Friday, 29 February 2008

Blogs, criticism and abuse of words

First all some further feedback from the blog tour. I have had some nice e-mails from Marcus Goodyear, who is involved with a website/organisation called The High Calling. The ‘High Calling’ of the title turns out to be the workplace and he is very much involved with helping Christians to live out our lives in the workplace to which God has called us. I rather like this as I have been fed up for many years with that particular view which creates a hierarchy which has ministers and missionaries at the top and those of us who teach or manage pretty much at the bottom. Anyway, I have enjoyed their very sane daily mailings and I commend the website to you.

No less than three separate blogs were devoted to the Shadow and Night by Steve on the Back to the Mountains blog. The first two were very positive indeed and the third dwelt with what he perceived as weaknesses. Two he picked out were that I had failed to understand quantum entanglement and also that there were issues with my angelology. On quantum entanglement he writes ‘There is one place, however, that is just plain wrong: the invocation of quantum entanglement as a means of instantaneous interstellar communication. It doesn’t work that way.’ I have to say I am puzzled at his confidence in a field in which certainty is a rare beast. A physics researcher who is a friend of mine, and who regularly travels to Los Alamos to work on anti-hydrogen had no problems with it. Anyway I am gratified in achieving a unique literary status: I do not imagine any other author has been criticised for their handling of both angelology and quantum entanglement. Do read the site; he has some interesting things to say.

Finally, let me make an observation on words. I was at a Bible study this week, where we looked at the celebrated passage in James on the misuse of the tongue. We all dutifully lamented our wayward words, cynicism and gossip. Then, as we came to a time of prayer, someone mentioned a relative who had been badly mishandled by the government program/ initiative called ‘Care in the Community’ which is responsible for those who are psychologically vulnerable. It has resulted in the closing a lot of specialist care units and sheltered facilities. The motives are of course saving money, and the whole thing was so desperate that instead of ‘care in the community’ it is widely named ‘neglect in the neighbourhood’. Anyway, it struck me that that here was a whole new dimension of abuse of language: the concealment of evil by the language of good. What would James have said?

Have a good week,