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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Reviews 

Book Review: Why Cities Matter

You’ll find a number of posts on this site that attest to how I’ve grappled with the issue of cities as prominent leaders called for greater resources to the cities of the world. I felt it somehow sidelined the ministry of those in the backwaters, rural or suburban. The irony wasn’t lost on me then, when around five years ago, with my wife and young family we moved from a medium-sized town of 80-100,000 people in the west of England to Stockholm, the capital of Sweden to plant Grace Church. The greater…

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Gender 

Violent

Men are violent beasts. Since Cain did his brother Abel in, men have been bashing, cutting, stabbing, punching, detonating, shooting, destroying people and things ever since. Women, of course, are not immune to this propensity to kill, maim and destroy but by and large if something violent is happening somewhere in the world it’s a fairly safe bet a man is involved. Violence against women is a particularly insidious and disturbingly common form of violence. In the fifteen years or so that I have been in church leadership I have had the sad…

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Christian Living 

How to see life & death

Death is inescapable no matter how hard we try. As the song goes, ‘everyone wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die.’ For the Christian our approach to death has been radically changed by the death & resurrection of Christ. In the opening chapter of Paul’s letter to Philippians we see something of how this is worked out in his thought. In Philippians 1:21-26 Paul makes six statements that are worth considering: Living = Christ Dying = Gain Christ = Better Remain = Necessary Living = Fruitfulness Progress…

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