Matthew Henry John Bartlett

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Monday 31 January, 02005


by Matthew Bartlett @ 10:34 pm

Crystal drowning, dead-eye Dick
save us from thy hammerthwick.
Lighter on and lighter’s vee
join me slowly
grote a-bromely
handsome rool and heartily.

Worthing forth o frostie dreams
teat unfaithful under-screams.
Go before your pips are cried:
“Drearly sloughing,
hanker ween but thunderspied!”

(Try it, it’s fun.)

by Matthew Bartlett @ 8:00 am

Andrew Basden
Jeremy Begbie
Wendell Berry
W Rance Darity
James Jordan
Brian McLaren
John Patrick
Eugene Peterson
Kim Stanley Robinson
Read Mercer Schuchardt
E F Schumacher
Neil Vaney
Brian J Walsh
N T Wright

The best

by Matthew Bartlett @ 6:00 am

There are some songs that have taken over my life for a month or a year, or had a life of their own and forced me to listen to them over and over again. As I remember them, I jot them down. Here are the ones I’ve recollected so far, listed in reverse chronological order, 2004 to ~1989.

Muttonbirds/A Thing Well Made
Bill Withers/Grandma’s hands
Neil Finn/Into the Sunset — In the middle it falls asleep and breaks in two like Cam’s poem.
Doves/Sulphur Man
Weta/Calling On
Avril Lavigne/I’m With You
Turin Brakes/Painkiller
Belle & Sebastian/There’s Too Much Love…
Grant Lee Buffalo/It’s the Life
Beth Orton/Couldn’t Cause Me Harm
Dodgy/One of Those Rivers
Leonard Cohen/Ballad of the Absent Mare
Incubus/The Warmth
Ride/Rolling Thunder
Blur/This is a Low
Supergrass/It’s Not Me
Seven Mary Three/Cumbersome
Soundgarden/Black Hole Sun
Live/All Over You
Live/Lightning Crashes
The Police/Don’t Stand So Close to Me
Coolio/Gansta’s Paradise
Genesis/Fading lights
REM/Find the River
Toad the Wet Sprocket/Walk on the Water
Scorpions/Wind of Change
Australian Crawl/Reckless
Boston/More Than a Feeling
Dire Straits/Brothers in Arms
Phil Collins/Who Said I Would?

Sunday 30 January, 02005

by Matthew Bartlett @ 9:09 pm

I’m a bit sad because Simon & Richard Steenhof, two of my very best friends, are moving to Perth in three days.

Ben Folds has a new album out on April 26 called Songs for Silverman.

I have a friend whose work for the Kingdom would be greatly expedited if he had a laptop. Email me if you can assist.

Friday 28 January, 02005

by Matthew Bartlett @ 8:00 am

Europe vs. America [via Deb]
James Howard Kunstler: Cargo Karma
Stuart M: God and dreary evenings
Otago University Professor RH Sibson on the oil production peak
Peace, justice & Christian historians
Poetry and the Sacrament
Art and instinctive response

Tuesday 25 January, 02005

Gospel of Matthew (1)

by Matthew Bartlett @ 1:07 am

I’m trying to figure out the Gospel of Matthew at the moment. One thing I’m doing is trying to understand how St Matthew uses the quotations from Moses & the prophets. Here is what I have for the ‘as it was written’ quotations in the first four chapters:

  1. “Behold, a virgin shall be with child …” — the child was a sign that Israel’s enemies were about to be defeated, though no thanks to Israel itself (Isaiah 7)
  2. “And thou Bethlehem … art not the least … for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel” — enemies surround what’s left of Israel, but this one will come and the scattered of Israel will return. He will bring peace. (Micah 5)
  3. “Out of Egypt have I called my son” — Jesus is equated with Israel (Hosea 11)
  4. “Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted …” — who knows? (Jeremiah 31)
  5. “He shall be called a Nazarene” — who knows? I can’t even find the reference.
  6. “The voice of one crying in the wilderness …” — peace & pardon are coming, God the shepherd & creator, is returning. (Isaiah 40)
  7. “Man shall not live by bread alone …” — Jesus is being Israel in the wilderness. (Deuteronomy 8)
  8. “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” — Israel demanded water at Massah, rather than trusting that God would provide. Jesus passes the test Israel failed. (Deuteronomy 6)
  9. “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” — when Israel gets rich, it must remember where it came from, and not turn away from God. (Deuteronomy 6)
  10. “The people which sat in darkness saw great light …” — a child comes to bring peace & justice, break the back of oppression. (Isaiah 9)

I think paying attention to the background texts like this pins down the interpretation of the book, like putting rocks on the corners of a tarpaulin to stop it blowing away.

