Homelessness

The need for grace and truth: the complexity of compassion #1

When I was in my twenties, I lived in Kings Cross in London and was a member of a local church. There, I got to know a man who was a former crack addict. We'll call him Ian. He was doing his best to put his life back together and get work as a painter… Continue reading The need for grace and truth: the complexity of compassion #1

Films & music, Social commentary

‘Don’t Look Up’: have we reached Peak Post-Modernity?

by Matthew James At first impression, the Netflix film Don't Look Up, is just another disaster movie. It’s about a comet heading on a collision course with Earth which will cause an Extinction Level Event. It could be seen as a sort of Deep Impact on steroids. But that would be to miss the point… Continue reading ‘Don’t Look Up’: have we reached Peak Post-Modernity?

Ethics & Christian living, Films & music

A prayer in dark times

The Netflix satire Don’t Look Up is about an impending apocalypse caused by a massive meteor heading for earth. Inevitably, there are references to faith and two prayers are said in the film. The first is by the President's Chief of Staff, played by Jonah Hill: 'I’ve been noticing a lot of prayers recently for… Continue reading A prayer in dark times

Book reviews, Theology & Church

Contradictions, errors & moral offence: how the Bible’s problems enhance its authority

Review of Inspired Imperfection: how the Bible’s problems enhance its divine authority by Gregory A Boyd …………………… I love reading the Bible. No other book comes close to consistently inspiring and challenging me. I read it every morning and, especially when reading the gospels, I often feel a tingle of excited joy about the depth… Continue reading Contradictions, errors & moral offence: how the Bible’s problems enhance its authority

Ethics & Christian living

The grace and truth of Desmond Tutu

This week the world said goodbye to one of its most attractive personalities.  Archbishop Desmond Tutu became a globally-recognised figure in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.  His faith, passion, bravery and humour inspired the world. I remember reading Tutu’s 1999 book No Future Without Forgiveness on… Continue reading The grace and truth of Desmond Tutu

Films & music, Social commentary

‘Christmas Eve Life Evaluation films’ and what they tell us

Story #1: The Last Train to Christmas Last night, I watched the new festive film The Last Train to Christmas. It focuses on a troubled nightclub owner, Tony Towers (Michael Sheen), who takes a train from London to Nottingham on Christmas Eve with his fiancé. On route, they are joined by his brother and his… Continue reading ‘Christmas Eve Life Evaluation films’ and what they tell us

Ethics & Christian living

Beyond the echo chamber – by Andrew Drury

Even for the most broad-minded, it is easy to remain reading or listening to people who share similar views to ourselves. We can fall into the rut of following only those people who conform to our own perspective. We need to get beyond the simple critiques that can be found in the 280 characters of… Continue reading Beyond the echo chamber – by Andrew Drury

Theology & Church

The terrible and wonderful reasons I lead – by Kevin Lewis

A few years ago I was given a brilliant book about running, except it wasn’t really about running, it was about cupcakes and suffering. It’s comic, very funny and surprisingly deep, and its called The terrible and wonderful reasons why I run long distances. If you hate running stick with me. The basic premise is… Continue reading The terrible and wonderful reasons I lead – by Kevin Lewis

Ethics & Christian living, Films & music

‘Looking in the rubble for the finger-prints of God’

In the final scene of The Crucible, the flawed hero, John Procter, is hanged along with two innocent women. They are executed at the order of the Church authorities because they refuse to admit guilt in the witch trials in their town of Salem, Massachusetts. As the nooses are put around their necks, the three… Continue reading ‘Looking in the rubble for the finger-prints of God’

Ethics & Christian living

God’s Unlikely Revolutionary

Is there any story in history as sentimentalised as the birth of Jesus? Nativity plays are fun and cute, but the biblical accounts of Jesus' birth are very different.  Jesus was born into a situation of fear, hardship, shame, rumours of illegitimacy and all within a context of imperial oppression. God's revolution The word ‘revolution’… Continue reading God’s Unlikely Revolutionary

Homelessness

‘Sing It Out’: how choirs help address homelessness – by Sam Chaplin

The Choir With No Name is a charity that runs choirs with people affected by homelessness. I have been the musical director of for its London choir for 9 years and we also have choirs in Brighton, Birmingham, Liverpool and one just started in Cardiff. Community choir singing is a movement that has spread across… Continue reading ‘Sing It Out’: how choirs help address homelessness – by Sam Chaplin