Showing posts from May, 2018

The Sermon!

The royal wedding has occurred and the sermon by Michael Curry has been preached. It seemed to me that most of the guests and the British audience didn't quite know what to make of it. I wonder if they were nervous to criticise a black bishop preaching in a somewhat Pentecostal style (by which we mean with a bit of passion) and referencing Martin Luther King! But on the whole, he got a very positive write-up. Many Christians went to social media to declare how good it was, including many evangelicals

Conservative Christian commentators, especially Anglican were, on the whole rather more critical. Is this simply a case of "haters gonna hate" to quote the well-known theologian Taylor Swift. I think I'd suggest three reasons why not.

1. Knowledge Affects Understanding I guess most reporters and for that matter most Christians were coming to the sermon pretty cold. They probably didn't know a great deal about Michael Curry, nor the church of which he is the presidin…

Why I haven’t joined the Church Society

This weekend sees the Church Society conference and AGM. This year is especially significant as it sees the joining of the Church Society with Reform and the Fellowship of Word and Spirit - which represents the vast majority of conservative evangelicals in the Church of England. The mechanism for the union (which does rather look like a takeover) is that Church Society will remain and everyone will have joined it and thus will take part in the upcoming AGM. I haven’t joined and so, rather by definition, am now something of an outsider not only in the Church of England, but also within Conservative Evangelicalism.

Many of the great and good in conservative evangelicalism in the Church of England have been wheeled out to tell us what a good thing this is. I thought a blog about why I disagree might be worthwhile.

I should probably note that until relatively recently I was a member of all three of these groups (although I must admit I’ve never been a very active member of FoWS, I signed …

The Idolatry of the Middle-Class Church Member?

One of the most challenging things Jesus says in the Bible is:
"Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." (Mark 8:34 NIV) Unfortunately, most of us who are Christians in the UK don't seem to get it. We're much more comfortable with other truths. We like to hear that God cares for us. We're encouraged that God works things out for our good and we like to hear that we can be forgiven. If our faith is more than just a spiritual add-on to our lives, then we might even like a little bit of a challenge. Maybe the challenge of regularly putting aside time to come to church and attend the Bible study. If we're really keen we might help teach the Sunday School or go on a summer camp. At the top end of enthusiasm we might even try to tell some of our colleagues, friends or family about Jesus.

What we won't do is sacrifice everything. That's only for those really "out-there" Christians who want to go a…