This is history writing at its compelling best. Lynne Olson has beavered away to find an original angle on an oft-told story and does it with such force of insight that one's sense of the bigger story is given greater…
I can't get yesterday's tweet from veteran BBC man John Simpson out of my head. It was a relief to read it, to be honest. It's retweets and likes meant I'm far from the only one to feel it. June…
So, there’s been seriously long radio-silence from Q in recent weeks. But this is not the result of inactivity. Far from it. Regulars will be pleased to hear that my book is seriously under way – with 5 out of 10 chapters now completed in draft. Phew!! There’s going to be lots to blog on when it’s done – but I don’t have the energy or brain to do both at the same time! Nevertheless, I’ve been keeping up reading and stuff. Here are a few reviews of recent freebies I got on the Amazon Vine programme. There might be something of interest to someone… (more…)
- Every human being is part of the global community; every Christian is part of the global church; and yet is amazing how little we know of life in other parts of the world. This website will help a little – compare life in different countries and follow up with suggested reading.
- Did you go to a Christian University/College in the USA or were you home-schooled? If so, this research makes for interesting reading.
- I love good infographics. So when used with the Bible, it’s a win-win. (more…)
- Sinclair Ferguson has some great preaching tips in his Preacher’s Decalogue
- A friend of mine who works in Sarajevo, Bosnia has researched a distant English relative of his who had a profound impact on the city. He’s written a book, and now has an accompanying website, MissIrby.com – really interesting stuff.
During the 4 years we worked in Uganda, I would have this conversation with students all too often. They would despairingly deprecate African states for their oh-so predictable corruption, nepotism and despotism. It would be shrugged off and perhaps accompanied by a green-eyed comment about western political systems. And indeed, when chatting with friends back home, they would often enquire whether X or Y countries were doing ‘worse or better these days’ – shorthand for whether their respective rulers were now more, or less, openly corrupt and oppressive. Such is the caricature many outsiders have of Africa – and of course, there’s no smoke without fire, etc etc. (more…)
I said last week that I was offering the final instalment of Whitehall Wisdom. Well, I subsequently realised that I had omitted perhaps the most pertinent of the lot – the tangled web that has been weaved in the name of Church and State relations. This is primarily the result of that perfect CofE primer, the episode entitled The Bishop’s Gambit. (more…)
One of the acute difficulties of British etiquette is the profound problem of meaning – there can be a huge disparity between the literal/surface meaning of words and the actual intended meaning as all visitors to these shores find to their confusion and even peril. For those wanting a general introduction to the phenomenon, you can do a lot worse than checking this excellent EU translation guide. (more…)
- Martin Bashir is interviewed about his interview of Rob Bell. I was particularly struck by his perception of what C S Lewis called chronological snobbery in contemporary theological debates – whereby those over a certain age (ie 30!) are dismissed out of hand.
- Ian Paul has offered a really helpful response to the BBC1 series Bible’s Buried Secrets
- A wonderful example of doing good to all – let’s hope it works in all senses… Christopher Hitchens and Francis Collins.
- And while we’re thinking about him, here’s a nice if brief interview with Francis Collins – quite old now (originally from 2007), but I’ve only just seen it.
- At the other end of of the spectrum, here is a list of the 25 most influential atheists (though quite how you measure influence is anyone’s guess)
- In case you missed it, here is the extraordinary testimony of Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s assassinated government minister: (more…)