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Robbie Williams – pro or anti Jesus?

Robbie Williams, Bodies CD cover

This afternoon, driving home from a meeting I caught Robbie Williams’ new single on the radio – his first for a couple of years entitled ‘Bodies’. Very interesting lyrics.

God gave me the sunshine,
Then showed me my lifeline
I was told it was all mine,
Then I got laid on a ley line
What a day, what a day,
And your Jesus really died for me
Then Jesus really tried for me

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Mixed feelings about Ben Hur Live

Jesus gives Ben Hur water from Ben Hur Live
Zak Hussein/PA

Yesterday evening I took my lovely wife, somewhat under duress (hers not mine), to see the World Premiere of Ben Hur Live at the 02 Arena.

I’ve always loved the Charlton Heston movie version of Ben Hur and ultimately, it’s a fantastic little novel by Lew Wallace from the 19th Century that sets a tale of love, friendship, betrayal and revenge against the backdrop of the life and death of Jesus Christ. Nativity, Sermon on the Mount, Crucifixion intermingled with sea battles, chariot traces and an emotional love story. What could go wrong?

So anyway when I heard they were re-doing the story live, at the 02 Arena, with full-pelt chariot races, I was very quick to get a pair of tickets for opening night. Chariot races? Like Ben Hur the Movie? Gotta see that.

24 hours on, I’m still not quite sure what I make of it. Read more

Counter-intuitive growth

Over the Summer, I was fascinated by this article in the Telegraph not long before I spent the best part of a week accompanying our young people to Soul Survivor where we worshipped in a tent crammed to the gunnels with 11,000 people – 98% of whom were in their teens.

The Telegraph article explains how the US government is exploring a scheme by which overly large, sprawling cities that have fallen on hard times will have large areas bulldozed and returned to nature as forests and meadows in order to make what remains of the city more sustainable.

Particularly in the US where big is always seen to be better, the scheme feels counter-intuitive but is giving places like Flint, Michigan, their first interesting chance of a new economic start in quite some time.

It sounds like a really interesting scheme. I’m keen to hear how it works out over the long-term. However, it did start to make me think about what this might tell us in terms of church life as well. Read more

Lashing oneself to the mast

An old drawing of a ship in a storm

With the end of the Summer, it’s more than high time that the articles started to flow here at ‘Wannabe’ and it’s been an interesting time of late. I’ve got a bunch of stuff in the RSS feeder that has been stacking up waiting for investigation, comment or just plain getting on with giving the thoughts of others whom I follow the time those thoughts most definitely deserve.

For me, the last few days have been all about those ordination vows once again.

I was present at Rochester Cathedral (along with pretty much everyone else it seems) on Saturday to say goodbye to Michael Nazir-Ali, outgoing Bishop of Rochester. The geography of the Cathedral (like many/most/all Cathedrals) is such that most of the action happened in the Nave in front of the massive organ and choir screen beneath it so that most people could see what was going on. However, I was sitting in the Quire with all the other clergy ‘blind’ to that action. Nevertheless, late in the service, the action transferred to the High Altar where Read more