Last week, the four bishops in the Diocese of Oxford circulated an Ad Clerum (‘to the clergy’) to all licensed ministers in the diocese; the text can be found on Steven Croft’s diocesan blog. There is no doubt that the letter includes comments with which everyone in the Church could and should agree. As Will Pearson-Gee, … Continue Reading
Not long ago, Mark Woods wrote an article in Christian Today exploring the apparent contradictions between the two accounts of Judas’ death, in Matt 27.3–8 and in Act 1.18. In the first, Judas hangs himself, the priests buy the field, and it is named ‘Field of Blood’ because of the betrayal by Judas. In the second, … Continue Reading
Eddie Arthur of Wycliffe Bible Translators, who is conducting research at Leeds Trinity University, has explored the connection between mission thinking and mission practice, and shared his reflections at the Second Festival of Theology. Introduction: The Mission of God Until the sixteenth century, the term “mission” was used in Christian theology in conjunction with the … Continue Reading
At the Second Festival of Theology, Mike Starkey (who teaches at the Church Army centre in Sheffield) suggested that we need to rethink the traditional ‘testimony’: It is a truth universally acknowledged that Christians invited to talk about their faith look terrified. Most people simply don’t know where to start. And that’s before you introduce … Continue Reading
At the Second Festival of Theology, Will Jones explored the role of natural theology in belief. He writes: Is God optional? You know – is it a take it or leave it kind of matter whether or not God is there? Our culture certainly thinks it is. Most people today seem to think that God … Continue Reading
The second talk at the recent Festival of Theology was by Dr Sally Nash, Director of MCYM based in Nottingham. She says: Genesis 2.25 tells us that Adam and Eve were naked and not ashamed. In the next chapter of Genesis after they have eaten from the tree of knowledge of good and evil they … Continue Reading
At the second Festival of Theology last week, the first talk was given by Graham Hunter, Vicar of St John’s Hoxton in London. This is what he said. Introduction – Trellis & Vine I spent the second half of August this year with my wife and children in a Provencal Mas – a converted farmhouse … Continue Reading
Richard Moy writes: In 2007 the local BBC TV station did a feature on Nicola and me as the youngest clergy couple in the Church of England. Fortunately the footage has since been lost! But what was still quite rare in 2007 is now the new norm – at least for women in training. Apparently 60% of … Continue Reading
When I last preached on the lectionary reading, Mark 10.2–16 (as many of you might just have done) I felt not a little intimidated by the challenge. It feels though there was a time when reading and preaching on this passage was a lot more straightforward than it feels now. (Life as generally a lot … Continue Reading
The House of Bishops’ position on civil partnerships and same-sex sexual relationships is defined by three statements. The first is Issues in Human Sexuality, published in 1991 as a ‘discussion document’. When it was published, it had very mixed reactions, and I remember very clearly our whole-college debate about it in the college chapel when I … Continue Reading
How should we respond to forecasts of the end of the world and a coming apocalypse? Will there be a ‘tribulation’ and a ‘rapture’? And what does the Bible really say about the end of the world and the return of Jesus?
These questions keep swirling around—but it is not always easy to find sensible answers.
In this accessible study morning, we will look carefully at the teaching of Jesus, Paul and others in the New Testament to see what they really thought. It turns out that expectation of ‘the end’ was important to the first followers of Jesus—but in ways very different from what we might find in the latest Hollywood blockbuster.