Not quite sure what got me hooked on this New Yorker article (sadly the full article is behind a paywall), but I was gripped. Using linguistics to help solve crimes seems pretty counter-intuitive - but the Unabomber was caught by analysing his manifesto - as was Joyce Meyer security chief Chris Coleman who was found guilty of killing his family.
Here's a Friday Fun with a bit of a difference. I read Jeremy Vine's recent tome this week, It's All News To Me. It was simply hilarious. Laugh-out loud funny, in fact. And he says it's all true. So I guess it must be. He is a BBC journalist, after all. It's not to say that it's all light and fluffy - there are moments of necessary reflection and poignancy along the way (especially in the account of his years in Africa), as well as real insight as he reflects on what actually constitutes news.
Having speculated a little about how the prevailing winds of modernist culture affect our perceptions of the present, I now want to think about how we face the future. Which in some ways can have an even more dehumanising impact. And yet again, I need to say at the outset that there is a valid counter-argument to each point. But why should simultaneously agreeing and disagreeing with oneself get in the way of a blog-post?
For today's Friday Fun, I thought it worth quoting in full a little poem full of wit, perception and depth...
Given the deeply traumatic nature of this book's subject, this word seems entirely incongruous. But I can't it out of my head as I try to sum up Emma Scrivener's new book. And that's the word beautiful. This is not because of a superficial orwhite-washed treatment. Far from it. In fact at times Emma is searingly, wincingly honest. And as she writes, we weep.
There is a clear counter-argument for every point I want to make here. In fact, I sort of agree with every counter-argument myself. But I feel the need to make them nevertheless. For my hunch is that one of the key factors in ministerial burnout is that we are far more influenced by post-enlightenment modernism than by the values of the Kingdom. It shouldn't come as any surprise - we're always more insidiously affected by our culture than we appreciate. It's just so sad how little we face the problem.
It's been a funny old time since the great revelation of last month. But I fully anticipated that. Getting used to something that was hidden being out in the open takes some adjustment. But one of the interesting questions from the Q&A after the service on depression was what some of us found sustaining or supportive in the midst of the darkness. As someone for whom music has been a lifelong essential (both from playing and listening), it is only natural that music would be my first port of call. Which is not to say that art, poetry and books haven't helped from time to time.
Every now and then a book comes along which demands serious attention. Ted Turnau's Popologetics is just such a book. I should be up front at this stage and declare that he is a friend, so perhaps some will merely assume this is a question of mutual back-scratching. I can assure you it's not (I've received no commissions... as yet). But still, this is a great book. For a whole range of reasons: it is very readable and lucid; it makes its case with wit and self-deprecating humour; it is a model of how to handle disagreement (theological and otherwise) with great grace and generosity; and it demonstrates extensive appreciation of the field and offers a rich mine of treasure to any reader.