Choose your friends and allies carefully (on the Jordan Peterson – Cathy Newman interview)

Jordan Peterson is getting a lot of loving at the moment, particularly from people who would identify as socially conservative and this means that a few evangelicals have picked up on him.

The reason for the attention is an interview he did with Cathy Newman from Channel 4.  Newman was the interviewer who took down Tim Farron during the General Election campaign with the question “Is Gay Sex sin?” She was also involved in investigating John Smyth and his links to Iwerne camps. This means that Newman has got history and a lot of people probably want to see her bettered. Continue reading


God, Change and Debate – a recent controversy revisited.

Back in December, I wrote a little about the dangers and challenges about how engage in theological debate and disagreement.[1]

Dangers include

  1. That we can become obsessed about an issue and build it up to be more important than it is to the point of serious division between genuine believers.
  2. That we can personalise the debate and pollute the conversation with intemperate language
  3. That the other side of the coin is that we can miss why something is important.

I wrote in the context of concerns about how recent debates about The Doctrine of God has been conducted. I wasn’t convinced that the debate was helpful to church life. This is sad because: Continue reading

Dave’s Reading List – Church History

Pastors, elders, church leaders and, in fact, anyone wanting to grow in their faith should want to have a good grasp of church history.

Reading history, especially church history causes us to rejoice as we look back at God’s providential care for his people and the advance of the Gospel. Continue reading

Bearwood Chapel Annual Report

Why we do what we do

An annual report often goes straight into listing all the things we have done and what we have seen  happen over the year.  However, it’s good to stop from time to time and describe what why we do what we do.

We can summarise this as we want to help people who don’t know Jesus to come to know him and to grow in him, in order to see Bearwood and beyond transformed by the gospel to God’s glory.[1]

This is why we seek to share the love of Jesus in everything we do, caring for one another and providing practical help and advice to others through ESOL classes, Toddlers groups, advocacy, the Community Café etc. It’s why we use the opportunities given to share the Gospel with people 1-1, in preaching, through evangelistic Bible studies such as First Look and on line. It’s why we gather for worship each week in our different congregations:

Over the past year, we have been talking about what we do in terms of “ActBC.” We have identified three streams to this. This reflects a concern beyond our building and immediate community to the wider community in the Black Country area. Continue reading

Training urban planters and pastors (4) Think Missional

I want to keep coming back to the point that when I talk about training pastors and planters for urban ministry, I am not asking for special allowances or a dumbed down syllabus. Remember that my argument is that people from a working-class background are as capable as people from a middle class background.[1] My argument is that there are different ways in which people access learning. Continue reading

Training urban pastors and planters in context (part 3): Assessment – a proposal

I’ve written a few times on about the need to think again about how we train pastors and planters for urban ministry.[1] As you know I have been arguing that we should be aiming to train people in context who for all sorts of reasons may not be able to access seminary based training. However, we also want to ensure that those trainee pastors benefit from the same quality of training.  Continue reading

Tim Farron, that question again and worldviews

Remember during the General Election when Tim Farron (at the time the Liberal Democrat’s leader) was asked whether he thought gay sex was a sin or not? Well, you probably have noticed that he has been asked about it again, this time by Premier Radio. He now says that he regrets not sticking to his guns on what is and isn’t sin.   Continue reading