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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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Is our worship any good?

Have you ever had the experience of attending a church (visiting another, or even attending your own), and what you need is some sense of encounter with God—but the entire attention is taken up with the words on the screen not appearing on time, or the person leading constantly going ‘Ummmm…’ or the thurifer not knowing when to thurify, or the suffragan bishop not putting his mitre on and off at the right points—or whatever is your particular bugbear in how you think worship ought to be done?

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One in a million

At some point today, someone reading this will be the one millionth page view on this blog! Mostly since June 2013, I have written 544 posts, comprising around 650,000 words, and had 10,277 comments. My first response to this is gratitude—gratitude to God for his faithfulness as I have responded to his call to write, […]

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What same-sex marriage brings with it

Earlier this week, the (Presbyterian) Church of Scotland decided to recognise and accept the ministry of clergy in same-sex marriages, as a logical extension to its previous decision to accept those in civil partnerships. (A rather odd article in the Telegraph followed, which suggested this was a ‘model’ for the C of E, as if […]

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Should Christians be theologians?

It is always entertaining to read the online theological commentary following Trinity Sunday. One of the most popular memes was ‘Heresy bingo anyone?’ (Do a search if you did not see it.) The most strident comment amongst my Facebook ‘friends’ was this: This morning had to listen to another tediously irrelevant sermon on the lines […]

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The Trinity is not our social program(me)

There are moments of the year which all preachers dread. Perhaps ‘dread’ is too strong a word; but there is a definite sinking of the shoulders as we, once again, think about finding something new to say on the occasion of the major festivals. Christmas and Easter are, of course, the regular challenges—yet in both […]

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Can leaders be truly vulnerable?

In current discussions about the challenges facing the church, there is often a call for ‘strong leadership’. Sometimes this is explicit, but more often it is implicit: we need pioneering, courageous, risk-taking leaders who will help make the step-change that the church needs to address key issues. This approach raises a key pastoral, ministerial and […]

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What can Donald Trump teach us about preaching?

One of the great puzzles of modern politics is why Donald Trump has done so well when so many people dislike him (and Hilary Clinton too—the US Presidential election is being contested by the two most disliked politicians of modern times). Part of the answer is to be found in his willingness to think the […]

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The nonsense of the ‘broad church’

It is often claimed, with pride, that the Church of England is a ‘broad church’, and to think this is a bad thing is to be narrow-minded and unreasonable. But the question never addressed is ‘how broad can a church be?’ I would certainly agree that sound theology can never come down to a single […]

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The movements of Pentecost

Coming once again to the New Testament texts about Pentecost, I have been struck by the extraordinary dynamism which seems to be present in every aspect. In the gospels, Jesus is the dynamic focus of action—constantly on the move physically as a way of expressing the dynamic presence and movement of God in his ministry—and […]

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The gay lobby we need to listen to

Steve Chalke has recently published his Open Church charter and committed to support and enable any Christians wanting to enter a same-sex marriage. He explains that the move and its timing are related to research undertaken by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine: It found that gay and bisexual men under the age of […]

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What did humour in sermons ever do for us?

As part of its publicity, the Christian Resources Exhibition is running a ‘Sermon of the Year’ award. (The reporter, Ruth Gledhill, must be pleased, since 20 years ago she ran The Times Sermon of the Year competition, which featured yours truly!). To promote this it commissioned research on what people look for in sermons, and […]

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