Recommended books

‘The Church and Its Vocation: Lesslie Newbigin’s Missionary Ecclesiology’ by Michael W. Goheen [review]

In 2009 I attended a conference in Birmingham to mark a 100 years since the birth of Lesslie Newbigin. I found it a disappointing experience. The conference engaged with Newbigin as a theologian and thinker but neglected the thrust of his life as a missionary.  There was a lot on his views on modernism and… Continue reading ‘The Church and Its Vocation: Lesslie Newbigin’s Missionary Ecclesiology’ by Michael W. Goheen [review]

Social action

How Lesslie Newbigin has helped me bring my faith to work

I have spent most of the last 20 years working for social action organisations founded on a Christian ethos. As they grew they developed services in some of the most complex areas of social care, such as housing high risk offenders, those with chronic addictions and those with acute physical and learning disabilities. Along with… Continue reading How Lesslie Newbigin has helped me bring my faith to work

Social commentary

Telling the truth: the importance of critical conversations

The most important factor in the health of any team, organisation, club, household or relationship is this: how well are critical conversations handled? Are key issues talked through honestly? Or are they avoided and left to fester? Anxiety Difficult issues provoke anxiety for those involved. But unless tackled, they can be like weeds which grow… Continue reading Telling the truth: the importance of critical conversations

Politics, Recommended books

‘The Ministry of Truth: a biography of George Orwell’s 1984’ by Dorian Lynskey [review]

When Donald Trump took his oath of office as US President in January 2017, his press secretary claimed the crowd present was the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration. Later, when challenged on what plainly seemed to be a lie, she described her statement as ‘alternative facts’. Over the next 4 days, sales of… Continue reading ‘The Ministry of Truth: a biography of George Orwell’s 1984’ by Dorian Lynskey [review]

Films & music, Sport

Ability, vulnerability and mental health: ‘The Edge’ [review]

This week it was World Mental Health Day. I was struck by the number of men I know posting on social media about their struggles with their mental well-being. Even just a few years ago, I doubt people would have been so open. And this weekend, I watched the film The Edge which is a documentary… Continue reading Ability, vulnerability and mental health: ‘The Edge’ [review]

Poverty, Sport

The poverty that creates knife crime

My community in south London lives in the shadow of knife crime.  Young people have been killed on our street and the threat of violence continually affects the young people we know and care about. As a father of three children, including two teenage boys, I am more anxious than ever about their safety. Like… Continue reading The poverty that creates knife crime

Politics, Recommended books

Understated inspiration – Citizen Clem: A biography of Attlee by John Bew [review]

There is no shortage of contemporary analysis about the depressing state of UK politics. But the best political writing I have read recently has been a biography of a politician who died over 50 years ago. Reading Citizen Clem by John Bew truly inspired me. Incredible career Clement Attlee had an incredible career. After growing up… Continue reading Understated inspiration – Citizen Clem: A biography of Attlee by John Bew [review]

Theology & Church

How churches can avoid becoming strip clubs

Back in July 1878, the Rev E.T. Prust laid the foundation stone of Abington Square Mission in the centre of Northampton. The 1870s was an era when non-conformist missions made a massive impact in towns and cities in the UK. As well as Sunday services, many of these missions ran 'ragged schools' to educate poorer… Continue reading How churches can avoid becoming strip clubs

Recommended books

Actually reading the Bible

A few years ago my wife bought me a fitbit watch. She’s subtle like that. It has proved to be a great present though. I like having a daily target of steps a day. And when I reach it, I enjoy seeing the little congratulatory fireworks display which goes off on my watch screen. And… Continue reading Actually reading the Bible

Social commentary

The good, the bad & the beautiful: an alternative evaluation of ‘Love Island’

Every summer my family are part of a youth camp where 160 young people (plus a few middle-agers) live in tents by the sea in Devon. We have been involved for 11 years and, though tiring, it is the best week of the year for all of us. It is a Christian camp run by… Continue reading The good, the bad & the beautiful: an alternative evaluation of ‘Love Island’