About Me

My photo
Robin Parry is the husband of but one wife (Carol) and the father of the two most beautiful girls in the universe (Hannah and Jessica). He also has a lovely cat called Monty (who has only three legs). Living in the city of Worcester, UK, he works as an Editor for Wipf and Stock — a US-based theological publisher. Robin was a Sixth Form College teacher for 11 years and has worked in publishing since 2001 (2001–2010 for Paternoster and 2010– for W&S).

Friday, 30 May 2014

New Frank Schaeffer book free—today and tomorrow only.

Frank Schaeffer's new book, Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God, is available for free on kindle today and tomorrow only.

I have not read the book, so I cannot comment on it myself. Here is the info on Amazon.

How to Create Beauty, Give Love and Find Peace

Frank Schaeffer

Caught between the beauty of his grandchildren and grief over a friend’s death, Frank Schaeffer finds himself simultaneously believing and not believing in God — an atheist who prays. Schaeffer wrestles with faith and disbelief, sharing his innermost thoughts with a lyricism that only great writers of literary nonfiction achieve. Schaeffer writes as an imperfect son, husband and grandfather whose love for his family, art and life trumps the ugly theologies of an angry God and the atheist vision of a cold, meaningless universe. Schaeffer writes that only when we abandon our hunt for certainty do we become free to create beauty, give love and find peace.

“As someone who has made redemption his work, Frank has, in fact, shown amazing grace.” — Jane Smiley, Washington Post

“To millions of evangelical Christians, the Schaeffer name is royal, and Frank is the reluctant, wayward, traitorous prince. His crime is not financial profligacy, like some pastors’ sons, but turning his back on Christian conservatives.” — New York Times

“Frank Schaeffer’s gifts as a writer are sensual and loving. He’s also laugh-out-loud funny!” — Andre Dubus III, author of House of Sand and Fog

Thursday, 29 May 2014

"Return to Sender" (musings on the weirdness of worship)

I was reading Revelation 5 this morning and paused to puzzle over a familiar passage (vv. 11–12):
Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice,
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honour and glory and blessing!” (ESV)
Why would the Lamb (and elsewhere, God the Father) need to receive power, wealth, wisdom, might, honour, glory, and blessing?

Is he lacking in any of these things?

Does he not already possess them in their fulness?

What, in other words, are God's creatures giving him that is not already his?

Here is what popped into my head — and I claim no more for it than that:

All the power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing belong to God's Be-ing. They are part of the divine fulness. However, creation, by the will of God, lives and moves and has its be-ing in God. God allows creation to participate, to varying degrees, in Godself. (This notion will need a careful explication.)

Creation is from God
Creation is through God
Creation is to God

So wisdom and power and glory (etc.) come from and through God to creation, but they only reach their perfection, their goal, their telos, when they are surrendered back to God. They only become fully what they are when the circuit is completed; when we go with the grain of the universe and orientate ourselves correctly towards the creator; when we cast our crowns before him — the crowns that he himself bestowed upon us.

So the giving of glory, wisdom, and power (etc.) to God is not to supply a lack in God, but to bring creation to its divine perfection and goal, so that the whole earth can be full of the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Sacramental ontology—wisdom from Thomas Traherne

Who was it that said that seventeenth-century poets from Hereforshire (England) have nothing worth saying? Let them sit dumbfounded before the inspirational words of the Anglican priest and poet Thomas Traherne (1637–74):

Your enjoyment of the world is never right, till every morning you awake in Heaven: see yourself in your Father's palace; and look upon the skies, the earth, and the air as celestial joys: having such a reverend esteem of all, as if you were among the angels.

This is a view predicated on a highly sacramental ontology, an appreciation of the heavenly dimensions of "mundane" earthly reality. I love it.

Syndicate is LIVE—hooray!

The long-awaited Syndicate website (www.syndicatetheology.com) has gone live.
SYNDICATE IS HERE! The Syndicate staff, along with our fantastic contributors, are very pleased to announce the official launch of what we hope will become "a new forum for theology." Our goal is to provide you with a novel and unique space for theological discussion, starting this week with our much anticipated, inaugural panel on Ephraim Radner's A Brutal Unity with essays from luminaries such as William T. Cavanaugh, Paul R. Hinlicky, Timothy J. Furry, and Peter Ochs.
I would strongly encourage you to check out the site. It promises to be a major new site for furthering high quality theological discussion online. Some of the things lined up for the next few months look smoking hot. And the site itself looks beautiful. I for one am impressed.