How do we make sense of this cultural moment?

Dr Philip Jenson offers a review article on Carl R. Trueman, The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2020). At the end of 2020 Carl Trueman published a book that tells the story of an inexorable and irreversible cultural shift that … Continue Reading

What were the early Christian communities like?

Dr Tim Murray offers this review article of Group Survival in the Ancient Mediterranean: Rethinking Material Conditions in the Landscape of Jews and Christians by Richard Last and Philip Harland: Imagining the Early Church Both academics and pastors are frequently required to reconstruct ‘what it was like’ in the early church to make sense of the New … Continue Reading

What can we learn from the history of the Bible?

All through this week, at 9.45 each morning, Radio 4 is playing abridged excerpts from Professor John Barton’s book The History of the Bible. I have found it quite a mixed bag, with some helpful and interesting insights on the one hand, but also including some unhelpful and skewed opinions expressed as objective assessments (which they are … Continue Reading

What is the value of evangelical theology?

Savvas Costi writes: Much delight and anticipation accompanied the news that Graham McFarlane, Senior Lecturer in Systematic Theology at the London School of Theology (LST), where I studied, was releasing another book. A Model for Evangelical Theology may not be the most exciting title (as evidenced by the look on my wife’s face when she first … Continue Reading

What is wrong with surveillance capitalism?

Mark Ireland writes: Our dependence on technology has been highlighted by the lockdown, as many congregations have discovered the benefits of Zoom, YouTube and Facebook. However, two events in the news recently have shown the digital revolution has dangers as well as benefits, in a world where knowledge is power. In the UK the exams fiasco … Continue Reading

What can the Christian faith say to the crisis of capitalism?

Capitalism appears to be in some kind of crisis. On the one hand, it has provided a mechanism for lifting people out of poverty and creating unprecedented wealth, including reducing global poverty to historically low levels. On the other, it has led to untrammelled destruction of the environment, and unrestrained inequality and individualism which has … Continue Reading

What will a Jewish reading of Genesis teach us?

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has just completed a five-volume series on the Torah under the heading Covenant and Conversation. The blurb from the first volume, on Genesis, comments: In this first volume of a five-volume collection of parashat hashavua commentaries, Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks explores these intersections as they relate to universal concerns of freedom, love, responsibility, … Continue Reading

Can we believe in baptism?

Questions around the meaning and practice of baptism have divided the church, and until recently questions around its importance, its efficacy, and key issues such as the baptism of children have led to heated debate. Stephen Kuhrt, vicar of Christ Church, New Malden, thinks these questions continue to be important. This led him to the unusual … Continue Reading

How does the cross overcome not just our guilt, but our shame?

Jon Kuhrt writes: A continual challenge in Christian community work and social action is the connection between the practical work being done with the actual message itself. People can pour into church buildings for toddler groups, foodbanks, lunch clubs, youth clubs and night shelters. But often these social action programmes become detached and disconnected from the message … Continue Reading

How do we walk the way of the cross in a world seeking happiness?

Savvas Costi writes: We’re drowning in our own personas. Our cultural mood is one where the self has thrown off all constraints in the pursuit of self-discovery, where all absolutes have been dissolved and meta-narratives deconstructed; we followed Nietzsche’s lead in thinking we could philosophise with a hammer and deconstruct the house we were living … Continue Reading