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Saturday Review 8 – The Chappo Collection; Schindler’s List; The Moral Maze; The Scottish National Gallery; Hemma

Book – The Chappo Collection – 6/10

chappo_mediumborder.mslfvk4uskw4bflpfj4i5ylc4rz6iuz7David Mansfield’s account of the life and work of John Charles Chapman – universally known as ‘Chappo’ is unique.  It’s not a biography, it’s not a critical analysis and it’s not a theological reflection.  It is just what is says in the sub-title “Life, Laughter, Leadership, Love in the Lord Jesus Christ” .  I started reading this book when on sabbatical in Australia and found it to be fascinating.  Not least in the fact that I met so many people who had been impacted by Chappo.  Only the Lord knows how many people were converted through his preaching and evangelism.    What I love about this book is the picture it gives of someone who was a unique personality but who pointed to Christ and not himself.  An evangelist who was also a theologian and a fine human being.   Would that we had many more!

Film – Schindler’s List – 10/10

This is possibly my favourite film ever.  I remember going to see it when it came out 25 years ago.  The packed cinema started off as usual – the sounds of crisps being chomped, juice being slurped, popcorn being popped – and then about 45 minutes in there was just absolute silence – which remained for the rest of the film.  I had not expected much – how do you convey the horrors of the holocaust on film?  – should you even try?  But Spielberg got this spot on.  For about 15 years afterwards I watched Schindler’s List to remind me of why I am a minister – to bring the light of Jesus Christ into the darkness of this world.  I have just bought the 25th anniversary edition – the film has lost none of its impact or relevance today.

This scene was for me possibly the most moving and brilliant – the girl with the red coat – symbolising the blood of the innocents.

Podcast – The Moral Maze 9/10

Screenshot 2019-03-09 at 09.19.34This is usually a great programme.  The Moral Maze is a panel discussion usually presented by Michael Buerk.  The pattern is to take four witnesses to a particular issue – and have them interrogated by four panelists – Claire Fox and Melanie Phillips are my favourite regulars.  This weeks subject was on the morality of art and the artist – with particular reference to Michael Jackson.

Art Gallery – The National – 7/10

I love going to art galleries.  And I don’t go often enough.  However when I am down in Edinburgh I try to occasionally take an hour and pop into the national gallery – the regular free exhibits are catharthic for me!   Titian, Van Gogh, Monet,   Here are some paintings that I love – which are always on display.

This painting of Luther by Sir Joseph Noel Paton is fascinating…it is entitled Luther at Erfurt and paints his struggle with working out justification by faith.   I think it is a great work of Scottish Art and deserves to be wider known.


Hemma Restaurant – Edinburgh – 7/10

Hemma is a different, relaxed restaurant near the Scottish Parliament  It is very relaxedScreenshot 2019-03-09 at 09.35.00 (its the Swedish vibe)…there is plenty space to chill. I thought the soup was delicious- and there was plenty bread. Not over impressed by the coffee. But this is a place I would quite happily revisit – if I was at the lower end of the Royal Mile – not sure that I would bother to go just for the restaurant.  But I will give it a second go…if I am at the Scottish Parliament again (its way better than their cafe!)




  1. Where are you these days? Is it Victoria? Keep an eye out for a 4K re-release of Schindler’s List in cinemas. A few weeks back there was a screening at the Orpheum picture palace in Cremorne, introduced by Thomas Keneally himself. He told several anecdotes about the making of the film such as Poldek Pfefferberg’s tireless lobbying of Spielberg to get the film made. “No more furry animals, Steven!” If you haven’t read Kenneally’s follow up book, Searching for Schindler, I recommend it. I don’t know if the Orpheum screening was part of a national event or if there’s an equivalent encore cinema in your neck of the bush, but you never know.

  2. I saw the header for the Moral Maze – a programme I am not familiar with – so I clicked the link and saw this about how to win an argument. I felt it apt and thought I might share this point with you as, being a minister who relies almost exclusively on faith for your position, and remembering your tête-à-tête with Matt Dillahunty, I feel sure it would benefit your overall standing greatly if you you took note that one of the more important points stresses evidence .

