Relax, refresh, restart

I’ve been writing a few articles about churches and life after lockdown.  In them, I’ve included some potentially provocative comments about traditional midweek church ministries. Please don’t get me wrong on this. I’m not saying that you must never run these activities.  I simply have a twofold point. The first is that a lot ofContinue reading “Relax, refresh, restart”

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?”

Matters of conscience and matters of wisdom

This is a quick response to my friend Steve’s article this morning. Today, Steve has commented on the issues with identifying something as a matter of conscience. Some people seem to treat a “matter of conscience” as a kind of subjective route into saying that they can hold to their own personal truth unchallenged.  AsContinue reading “Matters of conscience and matters of wisdom”

When Saturday comes – is a two day weekend sinful?

I got asked this the other day in response to my articles on Sabbath observance. The person concerned had picked up on focus on the bit about “on the seventh day you shall rest” that we miss the bit about “six days shall you labour….”  “Have we forgotten the first part of the commandment?” heContinue reading “When Saturday comes – is a two day weekend sinful?”

Sabbath Rest -Do we need to keep Sunday special?

When I was growing up, there was still a strong emphasis on keeping Sunday as a special day, the Christian Sabbath.  In a lot of church cultures, the expectation was that you attended church at least twice, wore your Sunday best and that activities during the day were limited to those considered spiritually edifying. SundayContinue reading “Sabbath Rest -Do we need to keep Sunday special?”

Inputs and outcomes – on the slavery of pastoral performance

There are three challenges that church workers often have to face when trying to work out how they are doing and whether or not they are being fruitful in their jobs.[1] You tend to be responsible for managing your own time, so how do you know whether or not you are spending it in aContinue reading “Inputs and outcomes – on the slavery of pastoral performance”

Skin Deep? Love your enemies

A man comes to Jesus and asks him “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus asks him what the law says. He responds with the two greatest commandments “Love God” and “Love your neighbour.”  Jesus confirms that he has answered correctly. The man however isn’t satisfied. “Who is my neighbour?” He asks. ThenContinue reading “Skin Deep? Love your enemies”

The Shaming of the Shrew

This is the third in a little series of articles reflecting on the controversy surrounding Dominic Cumming’s trip to Durham. I guess it also relates to the issues that came up with Professor Neil Ferguson and Catherine Calderwood, the former Scottish Chief Medical Officer I am more concerned with the lessons we learn for ourContinue reading “The Shaming of the Shrew”

Cummings and Goings

As promised, here is part two of my thoughts on the Dominic Cummings case. I want to focus here on the question of how we interact with rules.  The key question for DC’s future is whether or not he did break any rules. If he broke lockdown rules, then this is serious because he hasContinue reading “Cummings and Goings”