9 thoughts on “From Norwich, it’s the bishop of the week, Fantastically Reverend Graham James, Lord Bishop of Norwich

  1. Jesus Christ an eccentric maverick? I don’t think so! If the character of Jesus in the Gospels has any connection to reality, it is because he was largely based on the great figures of Jewish mythology, such as Moses and Elijah. Right in the mainstream of Jewish prophetic preaching, in other words.

    Graham James almost went as far as to claim that society needs mavericks and eccentrics, who provide “the most stimulating and transformative ideas”. I would prefer it if we had a few dull and boring leaders who were up to the day-to-day job of understanding and running a hugely complex society. The mavericks and eccentrics who are running the show at the moment don’t exactly fill one with confidence..

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  2. “As ever, I just want to tell you how brilliant I think Jesus is, which I’ll be able to do once I’ve projected a real-life person’s laudable character and achievements onto him first”

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  3. Another one inviting us to wonder at just what an amazing bloke Jesus was. It’s all the Christian speakers seem to do these days. Well since you used to keep telling us that the Jesus entity you’ve created is part of a bigger infallible entity you’ve also created, it would be a surprise if he was anything else.

    Can’t have it both ways. Which one is it? Jesus still relevant through force of supposed brilliant personality, or Jesus relevant because he’s an integral part of the Creator’s rather confusing, but divine, plan for us? Can’t really be both , as the personality you project is no great surprise if the person was supernatural all along.

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  4. Talks in impenetrable riddles and then verbally abuses everyone for not knowing what the hell he is talking about. Gives out moral advice that is either:
    A)Obvious.
    B)Immoral.
    C)Impractical to the point of absurdity.
    Not much of a role model as far as I can see.

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    1. Aaahh. But jesus did die for your sins. Well temporarily … just for the weekend. And that was only necessary because adam and eve were deliberately tricked into the temptation of eating a juicy apple by god himself. If you want to encourage a kid to steal cookies tell him exactly where the cookies are and tell him not to even think about openning the lid and taking a delectable choc chip cookie from within or else. What a appallingly stupid story. Jesus there is even a talking snake involved and he seems to be the only one with and degree of honesty. Its a load of old tosh. And someone better tell Rev James to stop making a jackass of himself by regaling us with such childishly silly fantasies.

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  5. @Stonyground, it can be quite funny reading the Gospels, especially ‘Mark’, and observing how terminally thick the disciples are. They never seem to get JC’s point, such as it is, even after he’s explained it time after time. One of many indications that the Gospels are artfully crafted creations, rather than historical records.

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  6. In some cases it is no surprise that the disciples don’t get it because the message is completely opaque. There is the story of the feeding of the five thousand, or four thousand the story occurs twice. Afterwards Jesus is claiming that there is something significant in the number of baskets of food that were left over at the end. What this might be is never explained and he gets all stroppy with the disciples for not knowing what the hell he is on about.

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  7. Regarding the Eden story. A particularly stupid aspect is the fact that the Forbidden Fruit endows the person who eats it with the ability to tell right from wrong. This is apparently something that he didn’t think that Adam and Eve needed when he created them. They didn’t know right from wrong so they ate the fruit and then they did. God punishes them for not knowing right from wrong and also for finding out. Make up your effing ineffable mind God, do you want people to know right from wrong or not. And if they didn’t, how the hell is eating the effing fruit their fault rather than yours?

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  8. I’ve been to Hay on Wye a couple of times. I clearly recall that in all the general bookshops – as in second-hand bookshops everywhere – there was usually a dusty, less visited corner of shelves containing ‘Religion.’ These were occupied by old Bibles in numerous translations, mouldy old hymn books, copies of would-be game-changing works from the ‘60s, like Robinson’s “Honest to God,” and the like; and endless outdated books of prayers and collected sermons. Not the best advert for Graham James’s lively maverick Jesus character.

    I’m not so surprised as the Bishop that Richard Booth’s death went virtually unnoticed – I imagine ‘Book Towns’ are far from everyone’s cup of tea, and I found both Hay and Wigtown rather depressing places.

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