How do we walk the way of the cross in a world seeking happiness?

Savvas Costi writes: We’re drowning in our own personas. Our cultural mood is one where the self has thrown off all constraints in the pursuit of self-discovery, where all absolutes have been dissolved and meta-narratives deconstructed; we followed Nietzsche’s lead in thinking we could philosophise with a hammer and deconstruct the house we were living … Continue Reading

What are people ‘really’ doing when celebrating Christmas?

Around this time of year, there comes a recurrent debate about what people are ‘really’ doing when they celebrate Christmas. A while ago, there was a programme on Radio 4 exploring the origins of the tunes of carols. For example, the tune for Good King Wenceslas was originally a spring carol celebrating the fertility of nature. It is … Continue Reading

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

I’m really not busy…

Three times in the last week or so, I have received a communication from someone which says ‘I know you are very busy…’ and these have stuck in my mind. One of these said ‘I am sure you are very busy—I know that I am.’ A couple of things struck me immediately. The first, and … Continue Reading

Does the Spirit need liturgy?

At the second Festival of Theology last week, the first talk was given by Graham Hunter, Vicar of St John’s Hoxton in London. This is what he said. Introduction – Trellis & Vine I spent the second half of August this year with my wife and children in a Provencal Mas – a converted farmhouse … Continue Reading

How to prune for fruitfulness

With the end of the big freeze promised, the time is coming for the first pruning of Spring. I love this time of year, and have reflected from my previous years’ experience on why pruning is so important and satisfying. These truths apply to the garden and to our lives. Pruning needs confidence. You only prune … Continue Reading

Can Spirit-led worship be structured?

What is the relationship between duty and joy—discipline and desire? Is it possible to have formal, liturgical, structured worship services in which there is also freedom and space for distinctive ministries of the Holy Spirit? Are formal liturgies themselves ‘gifts’ of the Spirit to the church for enabling our worship? Is Holy Communion ‘like the … Continue Reading

How does the Spirit help resolve critical questions about the Bible?

In my previous post, I highlighted the dilemma we find ourselves in when there is a dissonance between our experience of hearing God speak through Scripture and our experience of engaging in more reflective study of the same texts. I characterised these two sets of experiences as follows:   Immediacy — Delay Clarity — Ambiguity Relevance … Continue Reading