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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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49 Responses to 319

  1. will says:

    clever – one cartoon; much to discuss.

  2. JF says:

    Exactly what I grew up with at you-know-where.

  3. Chris F says:

    If that’s what comes out of the front end, I hope the man has a pooper scooper!

  4. Laura says:

    Reminds me of something Brennan Manning says sometimes “may your karma run over your dogma”. Makes me laugh every time…

  5. Robb says:

    LOL!! I think I may have just burst a blood vessel!

  6. That is a brilliant cartoon!!!!!!!!

  7. Pete says:

    Hi Jon

    thanks for the cartoons, I love them and read them daily.

    This one begs a questions though. What are you calling into question here, the things the dog is saying or the way that the dog is saying them?

  8. jonbirch says:

    thanks mr ( | o )=====::: :-)

    thanks pete. :-)
    perhaps i’m calling both into question. what are your thoughts?

  9. I’m not worried about any of the stuff the dogs talking about it’s all irrelevant but
    RUN AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Lewis says:

    Haha. Well it’s a dog for a start. And it’s not being very…friendly about any of it!

    I couldn’t say I agree of disagree with all of it though!

  11. Sarah says:

    Poor dog. It’s been indoctrinated. Winalot is not the only fruit.

    The man doesn’t even have the guts to say it himself.

    Sorry people. Having a bad day.

    Sas x

  12. marcus says:

    Is all dogma bad?

    Or is it the way it is said that grates – like Pete 7 says

    A blind belief in something someone is saying because of the way they are saying it is wrong (propaganda?)- but to come to that belief as part of a journey is something altogether different.

  13. su says:

    dogma feels like a padlock on your mind

  14. jonbirch says:

    dogma ‘is’ a padlock on your mind often.
    maybe not all dogma is bad… need to think about that one some more, there are some basic principles we should adhere to… but the dogma’s in the cartoon… well, you can probarbly guess what i think about them… to have them come out of the mouth of a dog is an insult to dogs. :-)

  15. The most sinful part of the cartoon is the idea that dogs can talk. This is unnatutral and sinful. Moreover, the style of drawing is not realistic which is sinful too. I also think that the man and dog depicted do not actually exist in real life, so the sin of lying is being committed.

  16. Carole says:

    I just like the cartoon. It is clever and witty.

  17. Robb says:

    Having reflected on this for a day, is dogma such a bad thing? In many ways the word ‘dogmatics’ is used to beat the Roman Catholic church. If you go to a seminary you will find timetabled lectures on ‘dogmatics’ hich means that lots of goo protestnts get to feel superior about not being defined by dogma.

    So as good prots we go to theological college or bible school where we learn doctrine. What is the difference? Translation from the original language.

    Lets face it, some of the best dogmatics was done by Paul in his epistles.

    I think the real problem is that many of us make up dogmas as we go. We shout them loudly and prouly.

  18. jonbirch says:

    oso… cheers for pointing out the areas of sin. more sin to follow soon. :-)

    i think you’re right robb. with a word of caution, that we don’t get inprisoned by our dogma… even our faith can be idolotrous. the dogma’s in the cartoon inprison everyone. apart from ‘woof, woof, woof’, where the dog is defiantly exercising his freedom to be a dog even though he’s had his head filled with drivel. :-)

  19. Robb says:

    As long as it is a good trinitarian woof woof woof – although there is an implicit heirarchy in that one woof comes first and another last.

    Schism time!!

  20. Chris F says:

    Some dogma is good and gives us fixed points in our search for understanding – and the freedom to search – without it we would all end up in some fantasy land that suited our mood at the time, or whatever.

    I like to use a map when climbing a mountain. Some paths are not marked,and the Forestry Commission has planted another forest, or cut one down, so the map sometimes differs from reality. But it gives some idea of where the top is and how to get there.

  21. su says:

    any chance you guy’s could give me an example of some ‘good dogma’?

