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Tag Archives | grace

ponderer

What is the most important thing in preaching?

What would you say is the single most important thing in preaching—either as the person preaching or as someone who listens? I guess many people would suggest clarity of delivery, or humour, or connecting with the congregation, or being based in Scripture. All of these are of great importance, though of course all are open […]

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Is grace opposed to law?

It is relatively commonplace, in ordinary discussions about Christian discipleship, to hear the idea expressed that grace is the opposite to ‘law’. I think this is intended at a number of different levels: we are forgiven by God’s grace, and not because of (or in fact despite of) how we have lived our lives; our […]

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gift-giving

The subversive power of grace

The latest Grove Biblical text is by John Barclay, Lightfoot Professor of Divinity at the University of Durham, and is a profound exploration of the meaning of grace, following his major work from last year Paul and the Gift. John starts with a very helpful analysis of what might be called the taxonomy of grace: when […]

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gift-giving

Does grace despise virtue?

In our mid-size group in our church we are using the Pilgrim Course to study the Lord’s Prayer. This week we were reflecting on ‘Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us’, and we were directed to explore the so-called parable of the Prodigal Son (really, the parable of the Forgiving […]

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socialexclusion

Is ‘inclusion’ a Christian virtue?

Most people reading the title above will wonder what the debate is about—but in different directions. Some will say ‘of course is it’ and others ‘of course it isn’t’. The latest title in the Grove Ethics series explores this vexed question and is a powerful and important study by Dr Edward Dowler, formerly Vice Principal of St Stephen’s […]

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What does grace demand?

In the discussion about my explanation of the Primates’ Meeting, James Byron (a regular commentator on this blog, who comes from quite a different theological position from me) puts his finger on what is at the heart of the matter: The press portray this split as being about sex, when in reality, it’s about authority […]

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There’s something (humble) about Mary

I know Christmas circular letters are not everyone’s cup of tea, but we enjoy writing ours as a review of the year, and catching up with what has been going on in the lives of others. For those who don’t like them, their distaste is summed up in that archetypal circular where everything is going wonderfully […]

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trumpet

Should Christians be competent?

There is the moment that every Christian leader dreads. Someone in the congregation comes and tells you that God has called them to a particular ministry in the church. You don’t want to be discouraging, so you find a place for this to be exercised. The person concerned is passionate about it, feels strongly God […]

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Mark 10 and the contradictions of grace

I am preaching tomorrow on the lectionary reading, Mark 10.2–16, as many of you will be—and I feel not a little intimidated by the challenge. It feels though there was a time when reading and preaching on this passage was a lot more straightforward than it feels now. (Life as generally a lot less complicated […]

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