The ‘coming’ of Jesus in Mark 13

With the turn of the lectionary year, next Sunday we are in the first Sunday of Advent in Year B, and our gospel reading of Mark 13.24–37 plunges us straight into the questions around the anticipation of Jesus’ return at The End. (It is worth noting that there is no compelling (theo)logical reason why this … Continue Reading

Can we believe in baptism?

Questions around the meaning and practice of baptism have divided the church, and until recently questions around its importance, its efficacy, and key issues such as the baptism of children have led to heated debate. Stephen Kuhrt, vicar of Christ Church, New Malden, thinks these questions continue to be important. This led him to the unusual … Continue Reading

How should Christians clothe themselves?

  Frances Shaw completed a PhD in New Testament at Durham, and has recently published a fascinating book Wearing Well: Exploring the Biblical Imagery of Clothing. I asked her about the book—why she became interested, and what we can learn from the imagery of clothing in the Bible. IP: Clothing is clearly an important aspect of … Continue Reading

Does Christmas preach the good news?

What are you aiming to do in your Christmas services this year? For many, it is an opportunity to make use of this season which is rooted in Christian festivities—though we hardly need reminding how far many Christmas traditions have moved from that. Five years ago, it was reported that one third of children aged … Continue Reading

Did Luke get his nativity history wrong?

A couple of years ago I watched the film Gravity. The effects were spectacular, the photography breathtaking, the characterisations engaging, and the story held one’s attention throughout. It even raised some profound (religious?) questions about life, death and purpose. And yet, when I left the cinema, I could not decide whether I had enjoyed the film or … Continue Reading

Why did Jesus come?

Thousands of sermons and talks up and down the land will have attempted to answer this question in the last week. Why did Jesus come, and what are we celebrating at Christmas? Justin Welby’s sermon in Canterbury on Christmas Day focussed on the theme of freedom or liberation: In the manger is something completely different … Continue Reading