Thursday, April 04, 2013

A joyful Eastertide: is the tide turning?

Memorial window at St Merryn Church
Back from a few days in Cornwall for Easter.

The Good Friday mediation in church was excellent - well chosen readings read and chosen by the vicar. She was doing a full 3 hours, one in each of her three churches.

Then Easter Sunday was an absolute delight.  My mother was on duty as an extra sidesman so we arrived 25 minutes early and it is a good job we did. The Church was pretty well packed by 10:50 (the service started at 11) and we had to put out chairs in the aisles. By 11am when the service started it was utterly packed. The associate vicar led the service and the vicar preached - the best sermon I have ever heard from her which drew applause from the congregation at the end.  This was apparently the first time this had happened to her.

The sermon was about how Christianity and Christ can really change lives, and she was clearly much encouraged by both Pope Francis and ABp Justin.  She is rather from the liberal wing of the Church and I find it enormously encouraging that ABp Justin is so warmly welcomed from all parts of the CofE.  It will be fascinating to see how things play out over the next 5-10 years but I am very optimistic. 

Dawkins & co have made themselves very unpopular amongst most of the non-committed by their absurdly confrontational style.  And the absurd AC Grayling, trying to become a well-remuneated Atheist Prophet also has delightful pratfalls.  Craig Brown skewers his latest Prospect pontifications in an excellent "Hell has no fury like an Atheist scorned" (picking up many of the points I made on the Prospect comment page and here) and Keith Ward demonstrates many of Graylings serious philosophical lapses in a review "The Bad Argument".

Meanwhile one of the greatest philosophers of his generation, Tom Nagel (whom I met at one of Ned's conferences a couple of years ago) has published "Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False " - given an interesting commentary here.

Justin Welby said that he sees every reason to be optimistic about the future of Christianity in the UK. So do I.

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