It’s something of a truism that we’re formed by everything around us. It’s common for people to point out that in the average church you’ve got at best two hours of people’s time a week to use to form them towards Christ—you might get a third of them for another two hours midweek—and everything else… Continue reading The Need for Christian Formation
When Christians Love Magic
Evangelicals love magic. On the face of it that doesn’t sound like a true statement, perhaps you remember the mild panic over Harry Potter in the early 2000s, or the much bigger panic over Dungeons and Dragons in the eighties—witchcraft remains something we are inherently nervous about, sometimes leading to absurd extremes. Which is true… Continue reading When Christians Love Magic
Is the Church a Family?
An obvious yes, right? Except, where does it say that? You’re about to have a harder time than you expected. You might point to the use of genos in 1 Peter 2, though that’s usually translated ‘race’ and if we translated it family we would mean in the very broad sense that I and all… Continue reading Is the Church a Family?
The Quest for Community
Everybody loves community, or they say they do at least. We live in a land that is parched of the life-giving water of friendship and stripped bare of many of the settings that used to make this easy for people. Robert Nisbet in his book The Quest for Community argues that what he calls a… Continue reading The Quest for Community
Why is slavery wrong?
So, before you lose it, I’m not going to try and argue something clearly mad like “slavery is ok, really,” slavery is evil. I do think that why we argue that it is evil turns out to be an interesting question for theological method. Several years ago, I remember having very long debates with someone… Continue reading Why is slavery wrong?
Church is for the Lonely
Have you ever noticed how often secular advice on, for example, wellbeing coheres with what the church would say? It veers wildly away at points as well, but I don’t feel like we do a lot of noticing of when it’s the same. Not to pat ourselves on the back though—I see a bit of… Continue reading Church is for the Lonely
5 Antidotes to individualism
We live in an age of expressive individualism. This is a bad thing. While any sort of individualism is a product of Christianity, the form of individualism we currently have that places my desires squarely at the top of the hierarchy of goods is deeply destructive to society, to individuals, and to the church. Once… Continue reading 5 Antidotes to individualism
New religions for a new age
Tara Isabella Burton’s wonderful 'Strange Rites' charts some of the wide array of movements among Millennials that are taking on religious character. The book takes us on a journalistic tour of some examples of ‘pick & mix’ religion before describing three movements that Burton describes as religions. I’ll briefly outline them below, but the book… Continue reading New religions for a new age
The cultural commentator’s big question at the moment is what will the world be like in the magical hereafter: post-Covid. How will this change us? Perhaps—as Mark Sayers suggests—this will quicken the move that was already happening as globalism gives in to the networked society (this seems plausible), or—as many have commented—we will see the… Continue reading AC: After-Covid