Thursday, July 19, 2007

Great Quote

PS Saw this on the side of a lorry on the M77 this morning! It was attributed but I can't remember the name.

Discovery consists of seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought.

I may have got the odd word wrong but that was the gist of it. Fantastic eh? On a lorry, too.


Seven Deadly Sins - Overview

So finally I begin my long-promised (but probably not long-awaited) series on the Seven Deadly Sins, readily acknowledging Wikipedia for factual and historical stuff (assuming that the Wikipedia article in question is both factual and historical!)

Long-time readers of this blog have probably given up and gone home long ago, but if they have survived, they might remember I mentioned sin and sins in January. This was because during the ICC Weekend Away, one of the issues that came up (at least in my head) was about sin. I was becoming a bit more aware of certain areas where I fail and fall. Now I know sin is not a popular notion in our (Westernised) culture at this point in time, it's all to do with postmodernism and the lack of absolute values and all that (so they tell me) but what is worse is that many Christians and Churchians don't talk about it much either. Don't worry, I'm not going to turn into a fire and brimstone preacher, but sometimes it might do us well to consider sin - what it is, what it does, and what we should do about it - without focusing so much on it that we lose focus on God, Christ, life, loved ones and all the important stuff. Of course 'what it is, what it does, what to do' would be a series if not a dissertation in itself, but suffice to say for now that my working definition includes: something that separates me from God, something that is unacceptable behaviour, not up to standard, and that has an impact on me and those around me. Further general thoughts on sin will hopefully become clear as I think about each of the seven.

And because there were several areas that I noticed coming up, some of which might possibly overlap with the so-called Deadly Sins, I thought they would be handy pegs on which to hang some confession and reflection.

So here's the list, courtesy of Wikipedia:

  • Lust

  • Gluttony

  • Greed

  • Sloth

  • Wrath

  • Envy

  • Pride

Just for the record, I haven't seen the Morgan Freeman/Brad Pitt film Se7en, and don't particularly intend to.

I hope to reflect on and explore what the terms mean and meant, and what they mean to me (hey, now that is postmodern...)

So just to get it right, we probably shouldn't refer to Seven Deadly Sins but Mortal or Cardinal ones - the distinction being made by (primarily) the Roman Catholic Church between these (which could lead to eternal damnation and had to be resolved either by confession or perfect contrition) and venial sins, which were less serious and could be forgiven through any sacrament of the church (incidentally the RC church also has seven sacraments - as opposed to the Church of Scotland's two - but I don't think there are direct parallels with the sins. Might be an interesting study though...)

I had hoped to do a quick intro and one of the actual posts tonight but due to a few hyperlinks and my usual obsessive-completist tendencies, this will have to do for now. Oh yes, and don't hold your breath for the series to come out regularly or even quickly. I have a two-week holiday coming up!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Graduation and other oddities

So I graduated (again) on Saturday (07/07/07 - won't forget that date in a hurry!)
I am now David G Slater, B.Sc., B.A. (Theol.)
For those who are interested, my B.A. Theol is with majors in New Testament with Greek, and Practical Theology. I worked hard to ensure that my module choices gave me a double major or alternatively the option to choose one of two majors in my potential Honours year that I'm not now doing, including taking 30 credits more than I needed over my three years, and now they (my majors) gets very little mention. So much for Pride...
I am also trying to sort out going to Glasgow University, where I will (hopefully) get some more alphabet extracts to drag around my formal correspondance.

This is because the Kirk have accepted me as a Prospective Candidate in Training for the Ministry of Word and Sacrament, and the Presbytery of Irvine and Kilmarnock have nominated me as a full Candidate so assuming that I do all the relevant studying, attend the Candidates' Conferences, have three successful Student Placements and a fourth Probationer's Placement sustained, complete Church Law and Bible Knowledge Portfolios and probably get examined on walking with my left leg behind my right ear, I will nearly be a Church of Scotland Minister (assuming that one of the umpteen vacant charges is in agreement with myself and Cath that we are called to be their minister and minister's wife and they are called to be our charge).

But in spite of all the ifs and ands, it's been a big milestone that I have temporarily lost sight of through finishing my term, and indeed my time at ICC (you can tell I lost sight of it by the fact that it's almost 2 months after acceptance that I'm blogging it!). Before I was simply studying Theology in faith that God had called me to ministry. Now I have some sort of 'Status' in that representatives of the ?biggest denomination in Scotland (at least the biggest Protestant one, surely?) have confirmed that calling and I am 'in until I'm out' rather than being 'out until I'm in'.

This probably doesn't make a lot of sense, and isn't what I was going to post on in detail when I started. But bed is beckoning so the other oddities will have to wait. Still, at least I'm back blogging - it may not be regular or daily but I am still here. Anyone reading this who hasn't yet fallen asleep, please post to say hi.

Incidentally, I haven't come to any great conclusions about our new PM except to agree with Nick Robinson's description of him as 'Not Blair'. Which, let's face it, is a good start...