Still here

Sorry folks. I’m still here. Happy new year. Happy spring. It’s been a long time. Today I’m on strike, and I hereby declare this blog not to be work – and thus create an excuse for not having posted for a long time, viz. too much work. I’m mainly on strike because my union is, and I value my union. I also value my pension, and would quite like to work for a real university (ie one where academic disciplines aren’t forced to compete with each other), so I am in sympathy with the aims of the strikes this week, but mainly it’s now about solidarity.

I think another reason I haven’t posted for a long time is that I’m going through a phase of feeling particularly depressed about the possibility (or lack of it) of having intelligent conversations related to religion, in public, any time soon. If I try to explain why, I’ll probably end up sounding rude about students, and I (mostly) really like my students, so that’s not a good topic for conversation.

One thing I’ve been thinking about a bit, though, is the current debates in evangelical Christian circles on which, via Steve Holmes’ blog (Shored Fragments), I have eavesdropped occasionally – the debates around Rob Bell’s book, universal salvation and substitutionary atonement. Now theologically and ecclesially I don’t belong anywhere near that argument. Doesn’t mean I can’t admire how people like Steve H conduct it. Doesn’t mean, also, that I can’t be disturbed about how quickly, away from the blogosphere’s occasional oases of sanity, it’s clearly turned horrible. And that makes me think:

They were right: the disciples steal a body and call it resurrection. Happens all the time.
Steal a body and keep it where we know it’s safe, check on it every now and then, make sure nothing’s changed. Because you never know what might happen if it fell into the wrong hands.
Steal a body and try to lose it, ditch it by the side of the road, carry on without it. Because ideas are easier to manage. Bodies, living or dead, tie you down.
Margaret Fell had it right, sometimes we’re all thieves; grab the scriptures in words (to hold them up or tear them up) and know nothing in our hearts.
Steal a body because it’s nearly the same as resurrection, nobody’s going to notice.

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