I didn't even know the name

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God only knows, God makes his plan
The information’s unavailable to the mortal man

- Paul Simon, Slip Sliding Away

I’ve been holding back from blogging recently; there’ve been a few fires burning in the mission for a while, and while adding fuel would make me feel better it wouldn’t help anyone else. But one thing that I have really been dwelling a lot on is the third commandment: Read more about I didn't even know the name

Broken for you

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One of the things that keeps me, well… still a Christian is my ability to maintain a strict mental separation between Jesus and his followers. I think it’s a way of thinking that’s also popular with the spiritual-but-not-religious crowd. You know how it goes: I find the figure of Jesus amazing, intriguing and inspiring, even though I think quite a lot of the things that individual Christians have done are ugly, hateful and hypocritical distortions of his message. In general, we’re mean to the world around us, and by God are we even meaner to each other. Read more about Broken for you

A small suggestion for organisational communication

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Short but simple:

Read everything you send out from the perspective of the most recent recruit to your organisation. If they can’t understand it without tons of assumed background knowledge, you’re alienating and disenfranchising them. (And probably lots of other people too.)

What I’m talking about is this kind of rubbish: Read more about A small suggestion for organisational communication

Tweeting and tweeness

I love Twitter. I love the interaction, the openness and the flatness of it all. But it does have its downsides. And Christian leaders on Twitter, my goodness, drive me up the wall.

There are a number of factors at play. Partly there’s an echo chamber effect where people retweet and pass on things uncritically around a circle of friends, hardly interacting with those who have a different opinion. And 140 characters isn’t much space to develop an intelligent thought. But for Christians there’s an added danger: they’re trying to be inspiring. And everything else, like truth, be damned, in this hunt for twee repeatability. Read more about Tweeting and tweeness

Cessationism: Why does anyone go out to bat for this madness?

As per usual: This is a blog post, in rant format, rather than an academic paper. Seems unnecessary I know, but sometimes that just needs pointing that out.

I’m doing a lot of study on Restorationism, apostolic movements, and the like, and occasionally coming across cessationist views. Cessationism is a rather hilarious theology which states that, essentially, when Jesus said he’d give us another Comforter who would be with us forever, he was actually taking about a book. The idea is that he gave the Holy Spirit to the church for a bit, and we used to have supernatural power and resources for an unspecified (but obviously very short) duration, and then God decided that was a bad idea. But that’s OK, because we’ve got a book! Read more about Cessationism: Why does anyone go out to bat for this madness?

Probably can't submit this as an academic book review

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John Stott’s classic book “Why Charismatics Are Wrong” has now been published in a number of different volumes and under many different titles. This reprint, under the title “Calling Christian Leaders,” goes on to describe why Charismatics are wrong about leadership, authority and, as usual, the nature of the Holy Spirit. Read more about Probably can't submit this as an academic book review

What's wrong with IT consultancy

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I take a dim view of IT consultants, particularly having been one, and I am not the only one. Barely a week goes by without a story in the press about yet another government IT scheme failing to meet budget or timelines due to the incompetence of these charlatans; the only surprising thing is that people continue to fall for this when, if you think about it, it should be perfectly obvious that consultants' work is in nobody's interests but their own:

When you've got a minute

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If you've got a friend who's a plumber, is it reasonable to say “Can you just come around and have a look at my sink sometime?” Or maybe you have a friend who's a laywer. Would you say “Can you just defend this case for me when you have a spare moment?” Would you ask a painter friend “Do you think you could pop around and paint the outside of my house for me? I'll make you a cup of tea.”