Reading Spufford in Light of Ferguson

I came across this quote while researching for my sermon this week.  Concerning the crisis in Fergeson, it’s a humbling reminder to all of us (myself included) who are pointing fingers in our hearts and on social media.

Wherever the line is drawn between good and evil, between acceptable and unacceptable, between kind and cruel, between clean and dirty, we’re always going to be voting on both sides of it, despite ourselves.

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Francis Spufford on the Church

The church is not just another institution.  It’s a failing but never quite failed attempt, by limited people, to perpetuate the unlimited generosity of God in the world.

Francis Spufford “Unapologetic: why, despite everything, Christianity, can still make surprising emotional sense

Christianity Detached from the Self-Importance of the Self-Important

“I know there was another world before this one, in which Christianity was the unconsidered default state of civilization, but it was dying when I was a child in the 1960s and 1970s, and it’s gone now, and I don’t think I would like it back.  This way, Christianity is no one’s vehicle for ambition.  This way, Christianity has been detached from the self-importance of the self-important…  This way, the extent to which God is greater than us and any of our stuff…  has become helpfully distinct from the inequities of human societies…  This way, the strangeness of Christianity can be visible again…  we can pick out again more clearly the counter-cultural call it makes, admit your lack of cool, and your incompleteness, and your inability ever to be one of the self-possessed creatures in catalogs…  and to find hope instead; a hope that counts upon, is kindly raised upon, the mess you actually are.”

Francis Spufford “Unapologetic: Why, despite everything, Christianity can still make surprising emotional sense.”

I’m 33!!! How did that happen?


“Nobody knows what the future holds
And it’s bad enough just getting old
Live my life in self-defense
You know I love the past, ’cause I hate suspense…”

-Vampire Weekend “Diane Young”

This catchy lyric from Vampire Weekend’s “Diane Young” pretty much epitomizes how I feel after 33 years on this planet.  If there’s two things I’ve learned this year through a painful process of unlearning it’s that I don’t know a thing and I have absolutely no control.  In the words of Vampire Weekend, I don’t know what the future holds, I am getting older, I live my life in denial of these facts, and I glorify my past because I hate the suspense of the unknown. Continue reading