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What’s wrong with Comic Relief?

We were subjected once again to the annual ritual of Comic Relief, where it is demanded that we oscillate between the emotions of laughter and grief in order to reach a fund-raising target. There seems to be more criticism of the event this year then in previous years, not for its ends but for its […]

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whisper

Personal disclosure within preaching

How much should I share of my personal experience in the context of preaching? This is a perennial question facing anyone in ministry in the local church—and relevant to speaking on other occasions too. My first encounter with the issue arose when I was a teenager. I remember one of the lay preachers in the […]

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How often did Jesus and his followers fast?

How often did Jesus and the first generation of his followers fast? Was it an occasional thing, focused on specific events or causes? Or was it something more habitual and regular, an integral part of their devotional life? As most studies of the subject point out, fasting in the Old Testament was associated either with […]

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Money, faith and the Church of England

It is always interesting when there is a report on finance, just as when there is a report on numbers (e.g. on attendance). The reason for that is not because we should be obsessed with either numbers or money (though some people clearly are for all sorts of reasons). It is because these are two […]

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Jesus Christ Crucifixion on Good Friday Silhouette

Glory and grace

This guest contribution comes from David Shepherd, who is regular contributor to discussion on this blog. Originally from Trinidad, David is an Architectural IT Manager who ‘discovered a passion for “unschooled” apologetics all too late in life’. He worships in Guildford Diocese where is he a member of the House of Laity on Diocesan Synod. God’s Glory is a […]

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fasting

How often should we fast?

Since we are now in Lent, it might be a good time to review the spiritual habit of fasting. Jesus clearly expected his followers to fast after he had gone, so it is odd that this is not a widespread habit amongst all Christians. To answer this, we need to ask some background questions. How often […]

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Allocating giving for ministry (‘parish share’)

In just about every deanery I have been involved with, the allocation of ‘parish share’, the contribution to the central financing of the diocese, has been a matter of contention. As with many decisions, disagreements are heightened when they are focussed on the practical decisions involved. This is often because underlying principles have not been […]

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How often did Jesus’ followers fast?

How often did the first Jesus-followers fast? Was it an occasional thing, focused on specific events or causes? Or was it something more habitual and regular, an integral part of their devotional life? As most studies of the subject point out, fasting in the Old Testament was associated either with particular festivals (such as the […]

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Nine reasons why you should fast

1. Jesus said so Jesus didn’t command fasting as a spiritual discipline as such, but he appears to assume that that is what his followers will do. In the so-called ‘Sermon on the Mount’ in Matt 5–7, he says ‘When you give…’ (Matt 6.2), ‘When you pray…’ (Matt 6.5) and ‘When you fast…’ (Matt 6.17). […]

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Personal disclosure in preaching

How much should I share of my personal experience in the context of preaching? This is a perennial question facing anyone in ministry in the local church. My first encounter with the issue arose when I was a teenager. I remember one of the lay preachers in the church I attended making some point and […]

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