What is the Bishop of Oxford thinking?

Steven Croft, the bishop of Oxford, yesterday published a booklet Together in Love and Faith, in which he sets out his thinking about same-sex relationships, and proposes that the Church of England should provide public services for the blessing of same-sex civil partnerships and marriages, but allow a conscience clause for those who dissent, and eventually … Continue Reading

Jesus calls Zacchaeus in Luke 19

The lectionary reading for the Fourth Sunday before Advent in Year C is the story of Zacchaeus’ encounter with Jesus in Luke 19.1–10, a story found only in this gospel. This short narrative episode has all the elements that make it a perfect Sunday-school story—the witty irony of the ‘big’ man who is too small … Continue Reading

What is the New Testament’s vision of mission?

  I have just published my second Grove booklet of the summer: What is the New Testament’s Vision of Mission? Here I offer the introduction and conclusion; the intermediate chapters explore some key passages in the NT which give insight into mission theology and practice. Does the New Testament have a vision of mission? At one level, … Continue Reading

The seven practices of evangelical spirituality

Evangelical identity is often thought to be best defined by the four aspects defined by David Bebbington in his Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A History from the 1730s to the 1980s (London: Unwin Hyman, 1989; London: Routledge, 2003): There are four qualities that have been the special marks of Evangelical religion: conversionism, the belief that lives … Continue Reading

What is Jesus’ approach to mission in Luke 10? video discussion

This week Sunday lectionary reading for Trinity 3 Year C is Luke 10.1–11, 16–20 which records Jesus sending out the seventy-(two) on ‘mission’ and their return. It is passage that is rich with material for reflection on issues of ministry and pastoral theology—but one that also includes some surprising and challenging perspectives on what mission … Continue Reading

How do people view the Church of England?

Stephen Hance is National Lead for Evangelism and Witness for the Church of England. He has written a fascinating Grove Booklet arising from his research in his current role, Seeing Ourselves as Others See Us: Perceptions of the Church of England. I was able to ask him about his research and its implications for national and … Continue Reading