Sunday 23 January, 02005

by Matthew Bartlett @ 1:05 pm

Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and the Church
Church as ghetto or power network
The man who planted trees [via dd]

Friday 21 January, 02005

by Matthew Bartlett @ 12:14 pm

Lyrics: Radiohead/The Amazing Sounds of Orgy
How to fold a shirt [flash, via RDB]

Christ & Nihilism

by Matthew Bartlett @ 10:00 am

In his article Christ and Nothing — an epic, panoptic and magisterial survey of the West before, during and after Christianity — David B Hart writes:

It is worth asking ourselves what this tableau, viewed from the vantage of pagan antiquity, would have meant. A man of noble birth, representing the power of Rome, endowed with authority over life and death, confronted by a barbarous colonial of no name or estate, a slave of the empire, beaten, robed in purple, crowned with thorns, insanely invoking an otherworldly kingdom and some esoteric truth, unaware of either his absurdity or his judge’s eminence. Who could have doubted where, between these two, the truth of things was to be found? But the Gospel is written in the light of the resurrection, which reverses the meaning of this scene entirely. If God’s truth is in fact to be found where Christ stands, the mockery visited on him redounds instead upon the emperor, all of whose regal finery, when set beside the majesty of the servile shape in which God reveals Himself, shows itself to be just so many rags and briars.

[via Toby]

Thursday 20 January, 02005


by Matthew Bartlett @ 11:12 am

In Heaven is not my home, Paul Marshall quotes John Calvin:

The law of God given through Moses is not dishonored when it is abrogated and new laws are preferred to it … for the Lord … did not give that law to be proclaimed among all nations and to be in force everywhere. Rather we must make our laws with regard to the condition of times, place and nation. … How malicious and hateful toward public welfare would be a man who is offended by such diversity.

Here we are

by Matthew Bartlett @ 9:19 am

Richard asked, “Why should a gospel substantially founded on the concept of humans being sinful be rendered “implausible” by evidence that human beings are sinful?”

I think it is something to do with what comes next, that is, now that we know everyone is sinful & flawed & broken etc., how does that affect how we’ll operate as a community? One possibility: Christian community could be a place where in a sense it’s OK to be a bad person, we don’t have to pretend to be perfect and happy and having-it-all-together all the time, because we know none of us are. Andrew Basden has good things to say on this topic.

The way things are now, I think we all have our masks on pretty securely most of the time, and aren’t very well equipped to deal with messiness & brokenness. I don’t know how we can change this, I’m the worst offender.

Wednesday 19 January, 02005

Word up

by Matthew Bartlett @ 1:59 pm

I’ve just finished Walsh & Keesmaat’s Colossians Remixed. It’s explosive and life-changing stuff. If I’d looked through the bibliography before I started, I could have guaranteed I’d love it. They reference Wendell Berry, John Caputo, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Kalle Lasn (Adbusters editor), Neil Postman, Calvin Seerveld, NT Wright & Annie Dillard. All the goodies, in other words. Now, if I can figure out some way of getting you all to read it …

by Matthew Bartlett @ 10:49 am

Lyrics: Kayne West/Jesus Walks
Teen Girl Squad #8

Tuesday 18 January, 02005

Families’ Commission

by Matthew Bartlett @ 10:54 pm

Today I read the Families’ Commission Statement of Intent [1MB PDF]. Up till this point I had heard only bad things about the Commission. Mostly that their definition of a family includes non-nuclear families. I was really impressed with the document. I particularly liked their set of expectations for families:

In the Commission’s view, all families should be able to exercise a capacity to:

  • love, protect and nurture children to help them reach their full potential
  • protect and care for elderly, disabled and sick family members
  • share resources, wisdom, knowledge, and time
  • participate in education, society, and the economy
  • plan for today and tomorrow, for retirement, and for future generations
  • protect family wealth, land, taonga, and history
  • transmit values, lifestyles, ethics, and culture

I read in the same document that around 7500 children were assessed as abused or neglected during 2003 in New Zealand.

Monday 17 January, 02005

by Matthew Bartlett @ 4:50 pm

Pictures from Huygens on Titan [via /.]