What is a child?

A lot of theological ink has been spilt on the following sentence from a book called “The Lost Message of Jesus” by Steve Chalke and Alan Mann: "The fact is that the cross isn’t a form of cosmic child abuse—a vengeful Father, punishing his Son for...

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Dispatched (Funerals part 2)

I finished last time by saying something like: Should a service just be about a person, even a Christian person? How much does the service matter in terms of the grieving process? Can I really have what I want at my funeral, and what is that? Three...

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What we have learned

Here are a few statements that I think all my readers, and indeed almost everyone in Britain would agree with: If you’re ill it’s often a good idea to go to the doctor; Devoting your professional life to improving other people’s lot on earth is...

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O Come All Ye Faithful

(Happy New Year to all readers!) I know, I know, Christmas is over. But before stashing away the decorations, I thought I would just contribute a few thoughts on the great church debate of the festive season, which of course centres round the fourth verse of...

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Christmas books

As we wander round the shopping centres or do the washing-up, favourite Christmas songs and carols come at our ears from all directions. And every family has its Christmas film and TV traditions. What about books? I am not here talking about Advent reflections, which I...

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This blog one year on

In November 2015 I established this website, and on 19th November I posted the first entry in this blog (http://www.penelopewallace.com/introduction/ ). In it I listed the purposes of the blog as follows:   Publicising my work. If you have already viewed the rest of the site (if...

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A (brief) word for these times?

I was reading the 5th chapter of the First Letter to the Thessalonians recently, in my trusty RSV version, and I came across the following injunctions: “So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those...

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People who are evil

(After last week's froth, something rather darker.  Warning: contents may distress or disturb.) In December last year, a sentencing judge said to a woman who had defrauded and attempted to murder her sister, “Quite frankly, you are evil.” Judges do say this kind of thing, and I...

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