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.

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


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.


d0311e77564b78a4e94183b54dc42a16

Why is Ascension Day so important?

What would you identify as the climax and completion of Jesus’ life and ministry? Surprisingly, this is not a trivial question. One of the key differences between John and the synoptic gospels is that, where the synoptics portray the crucifixion as a necessary but incomplete act on the way to the resurrection, John portrays it as the climax and completion of Jesus’ ministry in itself. In place of Jesus’ cry of despair (Matthew 27.46, Mark 15.34), John records a cry of triumph ‘It is finished!’ (John 19.30). The promise of ‘living water’ springing from the belly or side of the one who believed (John 7.38), best understood in reference to the Temple prophecy in Ezekiel 47, is fulfilled in the blood and water from Jesus’ side at his death (John 19.34). No wonder the true testimony of this leads to faith (John 19.35).

But most of the NT would point to the resurrection as the completion. Paul’s theological linking of Jesus’ death and resurrection to our movement into and out of the water of baptism (Romans 6.3–4) suggests that crucifixion and resurrection belong together, and this is evident all through the proclamation of what God has done. This Jesus, whom you crucified, God raised from the dead, Peter tells the Pentecost crowd in Acts 2, and we are witnesses of this. Paul, in Luke’s parallel depiction of his ministry, also talks of ‘Jesus and the resurrection (anastasis)’ (Acts 17.18), so much so that his hearers think that Anastasis is the female consort goddess to the male god Jesus. Paul’s summary of the gospel for the Corinthians is that ‘Christ died for our sins…was buried…and was raised on the third day’ (1 Cor 15.3–4).

Continue Reading
Manchester-Arena-incident

What do we feel about the Manchester bombing?

I had gone to bed fairly early, so not seen the news as it broke on Monday evening. But I had woken in the night, and when I looked at my phone I saw the item notified through the BBC news app. When we turned the radio on in the morning, there was (naturally) no other news worth reporting. Our rolling news and social media is quite effective at impressing on those of us at a distance the raw experience, so it would not be long before we saw some mobile phone video of what happened. But I wonder whether this approach helps us to process the powerful emotions that compete for attention when such news breaks, and I spent some of yesterday wrestling with this.

We feel shock that such a thing could happen here. The violence and chaos that we see reported from distant lands has visited us, here. This is true for all of us living in the same country, but of course it is most powerfully true for those living in Manchester, close to the scene, where it is places that they know in the daily lives which has become the backdrop to the devastation we have seen. The violence has ripped through our normally stable lives—and the shock of this makes us impatient with the careless and glib use of the language of ‘stability’ for political point-scoring.

Continue Reading
Manifesto MAIN

Why as a Christian I am voting for Labour

This is the third in a series of guest posts, in which regular readers of this blog explain why, from a Christian perspective, they intend to vote for a particular political party—or, in one case, why they intend to spoil their ballot paper. In this one, Ali Campbell, who is Youth and Children’s Ministry Consultant at […]

Continue Reading
p02mwvj3

Why as a Christian I am voting Conservative

This is the second in a series of guest posts, in which regular readers of this blog explaining why, from a Christian perspective, they intend to vote for a particular political party—or, in one case, why they intend to spoil their ballot paper. In this one, Revd Patrick Gilday, who is Curate at All Saints, Ascot, explains […]

Continue Reading
unknown-artist-agnus-dei-lamb-of-god-basilica-dei-santi-cosma-e-damiano-roma-italy-7th-century

What does Rev 4–5 tell us about the Trinity?

I am writing a commentary on the Book of Revelation, and also doing work on the contribution of Revelation to our understanding of the Trinity. I post hereby summary comments on Revelation 4 and 5, since these are the most important contributions in Revelation to our understanding of the relation between Jesus and the Father, […]

Continue Reading
Primary_LibDem_logov2

Why as a Christian I am voting Liberal Democrat

This is the first of a series of guest posts, in which regular readers of this blog explaining why, from a Christian perspective, they intend to vote for a particular political party—or, in one case, why they intend to spoil their ballot paper. In this first one, Revd Iain McFarlane, who is Priest-in-Charge at Boyatt Wood, Eastleigh, […]

Continue Reading
jonathan-pryke

Should evangelicals be embarrassed by Newcastle?

There have been some strange goings on amongst evangelical Anglicans in Newcastle in recent days. Peter Carrell, who is Director at Theology House and Director of Education in the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch, New Zealand, offered this succinct summary, together with his reaction to the events, which I reproduce here with permission. In the last […]

Continue Reading
Vote-ballot-paper

How should Christians vote?

A friend posted online a short story which highlighted a key issue for Christians in voting on June 8th. Recently, while I was weeding my front garden, my neighbours stopped to chat as they returned home from walking their dog. During our friendly conversation I asked their little girl what she wanted to be when […]

Continue Reading
hfgoodshepherd-copy-2

Are unbelievers ‘lost’?

Before you came to faith, were you ‘lost’? Many Christians, and particularly evangelicals, would answer ‘yes’ for a range of reasons. Most often this question is answered in relation to theological categories, and the ‘objective’ sense of the term: being ‘lost’ can mean that we are lost to God, or that (in Pauline terms) we […]

Continue Reading