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

Was Jesus black?

One of the (several) highly contentious issues in the Church of England at the moment is the question of racism, its extent in the Church, and appropriate and effective responses to it. It has long been a question of interest to me, since soon after coming to faith I felt that God might be calling … Continue Reading

How should evangelicals respond to racism?

The Church of England Evangelical Council has this morning released a fascinating new video, One, on the theological and practical issues around racism. It involves five Anglican evangelicals from different ethnic and national backgrounds reflecting together, talking about Scripture and theology, and sharing their own different experiences. It is not surprising that much of the … Continue Reading

Where are the working class?

Gary Jenkins writes: It is extraordinary how often working class people are ignored, overlooked or written out of the story altogether. A prime example was at the November meeting of the Church of England General Synod. A new vision document for the national church of a more diverse church made no mention of working class people at … Continue Reading

How to choose your own personal Jesus

Over the new year, I had an interesting, though at times bizarre, interaction with a well-known church leader in Australia (such are the wonders of the internet). This person had posted a graphic/meme similar to the one here as a light-hearted New Year’s resolution, and I added the comment: —Tell people they are sinners who … Continue Reading

Has Christmas been hijacked?

Whilst we are in the Christmas season liturgically, the main busyness of Christmas is over. Presents have been bought and given; Christmas cards and letters have been written and read; and services have been planned and executed. But in terms of Christian ministry, I have been struck this year once again by the oddness of … Continue Reading

How ‘inclusive’ is the New Jerusalem?

Sam Wells, vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields in London, wrote an interesting and significant piece in last week’s Church Times, calling for a change in focus in the way that the call is made for the Church to be ‘more inclusive’. The article was a shortened version of his address to the annual meeting of the … Continue Reading