Blog Menu

Welcome—thanks for visiting my blog!

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


If you value this ministry and would like to support me, please visit my crowd-funding Patreon page. You can become a regular supporter from as little as £1.20 a month.


The importance of testimony

I was really delighted to see the new Church of England project iTestify launched this summer. (I was also a tad disappointed, since I was thinking of doing something similar myself!). The idea is simple – short, video testimonies of up to 3 minutes. Recorded on your phone or tablet and sent to us here […]

Continue Reading

What does it mean to be ‘lost’?

The idea that those outside the Christian faith are ‘lost’ has, in the past, been of central importance in evangelical devotion. Around 10 million times a year, Christians sing John Newton’s autobiographical devotional hymn: Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, Was blind, […]

Continue Reading

The real issue behind the Scottish Independence vote

There is something quite surreal about the prospect of a vote, by those who happen to reside in Scotland at the moment, on whether or not the 300-year-old Union of Great Britain should continue. Despite the opinion polls, I have a sneaky feeling that it will be a fairly clear ‘No’ vote. Because of the […]

Continue Reading

Can we make sense of beheading?

It was surely only going to be a matter of time, following the execution of two Americans, that a British citizen was going to be the next victim of the brutal violence of the self-styled ‘Islamic State.’ David Haines was, by all account, an impressive individual, someone of ‘unstoppable energy’ who was deeply committed to […]

Continue Reading

Law suits and same-sex marriage

It has been announced that Jeremy Pemberton, the first clergyman in the Church of England to enter a same-sex marriage, is taking legal action against his bishop and the Archbishop of York. Canon Jeremy Pemberton, the first British clergyman to enter a same sex marriage, has confirmed that he has filed an Equality Act claim […]

Continue Reading

Are the apocryphal gospels true?

In recent year the ‘apocryphal’ ‘gospels‘ have been making something of a comeback. (I put the word ‘gospels’ in inverted commas, since these documents are not really in the form of ‘gospels’—on which see below.) Perhaps the best-known of these is the Gospel of Thomas, a collection of 114 sayings attributed to Jesus which, as it […]

Continue Reading
RoleHS

The Spirit and critical study (2)

In my previous post, I highlighted the dilemma we find ourselves in when there is a dissonance between our experience of hearing God speak through Scripture and our experience of engaging in more reflective study of the same texts. I characterised these two sets of experiences as follows:   Immediacy — Delay Clarity — Ambiguity Relevance […]

Continue Reading

The Spirit and critical study (1)

There is a widespread view that the work of the Spirit and the work of critical study of the Bible are like oil and water—they simply don’t mix. This is reinforced from both directions. People who read the Bible devotionally often look distinctly nervous when the subject of ‘academic’ study of the Bible comes up. […]

Continue Reading

What kind of leader is Justin Welby?

One of the books I read over the summer was Andrew Atherstone’s fascinating biography of Justin Welby. It is a considerably expanded version of  the short book which Atherstone wrote immediately after it was announced that Welby would be Archbishop. The first thing which strikes you in opening the book is the thoroughness of the research. Atherstone […]

Continue Reading

What is education for?

As both a parent and a governor during this year’s GCSE results, I found myself in an odd predicament. Should I be pleased with my son’s results because they were his achievement, or because the school had succeeded in ‘adding value’? How did we get into this strange dilemma? A generation ago, there would have […]

Continue Reading

Preaching as creative act

In my nearly ten years teaching preaching, and my 33 years of speaking and preaching, I have come to the conclusion that the best way of summarising the task of preaching (in whatever context) is answering the question: What is God saying to these people at this time through this text? This roots preaching in […]

Continue Reading