Is Richard Rohr’s ‘Universal Christ’ Christian?

Richard Rohr is a well-known and popular teacher, and his books are regularly best-sellers. Despite that, he is something of a ‘Marmite’ theologian—people either adore or loathe him. Depending on which side you come down on, you will either find his latest book, The Universal Christ (London: SPCK, 2019) a scintillating and energetic tour de force of … Continue Reading

Is Christian faith about ‘personal relationship with Jesus’?

There is a continuing rumbling discussion in the Church Times about the phrase ‘personal relationship with Jesus’ since Angela Tilby’s diatribe against ‘evo-speak’ in February, to which I responded with a letter the following week, and to which there have been further responses. Before exploring the issues, it is worth reflecting on the different reasons for … Continue Reading

Should Christian leaders pronounce on political positions?

Last week, Archbishop Justin Welby published an article in the Daily Mail in which he argued that wealthier families should pay more tax in order to reduce the widening levels of inequality in contemporary Britain. His comments accompanied the report of a ‘think tank’ group he has been part of, the ‘left leaning’ Institute for … Continue Reading

What’s wrong with transgender liturgy?

Last July’s General Synod passed a motion brought by Chris Newlands on behalf of Blackburn Diocese, expressing the Church’s welcome of transgender people and asking the House of Bishops to consider whether they should offer some sort of liturgy to mark the transition of a person’s sex identity. In January, the House of Bishops responded … Continue Reading

Can we still talk of being ‘lost’ and ‘found’?

The idea that those outside the Christian faith are ‘lost’ has, in the past, been of central importance in evangelical devotion. Around 10 million times a year, Christians sing John Newton’s autobiographical devotional hymn: Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, Was blind, … Continue Reading

What does it mean to be ‘lost’?

The idea that those outside the Christian faith are ‘lost’ has, in the past, been of central importance in evangelical devotion. Around 10 million times a year, Christians sing John Newton’s autobiographical devotional hymn: Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, Was blind, … Continue Reading

Welby and Wonga

Earlier this week, Justin Welby appeared to declare war on so-called ‘payday loan’ companies, specifically Wonga.com. He claimed he wanted to ‘put them out of business’, not through legislation, but by offering an alternative through Church support of credit unions. But within 27 minutes of the first story being published, it emerged that the Church … Continue Reading