Stories and the meaning crisis

I’ve been reading Charles Taylor’s famous magnum opus, A Secular Age. It’s a monumental achievement that I’ve been chewing over slowly for approaching a year now, though its sheer scope and breadth makes summarising (or critiquing) the argument a challenge. Taylor wants to tell a story about why, five hundred years ago, not believing in… Continue reading Stories and the meaning crisis

The Hard-Edged Psalms

The Psalms have sharp edges. They cut the unwary and cut the bonds of the broken. I’ve just prayed my way through them, at roughly one a day. I’m starting again at the moment. I knew they were raw but have often been surprised by how raw. Which I really shouldn’t be, but my church… Continue reading The Hard-Edged Psalms

The Gift of Dissatisfaction

There is a gift from God that we do not want. If we’re honest with ourselves, I suspect there are many gifts from God that we don’t want. We enjoy both sin and comfort too much to value all of God’s gifts; we are indicted by our lacklustre enthusiasm for the things of God. The… Continue reading The Gift of Dissatisfaction

When Pain is a Problem

The American opioid epidemic started because pharmaceutical companies wanted to eliminate pain. Whatever their motives, though we can be sure they were not altruistic, they manufactured situations where if someone told a hospital they were in pain they would be given an opioid painkiller. Pain was a problem to be eliminated. We can all roll… Continue reading When Pain is a Problem

The Supper in Israel’s Feasts

Israel is given seven feasts. We can read about them in Leviticus 23, Numbers 28-29 and Deuteronomy 16. They come as a set, a week of feasts to pattern the year with, each mapping onto the days of the creation week. They mark the harvests and they operate liturgically: they tell the people of God… Continue reading The Supper in Israel’s Feasts

The Plod of God

Sometimes the Christian life feels incredibly difficult. We wonder, perhaps, what the point of it all is. We wonder whether our attempts, faltering through they may be, at day-by-day faithfulness will every bear any fruit. We wonder whether our wanderings are leading us up the mountain of God or if we’re meandering around the foothills,… Continue reading The Plod of God

Against Leadership

Leadership is a useless concept and we should stop talking about it. Ok, so that was a confirmed clickbait opener. I don’t really think that. I’ve designed and run award-winning worldwide leadership programmes for a household brand. I don’t think that was pointless. I’ve run leadership development programmes for a church too. I don’t think… Continue reading Against Leadership

Learning wisdom

We should desire wisdom. “Get wisdom!” Solomon tells us (Proverbs 4). We see that eating from wisdom’s tree (Genesis 3) was Adam’s mistake but also the destiny he was supposed to bear. We also see that one of the ways we learn wisdom is by suffering. Let’s not get this backwards, suffering is not our… Continue reading Learning wisdom

Time and the Table

We think of time in a very distinctive way, which many of our forebears did not. We think it’s linear, we think it’s homogenous—progressing in ordered sections we call days or years or hours—and we think it’s largely ‘empty,’ a container that is indifferent to what we fill it with. I’ve been reading Charles Taylor’s… Continue reading Time and the Table

Bring Your Bible to Church

If you’ll do me the favour of indulging me—and if you’re a regular reader then you often do so and I’m grateful for it, or if you’re a supporter then I’m thankful for your help to keep my site advert free—I’d like to tell you about a personal bugbear. Though the title may have given… Continue reading Bring Your Bible to Church