Don't be a coot

Wed, 12/09/2012 - 12:15 -- James Oakley

The story is told of one Anglican clergyman I had the privilege to meet on a few occasions. Being an ordained minister, from time to time someone who ask him to pray for them. I think the thought was that, because he was ordained, God would hear him. "Say one for me, Father", came the request.

Apparently he used to reply: "Say one yourself, you lazy coot".

I'm not sure quite why the coot gets it in the neck here. I wasn't aware that it was a reputably lazy bird.

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Tue, 11/09/2012 - 10:28 -- James Oakley

On Friday night, there was a sad fire at our end of Kemsing Village. A stack of 500 hay bales caught fire - it helps nobody to speculate whether this was deliberate or accidental, although invariably people start to speculate and everyone has a theory.

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Good news, not advice

Wed, 04/07/2012 - 16:23 -- James Oakley

Many will have seen this quotation before. But as I copied it out for a particular purpose, it struck me that this is so gloriously true it deserves to be said again:

“Right there you can see the difference between Christianity and all other religions, including no religion. The essence of other religions is advice; Christianity is essentially news. Other religions say, ‘This is what you have to do in order to connect to God forever; this is how you have to live in order to earn your way to God.’ But the gospel says, ‘This is what has been done in history. This is how Jesus lived and died to earn the way to God for you.’ Christianity is completely different. It’s joyful news.” (Timothy Keller, King’s Cross, page 15)

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Immortal, Invisible, God only wise

Wed, 20/06/2012 - 13:13 -- James Oakley

Next Sunday (24th June), at our 10.30 service, we will sing the hymn Immortal Invisible. It's well known.

And, it turns out, mis-known.

I simply copied the words from the recent hymn book, Praise!, to insert on our service sheet. The version they include is copyright to Jubilate Hymns, but what struck me was that there were more changes here than just modernised words. The last two verses contained (between them) some of the thoughts of the last verse most of us sing, but were clearly two entirely different verses.

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Theses on preaching

Mon, 09/01/2012 - 19:45 -- James Oakley

What's going on when someone preaches?

How does God's word preached relate to God's word written?

How does the sermon relate to the other parts of a church service?

How does preaching relate to / differ from the other contexts and events in which we hear God's word?

How do the words of the preacher relate to the words of God?

Where does the Spirit fit into preaching?


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Emmanuel Theology Conference

Fri, 21/10/2011 - 18:37 -- James Oakley

I'm delighted to commend to readers of this blog an upcoming day conference in North London. It is organised by Emmanuel Church in North London, where my friend Steve Jeffery is the minister. One of the things I have always appreciated about Emmanuel is the way they enjoy putting events on that will serve the wider church.

Here's some of the blurb from their website.


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