From February, 2018

Getting the girl: six strategies from the playbook of a biblical pickup artist

1. Never even say a word to her She’s probably married anyway. Still, there’s no denying that she looks pretty hot. I can’t think of any reason whatsoever why the two of you shouldn’t enjoy some sexy time together. “Late one afternoon, when David rose from his couch and was walking about on the roof of the king’s house, he saw from the roof a woman bathing; the woman was very beautiful. David sent someone to inquire about the woman. It was reported, ‘This is Bathsheba daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite.’ So David sent messengers to get her, and she…

If Wolfhart Pannenberg had been my friend at university

If Wolfhart Pannenberg had been my friend at university, nobody would be able to remember exactly how he had become part of our social group. He just did, gradually, and now it seemed like he had always been there.   Pannenberg would not drink alcohol at all, but occasionally he would smoke pot. He would roll the neatest joints I had ever seen. Most of the time they would make him pensive and quiet, but every so often he would get talkative instead – stubbornly insistent about explaining a new philosophical idea that had slowly, but inexorably worked its way into…

The Book of Jonah by Herman Melville

Chapter 1: The Command Call me Jonah. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having had little or nothing to do with the Lord, I found myself appointed prophet. The Lord commanded me to go to the city of Nineveh, a desolate place, cursed by God and condemned to fiery doom, to call them to repentance. He gave me the task of stilling the rebellious heart of their king. It seemed an absurdly hopeless mission, and as I had money in my purse, and nothing else to interest me on shore, I thought I would flee from the face of the…

#UsToo: A letter from a mogul

Recently, I have been accused of sexual misconduct. I write this letter to apologize to everybody who considers themselves affected by my actions. I am sorry that this has become such a media storm. I am sorry that new standards of behavior have sprung up that contrast so markedly with the world I, and countless others, had grown accustomed to.   You would struggle to find a more adamant defender of women’s rights than me. I love and respect women. My organization employs women of all ages – though mostly young women, because it is my experience that younger women…

ON EDUCATION: Fireside chat with Martin Luther and Michael Gove

This is a bit of a scoop for The Shed: Martin Luther, Order of St Augustine, and the Right Honourable Michael Gove have agreed to sit down for an informal chat about education – and we have been allowed to publish their insights. Their conversation marks the launch of our fireside chat series, in which contemporary politicians and great religious thinkers debate issues close to their heart. We would like to thank Martin and Michael for their participation in this unique meeting of minds.     Martin: Let’s start with a core belief of mine, Mike. People must have righteous principals…

Valentine’s Ash Day

This year I am more excited about Valentine’s Day than ever before and it’s 100% because it coincides with Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent in the Western churches – a 40-day fast leading up to Easter. To prepare ourselves for this period of fasting and praying, Christians like to get together on Ash Wednesday and smear ashes on each others’ foreheads, while reflecting on the greatest buzzkill of all: death.   Back to Valentine’s Day. Right now you may be feeling slightly anxious about tonight’s restaurant dining, enveloping you and your loved one in romantic…

Welcome!

I’m building a shed!   It took me a full year of woodshop classes to produce a rickety birdhouse, so this time I’ve decided on a virtual shed – one I can build without ever having to pick up a plane or a drill. The Shed will be a place where I can saw theology, popular culture and feminism into pieces and then attempt to glue them back together again. You are welcome at the workbench too: Maybe you’ve built a theological birdhouse or a wooden relief of a contemporary, feminist issue, and you are looking for somewhere to display…