    1. Be cogent
    When arguing it’s important to be convincing and clear. One of the best ways of doing this is by finding evidence to support your claims .
    Sometimes one piece of evidence is enough, but often it’s better to find more than that. The more claims you can make, supported by evidence , the more cogent your argument will be.

    My emphasis


    1. Indeed – I highly recommend you take that advice…..! I note from your posts that you make assertions and when asked to provide evidence do a quick Google search for anything that supports you – but you never really provide any evidence….just a plethora of posts and insults….if I just permitted only your posts that had evidence would we ever hear from you again?!

    2. Ark,
      your continued — and, I might add, delusional — belief that Matt Dillahunty’s performance in the Why I am not an Atheist discussion was good debating practice is in some ways admirable but it does your side no favours.
      I’m thinking that his tactical errors would be a brilliant classroom example for a lecture titled — for example — The Dillahunty Quadrilateral.
      So: how not to do it.
      1. Assume that your own defensive position against being persuaded can be used offensively against the already-reasonably persuaded opponant. (David gives the three choices about where matter came from and Matt says in effect, ‘You can’t make a reasoned choice between these three answers because I think that there might be a fourth that nobody has thought of yet.’)
      2. Don’t do your homework and assume that your opponant’s reasoning is built on something you can dispute rather than on grounds where you have a known weakness. (Saying that killing six million people is obviously wrong becomes absurd when you can’t bring yourself to say the same thing about abortion.)
      3. Double down on your mistake and attack the thing you thought your opponant was saying in the first place, before you found that he wasn’t. (Matt tried to show that Hitler was a Christian to a debater [David] who warned him that he himself has a claim to be called an expert on the subject.)
      4. Scramble around in desperation to make something stick by evoking things that seem quite reasonable as long as there is noone there to refute them. (Matt thought it reasonable to argue that the Bible could incite someone to reintroduce slavery, practice genocide and start witch hunts. He tried the classic ‘Faith cannot mean to you what you say it means to you.’ which has surely ran its course/out of steam by now. Last throw of the dice was the Atheists-can’t-have-an-agenda defence. My conclusion: more desperate unbelief and how not to debate.)

  3. Chappo was an amazing man of God. His radiant love for the Lord Jesus and his compassionate love for people met together as he challenged his hearers with a clarity that meant his message was difficult to evade. He was blunt, humorous and Biblical in his approach. ‘The Chappo Collection’ is well worth reading. It lets the man speak for himself – and also gives some account of reactions to him.
    Michael Orpwood’s Biography, ‘Chappo. For the sake of the Gospel’ (1995) is also well worth reading. John Chapman formed many friendships. A significant link was with St Helen’s Church, Bishopgate. Chappo and DIck Lucas struck up a friendship based upon their love for the Gospel, and their Saviour. Though Chappo’s somewhat strident Aussie idiom was a startling contrast with DIck’s sonorous Public School bass, both were marked by precision of expression and lively (slightly wicked) humour.
    Chapman had an immense impact upon Anglican Evangelicals in the 1990s. I have heard Rico Tice of ‘Exploring Christianity’ acknowledging his debt to “Chappo”.

  4. David—first of all, this high school art teacher loves your posting of works from the ‘Scottish’ National Gallery—
    and yet I must confess—as much as I’ve written about the Holocaust, WWII, Churchill…ad infinitum, I have never been able to bring myself to ever watch Schindler’s list…If the books I’ve read over the years have not broken my heart enough…I fear Speilberg’s tale would see me undone.
    Thank you always for your words and insight.
    And do know how I apologize for having brought the “stone head” to your
    comment section—lice seem to be a byproduct of our Christian postings
    –I think you understand

  5. Speaking of Schindler’s List, is there a good Reformed book/sermon/resource on the subject of God and the Holocaust?


  6. Schindler’s List is a magnificent film, but (for me) slightly flawed because it’s in English. It detracts from the realism of events where everyone would have been speaking German. For me ‘Son of Saul’ is the masterpiece when it comes to films depicting life in Nazi concentration/extermination camps. Warning – it is exceptionally harrowing viewing.

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