How we respond to concerns about abusive and bullying culture matters for the culture

There have been a range of responses to the recent scandals and reviews concerning abuse in the church. On the one hand there are those who I think wish it would all just go away.  We’ve identified a few rotten apples, they’ve been dealt with so let’s move on. There have been others however whoContinue reading “How we respond to concerns about abusive and bullying culture matters for the culture”

The pastor’s thorn

Paul David Tripp writes: “I was a failure and I was running. I couldn’t imagine a life of pastoral ministry anymore. It had once been a passion, a dream that seemed too good to be true but that passion had now morphed into a burden, one I no longer wanted to bear.”[1] I’m sure thatContinue reading “The pastor’s thorn”

How much application?

We are usually told that we need “more application” and that our sermons shouldn’t become boring technical lectures, so this article from Chris Thomas may prove a surprising read to many. For balance, you may want to read this from Steve Kneale showing that there are still people arguing for more application. I also wantContinue reading “How much application?”

The church is still the bride of Christ

Imagine turning up at a wedding, heading towards the groom and telling him he was a great mate, a general all round good guy and your favourite friend. Then after a short pause you tell him “but your bride is a hideous troll isn’t she. Can’t stand her mate.”  A few minutes later you findContinue reading “The church is still the bride of Christ”

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?”