A rant about the words of hymns

"What is your favourite hymn, psalm or spiritual song?" is a frequently asked question. Less often asked is: "What about your least favourite?" I have the interesting privilege of attending a church with three very different worship styles. One is worship from the book Mission Praise: basically...

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Homosexuality and the church

Recently, our vicar preached a sermon on the 3rd chapter of St Paul’s letter to the Colossians. In commenting on verse 5 (“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed, which is idolatry”), he very...

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The Sadducees and Julian Barnes

Recently I was reading the section in chapter 22 of Matthew’s gospel where Jesus is asked a question by the Sadducees “who say there is no resurrection.” “Now there were seven brothers among us; the first married and died, and having no children left his wife...

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Gospel preaching, judgment and church history

I frequently enjoy and am often challenged by Rev Ian Paul’s award-winning blog Psephizo, which ranges over all matters theological and church-related. The other day his post was entitled, provocatively, “Did Jesus come to bring good news?” In it he quotes, apparently with approval, one John...

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Commentary on the book of Job

I’ve recently been reading the book of Job. Everyone loves this book in theory, because it reassures us that it’s Biblical a) to notice that life isn’t fair, and b) for suffering people to resent being told to cheer up or repent; and because some of...

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Servants

As a dyed-in-the-wool Tolkien fan, I have read the Silmarillion, which covers arguably the whole history of Middle-Earth. It doesn’t just tell us the First Age legend of Beren and Luthien, and the Second Age drama of Numenor’s downfall. It also contains a delightful section...

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The Kingdom of God

What does the Kingdom of God mean? During His earthly ministry, Jesus sent out disciples two by two by preach and heal. They preached “the gospel” and “the kingdom of God”, and I’ve always wondered about the content of their sermons, considering that Christianity and its...

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Holy Week

Happy Easter, everyone! When I was a conveyancing solicitor, Maundy Thursday was the most popular day to complete house purchases. It probably still is, and it’s not hard to see why. For most people in Britain, Easter is a fantastic holiday. It gives you a four or...

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