Category: Doctrine

Faith vs works?

Difficult issues series Last post I considered the apparent differences between the teachings and emphasis of Jesus and Paul. I concluded that the differences are sometimes exaggerated, sometimes understated, but we should avoid trying to make them say the same things, and instead try to learn from both. The issue of faith vs works is […]

Jesus vs Paul?

Difficult issues series It doesn’t take a lot of reading in the New Testament before you notice that Paul seems to have a different emphasis to Jesus. Can we learn something from these apparent differences?

A "revelation of God’s true nature"?

I concluded my previous post on DNA and evolution with this comment: “DNA is fundamental to all life. As christians we can see it as part of the way God has set up the universe. So we should be willing and interested to learn what it tells us about life. I think what we learn […]

Conserving the old vs welcoming the new

Difficult issues series Christians are often seen as conservative – about their beliefs, about politics and about ethics. The old joke asks “How many christians does it take to change a light bulb?” And of course the answer is: “Change???” So how do we know when to hold on to what we’ve got, and when […]

Knowing God's will – do we have to learn Greek?

It was an argument about women preaching in church. The first guy was a moderate and a historian, and he wrote a book about why women should be allowed to preach. The second guy was a pastor and a conservative, and he argued against this view. The first guy replied, the second guy responded. Each […]

Evangelism in the twenty-first century 1 – the past

The church I attend has embarked on a strategy of growth by trying to retain more visitors – either those attending weddings and funerals, or people members have invited to attend a church service. The services have been “streamlined”, visitors are welcomed in a systematic way, and the public spaces in the church building have […]

Universalism is the new black?

Recently I posted on Rob Bell and some of the ways he gets up the noses of many conventional christians. One of the biggest furores was caused by his book, Love Wins, which hinted at universalism – that everyone, regardless of belief now, would turn to God in the next life. Has universalism got a […]

Taize, Lakota nation and the suffering of Jesus

Taize is an ecumenical monastery in Burgundy, France. The Lakota are an American Indian nation on a reservation in South Dakota, USA. You might not expect them to feature in the same story, but recently they did. It is a moving story. New insights Jason Micheli joined more than a thousand pilgrims attending a Taize […]

Faith vs works?

The battle lines used to seem so clear. Religion taught that we earned favour with God by “being good” or “doing good works”. Christianity, on the other hand, taught that we received favour from God by grace, through faith. Ephesians 2:8-9. QED.

Who's afraid of Yahweh?

It doesn’t take long before a thoughtful Bible reader comes across some rather odd and nasty things, especially in the Old Testament. And non-believers use the odd and nasty things as a weapon against christians: “How can you believe in a God who is genocidal?” they might say. What are we to make of these […]