What is happening in current study of the Gospels and Acts?

The introductory textbooks Exploring the New Testament are a fantastic one-stop guide to engaging with the gospels and Acts (volume 1) and the letters and Revelation (volume 2). Published by SPCK, volume 1 has just been issued in a third, substantially revised, edition. (The third edition of volume 2, to which I have contributed, will be … Continue Reading

Fourth Festival of Theology Tuesday 9th June 2020

As part of building a community of reflection related to the blog, I have previously hosted three one-day Festivals of Theology during 2018 and 2019. On each occasion we had a great time of listening, learning, reflection and discussion, with around 100 people attending on each occasion. As a result I am planning a fourth Festival on Tuesday … Continue Reading

Is dialogue preaching useful—or possible?

My previous post, questioning whether monologue preaching was really effective and sustainable, provoked and interesting range of responses and discussion—which both highlights the wide range of views, and demonstrates that dialogue on important issues can be rather helpful! Some agreed enthusiastically: monologues are used by ministers as an exercise in power and control. Monologue sermons … Continue Reading

Can preaching remain a monologue?

Some time ago, early on a Sunday morning, I had a phone call. The person preaching at the service in two hours’ time was unwell, and would not be able to preach. I was leading the service; what should I do about the sermon? My first thought was: what a great opportunity to do some … Continue Reading

How to lead all-age Communion

There were some very interesting responses posted, on the blog and on social media, in response to the case I made in the previous post that we can do all-age worship well, that it is important to do so, and offering guidelines to make it work. But there was one particular response from those living … Continue Reading

Can we do all-age worship well?

There was a time, a few years ago, where there seemed to be a significant movement arguing for good, engaged all-age worship as an important part of our ministry to and with children. As I visit different churches, usually as a visiting preacher, it seems to me that movement has died away. It might be … Continue Reading

What are the issues in ministerial training?

In the modern era there have been three major reviews of ordination training in the Church of England. All three have tried to address some important structural issues; all three have been controversial and have been (to some extent) ideologically driven; all three have had unfortunate unintended consequences. The first was the imaginatively named ACCM … Continue Reading

Why we all need printed Bibles

It’s not uncommon in churches, when the time comes for the Bible reading, to see people reach not for a printed pew Bible, but for their phones, to read the Bible on a phone app. When I was in a session at New Wine this summer, the speaker at the morning Bible study (Miriam Swaffield) … Continue Reading