God’s Not Dead: The Movie, and a new friend

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It seems clear to me that 2014 is going to go down as the year of the religious movie. There are a lot of Hollywood movies this year that are covering various biblical stories, and I must say I am looking forward to all of them. God's Not Dead is a movie that I had not heard of until a few minutes ago when I connected for the first time with Rice Broocks thanks to my new favourite web video conferencing program, Zoom.us.  Incidentally, you will most likely be seeing a lot more of Zoom around … [Read more...]

A Muslim, a Christian, and a Jew walked into a church in Texas . . .

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I am here in Texas, in the heart of the Bible Belt. I have met here not just one Muslim, Christian and Jew but a number, and I believe there are Buddhists here also. The speaker list is quite impressive. I’ve already realized that this Global Faith Forum is going to be unlike any other event I have ever attended. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some very interesting people already. These are just some of them: A Christian who is serving in Iraq to help in the provision of specialist … [Read more...]

See you in Texas? Come and join the global marketplace for Faith

The vision of Patheos.com who are kind enough to host this blog is to "host the conversation on faith." I outlined in my first ever post on the site why I was thrilled to join in. We really do live in a global village, and so it is vital that we learn how to really listen to each other, and show true respect.  Sometimes that mutual respect and understanding is absent in conversations even with those in our own faith (resisting the temptation to give an example...but regular readers will know … [Read more...]

Interfaith Dialogue: For Liberals Only?

I am sure at least some of you have worried that me moving to Patheos is a sign that I have become ecumenical or worse still a liberal. Evangelicals have always had a somewhat tortured relationship with ecumenicism and what is usually done under the name of "interfaith dialogue." The reason for this is really quite simple: we care profoundly about our integrity, and our truth claims. In other words, we do not want to engage with others in a way that suggests all views are equally valid, and … [Read more...]

The Christian Persecution Complex?

Over on Twitter I had a very interesting discussion yesterday with another blogger who has just moved over to Patheos. No doubt Jame's original question was probably prompted from a tweet that came from my introductory post here on Patheos. His blog is coming from a very different perspective to mine and is called Future Temple.  Here is what we said, oldest posts at the bottom, and as is often the case in these discussions some of our replies to each other get a bit jumbled, but I think you … [Read more...]

One-Third Of Adults Under 30 Have No Religious Affiliation

Today I read the following article, which underlines the idea that demographically, it seems the USA is catching up the UK. Perhaps, however, as more and more people conclude it is no longer "cool" to attend Church, what we are already seeing on both sides of the Atlantic is that those who choose to stay are taking their faith commitment more seriously. The church will of course survive this downturn as it has every other before. "The number of Americans who do not identify with any religion … [Read more...]

Why loving Muslims need not lead you to compromise your Evangelical faith

It is of great encouragement to me that an idea that is both in many ways rather unremarkable, and yet sadly seems quite revolutionary,  is gaining traction in many different places. This is simply the plan that we should befriend, serve, listen to, and generally too good to people from other faiths and none, whilst all the time making clear we still believe what we do. In a way it is simply a restating of old principles like "freedom of religion" and "free speech."  I suppose the slightly … [Read more...]

Did God have sex with Mary?

It wasn't the question my Turkish taxi driver had asked me just yesterday, but I knew it was what he meant. If I had just reflexly answered his actual question, "So do you believe that Jesus is Gods Son?" a blasphemous image would fill his mind, and our conversation would probably shudder to a halt. What then did I say instead? "Well, that all depends on what you mean by "son of God." if you mean "did God have sex?" of course not! But Muslims actually agree with a lot of what we believe about … [Read more...]

Boris Johnson and a multicultural church

This is a fabulous picture of Boris Johnson in Enfield earlier. One of our church members met him, and gave him the Jubilee Church card that he is holding in his hand. If he (or anyone else for that matter!) wants to see what a big crowd of 40 nationalities gathering together in harmony looks like they are welcome to visit Jubilee Church at Enfield Cineworld this or any Sunday at 10am! … [Read more...]

What Kind of House? Apostles, their delegates, multiculturalism, prayer, worship, & mission

This is the second part of a set of notes on Terry Virgo's first session at 300 Leaders.  I have previously shared the video and downloads for the whole talk. 3. There was Barnabus. He had been sent. The Apostles were staying in Jerusalem. People have written about whether that was right or wrong. But they heard about another church coming to birth. Barnabas was sent as an apostolic delegate. He was known by the Apostles, and he represented them. It was rather like Timothy later on. … [Read more...]