Woke Evangelicals or Heretics?

As I’ve been thinking and writing about our challenges with race and class, a few things from the other side of the Atlantic have caught my eye. Reformed Evangelicals in the States have started to take the racism question very seriously. This resulted in a conference to mark the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s death earlier this year. Continue reading

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Corporate Repentance?

Over the past few weeks I’ve been writing about the challenge facing our churches as we recognise our failure to reach people from working class and ethnic minorities with the gospel and to grow churches that in terms of attendance, membership and leadership reflect ethnic and class diversity.

I’ve noted that there have been a number of calls for repentance for past failure and past sin and the possibility of “corporate repentance”. In a previous article, I talked about the need some of the challenges with this, specifically, how do you bring people together collectively and who speaks for them. Continue reading

An ongoing conversation about discernment and judgement

Stephen Kneale has kindly published a “letter to the editor” from me today.  This was in response to his article yesterday. Go across to his website and have a look at it and then spend a bit of time reading some of the other fantastic articles he has written.

I also want to draw your attention to this because I think it reflects how we can helpfully discuss and debate in order to reach greater clarity.  This is of course in the context of some conversations appearing on social media that seem to be going less well. Continue reading

Who really believes in a trickle down effect?

The trickle down theory, is the concept that if the wealthy are free to get wealthier then there will be a trickle down of that wealth to the middle and working classes so all benefit. This means if you cut taxes at the top, then eventually all will eventually benefit. The approach is particularly associated with Thatcherite and Blairite economics. Continue reading

Don’t self impose a spiritual hosepipe ban

Every 20 years or so we have a blazing hot summer. It’s a rare event in the UK and the clues are not that hard to spot. First of all, it’s ages since we’ve had a summer like this. Secondly, it tends to be preceded by a hard winter with an exceptional amount of snow( don’t take that as scientific fact,hits just my perception). When one of those summers come as it has this year, we start to get warnings about conserving water, about taking showers instead of baths and the ominous threat of a hose-pipe ban is raised. At the same time, newspapers publish articles about the amount of water lost to leaks by the water companies. They argue thaf we don’t really have a water shortage problem in the UK in the same way that other countries do. We just aren’t every good at managing the water we have. Continue reading

Judgement, discernment, the heart and the Gospel – updated

In my article “When things get nasty” I commented on the reaction to David Robertson’s article “An open letter to Vicky Beeching.” One particularly controversial part of his article was this bit: Continue reading

Preaching without a script

It’s one of the perennial debates among preachers. Is it better to preach with a full script, notes, or no notes at all. A little while back my friend Stephen Kneale wrote an article in defence of the full script. It was as much a reaction against the legalistic and at times competitive approach to minimal notes. You can read it here.

My intention here is not to insist that you should preach without notes or with minimal notes but to give a few tips for those who want to try this way. I do have a personal preference for minimal/ no notes for the following reasons. Continue reading