Recommended books & reviews

Is church just for the middle class?

Excerpts from the new book: Invisible Divides: Class, Culture & Barriers to Belonging by Natalie Williams & Paul Brown (SPCK, 2022) Paul: I remember the culture shock I experienced when I first walked into a church as a 25 year old bricklayer. I'd only gone because my girlfriend persuaded me. I felt completely out of my… Continue reading Is church just for the middle class?

Homelessness, Recommended books & reviews

Charity Detox: the difference between crisis situations and chronic problems

Two months ago, I read US activist Robert Lupton’s book Toxic Charity: how churches and charities harm those they help. I have just finished his follow up book Charity Detox: What charity would look like if we cared about results. Lupton acknowledges the controversy stirred by his previous book but his views are forged by… Continue reading Charity Detox: the difference between crisis situations and chronic problems

Recommended books & reviews

The holiness of existence

A review and reflection on the novel Light Perpetual by Francis Spufford Francis Spufford is a great writer. His book Unapologetic is the one of the most original books about Christianity I have read and his debut novel Golden Hill won numerous awards. Light Perpetual is his second work of fiction. (Fascinatingly, Spufford has also… Continue reading The holiness of existence

Recommended books & reviews, Social action

Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help

The scale and profile of church-based social action projects has grown significantly over the last 20 years. There has been a particular rise in projects which distribute practical resources, with food banks being the most high profile example. Critical reflection The growth of such activity raises questions which need to be reflected on. Is this… Continue reading Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help

Recommended books & reviews, Social commentary

How ‘safetyism’ is harming children – by Liana Humphrey

A review of The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting up a Generation for Failure by Greg Lukianoff & Jonathan Haidt …………………. There are a lot of untruths circulating in our world today, but Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt argue that three “Great Untruths” are having a devastating impact on… Continue reading How ‘safetyism’ is harming children – by Liana Humphrey

Recommended books & reviews, Theology

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

Recommended books & reviews

‘Bleeding for Jesus’ by Andrew Graystone [review]

The Riot Club is a film about an elitist drinking club at Oxford University. At one of their gatherings, events get badly out of hand and a pub landlord ends up being killed. In the ensuing investigation, the students agree to not cooperate with the authorities in order to protect the club.   Bleeding for… Continue reading ‘Bleeding for Jesus’ by Andrew Graystone [review]

Recommended books & reviews

Child sacrifice: the other side of missionary life

Home is Where: The Journeys of a Missionary Child by Margaret Newbigin Beetham From the 1930s to the 1970s, Lesslie Newbigin was a missionary and Bishop in South India. When he ‘retired’ back to England, he pastored an inner city church in Birmingham, lectured and wrote a series of highly influential books.  No Christian writer… Continue reading Child sacrifice: the other side of missionary life

Recommended books & reviews

Tears for Fears – by Jeannie Kendall

I grew up in a house where tears were never seen. My mother had been brought up in an orphanage at a time when little was known about the emotional needs of children, and my father had his own very different struggles. As a result, I developed a deep shame around my tears. When I… Continue reading Tears for Fears – by Jeannie Kendall

Recommended books & 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]