TULIPs from Hamsterdam

In this issue: more Alpha, more de-converts copying me, and more liberal Anglicans doing the Devil’s work. Yes, it’s time to close some more browser tabs before Firefox seizes up completely.


Chat continues over on my previous posting about Channel 4’s documentary on the Alpha course. I found Jon Ronson, the documentary maker, had been on Alpha himself back in 2000 and written about it for the Graun. The link comes via Metafilter, where there’s some discussion of the article and of Alpha, into which I’ve dipped my toe.

I de-converted before it was fashionable

Jamie Frost sounds like he had a experience of Christianity at Oxford which was similar to mine at Cambridge (except, of course, the Cambridge one was just better). He went to St Ebbes, which is the Doctrinal Rectitude Trust church in Oxford, as StAG is in Cambridge. He was, and is, a science student. He also left Christianity, and his tale (of struggling to keep the faith, being buoyed up by emotional sermons and then realising he didn’t have reasons to believe) sounds awfully familiar. He writes about it in a meaty essay (I think it’s even longer than mine), which is worth a read.

The link to Frost’s essay came to me via the indefatigable Steven Carr, who helpfully posted it to the Premier Christian Radio discussion forum.

OK, so I’ve been watching The Wire

Yeah, so after the Templeton boys got lit up in a drive-by by PZ, I heard it was going down over at the Premier Christian Radio discussion forum, so me an’ my boy Carr grabbed our nines and mounted up. I done showed that Richard Morgan (who used to be tight with the Ditchkins crew before he snitched to the Christers) how we do it, then I had interesting discussion on epistemology [You seem to have slipped out of character – Ed], and shit. [Better – Ed]

Bishops Gone Wild

Those crazy Anglicans and their schisms: I can barely keep up these days, so I don’t usually bother. One thing caught my eye: Ruth Gledhill reports that Bishop Greg Venables, of the Fellowship of Mainstream True Christians Except If You’re Gay, had said of the fight against the godless liberals that “We must remember we are not fighting flesh and blood. This is about principalities and powers.”

If you weren’t a CU Bible Study group leader, you might not be able to complete that quote. It ends “and spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms“. Yep, liberal Christians are in league with the devil. John Broadhurst, Bishop of Fulham, allegedly said “I now believe Satan is alive and well and he resides at Church House.” As Roy Zimmerman would say, “That was out loud, did you know that?”

6 Comments on "TULIPs from Hamsterdam"

  1. I enjoyed the blog you linked to last time about the Alpha Course sessions. I couldn’t tell how he managed to write it up so well, though — did he record everything, or take shorthand notes, or…?


      1. Ah, that makes sense. I haven’t got all the way through the series of posts yet so I hadn’t come across the tape recorder comment. Cheers!


      2. That was quite fun to read, although it got a bit wearying by the end – his frustration at having people fob him off again and again with the same arguments was easy to sympathise with due to reading them again and again in his blog.

        Though it was very, very difficult to keep taking anything seriously in the face of constant repetition of the phrase “Long-Standing Male Member”.


  2. “then I had interesting discussion on epistemology [You seem to have slipped out of character – Ed], and shit. [Better – Ed]”



  3. Subject: Minor correction!
    Hi Paul,
    Thanks for publicising my article. I’m actually STILL a science student. I returned to Oxford at the end of April to start a DPhil (i.e. a PhD). 🙂
    All the best,



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