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Why don’t men go to church?

I am feeling very nervous about posting on this particular gender-related issue. I know I will get lots of flak from all corners for making gross generalisations and such. But here’s the thing: a religious movement, started by a man, with a predominance of male leaders from the beginning, and in which some groups are […]

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Tribal Theology

What is an evangelical?

A couple of years ago, Jon Kuhrt posted a fascinating graphic on his blog site to describe his journey of discover as a Christian. Raised as an evangelical, he was nurtured in the things in the blue column as being true markers of Christian faith. But out of a personal commitment to help others, he […]

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The National Secular Society’s unpleasant agenda

The NSS has produced what appears to be a particularly unpleasant report on the work of Christian organisations in primary and secondary schools. On their website the lead comment is as follows: Our state schools are being targeted and exploited by evangelical groups as part of their missionary work. That is a serious charge, for […]

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The Persecution of Christians

Last week I read what I think is the most important article I have read all year. John Allen, writing in the Spectator, describes what he calls ‘The war on Christians’ and explains why he believes that ‘The global persecution of Christians is the unreported catastrophe of our time.’ Allen is an American Catholic based […]

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The problem with the Daily Mail

I have a confession: sometimes I quite like some of the things written in the Daily Mail. Occasionally their articles bring a refreshing perspective, defending something of value from a ‘traditional’ viewpoint against what at times feels like the onslaught of political correctness. (You can easily find out whether the paper would like you, and […]

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Rhetoric in Preaching

As we breathe a collective sigh of relief at the end of the party conference season, it is worth reflecting on the importance of rhetoric in public speech. Perhaps we agree with one half of the definition of rhetoric: Language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect, but which is often regarded as lacking in sincerity or meaningful content But anyone involved in […]

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Virtues for public life

I am a governor for The Nottingham Emmanuel School, which all of our children have attended, and two are still there. At our last meeting, we signed off a revised Code of Practice, which sets out governor responsibilities. It is a daunting list, where those of us who offer some spare time in a voluntary […]

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Pope Francis: model evangelist?

Last week Pope Francis wrote a 2,700-word letter to Eugenio Scalfari, the founder-editor of La Repubblica, Italy’s largest-circulation general-interest newspaper. Amazingly, Scalfari decided to publish it. It took up the whole front page…and the following four pages, under the simple heading ‘Francesco’. (Can you imagine the UK’s most popular newspaper giving its first five pages to a […]

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Michael Gove is wrong—again

I don’t disagree with Michael Gove on everything he says. Learning in any context is always a combination of knowledge acquisition and the development of skills, and I have some sympathy with the notion that the balance in secondary education has moved too far to the latter and needs more of the former. Acquired knowledge […]

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What we should do about Syria

There is one thing all agree on the subject of Syria: the suffering is appalling and intolerable. And there is one thing no-one can agree on: what we should do about it. A good starting place is to understand the complexity of the situation. One person commenting on Nick Baines’s blog cries in despair ‘How […]

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What is an Anglican?

I have just picked up, from the IVP bookstall, The Accidental Anglican by Todd Hunter. Hunter came to faith through the Jesus Movement, then planted churches with Vineyard, before becoming an Anglican bishop with the Anglican Mission in the Americas, the ‘protest’ Anglican church supported by Anglicans from Uganda [correction: Rwanda]. I was most fascinated to […]

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