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Just received notice of this review of A Permanent Becoming – could one ask for anything more?

Alan Mann, what are you doing to me?

When I invited Alan to tell me about his new book, when I designated that book UKCBD ‘Book of the Month‘ for September 2008, little did I realise what I was letting myself in for. It’s rare for a Christian book to choke me up to the point where I am unable to continue reading for fear of being reduced to a blubbering wreck in public. On reflection, it’s not rare: I don’t think it’s ever happened to me before. On the tube, no less, travelling to and from work. Three times already, for God’s sake, and I haven’t even finished the book yet!

If you’ve read Alan’s introduction to the book then you’ll already know what it’s about: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness (always ‘humility’ in my mental list) and self-control. The ‘fruit of the Spirit’ as described by the Apostle Paul (or whoever wrote Galatians: I honestly don’t give a fig about that). A list of what Alan himself describes as rather mundane virtues: the qualities we expect of our grannies, but not exactly cool or radical enough for today’s young people, or even someone like me, desperate to deny the onset of middle-age.

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The latest edition of Sublime Magazine will soon be available. As ever, an informative and inspiring read, so do check it out.

For my part, I’ve been researching the global food crisis, which was both shocking and enlightening. There’s a few lines below to give you a feel, but do track down a copy of the magazine to read the rest – you won’t be disappointed!


We have almost certainly reached a tipping point in human history. If it hasn’t happened already, at some stage in the near future, probably in a developing country, a family will leave their rural life behind and travel to a nearby town or city seeking a brighter future. At that moment, more than half the world’s population (3.3 billion) will be living in urban environments. But this ‘moment’ is simply part of a continuum that has been taking place for millennia. Though many long-established urbanites may still have a sense of wanderlust, (and accepting that millions still live on the land as subsistence farmers), the fact is the history of humankind is one of ongoing settlement and Read the rest of this entry »

Here’s my thought for the day from this morning’s breakfast show on BBC Radio Bristol.

It’s Big Bang Day. In less than an hour the physicists at CERN will turn on the Large Hadron Collider, and set in motion the most expensive science experiment of all time. Subatomic particles will whiz around a giant ring-shaped tunnel close to the speed of light, smashing into each other 600 million times per second, hoping to reveal hidden mysterious about the beginning of the Universe, attempting to cross the i’s and dot the t’s of what one scientist has described as a creation story.

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Overnight, our family became a victim of crime for the first time. Which I guess isn’t bad going given that my wife and I are both in our forties. Of course, our daughter is only three, so she’s not doing so well on an age to crime ratio.

Anyway, if you are reading this and you are the praying type, we’d love our car recovered with no damage to it, as it’s the only car we have, and even with an insurance payout we can’t easily afford to replace it as it’s just an old banger, but it’s worth so much to us as a family.

A Permanent Becoming is currently book of the month over at:

I’ve written some stuff for them, a taster of which is below:

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I’m down to do ‘Thought For The Day’ on Wednesdays in September (3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th, 7.40 am BBC Radio Bristol)

Today I was reflecting on the BBC Drama ‘God on Trial’, which is to be shown tonight (Wednesday 3rd) at 9.00 pm on BBC 2.

Why is there is so much suffering in the world? That’s the question at the heart of a BBC drama to be shown this evening, provocatively entitled, God on Trial.

Set among the kind of extreme torment few of us will ever face, a group of Jewish men, awaiting their fate in Auschwitz, debate that most perplexing question – why suffering?

But this is not a unique to the holocaust. As the producer suggests, the drama was commissioned because we all have unanswered questions. We all wrestle with and try to understand why people are cut down in their prime. Why people would want to fly a plane into a skyscraper killing hundreds. Or why thousands are wiped out in an instant by a tsunami – and why God doesn’t do anything to stop all this.

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Hopefully worth the wait – my latest book, A Permanent Becoming, is now available:

So, now that the Summer is over and the nights are drawing in, why not get yourself a copy to read?

‘In our secular world, becoming a Christian is almost synonymous with becoming a ‘worse’ person, and someone less than ‘human’. Through a beautiful and compelling exposition of the Fruits of the Spirit alongside a rediscovery of the true humanity of Jesus, Alan Mann explores how life in Christ is in fact the only way to be truly, deeply and fully human in the face of our microwave, quick fix culture.’ – Jason Clark, Senior Pastor, Vineyard Church, Sutton.

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September 2008