Ethics & Christian living

The ironic consequences of believing we are good

The podcast, The Holy Post gives a thoughtful Christian take on current affairs which is fresh, well-informed, non-tribal and often very funny. In a recent episode they interview the New York Times journalist and Yale lecturer David Brooks. Brooks is an interesting voice because he is a moderate conservative who spend much of his time… Continue reading The ironic consequences of believing we are good

Ethics & Christian living, Homelessness

Lazarus: friendship, trust and joy coming back to life

This week I was invited to speak at an event hosted by Lazarus, a new initiative to support people affected by homelessness which is launching in London. Lazarus runs communities made up of formerly homeless people living alongside young professionals. Over 250 people live in their communities across Northern Europe and Mexico. It is yet… Continue reading Lazarus: friendship, trust and joy coming back to life

Ethics & Christian living

The 7 Deadly Sins of Managing People Badly…

Grace + Truth

Another letter from a senior to a junior devil… (with apologies to C.S. Lewis)

My dear Wormwood,

I write to you today on the subject of managing people – the art of supporting and encouraging people to do their job well. As you know, churches and Christian organisationsare employing an increasing numbers of paid staff.

Now, even us devils know that to do our jobs well we need to be encouraged, so by helping the church to be ineffective in supporting its staff we will help our cause enormously.

We know that many Christians enter these jobs full of naïve enthusiasm. Dangerously, many even have a sense of ‘mission’, a desire to transform and bring so-called ‘hope’ to individuals and to the communities in which they work. Clearly this could be a disaster for us.

It is fortunate for us that bad management often undermines their enthusiasm and effectiveness…

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Ethics & Christian living

“Don’t just live the length of life. Live the breadth of it as well” – by Anne O’Connor

Our beloved daughter Annie died of natural causes in 2020. She was only 41. Nothing could have prepared us for her sudden death that June morning. In an instant our world fell apart. Later that day we found a small notebook on her desk with a single entry: “Don’t just live the length of life.… Continue reading “Don’t just live the length of life. Live the breadth of it as well” – by Anne O’Connor

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

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

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

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