Did the Syrophoenician woman in Mark 7 teach Jesus not to be racist?

The gospel lectionary reading for Trinity 14 in Year B is Mark 7.24-37, which includes the episode of Jesus’ encounter with the Syrophoenician woman that often brings readers up short, containing as it does what appears to be a rather shocking insult. Jesus is seeking to withdraw from public attention, needing some time for rest … Continue Reading

On bishops, creation and the environment

Last week, the Diocese of Oxford posted a video, the first in a planned series of four, in which Olivia Graham, the recently-appointed bishop of Reading, gave a short theological introduction to the reasons why Christians should be concerned about the environment. In it, I think she said some unusual and (it turned out controversial) … Continue Reading

How do we handle the complexities of the Bible, sexual ethics, and contemporary culture?

Sam Evans writes: Earlier this year I had the opportunity to study a module in Christian Ethics.  I was both daunted and excited. Once I’d vaguely orientated myself in the worlds of Plato, Aristotle, Kant and others, I thought I was ready to explore some contemporary issues.  Little did I realise that I would actually find … Continue Reading