God is a Giver

We all know how the world should be run. It’s simply obvious to us: the best people should run things, and everyone should get what they deserve. If you put that to 100 people, I suspect you would find the vast majority would agree that this an innately good idea. They call it a meritocracy—a… Continue reading God is a Giver

On Names and Naming

We don’t think much about the Ten Commandments in my corner of the Christian world, which some of us would think is exactly as it should be—“we’re a people of grace!”—and I fit in the other camp when I wonder if our resistance to the commandments as law means we lose them as wisdom. It… Continue reading On Names and Naming

A Conveyor Belt

Jesus wants you to do the next thing in your walk with him. The next act of repentance, the next act of forgiveness, crush the next idol, love the next person above yourself, refuse the next temptation, tear down the next boundary. And he wants you to do nothing else. This might sound like a… Continue reading A Conveyor Belt

Burial is Hopeful

A couple of weeks ago we were at a wedding. We were invited to the evening but not the reception, so we’d brought a few sausage rolls and a pack of crisps for lunch and went looking for somewhere to eat it before we went on to the afternoon activities we’d planned—exploring the Cotswolds in… Continue reading Burial is Hopeful

The Promise of the Spirit

After his resurrection Jesus gathered his disciples to give them his parting instructions and pass on his mission. Each of the gospel writers summarise his words a little differently but they all include what Luke calls “the promise of the Father” (Luke 24). Matthew records it as a promise that Jesus would be with them… Continue reading The Promise of the Spirit

The Month with Two Faces

You’d be forgiven for thinking I was speaking of January, named after the Roman god Janus who had two faces to look forwards and backwards in the year. Rather, Advent—the first season of the Christian year—has two faces. One face is a face of joy, the face we associate with our Christmas traditions, with chocolate… Continue reading The Month with Two Faces

Snakeshead Hill

Jesus was executed on a hill outside Jerusalem that they named Golgotha, which we’re told means ‘the place of a skull’ (Matthew 27). I’ve always imagined a hill that looks like a skull, rocky with caves to highlight eyes and a mouth. Perhaps something a little like Lion’s Head Rock down Dovedale in the Peak… Continue reading Snakeshead Hill

Forging digital tools

Facebook want to work with churches. Which shouldn’t surprise us, why wouldn’t they want to work with anyone they can show advertising too? The surprising bit is that some churches seem to want to work with them too. As has been widely reported, some very large churches and denominations want to collaborate with Facebook on… Continue reading Forging digital tools

When I believe the prosperity gospel

I’m a charismatic, and plenty of others who would claim that label believe some fairly kooky things. It thus occasionally falls to us to carefully disassociate ourselves from what others might believe. It’s pretty normal that we would occasionally denounce what is commonly called the ‘Prosperity Gospel’—essentially that if you follow the way of Jesus… Continue reading When I believe the prosperity gospel