State of the Church: sociology or theology?

The Church Times has been running a series of interesting article on the state of the Church, with some significant insights from Linda Woodhead, Professor of the Sociology of Religion at the University of Lancaster. Previous articles have explored issues of church growth, leadership, and some of the reasons behind the decline in church attendance. … Continue Reading

Hunting for the text of the New Testament

Last week I tuned into the BBC programme ‘Bible Hunters’ about a number of characters who had unearthed (sometimes literally) ancient manuscripts of the New Testament which had, apparently, radically changed our understanding of Jesus’s ministry and teaching and early Christian understandings of it. Perhaps naively, I had hoped to enjoy a stimulating exploration of … Continue Reading

The real challenge after Pilling that no-one is talking about

The House of Bishops issued a statement in response to the Government’s introduction of ‘gay marriage’ on Saturday—just managing to avoid St Valentine’s Day. I suggested earlier that this was the next ‘banana skin’ that they faced, and (to mix metaphors) they have played it with a straight bat (no pun intended). The pastoral statement … Continue Reading

Evangelicals and critical engagement

An article in the Guardian has been doing the rounds on Twitter. In it, the ‘anonymous academic‘ complains that evangelicals studying theology are resisting proper academic scrutiny and flattening out discussion about important issues. Evangelical students cannot tolerate diversity of opinion and resist secular critiques of their views. My job is no longer the joy … Continue Reading