Ethics & Christian living

The Queen gives us a model of how to talk about faith publicly

Over the last 10 years the Queen has been increasingly open about her Christian faith in her Christmas Day message. This quote particularly struck me from her speech this year: "The teachings of Christ have served as my inner light." Whatever your views on the Royal family, I think everyone can learn from the way that the Queen speaks… Continue reading The Queen gives us a model of how to talk about faith publicly

Ethics & Christian living, Films & music

Zuzu’s petals and the pandemic: reminders of what is most important

In the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, the main character George Bailey faces bankruptcy and scandal. After a life of service and sacrifice, someone else’s negligence takes him to the brink of ruin. On Christmas Eve, in the midst of his angst and desperation, George goes home and sees his family. His young daughter, Zuzu,… Continue reading Zuzu’s petals and the pandemic: reminders of what is most important

Ethics & Christian living

In Honour of Mary’s Song – by Dave Andrews

At my church this week, I am speaking about Mary's Song from Luke 1. The German pastor and theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, wrote: 'This is not the gentle, tender, dreamy Mary whom we sometimes see in paintings… This song has none of the sweet, nostalgic, or even playful tones of some of our Christmas carols. The… Continue reading In Honour of Mary’s Song – by Dave Andrews

Ethics & Christian living

Its Christmas-time, there’s no need to be afraid?

Rembrandt 'The adoration of the shepherds' The opening line to Band Aid's Do they know its Christmas? in 1984 were sung by Paul Young: ‘Its Christmas-time, there’s no need to be afraid’ Many people may find it hard to sing along to these lines in Christmas 2020. This year there is probably a longer list… Continue reading Its Christmas-time, there’s no need to be afraid?

Ethics & Christian living, Politics

‘Here Are Your Gods!’ by Christopher Wright [Review] – Greg Smith

This is a short and easily readable book, aimed at a student or educated lay Christian audience. The author is an established Old Testament scholar and missiologist, working for the Langham Partnership.  It offers a clear, conservative exposition of key biblical texts about idolatry, with a radical, practical and political application in today’s world. Political idolatry The… Continue reading ‘Here Are Your Gods!’ by Christopher Wright [Review] – Greg Smith

Ethics & Christian living

The responsibility of the least segregated place in my community

“I think it is one of the shameful tragedies of our nation that 11 o’clock on a Sunday morning is one of the most segregated hours in Christian America…any church that stands against integration, and which has a segregated body, is standing against the spirit and teachings of Jesus Christ.”  Martin Luther King, 1960 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1q881g1L_d8… Continue reading The responsibility of the least segregated place in my community

Ethics & Christian living

We rarely know the impact of what we do (for good and bad)

In the late 1990s, I was the manager of a hostel for young people in central London. One of the residents, I’ll call him Will, had serious mental health problems. These manifested in paranoia and bizarre delusions about religious conspiracies and plots. Sadly, his health declined and the extremity of his behaviour increased. The worst… Continue reading We rarely know the impact of what we do (for good and bad)

Ethics & Christian living

7 steps that helped me find healing from depression – by Martin Kuhrt

Mental weariness. Bodily exhaustion. Self-condemning thoughts. Poor self-esteem. Regret. Shame. Desperation. At its worst, depression can feel like a living death. Until about the age of thirty, I did not understand that I had an issue with depression. When I was growing up it was not well understood and there was a lot of stigma.… Continue reading 7 steps that helped me find healing from depression – by Martin Kuhrt

Ethics & Christian living

‘Hopelessness is the enemy of justice’: personal belief & social change

Bryan Stevenson graduated in law from Harvard University and went to work for men on death row in Alabama. He established the Equal Justice Initiative to provide legal support for those who had not received fair representation and whose convictions were based on weak evidence. Just Mercy is a great film about the story of… Continue reading ‘Hopelessness is the enemy of justice’: personal belief & social change