What Christians can learn from the Romans

This last Monday I was in Pompeii, the Roman town whose occupants were famously wiped out by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD. There are countless interesting things in this well-preserved ancient town, but something that struck me on reflection was the recognition of the gods in pretty much everything. The main forum (town centre…

What are we reading when we’re reading the Bible?

A number of things that I have listened to and read recently have lead me to ask the question in the title. It’s a big question; one with profound implications for all Christians. So why do the most thoughtful answers seem to be addressed more in academia than in the church? Why talk about about…

‘Revelations of Divine Love’ by Julian of Norwich

As you’ll know if you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, I receive books from the very generous SPCK every now and then that I can read and review. One such book, that I actually received quite a while ago now, was Revelations of Divine Love, by a Christian mystic called Julian…

Tim Farron, Faith & Politics

A couple of days ago, Tim Farron stepped down as the leader of the Liberal Democrats, saying that he was “torn between living as a faithful Christian and serving as a political leader.” His resignation statement brought the ever-present tension between politics and faith right out into the open. The BBC’s article on the day…

‘Thy Kingdom Come’ in Nottingham

Every now and then, there are things that just feel right. Like this is how they’re meant to be. One of those things happened last night in a warehouse near the centre of Nottingham. About 700 people gathered in Trent Vineyard church to pray for the city and worship God together. That’s a decent number of people…

3 Things: a Film, a Podcast & an Album

I do these posts every now and then when there are a few things I want to review/talk about, but they don’t need a full post each. Read on for my take on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, a new podcast on reading the Bible, and the new album from The Classic Crime. ‘Please…

Is the Bible a Message?

“We run into trouble when we take the Bible as a message to be preached rather than something to wrestle with.” That (paraphrased) gem from Pete Enns has been stuck in my head for months now, ever since I first heard it on the Liturgists podcast towards the end of last year. In recent weeks,…

Experience and the Bible

I meant for this blog to be part to of my Exploring the Bible two-parter, and when I wrote part 1 I had the intention of writing two different posts on how we interpret the Bible, one focusing on external means and the second on internal means. Since then I’ve heard and thought about some stuff…

A Sinner Saved // A Stumbling Saint

When was the last time you did something that you knew you shouldn’t have? It doesn’t take me long to think of an answer, and I bet something sprang straight to your mind, too. That’s how easy it is to make someone feel crap about themselves. The Church (or what I’ve seen of it) is,…

The Language of Church

It’s baffling that we don’t pay more attention to the language that we use in church. I’m not talking about ‘taboo’ words – arguably we place too much emphasis on certain words that we can’t say in church. Instead, I’m talking about language more generally. One useful way of thinking about language is that it’s…

Worship is not an Emotional High

There are some Bible verses that are ambiguous however you read them, and others that say something when taken on their own that they clearly don’t mean when taken in context. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 is not one of those verses: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for…

Discovering Liturgy

We get the word ‘liturgy’ from the Greek word leitourgia. “It meant an action by which a group of people become something corporately which they had not been as a mere collection of individuals – a whole greater than the sum of its parts. It meant also a function or ‘ministry’ of a man or…