Love, Love, Love: the painfully misunderstood, profoundly simple, earth-shattering message of Jesus

If someone was to ask me to sum up the message of Jesus in a few words, I would probably quote the Beatles. All you need is love. Love.  Not just shallow, gooey, fluffy, romantic love. The kind of love that sets people free. Love that gives of itself endlessly and asks for nothing in return. Love that fights tirelessly for the needs and rights of strangers. Love that breaks down barriers, crosses borders, and shatters social constructs and expectations. Love that… Read more

Homosexuality and the Bible: An Epic Conversation with my Anti-theist Brother

My brother, Simon, is a year-and-a-half younger than me and, like me, had a happy Christian upbringing. Through his teens he was fully immersed in our church youth group, (which included being literally fully immersed when he was baptised at 16), played bass in the worship band, and went to Soul Survivor every year. In his gap year before university he went on a mission trip to Nigeria with the Christian charity, Tearfund. We, along with our parents, have since been through… Read more

Dear Non-LGBT-affirming Christians, please search your hearts

I’ve just seen a news article showing the faces of those killed in the Pulse Night Club on Saturday night. Have you seen it? Face after face; beautiful, young, LGBT+ people, their eyes full of light and life. Lives so precious, unique, fragile, sacred. Each one reflecting the image of their Creator. Each one a beloved son or daughter. Their loss is a gaping wound, a searing pain, an everlasting ache. LGBT+ people around the world are feeling the impact of the… Read more

On Today Of All Days: A letter to LGBT+ people in the wake of the Orlando shootings

On today of all days, there are some things I need you to know. You are a remarkable, endlessly fascinating and astonishingly beautiful creation. Every breath you take, every moment of your life is infinitely precious and you are loved more than you will ever know. And you are entitled to fall in love with, kiss, hold hands with, marry, have babies with and grow old with whoever you like. On today of all days, I want the many faces of prejudice to… Read more

A Deeper Magic: Love Demands No Punishment

Atonement theories like Penal Substitution and Christus Victor are not exactly the most straightforward concepts to grasp. Many of you are probably still wondering why I’m making such a fuss. So instead of wrestling with more complex Biblical analyses or adding more points to my argument, grab your fur coat and join me on a magical adventure into Narnia. I’ll tell a REALLY brief version of the story, explaining the Christian symbolism as we go, to set us up for the important bit at the end…. Read more

A Thoroughly Biblical Argument Against Penal Substitutionary Atonement

A common criticism of people like me who openly oppose Penal Substitutionary Atonement theory is that we are picking and choosing the bits of the Bible we like, whilst ignoring some of the trickier bits. I intend now to try and make it super clear that this is not what we are doing. Invisible Goggles The thing is, we all read things into the Bible that may or may not be there, based on our own understanding, cultural background and personal opinions. It’s really, really… Read more

Is being a Christian just about being a good person?

So I’ve had a good go at butchering Penal Substitutionary Atonement theory – the idea that Jesus died to take the punishment for our sins. The logical questions that follow are: If Jesus didn’t pay our debt so we could be forgiven and go to heaven, what was the point of the resurrection? What’s the ‘good news’? What’s the point in being a Christian if it’s not about getting to heaven? Are you saying that being a Christian is basically… Read more

Why Penal Substitutionary Atonement Theory makes me want to throw up a little bit in my mouth

Sorry about the title – I had to get your attention somehow. Seriously – if you go to church and you’re not sure what I’m talking about, listen up. This is the ‘good news’ I suspect you were taught at church: We are all sinners who deserve to be punished for eternity. God wants to forgive us and save us from hell, but as he is a holy and just God, he must punish sin. So in his great love, he… Read more

I Think God Makes People Gay (Part 3): The Way Forward

The Bible is part of an ongoing story of God moving towards his people, and human culture moving very, very gradually towards God in an ever-expanding consciousness. Since the very beginning God has been pulling us forward, showing us better and better ways to be human. We’ve come a long way and we’ve got an awfully long way to go, but each breakthrough in equality and justice is a step towards God. Accepting gay people as equals is the next big step. (See my… Read more

I Think God Makes People Gay (Part 2)

A few months ago I organised my thoughts on Christianity and homosexuality in a post called I Think God Makes People Gay. Since writing it I have had some more thoughts, so I thought I would write those down too. I have Christian friends who believe that homosexuality is an abomination, detestable to God. I also have Christian friends who actively affirm homosexuality, and believe that the act of discriminating against and excluding LGBTQIAP people is an abomination, detestable to God. I have non-Christian friends who view Christians… Read more

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