This year is the 300th anniversary of Robinson Crusoe, the debut novel of Daniel Defoe published on 25th April 1719. It is said to be the first novel published in the English language, and since 1719 has been printed in many editions. It is many years since I read it, so I thought it time to do so again.
The novel starts with Robinson's father seeking to persuade the stubborn lad not to go to sea. His efforts are sincere and emotional, but in vain.
As part of my sabbatical study, I've been reading the late Mike Ovey's book, Your Will Be Done: Exploring Eternal Subordination, Divine Monarchy and Divine Humility.
I'd forgotten Mike's love of the writings of Alexis de Tocqueville, and his concept of "the tyranny of the majority".
On page 119, Mike has a pertinent quotation from De Tocqueville's Democracy in America, I.xv:
I'm enjoying reading a collection of 16 essays, entitled The New Evangelical Subordinationism?, edited by Dennis Jowers and Wayne House.
Here's a vital reminder from the opening page of Scott Horrell's chapter:
Earlier this week, our Deanery Synod had an excellent 45 minute presentation from one of the clergy in our deanery, Revd Dr Lorraine Turner. Lorraine's doctoral thesis was on the subject of bullying as experienced by clergy, and her subject with us was bullying.
Clearly, 45 minutes is far too short a time for anything other than the most cursive of introductions, especially for someone who has studied this with the thoroughness required for a PhD. Nevertheless, it was extremely helpful, for reasons including the following:
It is a great privilege indeed to belong to a Christian church, and so to the Christian church.
This last weekend, I reached the milestone of 10 years serving the churches here in Kemsing and Woodlands, also a great privilege.
That gives me cause to look back on the many churches I have belonged to over the years. Each made its mark in different ways, and the person I am today is undoubtedly shaped by the time spent in those churches.
I'm taking a 3 month sabbatical starting in May. This is something many Christian ministers find helpful. The Diocese of Rochester, within which I serve, used to recommend this every 7 years (although I see that their guidance now says 10 years).
In February 2017, General Synod refused to take note of a report by the House of Bishops on human sexuality. I wrote on this at the time: It really is time to choose.
Several years back I wrote about a discovery that the carol, While Shepherds Watched not only fits to the tune of On Ilkley Moor Baht 'at, the Yorkshire folk tune, but that may even have been the original tune.