Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Ex-vicar recasts the 10 Commandments

From The Telegraph (UK):
Forget coveting thy neighbour's ass — the 10 Commandments have been updated by a former Church of England vicar to cope with the stresses of modern life.

Simon Parke has recast the Old Testament commandments handed down to Moses on tablets of stone with a series of gnomic rules for life.

In his book The Beautiful Life, published yesterday, Mr Parke, 49, replaces the "Thou Shalt Nots" with exhortations such as "Cease Separation" for "Thou shalt not steal" and "Prepare For Truth" for "Thou shalt not commit adultery".

He says his versions are more challenging because they require people to change from within.

"Today's world is full of anger, fear and jealousy," he said. "We clutter our lives with activity, fearing emptiness and craving attachment."

Mr Parke, 49, who left the Church in 2003 after 20 years as a London parish priest to work in a supermarket, said: "I want some commandments that make me good," he said. "The old ones are negative and external rather than internal. I'm more interested in internal alchemy."

But Elaine Storkey, a Church of England theologian, said Mr Parke had shrunk the "huge social reality" represented by the 10 Commandments into trivial concerns about the "essence of the self".

Great Googly-Moogly! You just knew they guy had to be from the Church of England. He doesn’t even say “Tell the Truth,” but “Prepare for Truth.” What does that even mean?

What fascinates me about our times is not that they are tumultuous, or fast-paced, or even dangerous, but how unbelievably shallow they are. Whole philosophies are declared passé, while the most superficial banalities become cultural imperatives.