Blog archive

Listen: Gender, Sexuality, and the Church

Did you miss our 2015 Plenary Lectures? Three of the lectures are now available online – two from Rev Dr Jon Coutts on gender and sexuality, and one from Rev Dr Emma Ineson on gender and leadership. Click the orange button to play them all, or select the lecture you wish to hear from the […]

Is God calling you to something new?

So here we are, two weeks after Easter. We’ve celebrated, we’ve eaten too much chocolate—and now, as the disciples did in John 21, we’ve gone back to our fishing nets. Except maybe you haven’t, because maybe you’re not sure whether the fishing net you have been holding is the one you should be holding in […]

Holding truth and love together

Imagine you hold in your hand some ordinary table salt, composed of two chemicals—sodium and chloride. Either of these substances by itself is toxic, but together they form one of the essentials for life, without which we would die. It seems amazing that two chemicals so harmful to us when separated, together should be so […]

Did Jesus descend into hell?

Students often ask me whether or not it is right to confess that Jesus Christ ‘descended into hell,’ as the Apostles’ Creed (in a relatively late addendum) states in the second article. I can understand their scepticism. After all, the doctrine is not explicitly mentioned in the Bible, save for a few ambiguous passages (e.g., […]

Why does a minister need to study theology?

One of my occasional irritations in life is hearing in the media someone from a business organisation – it used often to be the Institute of Directors – complaining that British universities don’t turn out graduates who are ready to do the jobs that businesses have available. No. We don’t even try to. We are […]

The art of asking good questions

“If I had an hour to solve a problem, and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask. For once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.” (Albert Einstein). Questions are important It is easy to […]

What’s the opposite of loneliness?

Our society, perhaps unintentionally, often sends the message that the opposite of loneliness is company. Loneliness seems to be viewed quantitatively, not qualitatively – to be lonely is to feel alone, i.e. by yourself, a party of one. Numbers are lacking and to combat loneliness requires higher numbers, more people to make you feel less […]

Hello, I’m a professional Christian

Being a minister is great. In essence it’s about trying to help other people find their way to God. This is exactly what my life was about before I was a minister – when I was a hospital porter/geology student/school science technician/college registrar, but now I get to do it full time. The hours are […]

Are YOU a visionary leader?

The many challenges of our present age call for the unique gift of visionary leaders. These ‘practical futurists’ recognise that it is not enough to picture future possibilities that are capable of making tomorrow’s world better than today’s. Of course visionary leaders are able to recognise new opportunities and trends and develop new and strategic […]

The right to lead

Over the past few months I have been working on a new book about why people leave the Christian faith. I have met and interviewed a whole range of different people in their 20s and 30s who have left their faith for an array of reasons, and their stories are intriguing but they are also […]