Is God a United Family?

These last two Sundays before Christmas, I’ve been preaching a two-part series on the theology of Christmas. Next Sunday we’ll look at what it means that the Son of God was born as a man but last Sunday we looked at what Christmas tells us about God, that there is an Eternal Son who has…

A Few Thoughts on Brexit

A Few Thoughts on Brexit. Given the political turmoil gripping the British nation at the moment, I thought I would set down a few thoughts that have been buzzing around my head in the last few weeks. The Perspective of Eternity. Sunday before last, I preached on Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 7:29-31, What I…

Do We Need Church History?

One of the things I was asked to do when I began as Associate Minister at ELT Baptist Church was to teach a monthly church history course to a small group of church members. We’ve had two sessions so far and I’m very excited about our next session which, in a seasonally appropriate manner, will…

The Joy of Classical Theism

In the past month or so there has been a little bit of discussion of the question of ‘classical theism’: the belief that God is simple, eternal, unchanging, impassible and so on. I had never really examined these kind of ideas until about five years ago when I began to read Augustine’s Confessions as part…

On Tim Farron

Tim Farron’s resignation statement as Lib Dem leader was one of the clearest, bravest, most moving statements of commitment to Christ by a British public figure in recent years. His conclusion that ‘to be a political leader — especially of a progressive, liberal party in 2017 — and to live as a committed Christian, to…

Nick Faldo’s Golf Swing and Theological Education

In the mid-80s, Nick Faldo made one of the bravest decisions a professional athlete can take; he chose to completely overhaul his technique. It was not as if Faldo was a failure: he was already a European Order of Merit winner, had carded three top-10 Open finishes and was, to that point, the youngest Ryder…

Poetry and Preaching

Late one sleepless night last week, I wandered downstairs in search of something to read and picked up a volume of R.S. Thomas’s Collected Poems. I’ve had it on my shelf for fifteen years or so, I should think, but his verse still has an austere sparseness that I find intimidating. Reading a few of…

On ‘Learning In War Time’

It is hard to describe the impact of Mike Ovey’s death on our little community at Oak Hill. Mike’s influence was pervasive across the life of the college and no aspect of its existence will be untouched by his passing. All of us, student, staff and faculty, held him in esteem, affection and admiration. And…

Why I’m voting for Brexit

With the referendum two days away, I thought I’d write some thoughts on why I will be voting to leave the EU on Thursday. There are many good people on both sides of the debate and honourable motivations for voting for either side, and I see no reason why friendship and fellowship cannot survive disagreement…

Human Authorship and the Meaning of Scripture

In the last couple of posts I’ve been putting some thoughts down on the issue of whether the purpose of the human authors of the Bible are exhaustive of the meaning of the Biblical text. The issue is not whether the human author’s meaning is important, or whether it’s possible to discover it, but whether…