Friend, scholar, Glasgow PhD, and pioneering digital biblicist Tim Bulkeley launched his most recent book online a couple of weeks ago; I held off on blogging it, at first because I wanted to help sustain the news (rather than just reinforcing the initial buzz), and then — I confess — because life swept me up and entirely swamped my energy for doing anything I didn’t absolutely have to.
But by all means go over to check it out — this is terrain Tim’s been working on for years, it’s timely and informative and well-written. Those who think they have gender and biblical theology all sorted may find that there’s more here to chew on than they had reckoned, and those who don’t already know it all will find Not Only A Father a big boost toward further knowledge. It’s a strong, thoughtful, reasoned case for thinking further about the Bible, God, and gender. Hey, you can even buy a printed copy!
We stayed up late last night checking, and we woke early this morning to see; and this afternoon, on our way home from church, we caught Eamonn Clarke’s message on Twitter, saying that Michael O’Connor Clarke had died.
For the last couple of days, Margaret and I had strayed from internet connections only most reluctantly; we’ve been worried, and yesterday while I was writing this morning’s sermon, Michael was all I could think about. It’s a tricky business, writing a sermon when you’re thinking about someone in particular, but the readings were about judgement and kindness and justice, and with Michael standing at the threshold they all ran together. He’s in the sermon several times, though in my final draft I took his name out; you’ll recognise him. He’s a hard man to miss.
So we’re sitting at home crying, thinking back, hoping and praying. If you are too, imagine us there beside you. Every now and then someone will give your arm a squeeze, pass you a tissue, tell a story. Together, we’ll all miss him a lot. Keep him in your heart, remember Leona and Charlie, Lily, and Ruairi, and see if you can keep some of Michael’s wit and kindness glowing in your neighbourhood.
Continue reading “Missing Michael”