Can churches become irresistible?

I recently came across a web article on the ‘done with church’ generation. When I saw the title, I rolled my eyes a little, expecting it to be yet another whingeing session dressed up as a mission strategy—but when I read it, I was pleasantly surprised. It offered the start of a genuine exploration of why committed Christians, who have been heavily involved in their local congregation, might simply give up on the church as an organisation.

Bible, Gender, Sexuality

This guest post by Andrew Goddard assesses an important contribution to the debate about same-sex unions. James V. Brownson, Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Relationships (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2013). ISBN 978-0-8028-6863-3. The General Synod’s decision to approve women bishops was immediately followed by questions as to whether the church would now change its … Continue Reading

What to preach at a funeral?

The previous post, including a competition to identify a quotation, was prompted by my reading the next Grove Worship booklet, How to Prepare and Conduct a Funeral by Charles Chadwick and Phillip Tovey from Oxford Diocese. Aimed primarily at Readers as well as other licensed lay ministers, it is an excellent guide to the whole process of … Continue Reading

More Perfect Union? another view (ii)

Here is the second part of Martin Davie’s review of Alan Wilson’s More Perfect Union? Martin was for several years Theological Secretary of the Council for Christian Unity of the Church of England and Theological Consultant to the House of Bishops. Part one can be found here. Strand 4 – interpreting the key biblical texts. Moving on to what … Continue Reading

More Perfect Union? another view (i)

Here follows a really clear and careful review of Alan Wilson’s More Perfect Union? by Martin Davie. Martin was for several years Theological Secretary of the Council for Christian Unity of the Church of England and Theological Consultant to the House of Bishops. He offers a comprehensive analysis, and his comments on the nature of marriage, and whether … Continue Reading

Extending human ability through technology

The next Grove Ethics booklet is a fascinating study of transhumanism, the idea that we should transcend the limitations of our physical bodies through technology. It is by Michael Burdett, who is Postdoctoral Fellow in Religion, Science and Technology at Wycliffe Hall in Oxford. I was struck by his opening introduction: Kevin Warwick, formerly Professor … Continue Reading

More Perfect Union?

I’ve had quite a few interactions with Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham, mostly on line and (once) in person. On some occasions he has been reasonable, thoughtful and well-informed; on others, belligerent and polemical. So when I received this book for review, I was intrigued to know which way it would go. Unfortunately, it is … Continue Reading

What kind of leader is Justin Welby?

One of the books I read over the summer was Andrew Atherstone’s fascinating biography of Justin Welby. It is a considerably expanded version of  the short book which Atherstone wrote immediately after it was announced that Welby would be Archbishop. The first thing which strikes you in opening the book is the thoroughness of the research. Atherstone … Continue Reading

When does help harm?

This guest post is a book review by Peter Bates, a friend and member of St Nic’s Church who works in community development. Robert Lupton’s book Toxic Charity (Harper Collins, 2012) is essential reading for anyone who gives time or money to assist the less well off. It’s a remarkably easy read that requires no background … Continue Reading

The meaning of the Millennium

It is curious that we get more excited about the supposed events leading up to Jesus’ second coming than we do about what that coming itself will bring. It is a bit like being more excited about the fixtures and fittings on a train than where the train is actually going to take you. My … Continue Reading