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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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How did John influence the Synoptics?

If that sounds like an odd question to you, then you need to know that someone once wrote a PhD on the influence of T S Eliot on Shakespeare. The thesis was of course on how our reading of Eliot creates a lens through which we then read Shakespeare (I am assuming, dear reader, that […]

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Interpreting the sheep and the goats in Matt 25

Jesus’ ‘parable’ of the sheep and the goats in Matt 25.31–46 is very well known and widely misinterpreted. It forms one part of the extended teaching about ‘the end’ distinctive to Matthew (compared with Mark and Luke). It is most commonly interpreted as an injunction to help the poor; most Christians (in the West at least) read […]

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The discourse of the sexuality debate

I am reluctant to comment too frequently on sexuality, not least because there are other pressing issues, and some which might not be urgent but are rather important and deserve our attention. But there is a lot going on just now, and the intensity of debate will continue for the next few months at least until […]

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Personal disclosure within preaching

How much should I share of my personal experience in the context of preaching? This is a perennial question facing anyone in ministry in the local church—and relevant to speaking on other occasions too. My first encounter with the issue arose when I was a teenager. I remember one of the lay preachers in the […]

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Is there an emotional case for Christian faith?

Where there is engagement with objections to Christian faith, it quite often takes the form of an apologia, a rational defence. The etymology of the word itself suggests engagement in logos, reasoning, and the content of such apologetic presentations is often logical and cool. But is there a ‘hot’, emotional case for Christian faith that […]

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What is the most important thing in preaching?

What would you say is the single most important thing in preaching—either as the person preaching or as someone who listens? I guess many people would suggest clarity of delivery, or humour, or connecting with the congregation, or being based in Scripture. All of these are of great importance, though of course all are open […]

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Evangelicals, Trump and theology

‘I am done with the label “evangelical”. It’s not the theological position I have a problem with, it is just the term. When 80% of white evangelicals vote for Trump…’ This was not a comment from Tony Campolo, but a conversation on Sunday morning at coffee after our early morning service with someone in the congregation […]

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How do young (and old) people read Bible stories?

The latest Grove Biblical booklet, Interpreting Bible Stories with Children and Young Teens, is a fascinating exploration of the challenge of reading Bible stories with young people, by Melody Briggs. Melody begins by setting out the practical challenge that we might face: You are a church children’s work volunteer and it is your turn to lead the next […]

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How Social Justice Ideology gave us Donald Trump

I am reposting here an article by Alastair Roberts, who is a regularly reader and commentator on this blog. I don’t agree with everything Alastair says, but his views are always informing, stimulating and challenging not least because they are very well researched. If you want to understand what is happening in America at the moment (rather than […]

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What should Remembrance do?

Remembering is a fundamental part of what it is to be human. That is why dementia is such a distressing condition; it robs us of our ability to remember, and as such seems to rob us of our very selves. I am constantly fascinated that the programme which allows people to reconstruct their family history is […]

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Why did Trump win?

When Tomasz Schafernaker gave the weather forecast at 6.57 this morning on Radio 4, I fully expected him to read: ‘The sun will be darkened, and the moon will be turned to blood; fire and hail will fall from heaven…’ There is a widespread sense of shock, and that this US election result has something of […]

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