Showing posts from November, 2016

Conservative Evangelicals and Homosexuality - The Bible and Homosexuality (Part 5)

What does the Bible say about homosexual or same-sex relationships? That's the key question to answer given the preceding blogs in this series (see the end of the blog), which have argued that the Bible is where God has spoken to us and thus expressed his right authority over us. In short, the Bible speaks positively of sexual relationships only within the context of heterosexual marriage and negatively of all other sexual relationships, including homosexual relationships.

In this blog I'll focus on the positive.
1. The Bible is Positive About Sex
Let's be honest, Christianity has a negative image with regards to sex. Perhaps because of the way society has changed in the last 50-100 years, it seems that Christians are usually on the back foot, opposing change and apparently opposing sex. It doesn't help that the Roman Catholic Church has continued to emphasise celibacy and virginity as more spiritual states.
However, Biblical Christianity, although recognising the bound…

What should Christians learn from Brexit (and Trump's victory)?

Let me get the qualifications for what I'm not going to write in this post early. I'm not going to try and argue a position as a Christian on Brexit (or Donald Trump). Lots of people have done that already. For a post on the leadership issues, I would suggest reading Mike Ovey. Nor am I really going to comment on Donald Trump, evangelicals in the US and that sort of thing except rather tangentially. That's largely because I'm British, I've only been to the US a couple of times and I would be an idiot to think I could give much informed comment.

What I'm interested in is trying to learn some lessons from what has happened, particularly about how our culture seems to be working and how that affects Christians. One reason I've been planning to comment for a while is that I find myself in an unusual place - a resolutely middle class, educated boy (admittedly comprehensively educated and northern, but still...), living and ministering in a strongly Brexit (60% f…

Article VIII – The Three Creeds


Are you a Bible-believing Christian?  That's what we've been looking at in the last two post on the 39 Articles of Religion which are the statement of faith of the Church of England.  The answer, if you are true Anglican, is yes.  Yes I believe the Bible, Old Testament and New Testament.  Yes, the Bible is my authority above everything else, because it is how God has chosen to speak to me.

So, you're a Bible-believing Christian then, but what do you actually believe? Well you might reply, "the Bible." But what's that about then? How do we answer that?  Or think of it another way. Suppose you become a Christian as an adult and you get baptised or confirmed.  How do you express what you believe?  You can't start reciting the Bible from Genesis 1:1 and go all the way to Revelation 22:21.

Of course, what we naturally do is come up with appropriate summaries of our faith.  We get hints of that very early don't we. So in Matthew 28:19 in the fa…

Article VII: Of the Old Testament


I think we need to be honest as Christians: We struggle with the Old Testament don't we?

It's hard to read: all those lists of unpronounceable people and tribes.It seems so distant: all those laws about sacrifices and what food you can eat. It seems so harsh: there's lots of battles and killing and God seems to be behind some of it.It's often really hard to understand: what exactly am I to do with Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs?It's often been criticised as unreliable: did creation happen like that, what about the parting of the Red Sea and so on?

Now we're not going to answer all those questions this in this blog – although I think they are all answerable.  I wanted to list those struggles to be honest about why we often avoid the Old Testament, apart from a few purple patches and popular stories.  Even Christians who read their Bibles quite avidly are often much happier in the New Testament than the Old.  Many preachers would much rather have pass…