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I hope you find material here to enrich, resource and inspire you as you learn and grow in your own discipleship and ministry.

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The real meaning of Maundy Thursday

On Maundy Thursday, it is traditional to focus on the account of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet in John 13—and possibly to re-enact this within a service. But in rushing to the final example, we miss the most important lesson, which comes in the middle, rather than at the end, of the passage.

The passage itself is highly characteristic of John’s style, with references back and forwards to what has gone before and what is yet to come. In John 13.1, the reference to the Passover forms part of John’s distinctively Jewish and ‘anti-Jewish’ (as we perceive it) interest in the pilgrim festivals. These centred on the temple, but Jesus himself will take the place of the temple (John 2.21)—which, incidentally, explains the otherwise baffling saying in John 7.38 ‘as the Scripture says, out of his side will flow rivers of living water’. The scripture here is Ezekiel 47.1; Jesus is now the temple, the place of God’s presence; and the living does indeed flow from his side in John 19.34.

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How to tell a Bible story: The Ark

If you want someone to tell a good story, then Tony Jordan is your man. Having left school with no qualifications, he has risen to become television’s number one screen writer through his work on Eastenders, Minder, Life on Mars and a host of other hits. He always had a faith of some sorts, but […]

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Further critique of Tom Wright on Paul

Following my discussion of John Barclay’s review of Tom Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God, I have just read a longer review by Chris Tilling (who is on the staff of St Mellitus College in London) just published in Anvil, which is now an online journal. It seems we are entering the season of […]

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Should Christians think?

I am continuing to read through Thom Shultz’ book Why Nobody Want to go to Church anymore, in which he identifies four key objections to church and proposes four responses, what he calls the Four Acts of Love. Having explored Radical Hospitality, the next chapter explores Fearless Conversation. Interestingly, Shultz addresses this in two quite distinct […]

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Performing Scripture

A notable feature of a number of contemporary debates in the church is the lack of well-informed use of Scripture. It’s not unusual to hear one party or other either trot out a proof text, or write Scripture off on the basis of such proof texts—or here views expressed which demonstrate basic lack of familiarity […]

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What does the C of E have to offer the next generation?

This is a guest blog post by Matthew Kirkpatrick, who teaches at Wycliffe Hall and at the University of Oxford. The Westminster Faith Debate series last autumn on ‘The Future of the Church of England’ finished with a session on ‘What does the Church of England offer the next generation?’ And no more important topic could perhaps be […]

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Putting relationships first

As a Christian leader, there are three things I would want to nurture in my fellow believers as they go about their occupations (whether paid or unpaid). The first is confidence to share their faith in appropriate and winsome ways. The second is to think through how the good news of what God has done […]

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Should Lent and Advent swap?

Evangelicals have not usually been strong on the liturgical year, possibly because of Paul’s language about ‘observing special days and months and seasons and years’ in Gal 4.10. But, like many evangelical Anglicans, I have come to appreciate the sense of rhythm and shape that calendar gives to the year; after all, even in our […]

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Can Muslims worship Allah in an Anglican church?

This guest post by Peter Ould responds to the recent incident at St John’s, Waterloo in Southwark Diocese. The apology this afternoon by Giles Goddard of St John’s Waterloo is nothing of the sort. If the Diocese of Southwark choose to accept it as a resolution of the complaints received about the church hosting an Islamic worship […]

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My top ten books on theology and ministry (1)

To launch what might be a new mini-series on the blog, my good friend James Blandford-Baker offers his top ten books on theology and ministry that shaped his own thinking and practice. James is Vicar of St Andrew’s, Histon, and Priest-in-Charge of St Andrew’s, Impington, as well as being Rural Dean of North Stowe in Ely Diocese. This […]

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Do Christians love one another?

‘And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love, yes they’ll know we are Christians by our love.’

So we sang in the late 1970s, in a culturally appropriate rock ballad idiom, and very real it seemed at the time. I came to faith in an evangelical Anglican tradition which had been shaped by the charismatic renewal movement, and a key sign of this was an authenticity of relationships which had been absent from the starchy formality of much church life.

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