In what way does Jesus ‘welcome’ sinners?

When I was a teenager, one of the books I treasured was William Barclay’s New Testament Words. It was a collection of word studies—with an impressive Scrabble-style tiling of Greek words on the cover—though the words were not necessarily the most common, obvious, or theologically weighty terms. But it was my first introduction to the Greek … Continue Reading

Can liturgy be missional?

One of the current debates happening in the Church of England is about the relation between liturgical forms of worship and the task of mission. Put simply, some would claim that a highly structured and ‘liturgical’ service—in the sense of being shaped by formal liturgy—creates barriers to outsiders and is therefore an obstacle to mission … Continue Reading

Archbishops, politics, and migration policy

I was invited yesterday to take part in a discussion this morning on ITV’s Good Morning Britain—but they wanted someone in the studio rather than on Zoom. The question to discuss was: does the Christian faith say something about politics, and should church leaders ‘interfere’ in politics. Introducing the item (at 7.20 am), the presenter … Continue Reading

Who is welcome in the people of God?

I write a column for Preach magazine, in which I explore a significant word or phrase in the Bible and the ideas that it expresses. The first one was on the phrase ‘Word of God’, and second on ‘Justice’, the third on ‘Mission’, the fourth on ‘Apocalypse‘, and the fifth on healing. This one, to … Continue Reading

Expressing God’s welcome

Thom Shultz has explored the reasons why people both leave and stay away from the church in the West, and proposes Four Acts of Love that could make the church ‘irresistible.’ With a bit of cultural translation, I think he is on to something important. The first Act of Love is called ‘Radical Hospitality.’ Shultz … Continue Reading