The Land of the Living

“He’s no longer in the land of the living,” we say with great solemnity as we pronounce that our friend has fallen asleep on the sofa. It’s a phrase we use fairly commonly, either to mean prosaically, “they’re dead”—which is actually uncommon because we prefer cleaner euphemisms that hide the reality entirely—or to refer to… Continue reading The Land of the Living

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

In Between Two Trees

Adam and Eve lived in a garden in the centre of the land of Eden. In the middle were two trees, perhaps forming the apex of this Temple—for it was a Temple. This was the most holy place (Genesis 2). They had one simple rule, which we are largely familiar with: eat whatever you like,… Continue reading In Between Two Trees

Reframing stories

David Foster Wallace starts his famous speech This is Water by describing two young fish. They’re happily swimming along and meet an older fish coming the other way, who nods in greeting and says: “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them… Continue reading Reframing stories

On Trees

There’s something about trees. Being around them is good for us. There’s a wealth of evidence that our mental health is positively affected by being around trees, but for now let’s take that as read and try to think a little more theologically about why that might be. The Bible uses trees a lot. We… Continue reading On Trees

Living in Time

Last week I wrote a rambling exposition of some of the features of Genesis chapter one, but to keep to a reasonable length I didn’t attempt any application. I thought I’d take some time to tease out these ideas in a little more depth what that means for our lives. I’ve written previously that rest… Continue reading Living in Time

In the middle

There’s a famous saying of Jesus that we often misunderstand. He said “where two or three are gathered I am with you,” often quoted at the start of poorly attended home groups to reassure us that even if the rest of them couldn’t get themselves in gear to turn up, Jesus is with us anyway.… Continue reading In the middle

Image & Mission

Adam had a job. It was given to him and Eve in Genesis 1.28: And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that… Continue reading Image & Mission