HAPPY NEW YEAR! Hoping 2021 is better than 2020!!
Sad to begin 2021 like this, but I felt it was unavoidable. The repercussions are going to be felt for many years to come – and I fear the general reputations of big-name church leaders will deteriorate before remotely improving. (More than one report into abusive behaviours is due this year.)
The true horrors of what Ravi Zacharias got up to during his global ministry are emerging. If proven, he may well end up as the church’s Jeffrey Epstein. And yet another toppled evangelical icon. It is bewildering and galling, especially for the victimized and betrayed. Kyrie Eleison. There’s too much to say really, though some of it does fit with what I’ve been writing recently. A handful of links to begin processing:
- Max Baker-Hytch, RZIM speaker and scholar, writes an open letter outlining the problems. Careful and methodical, especially because of the way he honours those who have suffered most.
- Carson Weitnauer, another RZIM speaker and staff member, writes an open letter: A Catastrophic Betrayal: The Greatest Apologist was the Greatest Fraud
- The UK board of the Zacharias Trust calls on the USA board to act
- Christian journalist, Priscilla Jebaraj, responds from India, where Zacharias was seen as ‘one of our own’.
- Liam Thatcher sums up well: Tracing the ripples from fallen pastors
- David French cites this scandal in the wider context of the crisis in American Christianity: the Church needs prophets but wants lawyers
And on to other matters (thankfully).
- Tom Holland on ‘the myth of the pagan Christmas‘,
- Frank Viola is very helpful on why Christians (in the USA specifically) are swallowing conspiracy theories
- 2020 has been a tough year globally. If it is to mean anything, at the very least it should prompt us to learn lessons – Mark Voegrop offers 5 from Lamentations 4 that hardship teaches.
- More positively, some fascinating thoughts (as well as some others!) on The Spiritual Renaissance of actor Matthew McConnaughey
- Finally, this is a beautiful way to spend 25 minutes. Daniela is the daughter of my dear friend and Langham opposite number, Igor Amestegui (Latin American director). She’s brought together insights from the Christian liturgical calendar with Andean and specifically Bolivian culture to create these gorgeous images.
- I’m mildly obsessed with the Northern Lights – here are some winning images – one day I’ll see them live…
- An interesting take on modern London life – from a part-time writer part-time gardener on ‘the perfect street’. “Hypocrisy clings to this constituency like their floral athleisure pants.”!!
- We know technology is changing the world and us. Faster than ever. This is both highly impressive and not a little troubling (especially if you’ve seen (and love) the film Ex Machina).
- What extraordinary rooms – boy, I would happily move my study into one of these
- Some extraordinary footage of Sylvia Plath reading her poetry
- Extraordinary photographs from a century ago of the Arctic sun
- Extraordinary birdseye paintings from 370 years ago by Jan Micker and 480 years ago by Cornelis Anthonisz – long before the invention of human flight.
Moving on from the extraordinary:
- Ever since my old mate Ollie and I listened to tapes of Michael Hordern reading them, I have loved M. R. James Ghost Stories. Utterly brilliant. Here’s a very nice little point I’d missed: why a little knowledge is a dangerous thing…
- Some perfectly timed photos… one might even go so far as to say, ‘extraordinary…’