How we relate to leaders

We’ve taken time in recent posts to show that leadership is not about hierarchy, inner circles, power or control. Leaders are not to Lord it over the church, nor to rely on their position or charisma to push things through. Church leadership should not be authoritarian.  Leaders and teachers are gifts to the church and so we should focus on being gifts rather than on status and titles (cf Ephesians 4:11). Continue reading


Causing and taking offence – more on the subjective or objective question

In part 1 of this discussion, I argued that offence is first and foremost an objective matter. This does not mean that there isn’t a subjective response (See previous articles on guilt and shame that also touch on the objective and the subjective). It is however about whether we can make an objective judgement about whether a statement or behaviour is objective. Continue reading

The Goldilocks Zone

goldilocks zoneAs you will know, it is just under one year ago since Mike Ovey, Principal at Oak Hill died suddenly.  Mike was principal whilst I was at Oak Hill, He had such an influence on my own theological formation but like so many people have commented, Sarah and I were also indebted to his love, care and kindness to us. So I’m really encouraged to see that Chris Green is bringing out an edited collection of his writings.A more detailed review of the book is available  here but in the mean time I wish to strongly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in knowing God’s Word and God’s World better.

Mike was a brilliant communicator of Gospel truth and this shines through in the volume. He also had a sharp analytical mind with the ability to pull apart false, crooked and woolly thinking, lovingly but firmly. You will also see  a model of true academic gifting, the ability to take complex issues and explain them simply.

Continue reading

Paul’s “Women Problem” and #churchtoo (part 1)

“What do we do with 1 Timothy 2:15? How does it fit with Paul’s theology?” asked one of our Union Learning Community students?

This is the verse that goes:

15 But women will be saved through childbearing,[a] assuming they continue to live in faith, love, holiness, and modesty

It’s the kind of verse that preachers hope someone else on the teaching team will get.  It’s not just something for theological students to puzzle over before sitting their exams. You will have read my recent post that picked up on the #churchtoo hashtag and one of the arguments being made is that the cover for sexual harassment and abuse in the church is provided by our theology. Therefore, the answer is to change our theology and to stop interpreting the Bible, especially verses like this so literally. Continue reading

Temptation, Power and Sin (2 Samuel 11)

Why we need to talk about Sin

We need to talk about sin. It’s the last thing we want to talk about, especially in church. Church is where we sing happy songs and talk about how God is love and we are saved by grace.  Sin encroaches on our safe space. Continue reading

Who is God? – Publication

On our Publications page, you will find a number of Pdf e-books. One of our aims on is to share resources freely. We want the church, both in terms of our own Bearwood Chapel congregations and the wider church, especially those labouring in hard places including urban estates and inner cities to have the resources they need to read and to think carefully about what they believe. Continue reading