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How did John influence the Synoptics?

If that sounds like an odd question to you, then you need to know that someone once wrote a PhD on the influence of T S Eliot on Shakespeare. The thesis was of course on how our reading of Eliot creates a lens through which we then read Shakespeare (I am assuming, dear reader, that […]

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What does ‘abundant life’ look like?

I’ve recently noticed how often people quote John 10.10 ‘I have come that they might have life, and life in abundance’, often in the context of ethical debate. (I am not sure whether it is happening more, or just whether I am more alert to it.) When one person is arguing for a more restrictive ethical […]

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Compassion and power in John 11

If someone is in a fix, do you listen sympathetically and show you understand, or do you try and remedy the problem? Of course, that is a false dichotomy, but it a challenge we face often. If you want to take a stereotyped or generalised view of sex difference, by and large women tend to […]

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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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God’s gifts to us at Christmas

It might seem like time to wish everyone ‘A Happy New Year’. But, contrary to our culture’s assumption that Christmas consists of the busyness of consumption and comes to both a climax and a full stop on Christmas Day, for Christians that is when Christmas starts, and we are still in the Christmas season—for another […]

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Preaching Christ the King

This Sunday, the last of the liturgical year, is Christ the king, and comes immediately before Advent. It is a slightly odd festival, since one of the key themes of Advent is not the anticipation of Christmas, but the anticipation of Jesus’ return as king; the Latin adventus is a translation of the Greek parousia […]

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The Spirituality of John part (i)

It feels like a natural thing to be reflecting on the spirituality of St John’s gospel; after all, it has been referred to as ‘the spiritual gospel’ since the early church. Mark’s driving narrative presents us with Jesus as a man of action, making clear who he is through what he does. Matthew’s organised presentation […]

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