moose and Intrigued - thanks for your comments. Lewin and Karin - condeming this ad because it has a beer glass on it is like condeming an ASH campaign against smoking because it has a burning cigarette on it - try to see beyond your literalist interpretation. Tom, the radio ads have won three Andrew Cross awards in the past five years, the Che campaign is on show in the V and A museum etc etc. And the final word of support from the last place we expected it:

"Just a short note of appreciation for your ad campaign “Is this Jesus?”. It was the talk of Los Angeles morning radio on Bill Handel’s program this morning at KFI AM 640.

We are Bible publishers. Davidson Press publishes the International Standard Version Bible. You can find out more about it at and

We here at Davidson Press whole-heartedly support your campaign and wish you the best of success in the UK and elsewhere, should you decide to expand the concept to the USA or Europe."

Tom Allen

Hi John
Didn't really intend to add to what I said on the post which says it all in terms of my reaction to an ad.

So you have won awards from the Christian advertising industry - I had to look up the Andrew Cross awards. I'd be impressed when you get awards from Motorola Dance Awards or Kerrang or Mixmag or something in the real world you are trying to communicate with or perhaps from your secular media peers.

As for you response to Rosie I sure that she will soon realise that despite the mammoth response from across the world and all that coverage in the national press you have only got 430 friends on a myspace site (a good proportion are either loggers or critics or Daily Telegraph readers, or Christians anyway) which presumably was the key point of the advert.

So being generous in allocating 33% of the friends to the non-Christian category thats about a hundred something - when the market leaders in young adult culture have thousands. You might think it a success - I don't think she will.

With regard to its style I wonder whether irony really works ( which I guess is what you mean when you accuse other commenters of being literalist) - yes it is quite clever when you sit and analyse it - but do your really do irony when you flick through a paper or pass the add in the street. I would hesitate to suggest that most people will think a brewery advert and pass by.

Are you seriously suggesting that an endorsement from American freak radio such as KFI AM 640 is a good thing?

So what if a group like your admirers at the Davidson Press think it a good thing - I didn't think it was aimed at 60 something biblical scholars in the States who want to plug their bible?

What evidence is there that it is reaching the young adults that you claimed you wanted to reach.If you had a paying client would you be able to demonstrate value for money?

Despite thinking that the EMPTY beer glass advert is in the poorest taste possible at Christmastime that is not really the point - I might be won round to your claims of success if there was evidence that it works with the people you claim it is aimed at - rather than the media and Christians.

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