Daily Archives: February 7, 2016

([London] Times) Banker Sir Jeremy Morse, the inspiration for Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse, RIP

Sir Jeremy Morse was one of the most intellectually gifted London bankers of the postwar era. He led Lloyds Bank through the challenges of Big Bang, the reorganisation of stock exchange practices and the third world debt crisis, and saw it emerge as one of the strongest of Britain’s retail banking groups.

With the air of a don rather than a City banker, he was skilled at crosswords and brain-teaser puzzles and was even acknowledged as the inspiration for Inspector Morse. The detective’s creator, Colin Dexter, named the character after him because he said that he had never encountered a finer problem-solving mind.

Knowing he had inspired Inspector Morse gave him great pleasure. He was introduced to Dexter in the 1950s at dinners hosted by The Observer for those who had solved their Ximenes crossword. Unlike his fictional alter-ego, Morse said, “I am distressingly unmelancholy.” He drank wine, albeit in moderation, and listened to Bach rather than wallowing in Wagner.

Read it all (requires subscription)

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Books, Economy, England / UK, History, Marriage & Family, The Banking System/Sector

CS Lewis–'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you'

“Is-is he a man?” asked Lucy.
“Aslan a man!” said Mr Beaver sternly. “Certainly not. I tellyou he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-beyond-the-Sea. Don’t you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion – the Lion, the great Lion.”
“Ooh!” said Susan, “I’d thought he was a man. Is he – quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“That you will, dearie, and no mistake,” said Mrs Beaver; “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”
“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, also cited by yours truly in the morning sermon

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Books, Children, Christology, Theology

Karoline Lewis–The Transfiguration serves as a warning against our "tendency to tame God"

The Transfiguration of Jesus has to be a moment of revelation that extends and exists beyond the mountaintop experience. Otherwise, it will only justify glory, power, and privilege. And so, our call to preach this Sunday has to be grounded in the ways in which God grounds God’s very self in transfiguration. God has chosen to reveal God’s self in ways that are breathtaking, miraculous, wondrous. Why? Because we have a tendency to tame God, to think that God will adjust to our many needs, to think that God will conform to our ideals.

When the Transfiguration becomes a sort of embarrassment for the church, an example of the ways in which the church hopes for glory, an argument for Jesus’ divine identity, a chance to wax nostalgic about mountaintop experiences, well then, it will cease to matter. Make it matter by preaching what it is — no ordinary mountaintop experience.

Read it all; quoted by yours truly in the early morning sermon (my emphasis)

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Christology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Susan Howatch on her Conversion–"God…shook me until my teeth rattled"

Susan Howatch, whose books have sold more than 20 million copies, is financing the Starbridge Lectureship in Theology and Natural Science. She wants to ”strike a blow for theology to show that religion is not dead, but complements scientific discovery”.

Ms Howatch, 52, believes God has been guiding her. Although she made her first fortune writing blockbusters such as Penmarric, success and its trappings left her spiritually empty. She had houses in several countries, drove a Porsche and a Mercedes and after the break-up of her marriage had too many ”facile, transient liaisons”. In the early Eighties she told her editor she would be late with a novel and he said: ”What will I tell the accountants?”

”I was not interested in fame and fortune any more – I’d had it all since I was 30 and it hadn’t satisfied me. So I thought, ‘If I’m not in it for that and I’m not in it to keep my publishers in the black, what the hell am I doing it for?’

”God seized me by the scruff of the neck, slammed me against the nearest wall and shook me until my teeth rattled. I thought: ‘Okay, what does God actually require of me?'”

–The Independent, March 18, 1993, page 7 and quote in this morning’s sermon (my emphasis)

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Christology, Church History, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, Soteriology, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Euchologium Anglicanum

O God, heavenly Father, whose every motion towards us springs from thine inexhaustible love: Enable us, we humbly beseech thee, cheerfully to sacrifice ourselves for the well-being of those with whom we have to do, and also to love them with the tender love which thou hast for the world; that so though now we see thee darkly through the veil of our blindness, we with them may presently see thee in the fullness of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

Now if the dispensation of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such splendor that the Israelites could not look at Moses’ face because of its brightness, fading as this was, will not the dispensation of the Spirit be attended with greater splendor? For if there was splendor in the dispensation of condemnation, the dispensation of righteousness must far exceed it in splendor. Indeed, in this case, what once had splendor has come to have no splendor at all, because of the splendor that surpasses it. For if what faded away came with splendor, what is permanent must have much more splendor.
Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not see the end of the fading splendor. But their minds were hardened; for to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their minds; but when a man turns to the Lord the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

–2 Corinthians 3:7-18

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture