Shadow Doctor: The Past Awaits by Adrian Plass

The Shadow Doctor – or is it Adrian Plass himself, in his inimitable way? – tantalises his characters – especially Jack, his young trainee partner. He also frequently leaves us readers in suspense as he delves off onto some unlikely sidetrack, which later turns out to be somehow relevant. The trick works. And, as a result, it’s hard to put this book down at the end of a chapter.

Jack has his list of questions and so do we. By the end, a few of them get answered.

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The Shadow Doctor by Adrian Plass

If you’re after the sort of flippant humour you might have come to expect from Adrian Plass, then The Shadow Doctor might disappoint you. But I doubt it. You’ll be surprised – and a little confused – by the Doctor’s mysterious encounters and baffling remarks, but you’ll gradually come to realise he has an unusual and uncanny depth of perception, and a disquieting way of exposing shaky beliefs and practices.

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Build a new world!

Do you know Avaaz? Avaaz – meaning “voice” in several European, Middle Eastern and Asian languages – is a global web movement to bring people-powered politics to decision-making everywhere. Avaaz empowers people from all walks of life to take action on pressing global, regional and national issues, from corruption and poverty to conflict and climate change.

Some of you readers may have received the same message I did today. Here is an extract and my thoughts about it.

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That Man Jesus by Martin Down

Did you know that Jesus experienced sexual temptation? See below.

Down relates Jesus’s life chronologically, including almost all the details from the gospels and adding occasional human touches, such as His heart searching concerning His identity and mission, and that He had a friend near the Jordan at whose house He stayed several days. Such details help fill in gaps and make some of the encounters more plausible.

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Wild at Heart by John Eldredge

Eldredge has hit on something big! He dares to turn his back on the common modern Christian perspective on society (esp. masculine roles) and explore the deep, real motives and needs of men.

His analysis is rather one-sided (e.g. every man carries a wound given by his father P.60) and so is his remedy: accept and live out your desire to fight battles, experience adventure rescue your beauty. Read more

Wie denkt man eigentlich, wenn man ‘hebräisch’ denkt?

Dr. Wolfgang J. Bittner erklärt, was es bedeutet, ‘hebräisch’ zu denken – in Geschichten statt durch Begriffe. Hier ein Auszug aus seiner These.

‘Wir sind bei einem der wesentlichen Aspekte dessen, was man hebräisches Denken, hebräische Wirklichkeitsauffassung nennen kann. Über einen Begriff kann ich nachdenken. Das hebräische Denken ist interessiert an den Vorgängen, die man betrachten kann. Im Musical Anatevka, das auf die jiddische Dichtung von Tewje dem Milchmann (Scholem Alejchem) zurück geht, taucht der Begriff Liebe auf. Read more

Stand up for science!

scienceA Facebook friend (# 1) shared this image from the AtheistRepublic, adding the caption: “Controversy alert! (But I’ll still listen if you disagree. 😂)”.

After several other comments, one from me triggered the following exchange:

Me: I’m a scientist who can’t quite manage to stretch my faith to believe there’s no God behind this wondrous world.

# 1: See, that does fascinate me. I can perfectly understand why lots of people need to ascribe a coherent, humanlike intelligence to the design of the universe; the incontrovertible facts of science tend to be explained in relatively complex language, and one really does need to concentrate. Where I’m interested is when genuinely intelligent people with a sound grasp of scientific principles also have this need. I get quite irritable when anthropomorphic viewpoints are described as facts, so I’d love to know why you, in particular, believe there must be a god. But only if you have time one day, and can be bothered! 😁

Me:  Not sure this is the place for apologetics. But here goes: Read more