Who do you think you are? (John 8: 31-59)

  1. Who do you think you are? Is a TV show where celebrities trace back their family tree in the hope that their forefathers will have been related to royalty. To their embarrassment, half the time they discover that their ancestors were semi-literate convicts. Continue reading

“I am not a criminal” Guilt, shame and decriminalisation

There were some notable moments of passion in the House of Commons emergency debate on abortion in Northern Ireland last Tuesday.[1] Notably these included the contributions from Sammy Wilson and Maria Caulfield who challenged MPs to focus exactly where they did not on the life of the unborn baby.

There were also passionate and moving speeches by supporters of the motion including Heidi Allen and Jess Phillips who both spoke as women who had been through abortions. From their point of view, access to abortion was part of a woman’s right to control her own body, a right they had been able to benefit from but denied to women in Northern Ireland. Continue reading

The Split …when comedy is lost in tragedy and no-one knows (Spoilers)

I got annoyed at the TV this week! It wasn’t the news or Question Time but a TV series Sarah and I were watching on catch up.

The programme was called The Split and it’s all about a family on the brink. There’s several strands to the story.

  1. A law firm in crisis. It’s one of those old fashioned family firms but oldest daughter has broken away in order to join a much larger company.
  2. The family specialise in divorce law -and so there are a number of little stories about divorces and pre-nuptual agreements.
  3. The youngest daughter is about to get married -but will they get to the altar.
  4. Dad who walked out many years ago suddenly shows up again.

The eldest daughter Hannah’s marriage is under pressure, one of the lawyers at the new firm had been in a relationship with her many years ago. He now is trying to get her back after his own marriage ended. Hannah resists but her life is thrown into crisis when it emerges that her husband has had an affair. Continue reading

Joseph as a type of Christ

Like King David, Joseph offers us both an example as a typical believer and a pointer to the Gospel as a type of Christ. Here I want to pick up on some of the ways that Joseph provides us with that pointer to Christ and the Gospel. Continue reading

Men and women and the abortion debate

When I asked a couple of questions and shared a little of my view about abortion on twitter, I quickly got back responses to the affect of “shut up, it is nothing to do with you.” Here’s one example typical of that type of response:

“Okay, convince me that ANY man can have any concept of how it feels to be pregnant when there is any problem with that pregnancy, social, economic, biological, psychological. Why are there so many men in this debate? What do they think they can contribute?”[1] Continue reading

Why MPs should vote against abortion in Northern Ireland today

You have got to give Stella Creasy her due. She has moved very quickly to turn up the pressure for extending UK abortion laws and caught defenders of life on the hop.  A couple of people have written blog articles but there’s no real sense of the significance of this.

Maybe, the reason is that we already have abortion laws in the UK and so extending them to one out of line province isn’t seen as that big a deal. However, I want to suggest that it is a big deal and those who care about life need to wake up.  It’s a big deal because something different had begun to happen over the past decade, the conversation about abortion had begun to change. People watched TV programmes with the latest scientific knowledge on display and the latest technology enabling us to have a window on the womb and to see young life developing. We were beginning to row back a little from the culture of death. The last major change to our abortion laws was to reduce the time limit to 24 weeks and other votes whilst unsuccessful were about reducing not increasing its provision. Continue reading

A disturbing Interruption (Genesis 38)

Our Sunday Night Church studies have been taking us through the life of Joseph in Genesis 37-50. The story begins in chapter 37 with Joseph telling his brothers about his dreams, being given a beautiful coat marking his father’s love for him and then being sold into slavery. However instead of continuing the story with Joseph’s service in Potiphar’s house, chapter 38 interrupts the flow with the disturbing story of Judah and Tamar. Continue reading