John 1: 1-18

In the beginning was the Word.

There are, arguably, no more famous words in the whole of Scripture than this opening passage from John’s Gospel.  And they are oft-remembered for two very good reasons. Continue reading “John 1: 1-18”

“The Social Entrepreneur” by Andrew Mawson: A Review

In 1984, Andrew Mawson, a minister in the United Reformed Church in the UK, arrived in the parish of Bromley-by-Bow, located in the impoverished Lower Lea Valley in the East End of London.  He was greeted by twelve elderly parishioners, a collection of shabby, run-down church buildings, and a congregational bank account in credit to the modest tune of ₤400.  In 2010, the now-renamed Bromley-by-Bow Centre stands in 3 acres of reclaimed, landscaped parkland, employs over 140 staff, houses an integrated health care centre, a “communiversity” with over 700 students, and a business centre that works co-operatively with over 20 social enterprises spread across the embattled Tower Hamlets estates.  Mawson himself now holds a life peerage in the House of Lords, sitting on the cross benches of that august institution; and though he didn’t know it at the time, he was a member of the founding generation of the “social entrepreneur” movement.  The Social Entrepreneur: Making Communities Work (London: Atlantic Books, 2008) is his manifesto for what social entrepreneurship looks like, how it best works, and the social and governmental conditions necessary for it to flourish. Continue reading ““The Social Entrepreneur” by Andrew Mawson: A Review”

“Jacob’s Hip” by Kerry Walters: A Review

In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist assault on the United States, philosophy academic Kerry Walters and a few other isolated American voices advocated a response from the U.S. that was not based in fear or outrage or a desire for revenge.  However, not only were their voices drowned out, they were subjected to hostile attacks from their fellow citizens, many of whom accused them of cowardice or treason.  Indeed, Walters was struck, not merely by the force of the response, but by the fact that some of the most virulent abuse he received came from fellow Christians, the very people he expected to be sympathetic to his cause.  Jacob’s Hip: Finding God in an Anxious Age (Orbis: Maryknoll, 2003) is his attempt to explain this phenomenon and articulate an alternative. Continue reading ““Jacob’s Hip” by Kerry Walters: A Review”