What Do the Heavens Declare?

A Sermon on Isaiah 40.26  ‘Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these?’ Time and again this is the question the Old Testament poses about creation. It is insistent and unrelenting; it is the final enquiry, a philosophical interrogation of the human mind by the transcendent: Answer me this: are they, these…

UPON THE FACE OF THE DEEP A Sermon on Genesis 1.1-5: Preached at the Ordination of a Deacon

Michael Polanyi, the Hungarian-British polymath, professor of physical chemistry at the University of Manchester, was one of the most distinguished philosophers of science in the 20th Century. He was the grandson of the Chief Rabbi of Vilnius and a convert to Roman Catholicism. This is what he said about the Scriptures: The book of Genesis…

A Baptism on Pentecost

Early in the 1980’s, during the first Mitterrand government, the French minister of Justice, Robert Badinter, decided that he would abolish the death penalty and reform the penal code. His colleagues on the left were sceptical. They agreed with his policies, but they thought that the climbing crime rate would make it impossible for the…