Is ‘Babylon’ Rome or Jerusalem?

In my commentary on the Book of Revelation, I assume without much discussion that references to ‘Babylon’ are in the first instance (for John and his readers) allusions to the power of Rome and the imperial system. Someone commented to me that I don’t give much space to debating this, or considering the other main … Continue Reading

Tragedy, sexuality and speaking the truth

Peter Ould writes: When I look back on my life (I’m coming up to my 45th birthday next year – very middle aged and very middle class) there are two events that more than anything else have shaped who I am today. Both were defining moments in my life, both were experiences of minorities, both were things … Continue Reading

Where is the cross in the Book of Revelation?

I have removed this article, pending publication in the journal Preach. A revised version will be made available on the blog after the print version has come out. Come and join us for the second Festival of Theology on Wednesday October 17th! Follow me on Twitter @psephizo. Like my page on Facebook. Much of my work is done on a freelance basis. … Continue Reading

Why don’t men come to church?

Following from the discussion about God and gender earlier this week, and whether it has an implication for mission, a friend drew my attention to this post which I wrote five years ago and have not returned to. I think I might write it differently now—but it retains its relevance. I am feeling very nervous … Continue Reading

Should we stop referring to God as ‘he’?

Last week the polling company YouGov published the results of a survey asking Christians what they thought about God’s gender. Their ‘shocking’ discovery is that very few agree with Ariana Grande’s claim in her latest single: With Ariana Grande’s recent single being entitled “God is a Woman” a new YouGov survey reveals that British Christians … Continue Reading

How to speak well on radio

I last wrote about speaking on the radio (and television) four years ago, so thought it worth revisiting the subject. This arose in part as a reflection on contributing to a piece about Justin Welby’s comments on higher tax rates on Radio 4’s Sunday, in which I debated with Andy Walton whether Christian leaders should … Continue Reading

What did Jesus have against goats?

The parable of the sheep and the goats in Matt 25.31–46 isn’t actually a parable (since there is no suggestion that ‘the kingdom of heaven is like this’), and isn’t really about sheep and goats (as we shall see). But it is very well known, and is most commonly interpreted as an encouragement for followers … Continue Reading

Should Christian leaders pronounce on political positions?

Last week, Archbishop Justin Welby published an article in the Daily Mail in which he argued that wealthier families should pay more tax in order to reduce the widening levels of inequality in contemporary Britain. His comments accompanied the report of a ‘think tank’ group he has been part of, the ‘left leaning’ Institute for … Continue Reading

Vocation in the economy of God (ii)

In the previous post, I explored how the language of vocation is used in contemporary discourse, (expressing individuation, interiorisation, stratification, self-actualisation and marginalisation) and then began to reflect on the rather different description in scripture. God calls creation into being; his disruptive call to Abraham both completed the past and opened the future; God’s call … Continue Reading

Why we all need printed Bibles

It’s not uncommon in churches, when the time comes for the Bible reading, to see people reach not for a printed pew Bible, but for their phones, to read the Bible on a phone app. When I was in a session at New Wine this summer, the speaker at the morning Bible study (Miriam Swaffield) … Continue Reading