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Can Spirit-led worship be structured?

What is the relationship between duty and joy—discipline and desire? Is it possible to have formal, liturgical, structured worship services in which there is also freedom and space for distinctive ministries of the Holy Spirit? Are formal liturgies themselves ‘gifts’ of the Spirit to the church for enabling our worship? Is Holy Communion ‘like the […]

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Can we handle conflict like Jesus?

Mark Woods writes: Conflict in churches can be horrible. We are, after all, supposed to be able to get on with each other, and most of the time we do. Relationships can be close, friendships warm, trust absolute. When that’s broken, it’s really hard to deal with. Sometimes these conflicts arise because of human cussedness, otherwise […]

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What does Revelation tell us about the human condition?

I have contributed a chapter to a book appearing next year on Anthropology of the New Testament, exploring Revelation’s depiction of the human condition. I include here some paragraphs from my introduction, and the conclusion. Revelation’s anthropology (like much else about it!) is less straightforward and less predictable than commonly thought. Excavating the anthropology of the […]

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What has economics to do with theology?

Richard Peers offers a thoughtful review of Talking to My Daughter About the Economy, Yanis Varoufakis, Bodley Head 2017 (2013): There is competition for the title ‘Queen of The Sciences’. Traditionally applied to theology as the summit of knowledge and the science which explained the meaning of things and held together the other areas of knowledge, the […]

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How well has Britain treated the Jews?

This week marks the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration which paved the way for the establishment of the modern State of Israel 30 years later. The seemingly intractable controversy created by Balfour was summed up by the Hungarian-born Jewish writer Arthur Koestler, who quipped, “one nation solemnly promised to a second nation the country of […]

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Why we need Silence

When I started my ordination training, like many others I had come from a busy and noisy culture (in my case, in business) and the idea of silence as a spiritual discipline was strange to me. Encouraged by the weekly quiet hour as part of the spirituality programme, for several years I adopted the habit […]

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Did Paul have a pastoral strategy?

The apostle Paul is not generally viewed as a pastor. Teaching, fearless advocate for the faith, traveller, apologist, pioneering church planter, yes—but pastor? As we read Paul’s letters, in some part because of our cultural distance, it is easy not to sense that we are encountering Paul the pastor. But the latest Grove Biblical booklet […]

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Is Sunday a chance for rest?

Is Sunday a day of rest for you? If you are in church leadership, I suspect the answer will be a resounding ‘No’! Quite right too—most full-time church leaders will plan for another ‘Sabbath’ on a day other than Sunday. (If you don’t, you should). But is Sunday a day of rest for members of […]

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