Confronting abuse in the church – reforming towards a culture of grace

I’ve written from time to time about the issues of bullying and abuse within the church. That is because recent serious scandals relating to high profile leaders that include sexual, emotional and physical abuse, and sadly the accompanying failure of the church to deal with such issues over many years raise challenges about church culture. Continue reading “Confronting abuse in the church – reforming towards a culture of grace”

Has COVID exposed our problem with legalism?

I remember a conversation with someone who came from a fairly strict church background about when it was permissible to not say grace. They explained how church leaders in the past had gone to great lengths to talk about the size of the meal. It was a bit like the gymnastics the government went throughContinue reading “Has COVID exposed our problem with legalism?”

Grace and Peace (Romans 1: 1-7)

I have spent the bulk of my life living in three of the UK’s biggest conurbations.  I grew up in West Yorkshire, spent 4 years in London and then we moved to the West Midlands. This has given me a huge concern for the city. I am keen to see churches rooted and established onContinue reading “Grace and Peace (Romans 1: 1-7)”

Strength made perfect in weakness

In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul talks about an incredible vision he has had (although he talks in the third person, it is generally agreed that he is referring to himself), where he is caught up into heaven. However, alongside the vision he is given a crippling “thorn in his side.”  Just as people have speculatedContinue reading “Strength made perfect in weakness”

Finding favour with God

In Luke 1:28, the angel Gabriel addresses Mary as a “favoured woman” in case she (and we) don’t get then point, he again tells her “you have found favour with God”[1] What does it mean for Mary to have found favour? Roman Catholic tradition seems to put the focus on her and her life. MaryContinue reading “Finding favour with God”

Reformation Reflections (1) I’m not ashamed

Most people celebrate Halloween on the 31st October but this day is also significant because it marks the anniversary of over 500 years since the Reformation started. What were the exciting fresh discoveries that motivated men like Luther, Calvin and Zwingli to challenge the corruption, abuse and superstition of their day?

Depression tells you that you are weak – and that’s okay

It’s the funny thing about Sertraline.  Every morning if you’ve been pre-scribed it, the box sits there on the breakfast table as a reminder that you need to take your medication. And each morning, it shouts out to you “You are so weak.” It’s funny because you don’t think that when you get up andContinue reading “Depression tells you that you are weak – and that’s okay”

The shaming of a precious woman

In Matthew 9:20-22, Jesus who has just been asked to come with a synagogue ruler and heal his sick daughter is interrupted. A desperate woman reaches out to touch him and is healed. We are told that she has an issue, or haemorrhage of blood.  It is possible that this was something along the linesContinue reading “The shaming of a precious woman”

Why we should embrace failure

In a previous article I started to look at the question of failure.  Here I want to offer x good reasons for why we as believers and particularly church leaders should embrace failure. What happens if we refuse to encounter failure? First, if I don’t embrace the reality of failure then I am unlikely toContinue reading “Why we should embrace failure”