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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.

Grove: Evangelical LeadershipTo learn more about my concerns for ministry, read my Grove booklet on Evangelical Leadership.


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What are people ‘really’ celebrating at Christmas?

Around this time of year, there comes a recurrent debate about what people are ‘really’ doing when they celebrate Christmas. A while ago, there was a programme on Radio 4 exploring the origins of the tunes of carols. For example, the tune for Good King Wenceslas was originally a spring carol celebrating the fertility of nature. It is […]

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Should clergy have Christmas day off?

Angela Tilby, Canon Emeritus of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, managed to upset just about everyone with her recent column on Christmas ‘family-olatry’ in the Church Times. Christmas’s falling on a Sunday this year is bound to be awash with family services. I have heard of clergy cancelling the regular eight o’clock, on the grounds that they […]

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Was Luke mistaken about the date of Jesus’ birth?

A couple of years ago I watched the film Gravity. The effects were spectacular, the photography breathtaking, the characterisations engaging, and the story held one’s attention throughout. It even raised some profound (religious?) questions about life, death and purpose. And yet, when I left the cinema, I could not decide whether I had enjoyed the film or […]

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Preaching Christmas without a Stable

I preached last night on Luke 2, noting that Luke nowhere says that Jesus was born in a stable. This is what I said: I love this time of year. I know that they can be a burden at times, but I love the traditions that we associate with Christmas. There’s the reassurance of the […]

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What is our theology of food?

I was fascinated to watch Gregg Wallace (of Masterchef fame) explore how our food reaches us through supermarkets in his Supermarket Secrets episode looking behind Christmas. I hadn’t realised that this episode was in fact three years old, and even though reviews were previously rather mixed, I found it as fascinating as Greg evidently had. […]

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Jesus was not born in a stable

I am sorry to spoil your preparations for Christmas before the Christmas lights have even gone up—though perhaps it is better to do this now than the week before Christmas, when everything has been carefully prepared. But Jesus wasn’t born in a stable, and, curiously, the New Testament hardly even hints that this might have […]

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Jeremy Pemberton loses employment appeal

It was announced yesterday that Jeremy Pemberton has lost all appeals at the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) that he brought in relation to his Employment Tribunal (ET) case brought against Richard Inwood, Acting Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham. At one level there is not much to say on this, since the EAT has confirmed in […]

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What does church planting achieve?

One of the key changes that has been introduced as part of the Renewal and Reform programme within the Church of England is in the way that Church Commissioners’ money is distributed to dioceses. Instead of all of it being allocated using a formula determining need, part of it now is distributed as Strategic Development […]

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Hope and fulfilment in the gospels

Biblical eschatology is founded on three key assumptions. The first is that the God of Israel is the rightful ruler of the world (and not just of Israel alone), often described in terms of his kingship over the creation. The second is that, even though this is the situation in theory, in practice the world […]

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The pragmatics of the sexuality debate

I offer here the second of three planned reflections on the sexuality debate—before returning to the bigger questions such as question of biblical interpretation, the importance of apocalyptic. Adrian Hilton recently published an exchange of six letters (three each) with Martyn Percy, Dean of Christchurch, Oxford, and in the last one Percy claims that:  I am […]

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Evangelicals and the Trinity

In recent years there has been a heated debate amongst English-speaking evangelicals about the Trinity, particularly concerning the nature of relationships within the Trinity and whether these shed any light on human relationships. Despite some difficult moments, this debate in some ways offers an example of ‘good disagreement’: different parties haven’t held back from the […]

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