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

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

Expecting the Extraordinary

There’s a particular feature of my generation—Millennials—which makes faithfulness to the gospel harder than it needs to be, and makes disappointment with how our lives progress much more likely. I was born in the 1980s, and grew up in 1990s Southampton, which meant that in Christian circles Delirious? (or occasionally Deliriou5?) were local heroes. Many… Continue reading Expecting the Extraordinary

Eating Ourselves Dull

There’s a lull in your day, a small moment of nothing among the busy tides of time. Is it an oasis to indulge, or a terror to smother? Most of us would talk that a small gap of peace in our over-scheduled lives would be a delight—but my actions, and I’m guessing many of yours… Continue reading Eating Ourselves Dull

Water is Thicker than Blood

I’ve argued elsewhere that the Sunday gathering is for worship, but as the priests gather in the Temple they find that the Lord comes to them. The occasion is worship, but we encounter God as he comes to us. As one of the four ‘events’ when God meets us as we worship him, Baptism is… Continue reading Water is Thicker than Blood

Our Emotional Exodus

We are a people of the Exodus. Our lives are exodus movements. I’ve written before around the edges of the idea of cosmic geography and about the way the sea was viewed in the Old Testament as the place of chaos and death. When the climactic act of Yahweh’s saving power happens at the beginning… Continue reading Our Emotional Exodus

High and Lifted Up

Jesus hung on the cross, suspended between heaven and earth, dying. To us, a detail that we can perhaps use poetically but incidental among the whole. To the Church Fathers, however, an important point to understand the cross. When St Athanasius is exploring why God became Man in his famous On the Incarnation, he devotes… Continue reading High and Lifted Up

Children of Choice

Have you noticed that we don’t seem to be able to wait? Perhaps you’ve stood in a queue at a shop or waited at a bus stop recently. I stand on the platform waiting for the train to get to work a few days every week. If you have done the same recently, I’d forgive… Continue reading Children of Choice

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