Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christian Universalism on the web

David Congdon has recently published an article for all to read on-line here. He is a bright chap, and argues for a thoroughly christocentric, not pluralistic, universalism which takes the missional imperative seriously.

Scot McKnight is also about to start a series asking whether Evangelicals can be Universalists. I'm really pleased that Scot is going to have a stab at this question in dialogue with Robin's book, The Evangelical Universalist.

Octopus snatches coconut and runs

Not particularly "theological" or "biblical", but what a great title for a fascinating BBC article. The video is not to be missed. It explains:
One of the researchers, Dr Julian Finn from Australia's Museum Victoria, told BBC News: "I almost drowned laughing when I saw this [video] the first time." He added: "I could tell it was going to do something, but I didn't expect this - I didn't expect it would pick up the shell and run away with it."

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Where's the Wally (i.e., me)

I took an afternoon off, yesterday, to visit the London Chess Classic, and the opening match between Vladimir Kramnik and the most exciting chess star around today, the young Magnus Carlsen. This was the first time I had actually seen these guys in the flesh, so in true geek style I was rather excited. In the picture below, in the front row, you can see, starting closest to the camera, Ni Hau, Nigel Short, Vlad Kramnik, Michael Adams, David Howell, Magnus Carlsen, Luke McShane, and Hikaru Nakamura.

Where's the Wally? (The receding hair line gives me away!)

(Photo by Frederic Friedel and Pascal Simon, on

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Some unique Amazon Christmas gift ideas

Here you can buy what is called a 'Gentlemen's Ball Scratcher', which comes with two nice features:

  • Handheld Chrome effect Ball Scratcher, Presented in a deluxe metal case.
  • This quality silverware utensil is dishwasher safe, and has a stain resistant surface.

As one astute reviewer writes on the Amazon site: 'I've been using the ball scratcher for almost a day now, but have to say that it should be used with care. It seems to have upset several of the people whose balls I've tried to scratch with it. Maybe it's best kept for personal use.'

Yes, maybe a good idea.

Or here you can buy the 'Gentleman's Willy Care Kit', which comes complete with a Fluffing Brush, Styling Shear, Sprucing Mirror, and a Metal Bracelet all packed in a Fine Leatherette Box.

As one reviewer comments at Amazon: 'I used to be ashamed of my willy. People used to point and yell 'What an unkept willy!' I was bullied at school. But then I bought the Gentleman's Willy Care Kit, and now, instead, people yell 'What a fantastic willy!' and all my friends think I'm really cool'

A moving testimony.

By the way, if you were wondering: I happened across these items because I was looking for a head massager like this one. OK? I wasn't looking for anything else. Just so you know.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


There is a great discussion in the comments to the previous post. I am delighted that Doug Campbell (under the name of his wife, Rachel) and Michael Gorman are both involved in debate, all of which is really helping me in the process of digesting and weighing Doug's proposals.

Of course, Michael Gorman has shared his thoughts in a little more detail on his own webpage, but Sean Winter too has some reflections worth reading. I tend to be fairly cautious as an exegete, but this time I think I have a clear preference ... but I will share my thoughts later, after a little more meditation (I personally blame the OCD for this kind of dithering). The final decision certainly has concrete ramifications, not to mention a knock on effect for the rest of my theology.

On a slightly different note, only 21 days until Apple & Stone's debut album is released!

By the way, Anja and I got a 'Christmas reception' invite from Lambeth Palace today! We have officially arrived!

Finally, a question: can anyone tell me what the freaking heck all of this 2012 'end of world' stuff is about? One punter is even offering a free e-book on the subject, in which he confidently claims "On December 14, 2008, the First Trumpet of the Seventh Seal of the Book of Revelation sounded, which announced the beginning collapse of the economy of the United States and great destruction that will follow".

'Righty ho, then', as Ace Ventura says. While not getting into the spirit of it entirely, perhaps, I suppose this little inside prophetic tipoff means we can continue unabated in a veritable feast of sins, so long as we repent on the evening of the 13th December...