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

Ethics & Christian living

‘I am kind of a Big Deal’: insecure pride and humble confidence

On the podcast, The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill, a former staff member of the church recounts a time when he accompanied the pastor, Mark Driscoll, to a preaching engagement at the Royal Albert Hall in London.  After the event, a few people were waiting outside to get Driscoll’s autograph and a photo with… Continue reading ‘I am kind of a Big Deal’: insecure pride and humble confidence

Theology & Church

Charisma over character: life on Mars Hill

The podcast The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill makes for compelling listening.  For those who don’t know, it tells the story of the mega-church in Seattle founded by Mark Driscoll in the mid-1990s.  The church grew rapidly, had an incredible online reach and exerted huge influence. But, when Driscoll resigned in 2014 following disciplinary… Continue reading Charisma over character: life on Mars Hill

Theology & Church

Making God’s welcome personal and tangible – by Stephen Kuhrt

Coronavirus has provided a major challenge to churches. But every problem also represents an opportunity. The lockdowns have led to considerable ingenuity by many churches through their online services and adapted forms of pastoral care.   Re-connecting But as we gradually emerge from the pandemic, a new challenge now confronts churches: how to re-connect with regular… Continue reading Making God’s welcome personal and tangible – by Stephen Kuhrt

Book reviews

‘Bullies and Saints: an honest look at the good and evil of Christian history’ by John Dickson [review]

This book begins with a chapter titled The Day I Lost Faith in the Church. The chapter focusses on the events of 15th July 1099, when Christian Crusaders mercilessly slaughtered thousands of Muslim men, women and children sheltering in a sacred precinct in Jerusalem. The next day the victorious Crusaders held a celebratory worship service… Continue reading ‘Bullies and Saints: an honest look at the good and evil of Christian history’ by John Dickson [review]

Social commentary

The mental health conversation is big. Let’s start somewhere small – by Corin Pilling

‘If you were to pick one word to sum up the last 12 months, what would it be?’ I’ve asked a number of friends this question, and the responses were remarkably consistent. Usually the answer comes in one syllable and in anglo- saxon vernacular. Yet in the  conversations that followed, we began to explore the… Continue reading The mental health conversation is big. Let’s start somewhere small – by Corin Pilling

Homelessness

Pride, prejudice & organisational humility

When it comes to addressing homelessness and the issues surrounding it, partnerships and joint work between organisations is absolutely vital. This is because no one comes off the streets into accommodation through the work of just one agency. Successful progress is almost always a team effort involving a host of different agencies. It is their… Continue reading Pride, prejudice & organisational humility

Ethics & Christian living

Whistleblow and the sheep-guarders: a parable

Once upon a time in the town of Northrun, there was a shepherd called Whistleblow. He was one of many shepherds who worked for Lord Northrun who owned most of the land in the area. Each shepherd had their own flock to look after. Whistleblow was loud and had strong opinions, but he was fair,… Continue reading Whistleblow and the sheep-guarders: a parable