How to speak on radio (and TV)

At this time of year there are a myriad of opportunities to speak on local radio, and now even on local television channels. I was fortunate enough to do a media training course as part of my ordination training (despite the fact that residential training is apparently supposed to be bookish and irrelevant to ministry!) … Continue Reading

The Toxic Language in Education

A few weeks ago I was in a meeting at the school where I am a governor to review last year’s performance against targets. As we were looking at each subject area, and the ‘added value’ the school had brought to the results, mapped against ‘expected achievement’, we (quite naturally) fell into a kind of … 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

Why all the ‘End times’ speculation?

There seems to be a rash of ‘end times speculation’ material coming to us from across the pond. The latest one is from someone called David Jeremiah—which I guess is a good name for someone claiming to have power and to be a prophet! (Think about it…). I haven’t looked in detail at this one, … Continue Reading

The Rolf Harris affair

With the conviction of Rolf Harris on 12 counts of sexual abuse, it is difficult to know what aspect of the whole affair is most shocking. Is it the length of time that Harris was active as an abuser? Or the age of his victims—one as young as seven? Or the devastating impact of his actions … Continue Reading

The most important election issue

Polly Toynbee has set out a devastating critique of the Coalition Government’s latest initiative in its strategy of outsourcing. The most terrible power the state can wield is to take children away from their parents for ever. The idea that companies such as Serco and G4S, already under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office, should be invited … Continue Reading

Responding to Rev

Jeremy Fletcher thinks there should be no more blog posts about Rev—so this, I promise, will be my last (of only two!). But my reflection here is less on Rev itself, and more in reactions to it, and why they have been so polarised. This was shown starkly in comments on my Facebook post. I … Continue Reading

Did Jesus have a beard?

Simon Jenkins has a wonderfully witty article about the theological significance of beards over at Reform Magazine. (That’s the magazine of the URC, not the other lot!). It was prompted by the arrival through the post of a Jesus Shaves mug, where a bearded Jesus becomes clean-shaven when you fill it up with hot tea. … Continue Reading

Mission, democracy and flourishing

Nineteenth-century missionaries were culturally insensitive colonials, colluding with the colonial powers to oppress local culture and impose their own values, to the detriment of those they were proselytising. Right? Wrong, according to some remarkable research reported in this month’s Christianity Today. For many of our contemporaries, no one sums up missionaries of an earlier era … Continue Reading