14 thoughts on “Rev John Bell of the Iona Community

  1. The full quote from the Rev. Prof. Donald Macleod, at the Lingerberry SuperQuarry inquiry is, “Man is the servant of the ground (Genesis 2:15). This is the usual meaning of the Hebrew word popularly rendered to us as to till. Christian theology has largely failed to recognise this emphasis. Any insistence on the more widely perceived notion of man’s dominion must be balanced by the less familiar but equally important concept of man as servant.”
    See the full text here -http://www.alastairmcintosh.com/articles/1995_law&relgion.htm#Statement%20of%20Supplementary%20Witness%20-%20Rev.%20Prof.%20Donald%20Macleod.
    Oh no! A mistranslation in the early part of the bible messes up our reading of the rest of it. So is the bible the Word of God, or is it the Word of God mistranslated. How are we to know what the IMF really meant?
    If a robot is going to be milking the cows then perhaps we should all begin to pray to the machine as we all know that “Blessed are the cheesemakers”.


  2. Given a favourable interpretation of his BBoMS, Rev John is, er, not wrong.

    Off topic, the Eternal Wall of Unanswered Prayer (possible typo) https://www.eternalwall.org.uk/ is raising cash at the moment (for 40 days from 13th Sept) to build the wall. They’ve made snail-like progress so far, raising just £285,658. The target shown is £1m but wasn’t it £2.5m? They’re possibly holding back a big donation to reach their target at the last minute.
    Prayer doesn’t seem to be helping the cause despite those (questionable) statistics about its popularity in the UK as reported by the BBC https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-58681075


  3. Genesis 1:28 is the passage in which God grants humanity “dominion” over the Earth.

    And God blessed them, and God said unto them, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

    This seems fairly unequivocal to me. If there is a contradictory passage elsewhere, then what are the faithful supposed to do? Pick the one they prefer and ignore the other one seems to be the most popular answer. For the more sceptical, it would suggest that the human writers of these texts were not always in perfect harmony regarding the wishes of their IMF.

    (As for being fruitful and multiplying, that injunction has been carried out in spades, and see where that has got us.)


    1. Fortunately for the faithful, the many and varied texts composed by men (and they were all men) over a period of a millennium or so provide ample opportunity to unearth a quotation that fits, or can be made to fit, almost any situation or point of view whatever.

      Still, it does leave one wondering what the likes of John Bell would do if their scriptural searches failed to turn up anything usable at all. Goodness me, they might even have to think for themselves for once.


    1. @AndyM, there was a snippet in The Times as well. The editor, Sarah Sands, apparently told the Cheltenham Festival that she was ‘not a fan’ and wanted to drop the slot, but her friend, the director Richard Eyre, told her ‘Don’t do it. There will be questions in Parliament’.

      This might or might not have been the case, but one wonders why Sands didn’t pitch the proposal to her bosses rather than asking a luvvy friend for advice. Perhaps it’s because the bureaucracy that governs the Today Programme doesn’t actually have any say over TftD, which is the responsibility of the BBC’s Department of Myth and Magic.


      1. To quote an old saying: when given two choices always choose the third. It doesn’t have to be a simple binary, between either having or not having TftD. Could she not have condescended to keep it but pressed for more inclusiveness? Did she even try?


    2. Try this – https://vnexplorer.net/i-wanted-to-get-rid-of-irritating-thought-for-the-day-says-former-today-programme-editor-ei20211344062.html. If it is true that the Today editor has no say about the slot then they do a pretty good job of having a say by often surrounding the slot with some good science and ethical stories to show it up.
      Regarding the Unanswered Wall of Eternal Prayer – I left a comment about it on 25th September and at that point their target was still £2.5 million. So definitely good news if they are only still up to just over £300k.
      Better to give to Rev Peter’s Vaccine Programme at https://gogiveone.org/ or to these three fellas – https://www.3dadswalking.uk/


    3. From the same newspaper, 2nd October:

      ‘John Humphrys has said the Today programme should scrap its Thought for the Day feature because it is discriminatory against people without a religion.

      The former BBC Radio 4 presenter, who hosted its flagship morning news show for 32 years, piled into his former employers on Wednesday, insisting it needed a rethink.

      Humphrys said Thought for the Day – a regular slot reflecting from a faith perspective on issues and people in the news – was “rather pointless”.

      Appearing on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, he pointed out that host Piers Morgan would be able to deliver his Thought for the Day because he is Catholic.

      But Humphrys, who is an atheist, said he would not be able to, and when asked by co-host Susanna Reid if the segment “should go”, the Welshman agreed that it should be discontinued.’


    4. Most UK public libraries subscribe to a news reporting service with on-line access. Mine has NewsBank. With it you can have access to many national and international newspapers and magazines.
      Best news is that it is free; all you need is your library membership number and you can log in from home, work, cafe or wherever. I do not know about international access.
      I did have a discomforting thought. If, as seems probable, the 2021 Census results show that the proportion of non-religious people in the population is over half will the BBC claim that it has to keep TFTD as service to minorities?


  4. John Bell simply represents all the other Christian apologists who insist that they know what their BBoMS instructs them to do… until it tells them something completely other. Our book, so our interpretation; it means what we say it means, whichever ‘meaning’ is most favourable / convenient / currently relevant/ condemning of things we don’t like / endorsing of rules and morals we want to uphold / useful for bashing every other deity or religion etc etc.

    BTW – I can just imagine Jeremy Paxman’s face and reaction had it been suggested to him that TFTD might be insinuated into Newsnight!


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