‘Hate something? Change something!’ On gender bias in conferences

I have a recurrent experience with car ads, which I think is their fault not mine: I can often, years later, remember every detail of the ad except which particular car it was advertising. I suspect this is a result of the mismatch between the grandiose claims made by marketeers and the tiny differences between actual cars. One ad, years back, ran under the slogan ‘hate something? change something!’ – as best I recall one manufacturer or another had improved their diesel engine slightly in some particular, and the marketing department decided to make this an example of world-transformation up there with the American Civil Rights movement or the ending of apartheid… I love the slogan, though. For myself I translate it as ‘don’t...

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On English Bible versions

The first thing to say is that, as English speakers, we are blessed with many many extraordinarily good Bible translations; compared to almost anyone else around the world, our riches are embarrassing – in fact, have you considered keeping your old church Bibles and giving the money you would have spent to Wycliffe, Bible Society, or another Bible translation ministry? That said, the decision which Bible version your people will read is a serious one for a minister to take…

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Improvising in the key of gospel

My friend Wesley Hill (who blogs, with others, wonderfully here, incidentally) shared a story about Pope John Paul II on Twitter today – do read the link, but the essence is that the Holy Father encountered a priest who had deserted his vocation and had been reduced to begging, and then restored him by asking the fallen priest to hear his – the Pope’s – confession. (There seems to be some evidence that the story is factual, not hagiographic, incidentally.) The story grabbed me: I added it to a small group of tales I know, only some of which I can tell (the most personal I can’t, online, because of the people involved. But ask me why I just love baby showers one day when we’re alone). Tony Campolo’s famous tale that ends...

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