What social media does to your brain

Now is the time for New Years resolutions and bold attempts to chart a new course. For me, each year comes with adjustments, tweaks and nudges in a constant search for a better balance in life, better use of my time and above all to help me know God better. You may be thinking about tackling the more addictive habits in your life (whatever they are), so take a moment to consider whether social media is on your list? There may be one very good reason you use it quite…

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Book Review: The secret thoughts of an unlikely convert

Rosaria Butterfield was, at one time in her life, an English professor at Syracuse University who specialised in gender studies and queer theory. She was also a lesbian and in a committed relationship. Now, married to a pastor in a small reformed denomination that only sings Psalms she homeschools her adopted children. The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert records some of that massive leap. Butterfield writes superbly and as such it stands out from many Christian books purely on the strength of her writing but there’s also real steel…

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Articles 

Relationships & Scripture: A story of comfort & conflict

The issue of sexuality and the church continues to occupy much space, especially in the UK just now, you would be forgiven for thinking that the all the church cares about is marriage and is busy excluding people from it. Yet the New Testament offers both a disconcerting mix of comfort and conflict with regards human relationships whether straight or gay, married or single. There is it seems no entirely comfortable place to rest. Instead the scriptures prod you in your weaknesses and challenge you in your strengths. Here are…

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Articles 

The nightshelter

I’ve recently begun volunteering at a local nightshelter for the homeless and so far I’ve really enjoyed it for all sorts of reasons. It’s been a long time since I regularly worked with those without a fixed abode but I’ve always found the experience hugely beneficial. I’m an activist by personality, I like doing as well as thinking, getting involved as well as reading and writing. However I often found that I got the balance wrong in the past, being forced into more activities that drained me and left me…

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Same-sex marriage: not the end of the world?

On Monday I wrote a post suggesting that a change in the law about marriage would lead to further changes in UK law dealing with sexuality and suggested three areas where further change might occur – polygamy, incest and the age of consent. During a spirited twitter exchange where I was accused of ‘scare-mongering’, being ‘uneducated’, ‘lacking in morals’ and ‘prejudiced.’ Glutton for punishment that I am, I thought I’d reflect further on our changing laws regarding human sexual ethics. It seems clear that the 20th and the early part…

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Christian Living 

We all live in Vanity Fair now

I’ve recently been reading John Bunyan’s Pilgrims Progress (in Swedish – cue applause) and was struck afresh by the following stage of Christian and Steadfast’s journey. “They presently saw a town before them, and the name of that town is Vanity; and at the town there is a fair kept, called Vanity Fair: … because all that is there sold, or that cometh thither, is vanity… This fair is no new-erected business, but a thing of ancient standing” Vanity Fair is such a brilliant name but it’s Bunyan’s description of…

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Potential consequences to re-defining marriage

There is much angst in the UK as it proceeds down the road to legalizing same-sex marriage. I think it is inevitable. I’ve often said that in terms of a secularist, liberal agenda the UK is perhaps 10 year behind Scandinavia. This week a Swede suggested to me it is more like twenty. Anyway, if anyone in the UK wants to know what it would look like in the UK, look north. There is ammunition for everyone whichever side you take. However, I want to ask some questions around what…

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