How does the cross overcome not just our guilt, but our shame?

Jon Kuhrt writes: A continual challenge in Christian community work and social action is the connection between the practical work being done with the actual message itself. People can pour into church buildings for toddler groups, foodbanks, lunch clubs, youth clubs and night shelters. But often these social action programmes become detached and disconnected from the message … Continue Reading

Is it time to rethink the ‘testimony’?

At the Second Festival of Theology, Mike Starkey (who teaches at the Church Army centre in Sheffield) suggested that we need to rethink the traditional ‘testimony’: It is a truth universally acknowledged that Christians invited to talk about their faith look terrified. Most people simply don’t know where to start. And that’s before you introduce … Continue Reading

Billy Graham: a tribute

John Martin writes: On a balmy April Sunday in 1959, my Dad arranged a bus to transport people from our tiny outback township to hear Billy Graham via landline relay. It entailed a sixty mile round trip. I have one abiding memory. As soon as Billy issued his customary appeal a smartly dressed man with … Continue Reading

Three Christmas Surprises

Christmas is a time for celebration, for feasting and for relationships. But it is also a time for a mild engagement in iconoclasm, as we peel back the layers of accreted tradition and recover the origins of the Christmas gospel. In that spirit (and Spirit) I offer three Christmas surprises for you to unwrap at … Continue Reading

Should we preach at Carol services?

A couple of years ago, David Walker, the bishop of Manchester, conducted some research on the distinctive needs of occasional attenders who might come to Christmas services, but don’t attend the rest of the year. This appears to be an important group; I have noticed each year how many people are reporting increased attendances at … Continue Reading