December 31, 2016

2016 hasn’t been the best of years, has it? At least for those within the same socio-economic-political bubble as me, 2016 has brought blow after depressing blow of bad news. Each time we thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did. It began to feel like 2016 was doing it on purpose. Well, I for one have decided not to let 2016 depress me. Allow me to share with you a few thoughts that have brought me out of the pit of despair, into the enlightening conclusion… Read more

December 23, 2016

  This guest post was written by Katie van Santen How you think of the Christmas story may not have changed much since you were a child. The beautiful image of a pregnant lady on a donkey and a cosy stable full of smiling people snuggled up in clean hay. The reality was quite different. The reality was an unplanned teenage pregnancy and a doubting fiancé. The reality was a politically-forced journey at just the wrong time. The reality was… Read more

December 20, 2016

This guest post was written by Adam Couchman December 21st, in the northern hemisphere, is the Winter Solstice – the ‘shortest’ day of the year. Except it’s not the shortest day really. It’s still 24 hours long, I’ll still sleep for the same amount of time. I won’t be losing time. But we call it the shortest day because it is the day when the sun is risen for the least amount of time. Here along latitude 51 we will… Read more

September 18, 2016

In a time of extreme rationalism and extreme religion, with anti-religious sentiments at an all-time high and religious violence and bigotry often dominating our headlines, Mike McHargue’s Finding God in the Waves offers a timely, profound and fascinating discussion on the relationship between religion and science, faith and doubt. Finding God in the Waves is first and foremost for those who feel trapped between faith and reason; those who desire some kind of faith or sense a deeper meaning to life, but feel unable to reconcile this… Read more

September 5, 2016

This guest post was written by James Parsons. Millions of dollars are spent every year on Christian Religious Studies for the sole purpose of learning the art of exegesis and hermeneutics. These are two fancy words that simply mean the analysing of scripture for proper interpretation and how to apply that interpretation. It’s big business for Christian institutions, and in most cases, it’s big trouble. People skilled at exegesis and hermeneutics do not simply interpret the meaning of an author’s words. They also… Read more

August 31, 2016

Greenbelt is my happy place. It is an explosive celebration of humanity; a vibrant patchwork bursting at the seams with colour, creativity and culture. Where else do silent meditation, soaring harmonies, belly laughs, gravity-defying acrobatics, life drawing, ‘dad-dancing’, poetry, prayer, bhangra and breakdancing come together so naturally? Where else would you find yourself encountering Jesus in a steamy beer tent amidst hundreds of people in wellies, merrily sloshing plastic pint glasses and belting out ‘Love Divine’ and ‘Lord of the Dance’? Greenbelt is a refuge for the… Read more

August 14, 2016

In his sermon last Sunday morning, our pastor was highlighting different aspects of modern life that can become “idols” in the Biblical sense – unhealthy distractions, things that we place higher than God on our list of priorities. Like all good sermons it was challenging, unsettling and thought-provoking. One of these “idols” in particular got me thinking, and I’ve been chewing it over during the week since. The Idol of Feelings. I think I know what he was getting at, and in one… Read more

July 28, 2016

Terrorism has been dominating the news lately. There are terrorist attacks happening daily worldwide which go largely unreported, but the latest brutal string of attacks in France, Germany and Belgium have brought the threat much closer to home. The British government warns that the threat of a terrorist attack in the UK is currently ‘severe’. (Incidentally, since this alert system was initiated in 2006, the threat has been mostly either ‘severe’ or ‘critical’, and has never been lower than ‘substantial’.) When bombarded daily… Read more

July 24, 2016

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

July 10, 2016

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

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