Monday, 23 February 2015

SHoM Mission Week: The Speakers

Image courtesy of Geograph 

This week we are very fortunate that we have managed to arrange a wide variety of speakers and guests who have come to share their personal reflection on Mission Week theme "Life to the Full"
  • Scripture Union have set up a prayer space in G1 and classes are visiting to experience different ways to pray. 
  • Hamish McQueen is the Youth Service Director for the Diocese of East Anglia. Find out more about Ignite, the EA youth team <here> 
  • John Green from the Apostleship of the Sea. Find out more about them <here>
  • Steve Murray is an internationally recognised Christian mime artist. Find out more about him <here>
  • John Battle was the MP for Leeds West 1987-2010 and first director of Church Action on Poverty. Find out more about him <here>

Friday, 6 February 2015

Y8 Assessment 2: The Mass

Image courtesy of Wikimedia

Write an formal letter to someone you know who no longer goes to Mass on Sundays.

  • Explain what you now understand about the Eucharist.
  • How it has challenged and/or helped you to appreciate what happens at Mass.
  • Make some suggestions that you think might encourage this person to return to Mass.

Think about the following to help you answer the question:

  • Describe some of the actions of the Mass. [L3]
  • Give some examples of specific parts of the Mass and explain why they are important. [L4]
  • Explain some of the misunderstandings or confusions about what happens during the Mass.
  • Highlight the Catholic teaching and beliefs about the Mass. How could you encourage someone to return to Mass? [L5]
  • Give your own opinion, carefully backed up with evidence, about the challenges of the Eucharist. Explain why Mass is something to be appreciated. Consider the opinions of others. [L6]
  • Reference to scripture, Catechism etc. [L7]


Monday, 2 February 2015

Stephen Fry calls God an 'evil, capricious, monstrous maniac'

Image courtesy of The Telegraph 

Outspoken atheist Stephen Fry created headlines this week as he described God as 'evil, capricious, monstrous maniac' on an Irish TV interview:

This has echoes of the 18th century atheist David Hume who claimed evil and suffering as "the rock of atheism".

However the response from Christians has already begun....

Giles Fraser wrote a response to Fry. He concludes:

Simply put: there is no such thing as the God he imagines. It is the flying teapot orbiting a distant planet about which nothing can be said. Such a God doesn’t exist. Nilch. Nada. It’s a nonsense. Indeed, as no less an authority than Thomas Aquinas rightly insists, existence itself is a questionable predicate to use of God. For God is the story of human dreams and fears. God is the shape we try to make of our lives. God is the name of the respect we owe the planet. God is the poetry of our lives. Of course this is real. Frighteningly real. Real enough to live and die for even. But this is not the same as saying that God is a command and control astronaut responsible for some wicked hunger game experiment on planet earth. Such a being does not exist. And for the precisely the reasons Fry expounds, thank God for that. [Read more <here>]

Russell Brand has uploaded this:

Fr Ed Tomlinson has written an extensive post on his blog:

For it is obvious from your emotional response that you actually hold life to be precious. Your rage at the worm suggests you see something infinitely precious in humanity that makes it worthy of dignity, protection and care. Good for you! Christians agree and include you in that number. But Stephen….

…why rail against God if you don’t believe in him? I cannot imagine getting cross with a creature I believed mythical, say a unicorn or pixie! No, the emotion you display is only rationally, surely, if delivered to a living agent you do suspect might just be there.

Perhaps then it is not that you disbelieve in God, so much as feel anger towards him and what you think he has revealed? If so I urge you to look again and see not only our grot but also our glory. For there must clearly be something of value in a Catholic church that has lasted two thousand years, which comprises 1.4 billion members and which has outlived every regime that ever sought to destroy it. [Read more <here>]

Another response from Justin Brierley:

Do you think Stephen Fry has put forward a rational and balanced argument? Do you agree with Russell Brand that Stephen Fry has 'missed something'? How about Fr Ed Tomlinson's response, is Fry closer to theism than he realises? Did David Hume get it right several hundred years ago or is there a theodicy that allows suffering AND God to exist?