Having just been to 'Beyond the Barricades', a tour of songs from West End musicals, I was going to blog about music and spirituality, but that'll have to wait. Couple of much better things to have a look at:
Phil Ritchie has a chunky post on Nick Cave's spirituality, and his take on the Bible and how it influences lyrics like this:
I don't believe in an interventionist God
But I know, darling, that you do
But if I did I would kneel down and ask Him
Not to intervene when it came to you
Ruth Gledhill has done us all a service in transcribing an interview between Ian Hislop and Rowan Williams. A few snips:
(Ruth Gledhill) I've not had time to transcribe all the questions yet but one response by Hislop at the end made me laugh. On a Good Friday, he and his family went off to a cathdral for spiritual refreshment. There were just seven people in the congregation in the cavernous building. The clergyman in the pulpit spent the entire sermon preaching against - Ian Hislop
(Ian Hislop) What I think is interesting is that you (the church) are still news in a country where supposedly no-one's interested, they are all very secular, you have an amazing ability to get headlines. Often the wrong ones or not the ones you want. But there is still an interest. So the media is not bored. It may get it wrong, it may distort it. But it's still available.....If the journalists had a tick list it would say, gays Islam gays, more gays gays Islam, gays gays gays, he looks a bit like Karl Marx is he one of them. My guess is you've done other things in the last few years.
(Hislop) I remember being a friend of mine who was a priest, I said, You don't seem to have got this message into the media. He said I'm not trying to convert the media, you lot are irredeemable. He said I'm trying to convert the people in my parish. His point was, everyone else has shipped out of these areas. The State's not here any more, the social workers barely ship in. There's me. And I'm doing what I can. You're not interested in that, but it doesn't matter that you're not interested. Which is quite a good point.
ABC: I remember people sometimes say about the Church, especially the Church of England. I remember one of my students saying, It's still a place where you put the stuff that won't go anywhere else. And I find that quite a moving definition of the Church
(Hislop) I wonder if the Church is not making it clear enough that it is still there in the middle, that you don't have to be an American evangelical, you do not have to be a Muslim fundamentalist, you do not have to be Richard Dawkins.
ABC: The point is often being confident enough about what you are inviting people into, which is not simply an entertainment but a journey and process of change. ....I went with the family to Taize for a few days in the summer.... one of the things I shall remember for a long time is the sound of 5,000 teenagers being quiet. That was an environment that didn't make any concessions to entertaining anyone. It assumed that if you were there, you wanted to be taken a bit deeper. That's the crucial thing.
ABC: Business propositions always represent a very carefull sophisticated calculation of what the market will wear. It is demand as well as supply. Reduce mission too much to that model, you do end up saying, So what are people willing to hear? Which I don't think is mission.
There's very few long blog posts that I'll get round to reading all the way through, but the two pieces above were an exception. Hopefully I've not breached copyright laws by borrowing so much of Ruth's piece!