Theology & Church

Construction Time Again

Deconstruction is one of the phrases of the moment within church circles. It describes the process of re-evaluating beliefs you once held dear. Doctrines are questioned; clear boundary-markers of behaviour are replaced with more nuance; black and white is replaced by shades of grey. Many decide to reject forms of faith which they now perceive… Continue reading Construction Time Again

Theology & Church

‘Faith is always personal, but never private’

I often reflect on this quote from the American social activist Jim Wallis: 'Faith is always personal, but never private.' Its a pithy way to describe the inward and outward nature of authentic Christianity. Personal convictions are the engine-room of faith. Individual hearts and minds need to be committed. Each of us need to answer… Continue reading ‘Faith is always personal, but never private’

Theology & Church

The grace and truth of John Stott – by Paul Blackham

This week marks a 100 years since the birth of John Stott (27 April 1921 – 27 July 2011) the eminent Church of England minister and theologian. In 2005, Time magazine ranked Stott among the 100 most influential people in the world. The three things that mean the most to me about John Stott are: 1. His… Continue reading The grace and truth of John Stott – by Paul Blackham

Theology & Church

When arrogance is institutionalised

The report into the behaviour of the Church of England Minister Jonathan Fletcher was published by the safeguarding agency 31:8 this week.  It is a devastating catalogue of coercion, control, bullying and abuse carried out by someone held in such esteem within the conservative evangelical world.   The report reveals Fletcher’s penchant for dishing out… Continue reading When arrogance is institutionalised

Theology & Church

Hero-worship & our need of humility

Many in the Church have been rocked by the confirmations of serious and sustained sexual abuse which have emerged from the investigation into the Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias. An independent report laid bare decades of his coercive and abusive behaviour which have caused untold damage to victims.  There have been similar reactions to the disclosures… Continue reading Hero-worship & our need of humility

Theology & Church

20 years on: how faith has changed

In 1996 I started attending an inner city church which had been planted by the Church of England into a former pub. The congregation was mainly people in a similar stage of life and the church had a vibrancy and authenticity I really appreciated. I attended the evening services each week with expectation and excitement… Continue reading 20 years on: how faith has changed

Theology & Church

Fishin’ 4 Religion: the Arrested Development of faith

Way back in 1993 when I was a student, the band Arrested Development released their first album 3 years, 5 months and 2 days in the Life of... It sold 4 million copies and was pretty much the only hip hop album I ever bought. Part of what I liked was how spiritual many of… Continue reading Fishin’ 4 Religion: the Arrested Development of faith

Book reviews, Theology & Church

Is the biblical God a misogynistic bully?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvd2MNT642Q Since lockdown I have listened to a lot of podcasts whilst out walking. One of my favourites has become Unbelievable which hosts debates on matters of faith and belief. The show attracts high profile authors and activists and often pits Christians against atheists. These debates could easily become pointless and bitter, like listening to… Continue reading Is the biblical God a misogynistic bully?

Theology & Church

Let’s be encouragers in this time of anxiety – by Olive Kuhrt

Martin Rinkart (1586 -1649) was a church minister in Germany during the savage Thirty Years War. Thousands died in the vicious conflict but after the fighting, a terrible famine and plague killed thousands more. Such was the severity of the war and it’s consequences that 30% of the population in his region died. Rinkart often… Continue reading Let’s be encouragers in this time of anxiety – by Olive Kuhrt