Friday, 25 August 2017

the unbearability of life

Sometimes life seems equally unbearable whether Christianity is true (because of the implications of accepting all its truths and teachings, unless you simply jettison those things which you find socially awkward or personally challenging, demanding or upsetting) or whether Christianity is not true (because, to adapt the line about democracy and government to express what I have often felt, Christianity is the worst possible explanation for everything apart from all the other possible explanations that have been tried, and if it's not true then life has no meaning, morality or purpose, we just silently agree to pretend that it does).

Not thinking about it too much seems to be the answer either way, and that's no answer.

I expect I'll feel better after a cup of tea.

Friday, 4 August 2017

pre-wedding advice

I've thought a few times recently about this thing I once said in an email nearly twenty years ago, and this evening I managed to unearth it, preserved in a document in a folder copied from computer to computer over the years.

It was written after a rather civilised stag night, a meal out, at which we were asked what one piece of advice we'd give to our groom-to-be. I didn't say anything very satisfactory on the night, but this is what I said subsequently within a longer email. It is along the lines that I remembered, except possibly shorter (I fear I have grown more long-winded as I have got older), and I think it is probably still what I would say, were I called on to give 'one piece of advice'. I shall leave it as it was, except to remove the name to protect the innocent.

"I felt very strange when I realised that I was the 'old hand', marriage-wise. In fact it made me restrain myself from giving you one of my serious one-sentence pieces of advice, because I didn't want to make things very heavy. ('Give and take' is the true cliche which I did mention.) But I'll give it to you now: 'Love and commitment is an act of will'. There will be many days when you are in the company of a woman who is more beautiful, or more charming, or more witty, or more intelligent, or more sensitive, or more caring, or more funny, or more sexy, or more spiritual, or more 'on your wavelength', or basically more attractive in one of any number of ways than your wife-to-be. But you must enter into marriage, thinking, 'Yes, I know there will be days like that, and I have made my choice and my commitment in that knowledge. And it is my choice and my commitment that my love for my wife-to-be is and will continue to be different from and beyond the love I will feel for or give to any other person or thing, for the rest of our lives.' And believe me, it will be different and beyond. And it will be very good."

people power at the imperial war museum

On Saturday 29th July Bethan and I went to a paying exhibition at the Imperial War Museum, People Power: Fighting For Peace. It was okay.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

peace and joy

Peace and joy are twin blessings of the gospel; as an old Scots preacher put it, 'peace is joy resting; joy is peace dancing'.
- FF Bruce on Romans 5, IVP Tyndale commentary (1963 edition)

I feel these things insufficiently, but this is a lovely way of putting it.