Ministry amongst those with memory loss, often through the onset of dementia, can be very challenging—but it is a growing aspect of life as people live longer. In the latest Grove Mission and Evangelism booklet, Steven Morris tells the remarkable story of the development of a Memory Café at his church in North Wembley. The … Continue Reading
Richard Peers writes: Not so many years ago it was generally accepted that the Church of England was a finely balanced three-legged stool of Anglo-Catholics, evangelicals and the liberal establishment. The debate about the ordination of women has diminished Anglo-Catholicism both in numbers and in the diversion of energy – particularly of our best leaders and organisers. … Continue Reading
Jesus’ ‘parable’ of the sheep and the goats in Matt 25.31–46 is very well known and widely misinterpreted. (It is not actually a parable, since it is not introduced with the typical ‘The kingdom is like…’ and it is not making use of a story from another context, such as farming and economics, to draw out a … Continue Reading
The idea that those outside the Christian faith are ‘lost’ has, in the past, been of central importance in evangelical devotion. Around 10 million times a year, Christians sing John Newton’s autobiographical devotional hymn: Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, Was blind, … Continue Reading
Keir Shreeves writes: The arts have a unique power to unlock the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ. This is nothing new; Christianity has found expression in the arts for over two thousand years and many of the great masterpieces of Western art came about because the church was historically the major patron to the arts. … Continue Reading
It seems to be increasingly common in a range of ethical debates in the public sphere for one protagonist or other to reach for the formula ‘God is love’ as a quick resolution to disagreement. But this is usually done in a particular way, in the form of a progressive from God to us and … Continue Reading
A little while ago, I preached on Isaiah chapter 1, and it challenged me to think through how we proclaim bad news in our preaching. I have generally observed a striking divide between theological traditions in relation to whether the gospel is in fact ‘good news’ (as the word ‘gospel’ tells us—a ‘good spell’ or word), … Continue Reading
I have long hated the mantra ‘From maintenance to mission.’ I think the only reason that is has succeeded is because of its alliterative appeal (which does demonstrate the power of rhetoric). But a moment’s thought about this tired phrase will tell you: if we don’t maintain our church communities, what do we have to … Continue Reading
Before you came to faith, were you ‘lost’? Many Christians, and particularly evangelicals, would answer ‘yes’ for a range of reasons. Most often this question is answered in relation to theological categories, and the ‘objective’ sense of the term: being ‘lost’ can mean that we are lost to God, or that (in Pauline terms) we … Continue Reading
Why does our experience of Christian life often seem so contradictory? Why do we so often seem to move from experiences of triumph and wonder to experiences of doubt and failure? (I have a sense that this is a universal question, and not just a function of my getting older and more jaded…) An answer … Continue Reading
There has been a mighty ruckus about the National Trust and Cadbury’s decision to rename the traditional Easter Egg Hunt on National Trust properties the Cadbury Egg Hunt. Two things are quite striking about this story: first, that it concerns something pretty trivial; and second, that there has been widespread and strong reaction to it.
The National Trust was facing a membership boycott amid a growing backlash over the decision to drop “Easter” from the name of its annual Easter egg hunt. The charity and Cadbury’s faced criticism from all quarters including the Prime Minister, other faith leaders, and members of the Cadbury family over the “frankly ridiculous” decision to rename their annual event. Members said that they were reconsidering their payments to the National Trust as many took to social media to ask the charity how they could cancel their subscriptions.