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Did Jesus die to ‘satisfy God’s wrath’?

Four years ago I commented on the well-known hymn (which you might have sung yesterday), ‘In Christ Alone’ by Stuart Townend. This had been prompted by the decision in the Presbyterian Church (USA) to drop the  hymn because the song’s authors refused to change a phrase about the wrath of God. The original lyrics say that “on […]

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Can all-age worship be cringe-free?

Over Easter, there are likely to be several times in any church where the worship service will include all ages together. Some time ago, I helped to lead an all-age service at St Nic’s, where I am Associate Minister, looking at the story of Jonah. I had some interesting and encouraging feedback from the congregation; one person […]

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What’s wrong with Comic Relief?

We were subjected once again to the annual ritual of Comic Relief, where it is demanded that we oscillate between the emotions of laughter and grief in order to reach a fund-raising target. There seems to be more criticism of the event this year then in previous years, not for its ends but for its […]

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Do we need common prayer?

Over at Living Church, the US Episcopal Church website, they have been hosting a discussion about liturgy and unity prompted by the prospect of revision of the 1979 Prayer Book. Andrew Pearson, dean of the Cathedral Church of the Advent, Birmingham, Alabama, questions whether doctrinal unity (such as it is) should be maintained through notional commitment […]

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How often did Jesus and his followers fast?

How often did Jesus and the first generation of his followers fast? Was it an occasional thing, focused on specific events or causes? Or was it something more habitual and regular, an integral part of their devotional life? As most studies of the subject point out, fasting in the Old Testament was associated either with […]

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Moving beyond Common Worship

On different occasions I have explored here some of the problems and issues with Common Worship. This has included general issues with the approach, some difficulties with Daily Prayer, and criticisms of the additional baptism texts as well as how they might be helpful. Underlying all these issues is the question of CW’s overall approach: rather […]

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Is our worship any good?

Have you ever had the experience of attending a church (visiting another, or even attending your own), and what you need is some sense of encounter with God—but the entire attention is taken up with the words on the screen not appearing on time, or the person leading constantly going ‘Ummmm…’ or the thurifer not […]

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