Sunday 28 August 2011


by Kim Fabricius

When is Christ returning? Next year? Next month? Next week? Even the next minute? Who can wait that long? What unambitious and indolent expectation!

Biblical illiteracy and Pelagianism are now so epidemic that you could announce your Good Friday sermon text as the Eighth Word of the Cross – “I did it my way” – even sing it – and get away with it.

It used to be that you could have a eucharist that was “valid” but “inefficacious”. Nowadays, you can have a eucharist that is “invalid” but “efficacious”. In other words, it used to be that you could have a eucharist that was the real thing but didn’t work, while nowadays you can have one that works even though it isn’t the real thing. Kind of like Pepsi.

Michael Bird has recently criticised “contemporary liberal or progressive Christians” for being “little more than ‘chaplains for Nero’.” Which I guess would make the spiritual advisers to several recent US Presidents chaplains for Genghis Khan.

What do you call a White House prayer breakfast? If it’s done right, an exorcism.

The holy has migrated from the church to the state (William Cavanaugh), but its Temple is not the Capitol or the White House but the Pentagon. In the UK too, politicians may be venal and royals risible, but every soldier is now a hero.

Faith begins with an exclamation: “What the #%&* was that?!”

Lord, keep my faith from becoming the souvenir of a country I no longer inhabit.

Can you imagine a tumescent Christ? If not, your Christology is probably docetic.

Has there ever been an illustration of the Trinity that didn’t leave the illustrator with theological egg on his face – shell, white, and yolk?

Of course God threatens his people. Above all, God threatens us with forgiveness. Check out Matthew 18:35. And observe the divine irony that it is the culminating verse of the Gospel for the 13th Sunday after Pentecost – which this year happens to be the tenth anniversary of 9/11.

Derrida teaches us that the very possibility of forgiveness lies in its impossibility. Even the language is Barthian.

On models of the atonement that isolate the cross from the Jesus who actually stalks the gospels, and from the resurrection of this Jesus: “It’s the metonymy, stupid!”

As H. Richard Niebuhr might say of a certain kind of American evangelicalism: A God without wit brought men without soul (and their womenfolk) into a kingdom without the oppressed through the ministrations of a Christ without the Beatitudes.

I hear that Mark Driscoll is preaching a how-to series of homilies on male copulative techniques entitled The Sermon on the Mount.

If there is no hell, then the devil is homeless, so all the more reason to be on your guard.

A good pastor must find everybody else’s life as interesting as his own. Which is not very difficult.

Somerset Maugham said that in every shave there is a philosophy. That explains why bearded theologians are often apophaticists.

I’m a runner, so I thought of doing a doodling along the lines of “Running is prayer in motion.” But any honest runner would know that’s pretentious bullshit. “Running is solipsism at speed” would be more like it.

Celebrities comment on serious topics, and we think, “Why should I listen to a pop star on the bombing of Libya or the looting in London?” But let her become a Christian and suddenly she is an iconic theologian who speaks with authority.

The recent looting in England was a disgrace, but it is, after all, government policy and market practice.

One of the ironies of modern life is that while we are working harder and harder, intelligence is taking longer and longer holidays.

You bump into people you haven’t seen for a while and they may say, “You haven’t changed a bit!” Never has an intended compliment been such cause for despair.

Luther said that the cloaca is the devil’s habitat. But admit it: besides the shower, isn’t that where some of your best thinking is done?

Retirement smashes the illusion that you have ever been anyone other than – you.


Mike Bird said...

Ha, ha! Chaplains for Ghenghis Khan ... love it!

Phillip Mutchell said...

Ah Kim, they get better, particularly like the hell one, the 'haven't changed a bit' and the white house breakfast just exposed the completely different sense of humour the wife and I have, but laughing at the Driscoll comment made me worry (in my KJV only moment) that I might be acting blasphemously. Thanks.

Rogerowenflyer said...

some of these will preach.

Cam said...

You lost me at "kind of like Pepsi."

Gilswort said...

Since I only found out the meaning of tumescent after reading this post and looking it up does that mean that I was docetic until today when it became possible for me to imagine it?

DanO said...

If there is no hell, then the devil is homeless, so all the more reason to be on your guard.

On the contrary: if there is no hell, then the devil is in heaven, so all the more reason to become homeless.

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