Wednesday, 16 April 2008

'21' and the authentic Christian life

After working on the student team at New Word Alive last week, and then spending Friday night and Saturday planning the year ahead with the lovely University of Central Lancashire CU committee, today was my first full day back at work in Lancaster since the Easter break.

We've had a good couple of days relaxing in Lancaster, getting some sleep and getting ready for the new term. It was lovely seeing old friends Doug and Helen. Doug and Helen really model seeking to live out all of their lives in the light of the kingdom of Christ. It was particularly encouraging to hear Doug speaking as a Christian maths teacher, driven to warn some of his less able Year 11 students about the dangers of debt. Wonderful to see a couple living out, in Julian Hardyman's terms, their 'glory days'.

Yesterday Linda and I went to see the film '21', starring Kevin Spacey. I'm not able to give a glowing recommendation, I'm afraid (too many cliches and shallow characters). About as interesting as it got was a reflection on whether money can ever merely be an end to further means (as Jesus calls for it to be) or whether accumulating money always becomes an end in itself (as noted by the sociologist Georg Simmel in his Philosophy of Money). In the end the film is a warning of sorts about the way that money promises much but delivers little - and also reminds us that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil (evils which are plentiful in the film). I was left reflecting on the difference between what the world commonly says about money and the accumulation of possessions - and that articulated by Doug to the Year 11 students.

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