    I have a set of beliefs about God, ie God is Love, God is 3 in 1, God is just, but I don’t call these dogma.

    I’m trying to work with Chris’s anology, but all I can think of is ‘Don’t walk on the GRASS’ – so what’s this little doggy doin’?

  22. Steve says:

    If you don’t exercise your dogma it will grow weak. I think the reason people are afraid of the concept is that it calls their own practice into question.

    I agree with the commenters, though, who see an implied ‘dogma is evil’ in the cartoon. Tain’t necessarily so. If we don’t have a clearly understood doctrine, then anything goes. Maybe that’s the whole reason for the popularity of the ‘emerging church.’ Doctrine and dogma are good things, so long as they are grounded in study of Scripture, rather than whatever feels good at the moment.

  23. jonbirch says:

    can’t speak for the states, but the emerging church in britain is orthodox in the main. haven’t personally witnessed any throwing out of orthodox doctrine. study of scripture is not enough… the pharisee’s jesus had a go at knew there scripture better than anyone… but they were a mile off the mark. i see the same thing today in some peoples understanding and application of scripture… it too is often a mile away from the heart of jesus.
    i can honestly say that i believe all of the dogma the doggy is spouting is garbage.

  24. jonbirch says:

    faith is what needs exercising.

  25. Steve says:

    Faith in what? The good nature of man? Scripture? Somebody’s interpretation of Scripture. Faith needs to be grounded or it’s just wild random belief.

  26. Chris F says:

    I can happily recite the Creed and regard this as dogma which is helpful, the basic nuts and bolts of belief, passed down by our ancestors (who were not stupid and struggled with the same sort of quesions we do) and I believe, to be passed on by us, intact to those who follow. (It would be monumental arrogance to throw out what generations of Christians across the globe and the centuries have held on to).

    To go back to the climbing mountain analogy, the Creed is a simple map that points to where the top is. Reality is often at odds with the details that get painted into the map, that’s where dogma on top of basics can let us down. Trees are growing where the map says there are no trees – but the trees are real.

    What do we do? 3 options – 1) give up, “the map is hopeless, I quit”; 2) go back to basics “I’ll just believe what I’ve always believed, the Bible is right, reality is wrong” (can be brave and OK but generally a dangerous hiding in dogma); 3) “the Bible says this, reality says that, both are true, what do we do with it?” – which is faith, holding things in tension, accepting paradox, moving towards what God is really like rather than what I’ve always thought he was like.

    Sorry, gone on too long :)

  27. marcus says:

    is one mans dogma not just another mans belief?

  28. Sarah says:

    I like what Chris F says, about holding things in tension.

    That’s so the life as far as I’m concerned.

    The orthodox have this kind of understanding and a lovely gentleness with their dogma.

    As I’ve grown and been healed I’m able to look at this objectively and appreciate dogma/ doctrine/ tradition.

    I appreciate the gentle efforts of my brothers and sisters in the past to shine the light of faith for me.

    All of this though needs to result in me loving my neighbour – or it’s pointless.

    Love to all,

    Sas x

  29. jonbirch says:

    i’m with chris f and sas on the tension front…

    “All of this though needs to result in me loving my neighbour – or it’s pointless.”
    yes, absolutely. :-)

  30. Carole says:

    Chris F – I really like the map analogy. I feel that the acceptance of paradox is so important – It is in paradox that we find the real challenge of faith. If it were merely a question of following the rulebook we would be denying God’s infinite mystery.

  31. jonbirch says:

    again… absolutely! :-)

  32. Robb says:

    Come in Number 27 your time is up….

    Is one mans herecy another mans freedom fighter?

    The first person with a complete catalogue of Pauls writings?
    Marcion the Heretic.

    If it was me, I would change my name by deedpoll so as to not invite orthodox prejudice against me :D

  33. Sarah says:

    Ha ha Robb!

