Monthly Archives: March 2007

Interesting US survey

From MSNBC.com.

First some base data

  • 91% of American adults say they believe in God
  • 82% identify themselves as Christians

Then it gets interesting

  • 48% of the public rejects the scientific theory of evolution
  • 34% of college graduates say they accept the Biblical account of creation as fact.
  • 73% of Evangelical Protestants say they believe that God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years; 39% of non-Evangelical Protestants and 41% of Catholics agree with that view.
  • 26% believe an atheist cannot be a moral person

Oh and it is interesting (at least to me) that Mormons are counted within the Christian total.

I wonder how the UK would compare on those questions.

Actual questions and full breakdown at NEWSWEEK Poll: March 31, 2007 – Newsweek Politics – MSNBC.com.

Hat tip: Slashdot | 48% of Americans Reject Evolution.

New preacher on the blog

All the observant ones among you, surely there must be one :-), will have noticed a new UK Methodist blog in my blogroll namely www.methodistpreacher.com.

David (no not all Methodists are called David, at least I don’t think we are) started for Lent is is conducting a vigorous campaign against what he believes to be the current weak position on gambling taken by the Methodist Church. In The impact of gambling in my childhood community you can see why.

I fail to see any reason why the Methodist Church should offer any support whatsoever to anything that supports gambling. For that reason I was pleased when one of the Churches in my section, Raunds Methodist Church, decided to make a stand by choosing to rule out any application for funding from the National Lottery (none of the others in the section have ever applied either to the best of my knowledge).

What Changes Us In Preaching – Application or Wonder or Both?

Adrian asks What Changes Us In Preaching – Application or Wonder or Both?

I thought the answer was simple and obvious. It is neither application nor wonder but the Holy Spirit who changes us.

Every preacher has stories of people being changed in a way that appears a miracle given the sermon. The conversion of one of Adrian’s favourites – Spurgeon – is surely a good example.

I can do nothing by myself.

Big NB: I am in no way suggesting or supporting a lack of preparation, nor am I ignoring the time in prayer and the work of the Spirit during preparation and delivery. I am saying the effectiveness of anything I do as a Christian is not my works but that of the Holy Spirit working through me in a miraculous way.

NB2: Nor am I decrying the need for wonder and application as well as relevance, engagement, orthodoxy etc. But the work in a persons heart is not my work but God’s

Archbishop of Canterbury says churches must be ‘safe’ for gays

Given the earlier posts relating too abuse and safety on the internet (Evil around us, How we respond to evil?, Good responses to reponses to evil and The only right response), it seems appropriate to quote a fair bit from Archbishop of Canterbury says churches must be ‘safe’ for gays | Ekklesia.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has said that the churches of the Anglican Communion must be safe places for gay and lesbian people.

Rowan Williams said; "I share the concerns expressed about
situations where the Church is seen to be underwriting social or legal
attitudes which threaten these proper liberties. It is impossible to
read this report without being aware that in many places – including
Western countries with supposedly ‘liberal’ attitudes – hate crimes
against homosexual people have increased in recent years and have taken
horrifying and disturbing forms.

"No-one reading this report can be complacent about such a
situation, and the Church is challenged to show that it is truly a safe
place for people to be honest and where they may be confident that they
will have their human dignity respected, whatever serious disagreements
about ethics may remain. It is good to know that the pastoral care of
homosexual people is affirmed clearly by so many provinces."

For whom are we safe places? What do we do about it?

The only right response

I really do want to point out the only response to evil that has ever worked. You can read about it in any Bible towards the end of any of the gospels. The Church will be remembering and celebrating it particularly over the next week and a half. It is an ongoing tragedy that the Church and Christians fail so miserably at this response.

To see the need see: