Here’s another set of links for your improvement and amusement. Enjoy your weekend.

Is Tide washing powder useless?

Turning the air blue: Clive James muses on the ineffectiveness of profanity.

The Word Magazine Album Atlas plots the locations where famous album sleeves were photographed. It’s the magic of Google Maps.

Jeremy Woolf on five social media trends to look out for.

Starbucks are becoming increasingly Fairtrade-friendly in the UK. Now that’s a miracle!

They must have gone on the music, more than anything else, but In the bleak midwinter has been named best carol by choirmasters. I don’t recognise half the titles in the top ten. Also, BBC News published this story under ‘entertainment’.

The Paperless Christmas Advent calendar is back, and goes live on Advent Sunday (this Sunday, that is) at 10:00 am GMT. Similarly, see the Church of England’s Why Are We Waiting, with daily updates.

Ben Witherington on why it’s not biblical to seek an airtight theological system.

Santa Claus does exist. They said so at church.  Via blogs4god


  1. Very little concern for the words, in my opinion, and many carols are either steeped in legend or superstition, or poorly written.

    Might I even particularly suggest ‘In the bleak midwinter’ itself? It seemed to get much of the vote on the grounds that Holst wrote the music – but I suppose even the work of an astrological enthusiast can be redeemed. (I think I’m right there, aren’t I – wasn’t that the motivation for The Planets Suite?)

    And people invoke Christina Rossetti as a poet, but it’s hardly her finest hour, apart from ‘What can I give him? Give my heart’. It doesn’t scan in places, and surely falsifies the likely biblical context by imposing a British winter upon the birth of Christ. (Although I don’t know what the state of scholarship was in her time about the likely time of year for the census and birth of Christ.)

    ‘O come all ye faithful’, especially in the long form in ‘Hymns and Psalms’, probably passes the theological test. I used to think Wesley’s ‘Hark! The herald-angels sing’ did, until someone suggested that ‘Veiled in flesh the Godhead see’ could be read docetically.

    I don’t think we cover ourselves in much glory with many carols.


  2. I think you are right in respect of many of our carols – but I suppose one has to look at when they were written and what the current beliefs may have been at the time they were written.
    I thought for a moment I had slipped onto the Connexions blog or that Kim was ‘guesting’ on yours when I saw the word docetically. It was made worse when I tried to look up the meaning and ended up on another blog that used loads of big words. I really must do more reading of heavy theological tomes!!


  3. Sorry about the long word. Docetism was the early heresy that said Jesus only appeared to take on human form, but the flesh was just a disguise for his divinity rather than fully part of his nature. We tend to go in a docetic direction today when we so emphasise the deity of Christ that we forget he was fully human. Is that any help? Will it save you the purchase of a heavy theological book? 🙂


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