When heroes fall

There has been a spate of tragic news for Christians of various stripes recently. Most shockingly has been the news that Jean Vanier was an abuser of women. Lauded for his compassion and work amongst those with disabilities, this Canadian Catholic and founder of L’Arche, seemed to be a male version of Mother Theresa and destined for sainthood. No longer. Yet I found this paragraph in Bethany McKinney Fox’s tribute to Vanier sortly after his death last May to now be very prescient. He knew, what we did not. In…

Read More
Gender Links 

The Church & Gender II (Bumper links edition)

In my previous set of links I outlined three main areas of conversation around gender & the church.  The differing views on the role of women in the church This one on men and women in society The next one on the transgender movement So usual disclaimers about not endorsing and not trying to be comprehensive blah blah blah. Let’s get to it. On men, women & society Why Christians Need to Support Women’s Rights and Religious Freedom in the Muslim World The Gender War Is On! And Fake Why…

Read More

Christians, the early church & child abuse

One of the great tragedies of our day is that the church (and I use that in its widest form) has increasingly become known as a place where children have been abused. There are too many scandals, too much secrecy, too many cover ups of abusers using the cover of priesthood and religion. It is religion at its very, very worst. The church cannot, must not, tolerate the abuse of children. It wasn’t always this way. In fact in its earliest days Christians were famous for the opposite – the protection…

Read More


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…

Read More