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St.Paul's Cathedral, the first non Catholic cathedral. "Cathedral" means "seat." A cathedral is technically the seat of a bishop. No cameras allowed inside.

Westminster Abbey. An abbey is a church associated with a convent or monastery.

On the face of Westminster Abbey is a row of figures, a tribute to the martyrs of the 20th Century. They are men and women of different races and nationalities and representing many sects within Christianity. All are believed by at least some to have been killed as a result of their devotion to Jesus.

Martin Luther King, Jr is the only American in the tribute. Was he killed for his faith or because of actions that stemmed from his faith? Is there a difference? Begs the question "What is a martyr?" Martin Luther King Jr died in pursuit of justice and peace, a pursuit he believed God lead him in.

Oscar Romero lived in El Salvador during a time of great inequality, during a civil war. As the leader of the Catholic Church in El Salvador he was expected to side with the ruling administration but instead ruled against both sides of the conflict, chastising the rich for oppressing the poor and the poor for using violence to gain power. The rich ruling party hated this most and assassinated him during mass.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer is a controversial figure. A pacifist minister in Germany during the rise of Hitler, Bonhoeffer first wrote and preached against violence and war (read Cost of Discipleship) then joined forces with a group trying to assassinate Hitler. Hitler imprisoned him and he was killed in the camps after the war technically had ended, but before Allied forces arrived to free him. There is much speculation about what, if anything, changed in Bonhoeffer's theology to allow him to plot to kill Hitler and some question about whether he was a martyr killed for his faith or a political assassin killed for treason.

Changing directions drastically....

Look kids, Big Ben!

That's a horrible picture of Brian, a fraction of his wife Amy, Ashlee Simpson, Becky, Tina and Joe Simpson (Amy's former youth pastor) and me. Quite a diverse day: from martyrdom to backstage at Chicago the musical. Whiplash.


Anonymous Reid said...

Actually, Big Ben is the bell inside the Clock Tower and not the tower itself... sorry if you already knew that little piece of trivia.

Blogger Thomas said...


I want to say thank you for sharing your pictures with us.


Blogger David said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger David said...

Big Ben Facts and Figures:
How Big is Ben? 9'-0" diameter, 7'-6" high, and weighing in at 13 tons 10 cwts 3 qtrs 15lbs (13,760 Kg)or 13 huge Limo London vehicles!!!
When? Big Ben was cast on Saturday 10th April 1858, with the first chime rung in situ on 31st May 1859.
Where? Whitechapel Bell Foundry, London.
By Whom? George Mears, then the master bellfounder and owner of the foundry.
How Much? UKP 2,401 for casting the bell (However this was offset to the sum of UKP 1,829 by the metal reclaimed from a previous bell so that the actual invoice submitted, on 28th May 1858, was for UKP 572.


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