Wow ok so I am going to catch up on the news of the past two weeks but I’ll put them in as back-dated bits of news; so look below this item for what i’ve been upto the past few weeks. Most of my time has been spent trying to quickly write a piece of coursework entitled “Greek Influence upon Jewish Views of Resurrection and Immortality”. The coursework itself isn’t due in until the 1st May, but I’m applying for a masters course (application handed in yesterday) and to do so I have to hand in a piece of work so I was trying to get this done so I would actually have some work I was proud of to hand in! This coursework should probably take about 3 weeks to do although I did it in one and a half weeks, so I’ve not had time for much else really!
I spent most of this morning in bed reading the works of the Apostolic Fathers (it’s sort of work and its also quite fun and relaxing compared to the work of the past week). I met up with Cheng-shi for some lunch and we went out to jinling noodle bar. It was good to see him again, although he is going back to Taiwan this time next week 🙁
Last night I sang in Revelation and after that went round to Emmanuel and Ruth, Ed, Nat and Zishan watched “A streetcar named Desire”. It was a really weird film, but was good fun to see those guys again, and quite a good way to relax after a hard day of working on the coursework for the masters application.
In other news, I’m going to be getting baptised this Sunday (5th Feb) at 10am at Eden. There will be a lunch afterwards as well. It’d be great if you’d like to come although if you want to get a seat, it’s probably best to come a bit early (ie 9:50).
As it was Ruth’s 21st birthday on the 21st, Ed, Nat and myself decided to have a surprise party for her on the evening of the 19th. I first went round to Emma and left my keys with Nat. I then went out to a nice restrunt with Ruth and we had a great time. I had some salmon which was really really nice. We then walked back to mine where the others had got a cake and some baloons. Ruth was very surprised and hadn’t expected anything; so it was funny to see her expression.
On Friday, I went to Harry’s which as usual was fun. I met some guys from Taiwan there. I practised a little of my rusty Chinese and then we discovered that a Chinese pop song which we had been taught to dance to on ISEC was quite popular over in Taiwan too. The people I was talking to knew the song but didn’t know the actions so I was able to teach it to them and they held Mary (who was also at Harry’s) and myself in much respect! Everyone came round to mine afterwards for some food
Saturday was Ruth’s 21st. About 20 of us went out to Pizza Express and then invaded her rooms afterwards. A small group stayed round until about 1am talking about the historicity of Genesis 1-3 and various other problems with the passages.
Monday, I went to rev and then afterwards I went to join in with a surprise party for Joel (one of the guys I was in China with over the summer). His friends had planted a party hat in one of the draws in his room. They then got his sister to phone him and tell him to look in his draw, at which point he found it. Meanwhile, we had all grouped around the entrance to his room and when his sister told him to go outside we all started to sing happy birthday to him. He seemed rather surprised, even though within the CCCF everyone seems to have a surprise party on their birthday.
Today, I had lectures and then went to RTSF. In the evening, I went round to Ruth’s and she cooked for me. We then went to Jonathon’s 21st party. Loads of people were there whom I hadn’t seen for a while so it was good to catch up. The best present he got had to be the book of Genesis as enacted by lego figures. Would make for an interesting CU bible study…
Now that I’m back in Cambridge, I seem to have the opposite problem with my blog: I’m so busy seeing everyone that I don’t have any free time! Friday, I spent most of the time with Ruth; and similarly on Saturday we started to do some work. Sunday, I went to church as usual, and then in the afternoon, Vera, Natalie, Patrick and Chris Rice came over for some afternoon tea. On Monday, I worked, and also saw Tabs, David, Rachel and Christina. In the evening I went over to Ben’s for a nice catch-up as I’ve not seen him in about 3 months. I also had a supervision with Carlton-Padget on the authorship, location and date of Mark’s gospel. The rest of the week has also been spent working, although lots of other people have popped round to say hi. I went out for a meal with the CU last night too, and it was good to spend some time bonding with the CU guys. We’re going to be doing Genesis 1-12 in Bible Study this term, which is always quite fun.
Now it’s not normal for me to have any political views whatsoever (unlike the plethora expressed on Sam’s blog, and to a lesser extent on Jim’s) but the treatment of Iran is really getting me worked up. I saw an article on the BBC News website today in which Blair and other UN leaders are threatening Iran because they have resumed nuclear research. This complacency by the UN seems remarkably similar to the cartel of countries threatening Germany after the Treaty of Versailles, and that, as we all know, lead to the second world war. Perhaps they are just looking for an excuse to invade Iran as they did to Iraq.
But more than this, it is totally hypocritical for some set of countries which have nuclear weapons (or the ability to get them from countries which do) to prevent other countries from trying to obtain similar technology, especially if it is for peaceful means as Iran claims (not that I really believe what Iran says anyway). Why do they have the right to say what country can research what area of science? How come they are the ones who will use the knowledge “sensibly” whereas anyone else will not? It is just bullying.
I guess this is just another example of abuse of empire which we see throughout history, and which the Bible warns against. Paul tells people to submit to the governing empire, but reminds all those in it that they are put in place by God and should act in accordance with that. History teaches us that empires rise and empires fall (for example, the Babylonian, Persian, Assrian, Egpytian, Roman and more recently the British Empire). There is nothing that the US or any other empire structure can do to preserve its status; eventually it will collapse as the tide of history moves onwards. To have the immense privilige of empire is to have a massive responsibility to those who are under you, and more importantly to those who are threatened by you. Surely, when the next world super-power comes along (probably China), the way in which the west has respected or threatened the rest of the world during its’ tenure of world domination will be reciprocated in a large degree by it.
The sermon on Sunday evening seemed to go ok; a number of people talked to me afterwards and said they found it useful. I was really nervous, which apparently showed, although my message was not obscured by that, apparently. Praise God! I’ve put the text of my sermon on this website.
I saw this funny proof of global warming on Katie’s website. A sad but true remark on modern clothing.
I’ll be coming back to Cambridge on Friday – yay!
How boring I hear you all say; Mark hasn’t updated his blog in weeks! Well, I’ll be back in Cambridge soon and then there will probably be something to actually blog about. I’ve spent most of the time since Christmas at home. I’ve been practising my Greek, researching resurrection and the afterlife, and writing a sermon about China which I am to deliver tonight. Scary!
However, I did spend 6 days in the far North of England with Ruth and her family. It was good fun; we watched a lot of films, did quite a bit of work and also went for a nice walk/sledging in the snow! Apparently there wasn’t any snow in the south. hehe. I got on quite well with her family, and even Barney, their dog, wasn’t as ferocious towards me at the end of the week as he had been.