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
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
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?
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
A continual challenge in Christian community work and social action is the connection between the practical work being done to the actual message itself. People can pour into church buildings for toddler groups, foodbanks, lunch clubs, youth clubs and night shelters. But often these social action programmes become detached and disconnected from the message which… Continue reading ‘The Cross and Shame: speaking of atonement to a shame-filled society’ by Rebecca Winfrey [review]
A friend of mine was staying in a Somerset village last year over the weekend of Palm Sunday. He wanted to go to a service so looked up the website of the local church. It told him the service that Sunday started at 10.30am. Except that the website was wrong. The service did not start… Continue reading If the Church has GOOD news to share, why are our websites so BAD?
David Sheppard scored more runs in a single season and more centuries than anyone else in the history of Cambridge University cricket. Such was his talent that he was selected for England’s 1950/51 Ashes tour of Australia at the end of his first year as a student. But, at the same time his sporting career… Continue reading ‘David Sheppard: Batting for the Poor’ – by Andrew Bradstock [review]
In the last article, I shared two theological ideas which have helped my search for synthesis between conservative and liberal Christianity. In this series' last article, I focus on the person whose practice of this synthesis has most inspired me in my journey. Although Martin Luther King's popular legacy has been secularised, his life and ministry is… Continue reading Martin Luther King, breaking silos and facing fear: the search for synthesis #3
Many years ago my father-in-law passed on some advice to me “When you speak about your faith, you should always mention the ‘J-word’. Never be afraid to talk about Jesus.” I remember later sharing this with someone at the church where my work was based. While we were speaking, someone else overheard me talking about… Continue reading How Tom Wright and Lesslie Newbigin have helped my search for synthesis #2
Over the last week there has been an interesting exchange of articles between Philip North, the Bishop of Burnley and Ian Paul, who writes the popular Christian blog Psephizo. It focused on the theology of mission in deprived areas, and whether or not Christians need to ‘take Jesus’ into these areas. It is good to… Continue reading The problem with urban theology: the search for synthesis #1