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Is there hope for unbelieving Britain?

The article that caught my eye this week in the Church Times (which I read every week) was a fascinating reflection by Philip North, the bishop of Burnley, on his visits over the summer to three different Christian ‘festivals’. He visited: the Keswick Convention, a bastion of conservative evangelical devotion, shaped by free church evangelicals […]

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Jesus was not born in a stable

I am sorry to spoil your preparations for Christmas before the Christmas lights have even gone up—though perhaps it is better to do this now than the week before Christmas, when everything has been carefully prepared. But Jesus wasn’t born in a stable, and, curiously, the New Testament hardly even hints that this might have […]

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Tradition and the contemporary at Christmas

Perhaps the greatest challenge at Christmas is how to combine the traditional with the contemporary. On the one hand, how do we honour people’s expectations of traditional forms whilst ‘proclaiming afresh in this generation’ the truths of Christmas? On the other hand, how do we make an ancient story connect with the concerns and questions […]

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baby-jesus-in-manger-with-mary-and-wise-men

Jesus wasn’t born in a stable

I am sorry to spoil your preparations for Christmas before the Christmas lights have even gone up—though perhaps it is better to do this now than the week before Christmas, when everything has been carefully prepared. But Jesus wasn’t born in a stable, and, curiously, the New Testament hardly even hints that this might have […]

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Should I choose the NIV?

Following my post yesterday on the translation decisions in the NIV, the debate has continued apace. Although some of the discussion is quite technical, and the protagonists are clearly not persuaded, David Instone-Brewer has been making some interesting points. One that caught my eye was on another well-known bugbear—the translation of Is 7.14 ‘A young woman/virgin […]

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Challenging Christmas traditions (ii)

Is it possible to preach or speak in a way which acknowledges tradition and its value, but at the same time seeks to move through or beyond the traditions of Christmas and focus on the actual meaning of Christmas in the New Testament accounts? Here is an outline of my attempt to do so from last Sunday. You might be assured to learn that I did leave the church building unharmed.

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