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I hope you find material here to enrich, resource and inspire you as you learn and grow in your own discipleship and ministry.

Grove: Evangelical LeadershipTo learn more about my concerns for ministry, read my Grove booklet on Evangelical Leadership.


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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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How to capture text from Google Books

Google is a great place for searching for things and doing research—not just for the trivial, but also for serious academic research. Google Scholar will give you academic articles and books, and also show where books and articles have been cited elsewhere. And Google Books can give helpful access to books which might be out […]

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The Bible and the Gay Debate

I have been following and involved in the discussion about same-sex relations since Buzz magazine published an article on it when I was 16. (I will leave you to guess how many years ago that was; anyone else remember Buzz? It eventually morphed into Christianity). It had a wonderfully euphemistic picture on the front cover […]

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Is ‘our God greater’?

Over the last few months I have found myself less and less comfortable with the song by Chris Tomlin that has the chorus: Our God is greater, our God is stronger God you are higher than any other Our God is Healer, awesome in power Our God, Our God… At first I thought that the […]

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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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What is wrong with allegorical reading?

I just had a fascinating interaction online in the context of discussing the relation of the Old Testament to the New. The conversation went something like this. Blogger: ‘There is no difference between the OT and the NT. There is nothing in the NT which is not in the OT.’ Me: ‘What about Jesus?’ Blogger: […]

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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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The historic interpretation of 1 Tim 2

The Sunday lectionary in the Anglican version of the RCL is paying an occasional visit to the Pastorals just now. But it is neatly stepping over the most problematic passage for contemporary preaching, 1 Tim 2.8–15. The current debate about these verses is often characterised as being between those who maintain the ‘historic’ understanding of […]

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Do we need to ‘interpret’ the Bible?

Some years ago a well-known Christian leader, minister of a large and influential church, proclaimed: I don’t interpret the Bible. I just tell you what it says. How you react to that statement will say quite a lot about your attitude to the Bible, its interpretation, and the role of ministry. On the one hand, […]

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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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