Lefty mag mourns church closure

Life in a Northern Town: An mournful store of a church closure comes from possibly an unlikely source, the New Statesman magazine the intellectual chronicler of the British Labour Party.

“The church itself, built in red brick by the United Methodists in South Shields in 1905, looked implacably the same. Squat and undistinguished on the outside, light and bright on the inside – only this time, the last time, the brass and the daffodils gleamed in the Easter sun. The church was full. We had to squash our way in, waving and nodding to people we used to know, and still know, because friendships such as these are not easily surrendered. 

“I buried my father here and now it was the church’s turn to bury itself.”

Source: Onthemarket.com

Robert Colls captures the loss of community, for king class solidarity and social uplift. “Yet compared with what I was doing at school – before sixth form, at any rate – the YPF [Young People’s Fellowship] was a free university, on the doorstep. Sundays provided the venue. Bible and hymnbook provided the wonder. Local preaching provided the “oracy” (now a Labour mission, apparently). The minister provided leadership, and the books. I still have a couple now. Alan Richardson’s Christian Apologetics showed me that when it came to God, Bertrand Russell was obviously a simpleton.”

Obadiah has no idea whether Colls, Professor emeritus of history at the International Centre for Sports History and Culture, De Montfort University, is a Christian or not. Obadiah’s best guess is not, because the article does not mention anything about salvation, repentance or an experience of being united with Christ.

But it does capture the social good of a church community, and the gap it leaves in a working class town. You don’t have to be a Christian to mourn the departure of a church.


Coalition collision: The Gospel , both US and Australian versions strikes Obadiah as a mainstream evangelical organisation, leaning conservative on issues like women’s ordination. But what would Obadiah know? some evangelicals seems to think of it as lefty. They should get out more in Obadiah’s view.

Mikey Lynch the newish Editorial Director of the Australian website has been defending one of his writers from negative emails – and in a recent Facebook post he gives some insight into the sort of criticism Gospel Coalition gets.

“It seems you don’t see the value of the articles of pop cultural engagement TGC USA publishes. TGC has always been committed to an engagement with culture motivated by both missionary contextualistion and theological conviction that the gospel speaks to all of life. These convictions are evident in the ministries of both founders, Don Carson and Tim Keller. That may just be a point of difference between you and TGC.

“Your mention of ‘cultural Marxism’ I suspect related to articles on the TGC USA site. For what it’s worth, I don’t think they are especially accurate descriptions of the TGC USA. But I realise that it has become a quite rubbery term in some circles, closer to an insult than an actual meaningful label. I still don’t think the accusation is justifiable.

“On the other hand, for both TGC USA and TGCA, the pop culture articles are only a fraction of our output. If you don’t like that content, as with any website or magazine, you don’t need to read or recommend it.”

Obadiah has wondered a fair bit about the appeal of labelling things people don’t care for as “cultural Marxism.” As Lynch notes it is a rubbery term. It has the appeal that calling things “communist” had in the fifties and sixties whether they were or not.

(Like Martin Luther King he did work with radicals like Bayard Rustin, and Stanley Levison who did have ties to the CPUSA.) But marxism involves a theory of class which more recent critical theory has abandoned.

And when Tim Keller is the focus of criticism that something is to left wing, or socially engaged, well, you’ve lost Obadiah. And other prophets, too


AI: Is it just the number of fingers that tells you this is AI?

Source – Widely used on x and other social, earliest I can trace is Matt Novak

But the worst online misinformation – it seems to Obadiah is in online text. take this “news” story that came across Obadiah’s Facebook – about an exhibition of Carthage at the Colosseum featuring a statue of Molech, the worst idol in the Bible. (But how do they know what he looks like?)

“Molech has just been installed in the highest and most well-traveled place on Earth, the Roman Colosseum.

“The Vatican has ownership and authority over the Colosseum and all of its displays, exhibits, and functions. As Breaking Israel News writes…

“’There is no way that such a thing could be done without direct permission from the highest levels of the Vatican. The Colosseum of Rome is owned by the Vatican, and specifically the Diocese of Rome, also called the Holy See.'”

Well no. the colosseum is owned by the Italian state. Obadiah knows that Rome seems like a company town for the Catholic Church with all those buildings seemingly on every street corner, but a little;e fact checking is a good idea.


Memories of Covid: four years ago when we did church with cats

No photo description available.


Momentum: it was predictable – well, Obadiah was convinced it was predictable, that Australian’s would become more favourable to legal; same sex marriage after the postal survey result in 2017. the response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry? was 61.6 per cent yes and 38.4 per cent No, with 79.5 of Australian taking part.

A worldwide Pew survey of whether same sex marriage should be legal from 2021-23 had 75 per cent of Australians in favour (52 per cent strongly in favour, 23 somewhat in favour) and 23 per cent opposed (11 per cent strongly opposed, 12 per cent somewhat opposed).