About Me

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Robin Parry is the husband of but one wife (Carol) and the father of the two most beautiful girls in the universe (Hannah and Jessica). He also has a lovely cat called Monty (who has only three legs). Living in the city of Worcester, UK, he works as an Editor for Wipf and Stock — a US-based theological publisher. Robin was a Sixth Form College teacher for 11 years and has worked in publishing since 2001 (2001–2010 for Paternoster and 2010– for W&S).

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Hellbound: The Movie

Just watched a preview screening of Hellbound: The Movie.

Must confess: I am very impressed. I am looking forward to its release (21 Sept in North America)

It'll be sure to get people talking.

Friday, 29 June 2012

UK release of The Evangelical Universalist (second edition)

SPCK will be releasing the second edition of the Evangelical Universalist later this year. It is currently scheduled for November 2012. The first edition will be available until then.

Just keeping all you Brits in the loop.

Atheist Blogger becomes Catholic

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

A thought from Bonhoeffer

“There is no part of the world, no matter how lost, no matter how godless, that has not been accepted by God in Jesus Christ and reconciled to God. Whoever perceives the body of Jesus Christ in faith can no longer speak of the world as if it were lost, as if it were separated from God; they can no longer separate themselves in clerical pride from the world. The world belongs to Christ, and only in Christ is the world what it is ... Christ has died for the world, and Christ is Christ only in the midst of the world”
(Bonhoeffer, Ethics, 67)

Thursday, 21 June 2012

The Problem of Suffering

I think that this is an excellent and insightful comment.

A New Blog: Running Heads

Right, I am here to announce the launch of a new blog called "Running Heads". You can find it here.

It is the blog for the editors at Wipf and Stock publishers.

There will be a new post most days (d.v.) by one of the five editors for Cascade and Pickwick books.

K. C. Hanson (the boss man who knows an awful lot about social science approaches to the Bible)

Charlie Collier (the peaceable political theology man)

Chris Spinks (the NT guy)

Rodney Clapp (the ecumenical theology and just about everything man)

Robin Parry (that's me and I guess I am interested in ... anything really)

The posts will be on all sorts of things:

good books

theological thoughts

political thoughts

dumb stuff

controversial stuff


stuff wot me done 'n' all

and so on

Check it out.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Sarah Coakley on Evolution, Cooperation, and God

Sarah Coakley has just given the Gifford Lectures in Aberdeen. The theme was "Evolution, Cooperation, and God."

I have not yet read or watched the lectures but they look excellent!

You can read them or watch them on this link.

It seems to me that theologians are starting to move into much more constructive and interesting engagements with the sciences.

Past discussions often fell between:

(1) those theologians who were creationists and took a rejectionist approach to mainstream science, and

(2) theistic evolutionists who imagined that science was a philosophically neutral activity and that theologians simply accept whatever scientists say and fit God-talk around that. (Obviously that is a very simplistic summary.)

But there is a new generation of theologians who are happy to reject creationism and yet very happy to engage in critical interaction with the sciences.

Sarah Coakley is one of those theologians.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Nigel's Song from Rio. Funny

I watched this film last weekend and this song is wonderful: hilarious!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Kierkegaard on going beyond faith

In our "Philosophy in the Pub" meeting yesterday we started Søren Kierkegaard's classic book Fear and Trembling. It is a beautifully written text and deeply profound (although, I find it hard to think that I'll end up agreeing with him).

What struck me was the critique of the philosophers of his own day (nineteenth-century Denmark) who liked to say that they start with radical doubt (like Descartes) and go beyond faith (after all, everyone has faith, right?). Their doubt and their faith, however, are cheap and false. Both real faith and real doubt are lifelong projects not the kind of thing one can acquire in a few days.

Abraham is Kierkegaard's model of true faith and he forces the radical nature of such faith by means of exposing its problems (willing to kill his own son!). It is simply impossible to make any rational or ethical sense of Abraham's faith.

Abraham's faith was his lifelong project. He trusted God for years and years before Isaac was born. Then, when Isaac grew, God demanded that he kill him. In order to keep Isaac Abraham had to draw the knife (not to do so, or to hesitate when doing so, would utterly change the dynamics of the act and nullify it as an act of faith). This terrible story (and Kierkegaard is great at highlighting just how terrible it is) is the climax of Abraham's life-journey of faith. He never progressed to "higher" or "better" things: "in one hundred and thirty years you [Abraham] got no further than faith."

To Kierkegaard's contemporaries, faith was mundane; everyone had it. The task was to progress from there to higher things. Kierkegaard offers a radically different and deeply challenging vision of faith. This is a faith that one does not presume that one already has. This is a faith that is a pursuit for life. It is hard. It is rare.

Now, as I said, I have some serious worries about Kierkegaard's vision (esp. on the core issue of the relation of faith and ethics). Nevertheless, I think that he is spot on to show us that the most profound and deep things are often the apparently simple things that we take for granted. It reminded me of a little quote I read as a teenager: "never further than thy cross; never higher than thy feet."

Theological profundity does not come from moving beyond the core and "simple" story of the gospel. It never goes further; it only goes deeper.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Kindle edition of The Evangelical Universalist available in North America

For those of you who can buy from Amazon.com you may be interested to know that the kindle version of the second edition of The Evangelical Universalist is available. And I think that I am right in saying that it is a mere $9.99. Shoot me down! That is one cheap dude! Here is the link: Evangelical Universalist. Second Edition (Kindle)