Target Cultures, Hostile Environments and Immigration

Amber Rudd resigned on Sunday evening not because of the Windrush Generation scandal (although that created the context for her resignation) rather, it was because she misled the House of Commons over whether or not the Home Office set targets for deportation removals.

Part of the confusion seems to be around different definitions of target.  Now, for as long as I can remember, there has been strong political support for controlling immigration. Not only that, but there has been a long history of setting targets both in government and in private business in order to encourage improvement. Hospitals have been set waiting time targets, manufacturers will have on time delivery targets, schools have targets for % Grades 9-5 (replacing the old A* – C) and individual pupils will have target grades. So, I am inclined to think that the confusion may have been genuine rather than intentional misleading as I’m not sure what Rudd had to gain from this.  Continue reading

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A Tragic Victory (2 Samuel 18)

Absalom should not have died that day. It was unjust, avoidable, a tragedy. I’ve mentioned a few times recently the difference between comedy and tragedy. Comedy ends in victory, joy and celebration. The protagonist is better off at the end than at the start. Tragedy ends in disaster for the central characters. Continue reading

Life and Death Decisions, Lawyers, Judges and family

This year has seen two very sad high profile medical cases relating to the treatment of seriously ill children, Charlie Garde and Alfie Evans. In the second case, the Christian Legal Centre got involved. As they explain here, they did so in order to ensure that a family were supported and had advocates speaking for them. Continue reading

Preaching Old Testament and other Narrative Passages

Here are a couple of tips and thoughts around preparing to preach or teach on Old Testament narrative -actually these potentially apply into the NT and other contexts as well. However, I hope this will be particularly helpful as we continue to work through 2 Samuel and prepare to teach on the end of Genesis at Sunday Night Church. Continue reading

So where do good works fit in?

Over the last couple of days, you’ve been able to read a few articles on the subject of good works and how these are not the same as the Gospel. These include Stephen Kneale on what is Gospel work as well as two articles here on Good news to the poor and the relationship between Good works and Good News. Both Stephen and I have argued that Good works are not the same thing as The Good News. Continue reading

What do good works have to do with The Good News?

We’re talking about what is the Gospel, what Gospel work is and how the local church is involved. It’s a twitter conversation provoked by Stephen Kneale’s article here.

Then I receive this response:

“When we separate the gospel (good news) from the word ‘good’ we’re in trouble!”[1] Continue reading