Blog

A repository of collected thoughts and musings

When Christians hear the word ‘grace’, they take it to mean ‘unmerited favour’ or ‘unconditional gift’.  If Christ died for sinners (so Romans 5.6-8), the grace of Christ is not a reward for merit but…

You may have heard the moving story recently of Amy Krouse Rosenthal, a children’s author from the United States who discovered she had ovarian cancer. Sensing she had precious little time left, she wrote a…

When I was 22, I had almost everything completely figured out … about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, theology. Strange … by 30, I knew a little less, and the certainty/mystery ratio has…

Talk of resistance is everywhere these days. Especially among my progressive and liberal Christian friends in the wake of Donald Trump’s election. And I know there are similar sorts of worries in the UK and…

Tom Wright, in his book, The Day the Revolution Began, struck a nerve with the candor of his critique of any gospel that implies, “God so hated the world that he killed his only Son.”…

Speciesism can be likened to racism and sexism—i.e. just as a person’s sex or race is not relevant to whether they get equal moral consideration of their interests, all animals—human and non-human—should also get equal…

If you’ve been a follower of Jesus for more than about 45 minutes, you know that a life of faith is, more often than we’d like to admit, accompanied by faith’s flip side, doubt. Sooner…

I came to faith in a charismatic evangelical church, and so anything approaching liturgy felt formal and lifeless to me. So when I first started attending a more traditional Church, I didn’t find reciting the…

I find it hard to maintain hope. I like to think of myself as a realist, but my realism often slips into pessimism. Perhaps it’s because we’re more aware of world events than ever before,…

You don’t have to spend long on social media to come across the word heretic. I think the way this word is often thrown around reveals two significant things about the Church in the West….

Christianity has had a rather mixed relationship with bodies. On the one hand it affirms that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, but at the some time it’s teachings and practices can suggest…

For years I’ve been a strong advocate of the word ‘spiritual’. This was mainly because it acted as a handy alternative to the word ‘religious’. People often refer to themselves as ‘spiritual but not religious’…

Through most of my faith journey the question I have wrestled with is ‘Who is God?’ This seemed to me the fundamental question to ask. In recent years though, a different – but related –…

Growing up in the evangelical tradition that I did, it wasn’t just enough to believe the right things, we had to recognise and avoid those who believed the wrong things! In hindsight this position is…

It’s interesting that Jesus only mentioned Church twice. Firstly to say that he would build it, and secondly to tell us how we should protect it. But what is it that Jesus is building and…

I really think Alan Mann is onto something with his emerging theory of the atonement. And my thoughts and experiences have been leading me in a similar direction. It’s certainly true of my experience that…

I’ve heard numerous sermons, read a number of books, and been to a few Passover meals, where parallels are drawn between the Exodus Passover and Jesus’s Last Supper and death. You know the kind of…

We all grow up knowing how to look after ourselves physically. If we cut ourselves, for example, we know its wise to wash the wound and cover it. Yet we’re emotionally injured far more often…

I came to faith in a church that believed men and women were inherently different, and as such were called to different roles in the church. I never questioned that. The church seemed to run…

The problem of evil is a great topic for discussion; I’ve spent many hours debating it with friends. But when you actually encounter evil our abstract theories tend to dissolve quite quickly. In many ways,…

They say the first over the top always gets shot (a reference to the first World War trenches), and that’s certainly true for Rob Bell. Of course he wasn’t the first person to start asking…

I think after four years in the role, I’ve finally worked out what pioneering is. Or at least I can articulate it a bit better. I think we’re all called to make friends, to share…

I recently read an article about an American pastor who was struggling with his faith, so he embarked on a ‘year without God’ to test if his faith was real. For the next 12 months…

I grew up in a Church that took the Bible very seriously. It was God’s Word, and so need to be studied, memorised and obeyed. Although my understanding of the Bible and the way I…

I’ve been involved in new and experimental forms of church for a number of years now, and one of the questions I get asked the most (or at least, the implication lying behind a lot…

Having finished reading Rachel Held Evan’s latest book (make sure you check out our interview with her) my wife looked at me and said ‘She’s the female version of you’ (more of a compliment for…

I don’t know why I’d never asked that question before. How did Jesus read the Bible? For the last few years I’ve been attempting to more consistently read the Bible ‘through a Jesus-shaped lens’, which…

Don’t worry, you won’t be left behind, no one will. No one’s going anywhere. The Rapture has got to be one of the craziest doctrines. For many people, belief in the Rapture is a big…

It was a real privilege speaking recently with Mike Stygal, the president of the British Pagan Federation. Mike was so humble, open and willing to connect with us, as he has with a wide range of…

Dave Tomlinson is an interesting character. Fundamentalist background, to international leader in the House Church movement, to experimenter in emerging church, author of the influential ‘The Post-Evangelical’, to ordained minister in the Anglican Church. It’s…

I’ve never been a huge believer in New Years resolutions. I’m naturally quite analytical, and am rarely satisfied, so I really resonate with Anaïs Nin when she said, ‘I made no resolutions for the New…

Alister McGrath clearly loves apologetics, and so did I. The cut-and-thrust of defending the faith, the hours spent wrestling with life’s mysteries and condensing them down into easily memorisable sound bites (I found it helped…

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