The many meanings of Pentecost

As we come to Pentecost, our main text (in the lectionary and for preaching) is Acts 2. At one level the text is straightforward: the Twelve are completed by the addition of Matthias; they wait with other disciples as Jesus had commanded; the Spirit comes; Peter preaches; and the ‘church’ is born. But 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

Once more: on preaching on Trinity Sunday

In reposting my articles from previous years about Trinity Sunday and preaching on the Trinity, I have been led once more into some fascinating conversations, as a result of which I would like to ask three questions in relation to mystery, community, and calendar. Michael Sadgrove, former Dean of Durham Cathedral, has just posted his … Continue Reading

Is Richard Rohr a heretic?

Last week I posted a link to a review of Richard Rohr’s The Divine Dance, written by Fred Sanders in 2016 soon after Rohr’s book was published. Sanders is well-known as a conservative theologian specialising on the question of the Trinity, and his review was pretty scathing—leading to my (slightly) tongue in cheek heading ‘Just … Continue Reading

Reading Scripture with our past, with others and with God

My latest Grove booklet is on How to Interpret the Bible. After exploring the four questions of genre (kind of writing), (historical) context, content and canon, I offer the following conclusion. You might by now be wondering ‘What happened to simple, believing reading of the Bible that I was taught to do when I first came … Continue Reading

Is David Bosch’s ‘missio Dei’ an error?

Michael Lakey writes: If the literature is any guide, the work of David Jacobus Bosch constitutes for many missiologists one of the major recent theological loci of critical reflection upon the nature and ends of Christian mission.[1] A Dutch-heritage, Protestant scholar, whose adult life coincided with the apartheid era in the Republic of South Africa (RSA), … Continue Reading

What on earth is going on?

I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a … Continue Reading

Who’s in charge around here?

John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne,  and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him … Continue Reading

Preaching on Trinity Sunday

Here it comes again: that Sunday in the lectionary which most preachers dread or (to disguise this) suddenly think of guest preachers who need an opportunity to contribute their ministry. Yes, it is Trinity Sunday! Rather than offer you a sermon as a resource, I thought it would be helpful to point out three things … Continue Reading