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


Good News for the Poor

Imagine you are one of the Jewish exiles living in Babylon circa 580 BC or maybe one of those left behind in Jerusalem, what keeps you going? Continue reading

Easter – Comedy or Tragedy?

I love a good comedy whether it’s a sitcom like Not going Out, stand up provided by Live at the Apollo or a panel show like Mock the Week.  However, did you know that the word “Comedy” didn’t used to refer to a performance, routine or story that made you laugh?

When the ancient Greeks or William Shakespeare talked about comedy they were using the word to contrast with Tragedy. It’s fairly obvious what we mean by “Tragedy.” In Romeo and Juliet, the hero and heroine end up dead, taking their own lives. In Hamlet, pretty much every one dies.  Tragedies have sad endings where things are worse than at the beginning. Comedies on the other hand finish better than they started. For Shakespeare that mean that they finished with a wedding feast (e.g. Mid-Summer Night’s Dream). A comedy may have it’s ups and downs, there will be plenty of tears as well as laughter. There’ll be danger and death. Yet throughout a comedy there is hope.

The Easter story in that sense fits the “comedy” genre. It’s a story of love and courage as Jesus heads towards Calvary. There’s cowardice, desertion and betrayal. There’s tears, and there’s death. If the story had finished on Good Friday with Jesus’s execution then it would have looked like a Tragedy. But the story did not finish there for two reasons. Continue reading

#TheDifference Good News makes

Have you heard the expression “breaking open the piggy bank”? It dates back to when children collected their pennies in a a china, pig shaped container. When the pig was full, you’d smash it to get all your money out. Continue reading

The Good news about guilt (New Year’s message)

99233806-bringing-home-new-cat-632x475(Reading Psalm 51)

I remember someone once telling us the difference between cats and dogs. Take a dog in and feed it, stroke it, tickle it’s belly, take it for walks and it will look at you and think “wow! For him to treat me like this, he must be a god to me.”  Do the same with a cat and it will think “wow for him to treat me like this, I must be a god.”

There’s another difference between cats and dogs. A dog when something wrong happens will look at you and you will see incredible guilt in its face. A cat will look at you and make you feel guilty. Continue reading