    Sas ;-)

  34. Becky says:

    Re: Jon’s comment .23 – here in the US it’s a different story entirely. If the dollar didn’t stink, I would move to the US in a heartbeat as my soul connects with the UK Anglican stream.

    In a nutshell, US Emergent Church (TM) is largely evangelically driven. As is the case of people rebelling against fundy doctrines, some of these leaders appear to reject any rules and structures whatsoever – hence you end up with what I term “god goo.” However, in their desire to create what they see as the church of the 21st century, they’ve become quite dogmatic and as a result, they tend to be just as exclusionary as the very institutions they rebelled against. Go figure.

    What I discovered in doing the research for “Rising from the Ashes: Rethinking Church” is that many people in the US mainline churches who are doing some really amazing work don’t self-identify as “emergent church” because they feel they lack the necessary Ps in order to fit in (Phd, planter/pastor, published and don’t make me explain the last P).

  35. Sarah says:

    Becky, that’s why I like nakedpastor (though Canadian).


    Sas x

  36. Becky says:

    From what I gather, the scene in Canada is a heck of a lot more mellow. Jon turned me on to Naked Pastor – listed his website as a resource. Great stuff.

  37. Sarah says:

    Hey Becky,

    I’d seen your website before.

    *Very* interesting.

    Hope you had a good Christmas.


    Sarah x

  38. Becky says:

    Thanks for the kidn words – I’ve been getting into the whole simplification of Christmas – with little expectations, I find I can really wait to see what happens. Also, in 2007 I went to Israel (and Bethlehem) and Jordan and the holidays take on a really earthiness that didn’t exist before. e.g., when I heard a minister compare the wooden manger to the wooden cross – he was making a salvation point that was slightly nauseous – I went nadda – the managers I saw were really nasty stone structures. Mary and Josephy must have to be desperate as all get out to put their baby in one of those suckers. I know there are historical inaccuracies but the land had a way of speaking a different kind of truth.

  39. subo says:

    cool to read about your book Becky, and like the map stuff Chris.

  40. Pingback: Bad Dog Believers « re-dreaming the dream

  41. Sorry – replying to all these late. Didn’t find the site until recently.

    Isn’t the point that Jesus paved the way for a personal relationship so I can open my bible and get on my knees and figure it out for myself. And I can encourage you to do the same.

    I’ve found there were things to give up but loads to gain. And the give up list wan’t what some might’ve expected. Neither was the list of gains!

  42. Feels like a mega mega mistrust of God to feel the need to constantly have a grasp of it all. Face the day with anticipation. Run around and explore. But listen when God says no.

  43. jonbirch says:

    your late input is very much appreciated allatsea+. welcome and thanks for the insights. :-)

  44. AnneDroid says:

    #22 and #25 Steve, I’m with you, mate.

    I think if we get too open minded our brains’ll fall out.

    You can have lots of “dogma” and be warm, gracious, loving, patient etc, or you can have an “anything goes” approach and be really mean.


  45. AnneDroid says:

    I don’t mean those are the only two options just that I infer some people are thinking that it would always be the other way around.

    It seems from the cartoon that there is a perception that a person (like me for instance!) with a strict moral code and strong belief in the traditional evangelical gospel framework would necessarily be rude, ungracious, judgemental and intolerant.

    It ain’t necessarily so. I know so. I’m very cuddly and nice!


  46. Richard M says:

    I think that dogma is just one of three levels of belief. Opinion is the lowest level of belief, followed by doctrine, then dogma. Problems arise when people confuse these levels of belief ie when an opinion becomes a dogma.

  47. Robb says:

    Richard, how are you distinguishing between doctrine and dogma? Essentially they are the same word in a different language. A Roman Catholic seminarian will call it a ‘Lecture in Dogmatics’. An Anglican ordinand will call it a ‘Lecture in Doctrine’. They will both study the formation of the council of Nicea and the collation of the Biblia and then go on to be ordained Deacon in their respective churches…

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