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    [post_date] => 2019-10-02 14:04:29
    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-10-02 14:04:29
    [post_content] => ‘We must be prepared to be surprised at those whom we meet in the kingdom of God.’*

They made him smile at first, those hope-laced words
which appear to dent predestination,
intoxicant as gaudy hummingbirds
in hovered flight. McGrath’s bold suggestion
hints salvation might be for one and all,
not the preserve of a self-selecting
handful, who’ve hi-jacked theological
interpretations for their reasoning
on who gets in, who’s kept outside the tent.
But he shuddered on his second reading –
mendacious Boris, that blond President,
his neighbours in the heavenly steading?
              Until he realised that the true surprise
              Is theirs – he’s there, despite his sins and lies!

 

*Alister McGrath, FRSA, is Andreos Idreas Professor of Science and Religion at the University of Oxford.
    [post_title] => On reading Professor McGrath
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    [post_name] => on-reading-professor-mcgrath
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    [post_modified] => 2019-10-03 07:44:02
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    [guid] => http://poems.poetrysociety.org.uk/?post_type=poems&p=20412
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            [wpcf-date-published] => 2019
            [wpcf-summary-description] => Commended in The Poetry Society's 2019 Stanza Poetry Competition on the theme of 'Lies', judged by Geraldine Clarkson.
            [wpcf-rights-information] => 
            [wpcf-poem-award] => Commended, Stanza Poetry Competition 2019
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    [poet_data] => stdClass Object
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            [ID] => 20386
            [forename] => 
            [surname] => 
            [title] => Alastair Llewellyn-Smith
            [slug] => alastair-llewellyn-smith
            [content] => A former actor, Alastair Llewellyn-Smith buys and sell wine for a living. He is married, and has four adult children. He has been writing poems all his life. He’s also written five (unpublished) novels since 1998, but returned full-time to poetry at the beginning of 2016. Since then, he’s had poems and reviews published in Acumen, The London Magazine and PN Review; and was shortlisted for The Plough Prize 2018. He joined the Barnes/Chiswick Stanza in May 2019, and is currently working an account in verse of the Portuguese Carnation Revolution of 1974 (to which is was a witness), and which he hopes will be ready for publication in time for the 50th anniversary in 2024.
        )

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    [ID] => 20386
    [forename] => 
    [surname] => 
    [title] => Alastair Llewellyn-Smith
    [slug] => alastair-llewellyn-smith
    [content] => A former actor, Alastair Llewellyn-Smith buys and sell wine for a living. He is married, and has four adult children. He has been writing poems all his life. He’s also written five (unpublished) novels since 1998, but returned full-time to poetry at the beginning of 2016. Since then, he’s had poems and reviews published in Acumen, The London Magazine and PN Review; and was shortlisted for The Plough Prize 2018. He joined the Barnes/Chiswick Stanza in May 2019, and is currently working an account in verse of the Portuguese Carnation Revolution of 1974 (to which is was a witness), and which he hopes will be ready for publication in time for the 50th anniversary in 2024.
)

On reading Professor McGrath

Alastair Llewellyn-Smith

‘We must be prepared to be surprised at those whom we meet in the kingdom of God.’*

They made him smile at first, those hope-laced words
which appear to dent predestination,
intoxicant as gaudy hummingbirds
in hovered flight. McGrath’s bold suggestion
hints salvation might be for one and all,
not the preserve of a self-selecting
handful, who’ve hi-jacked theological
interpretations for their reasoning
on who gets in, who’s kept outside the tent.
But he shuddered on his second reading –
mendacious Boris, that blond President,
his neighbours in the heavenly steading?
              Until he realised that the true surprise
              Is theirs – he’s there, despite his sins and lies!

 

*Alister McGrath, FRSA, is Andreos Idreas Professor of Science and Religion at the University of Oxford.