Friday Links: 30th March 2012
A regular Friday round-up of articles which I have found interesting / thought-provoking / challenging / amusing during the week, pointing you in the direction of some stuff you might have otherwise missed.
My mate Prof Brian Cox says he doesn’t believe in God, because you can’t see Him. But you can’t see hope, or write down its formula.
You’ll have to scroll down for the God bit.
Many of you will know I have been following the case of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, facing execution in Iran for apostasy (abandoning Islam). Once again this week, some have circulated false reports of his execution, but he is still imprisoned in Rasht, under threat of an execution that could happen any time. He wrote this letter from prison in January 2011, a few months after receiving the written verdict confirming his death sentence.
The Word of God tell us to “expect to suffer hardship” and dishonour for the sake of His Name. Our Christian confession is not acceptable if we ignore this statement, if we do not manifest the patience of the Lord in our sufferings. Anybody ignoring it will be ashamed in that day.
12 April 2012 will be the pastor’s 35th birthday and Christian Solidarity Worldwide is encouraging us to pray and support him. If you haven’t yet done so, I urge you to contact the Iranian ambassador, and please do pray.
I know some of you have been watching the Reverse Missionaries series on Friday nights on BBC2. In the first episode on 16th March Jamaican Baptist pastor Franklin Small visited King’s Stanley, a village in the Cotswolds. Nigel Price, the lay pastor of Kings Stanley Baptist Church, has written this report on the whole experience.
Ignoring those fussy Baptists who were upset at the programme’s references to “the Baptist faith” (No! We’re Christians!) and the voice-over’s bizarrely heterodox claims about baptism, the reaction to the programme in the Stanleys themselves has been largely positive.
If you fancy a challenge, maybe you’d like to sit the Contemporary Christian Exam. To give you a flavour, here’s question one:
1. Why would you not want to be the next Archbishop of Canterbury? (Use no more than 6 sheets of paper)
It’s very funny, but as with all good parody, too close for comfort at times.
For those who live locally, an interesting post – A Canterbury Tale – from an old school friend of mine:
after seeing Canterbury at her absolute finest, wrapping herself in the yellow and green robe of spring, something stirred within me.
This reflection for Easter by Christian Aid is well worth a look and a listen:
I’ll be posting a few more Easter related videos over the next couple of weeks.
And to end with, here’s another video in quite a different vein. As it’s April Fools’ Day on Sunday, it seemed appropriate to link to these 10 Practical Jokes from psychologist, author and performer Richard Wiseman. As Richard himself says, don’t blame me if you get into trouble with these!