Theology & Church

A church as diverse as Jesus’ friends were – by Peter Graystone

I’m in my late 50s now.  Well...63.    It’s a time to reassess things. Try out new possibilities.  I was thinking about applying for Love Island. Make some new friends, explore new ideas and meet some new challenges. New friends But if I was on Love Island, how would I choose my new friends?  Maybe… Continue reading A church as diverse as Jesus’ friends were – by Peter Graystone

Theology & Church

Charisma over character: life on Mars Hill

The podcast The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill makes for compelling listening.  For those who don’t know, it tells the story of the mega-church in Seattle founded by Mark Driscoll in the mid-1990s.  The church grew rapidly, had an incredible online reach and exerted huge influence. But, when Driscoll resigned in 2014 following disciplinary… Continue reading Charisma over character: life on Mars Hill

Theology & Church

Making God’s welcome personal and tangible – by Stephen Kuhrt

Coronavirus has provided a major challenge to churches. But every problem also represents an opportunity. The lockdowns have led to considerable ingenuity by many churches through their online services and adapted forms of pastoral care.   Re-connecting But as we gradually emerge from the pandemic, a new challenge now confronts churches: how to re-connect with regular… Continue reading Making God’s welcome personal and tangible – by Stephen Kuhrt

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