In Context Training part 2: Subversive Fulfilment and a mission shaped syllabus

The other day I said that in context training needs to be framed by a missiology. So, I began to think about what that type of syllabus might look like. What if we used the Subversive Fulfilment framework that I’m engaging with for my sabbatical.

So here’s my “What If?” 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

In context training needs to be … in context

There’s been a lot of rethinking and reforming going on around theological education in the UK. One of the big moves has been towards providing training away from the seminary campus and in the local context. There has always been the option of distance learning but the provision of Union’s Learning Communities model and Crosslands flexacademy take things up a level. Continue reading

Sabbatical: Refreshment, Reading and Visiting

So my sabbatical started a week ago. On the advise of a few people, I didn’t dive straight into study but took time this week to pause and reflect. This meant enjoying quite a bit of time with the phone off and away from email.  You know, life can be quite peaceful without email!

We spent a few days down in Kent. Sarah’s sister has just had a baby boy and so we got to spend a bit of time with the family. This also meant a visit to Rochester Baptist Church where I spent 10 years as a member before going to Oak Hill.

It was encouraging to see that the church is still growing. Every time we return we realise that there are more people that we don’t know. I would say that the majority of church members are people we wouldn’t remember and who wouldn’t remember us from when we lived in Kent. That’s a good thing. 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