Q Marks the Spot 131 (September 2019)

Sacred Treasure The Josh Harris 'deconversion' story (for those who are aware) is very sad and my heart goes out to him and his family. Too many have leapt in as pundits. These are the better responses I've readOn Caution…

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Q Combinations 21: The big IF of Easter (from AE Housman & Eugène Burnand)

There is an emotional complexity to this wonderful painting by Swiss artist Eugène Burnand. I know very little about him, apart from the usual resort of Wikipedia. But he manages to capture a moment of almost frantic inquisitiveness, as Peter and his young, fellow-disciple John rush in the golden sunrise light to the burial garden. Their faces seem filled with anxiety, confusion, hope, wonder, and longing all at once. Hoping against hope, but fearing a con, or something worse? Could Mary Magdalene, first to visit the tomb, possibly have been right...?

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Q Marks The Spot – Treasure Map 126 (April 2019)

Sacred Treasure Forgiveness is quite mad says Derrida... what do you think?Pete Williams is Warden of Tyndale House in Cambridge and provides one of the highlights of my Twitter feed - this recent thread on the reliability of Bible books…

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A song of lament, a need for songs

Q regulars know that Turkey is a country close to my heart. I have just returned from my 15th (!) trip and so naturally it preoccupies my thoughts a great deal at the moment. During my previous trip, I'd heard…

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Q Marks The Spot – Treasure Map 114 (February 2018)

Sacred Treasure David Robertson is often uncomfortably provocative - but he's probably on the money here: 10 'prophecies' for the church in 2018 An inspiring new tradition in LA, an annual Christmas performance of Handel's Messiah by the homeless, those with…

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Q Combinations 5: Kamienska & Wyeth and a winter hope

If the last Q combo was a chronological mismatch of artist and poet, this one is seasonal. Today’s still been pretty warm for a British September day, so it’s perhaps rather incongruous to be thinking about winter. But a dear friend and colleague, Jennifer, sent me this all too brief poem last week, and so I felt it was a perfect combo contender.
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The Black Dog (10 years on) 6: SO YOU WANT TO HELP…

I’m glad. In fact, if you didn’t, I’d be quite concerned for you! But be warned. This isn’t for the faint-hearted. It will try your patience and frustrate your sympathies. You’ll definitely have days when you’ve had enough. Perhaps months. So you’ll shrug that you did everything you could but to no avail. [There are only so many hours in a day, and you’ve got your own issues.] So you’ll assume it needs someone else to take up the baton. If that’s the case, then may I make a gentle plea with you? Don’t get involved in the first place… (more…)

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U2’s Songs of Innocence (2): Enigmatic Personal Variations and Iris

So I’ve been pondering a lot on the fact that Bono has called Songs of Innocence a personal album. Here he is in Rolling Stone last week:

“We wanted to make a very personal album,” Bono told Rolling Stone‘s Gus Wenner the day before the press conference in an exclusive interview. “Let’s try to figure out why we wanted to be in a band, the relationships around the band, our friendships, our lovers, our family. The whole album is first journeys — first journeys geographically, spiritually, sexually. And that’s hard. But we went there.”

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