Reviews 

Book Review: More than a Carpenter

Josh McDowell’s More than a Carpenter has been a staple of Christian apologetics since its first release in 1977 and had according to my 2001 copy sold well in excess of 10 million copies worldwide. Covering issues such as the textual evidence for the New Testament, arguments for the resurrection of Jesus, the transformation of the disciples and the classic argument that Jesus was either a liar, lunatic or Lord and concluding with McDowell’s personal testimony. I don’t know who first popularised these apologetic arguments but I’ve certainly used a…

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Articles 

Confused: About sex

It’s easy to see signs of confusion in contemporary society, confusion over children and even confusion about sex. Pornography is rife and promiscuity is normal, is probably how most religious conservatives would sum up the zeitgesit when it comes to sex. The notion of faithfulness was exposed by the Ashley Madison although their need to create tens of thousands of fake female would-be adulteresses to meet the need of all the cheating men shows where the majority of the problem lies. The idea of abstinence before marriage is ridiculed yet WIRED can write a feature on an…

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Articles 

Confused: About children

One of the marks over contemporary society is the way it is so clearly confused over children. In many western societies there simply aren’t enough children being born. In the 1970s 1 in 10 women reached menopause without having children, in 2010 that rate was 1 in 5. It is a demographic time bomb for a developed economy. Workers expecting to retire at 65 but living to 95 and simply not enough people to take their place and pay their taxes to support the retired. In Denmark this is pronounced enough for travel…

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Christian Living 

Living in a XXX culture

Growing up and living in the evangelical sub-culture, pornography has always been presented as one of the great evils. Yet pornography and its current mass availability worries far more than just those from a conservative religious viewpoint. It’s mass availability it proving a problem for lots of people, not least pornographers. Hilton Hotels is phasing out on-demand porn in its hotels not because it’s the right thing to do but because guests who want to watch porn will use their laptop instead. This mass availability has slashed profits and driven many pornographers out…

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Articles 

Don’t drink the poison

There is a lot that is wrong in the world – there always has been. The list of wrongs is long. From bombs in Paris, fear in Brussels, death in Burundi to the carnage in Syria in our increasingly interconnected world there is no escape. The corruption is everywhere. Christians have always known this corruption and have a name for it – sin. Yet there is a response and a remedy to sin, actually there are a variety of responses but only one is Christian. There is the road of condemnation and bitterness,…

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Gender 

The troubled man

It is not uncommon these days to hear about a crisis of masculinity. If you think, this only comes from reactionary misogynists committed to the defence of patriarchy then think again. There are plenty of voices from across the political spectrum who are deeply concerned with the state of modern man. The idea that men are somehow doing badly is a paradoxical one, as The Economist rightly, pointed out in an editorial on the subject: At first glance the patriarchy appears to be thriving. More than 90% of presidents and prime ministers…

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Gender 

To help & not to hurt

I have two children; a seven year old boy and a five year old girl. My daughter is on the tiny side, while she packs a lot of character into her small frame she is woefully under-gunned when it comes to handling her big brother. My son is not small for his age, quite the opposite – he is tall, wiry, surprisingly strong and when he hits, it hurts. So whenever I have to talk with my son, (after having first consoled my stricken daughter) the conversation always ends with a…

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Church 

A family of churches

Everyone has their own language they use to describe context and church is no different. Some of these words are better than others, some have history, some find their roots in more contemporary society. ‘Denomination’ is a good example of the former and ‘network’an example of the latter. When I talk of the connections Grace Church has, I try and use the language of family. We do not belong to an organisation and we pay no subscription fee. We are not bound by a confession, we are not connected by…

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