was now in nostalgic mode. 'I lived at a time when we all wanted to be of benefit to our (Soviet) state. To some extent, the state took care of its heroes and designers...In the village where I was born, according to a special decree, a monument was erected to me, twice my height. In the city of Ishevsk where I live, there is now a Kalashnikov museum with a section dedicated to my life - and this was erected in my lifetime!...President Putin called me on my birthday the other day. No other president would telephone an arms designer. And these things are very important for me.' And God? I asked. What would God say of Mikhail Kalashnikov? 'We were educated in such a way that I am probably an atheist,' he replied. 'But something exists...' (The Great War for Civilisation - The Conquest of the Middle East, Harper Perennial, p936).With the evidence of our total human depravity all around us, is it not a wonder that the Lord God Almighty wants anything to do with us at all? The all-sufficient Trinity does not need us for a millisecond and yet an angel of the Lord commanded an obscure carpenter in 1st century Palestine:
Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins (Matthew 1v20-21- NIV).
The curate wishes us all in the youth group a great gospelling Christmas and fruitfulness for Jesus, God willing, in the New Year.
This piece - Kirk gay row: the ugly face of liberal bigotry - appeared on Archbishop Cranmer.
This piece - For Andrew Mitchell and us all truth is the best Christmas gift - appeared on Anglican Mainstream. It was tweeted from the ConservativeHome Must Be Read.