Genetic editing: what the debate tells us about ourselves

Robin Gill

Robin Gill

Robin Gill’s article in last Friday’s Church Times summarises the ethical debate about genetic editing. This post looks at the presuppositions behind the different positions.

Genetic editing is a new technique for altering DNA sequences in plants, animals and humans: Continue reading

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Zacchaeus and the sex worker

zacchaeus140This is about shame and reconciliation. It is an edited version of a sermon I gave last Sunday.

It draws on two stories. The main one is the biblical story of Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10). By way of a modern comparison I describe a conversation I had with a sex worker.

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President Trump: some distheological causes

trumpcard140Syriza, Podemos, Le Pen, Brexit, now Trump. What’s happening? As long as the debates are conducted in black and white, each side too angry too understand the other, we will not find a satisfactory way forward.

This post describes some historical causes with theological significance.

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On Remembrance Sunday, what do we remember?

War Memorial, Denstone, StaffordshireThe 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month was when the Armistice was signed at the end of The Great War, the war to end all wars. So Remembrance Day was the day when work stopped at eleven o’clock. To remember the futility of war.

Between 1914 and 1918 soldiers dug themselves into trenches and emerged to battle it out on the field until one side was victorious among the dead bodies. Such was the scale of death that a new mood arose: it was inconceivable that nations would ever be so foolish as to repeat the tragedy. People wore red poppies to remember. Never again!

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Daniel Blake and the purpose of life

idanielblakeI went with some friends to see I, Daniel Blake last night. It’s many years since I last saw a film, and I was wondering whether I would be bored.

Bored I was, as we sat through all the prior adverts. My eyes closed. I was just nodding off when I was startled by some very familiar words.

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Time for death

coffinI have just witnessed a funeral as it should be: very different, I am sorry to say, from most funerals I conducted when I was still in post.

A family member in his early 60s was diagnosed with terminal cancer and died a month later. He was Congolese. His coffin, pictured here, was made of banana leaves.

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As a Christian I’m a citizen of the world

Prime Minister TheTheresa May, British Prime Ministerresa May’s statement reverberated around the UK:

If you’re a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere.

My guess is that this vicar’s daughter is totally unaware of the role Christianity played in getting people to think of themselves as citizens of the world.

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Faith schools and school faith

Students raising hands in classroom

Linda Woodhead’s recent article The government’s changes to faith schools sides with hardline religion draws attention to the fact that public attitudes to religion favour dogmatic extremists at the expense of more liberal and accommodating faith traditions.

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Reclaiming church history for liberals

erdozainI’ve been reading Dominic Erdozain’s excellent The Soul of Doubt: The religious roots of unbelief from Luther to Marx. At last, a book that sets the record right.

The way I was taught Christian history, and the way far too many church history books still tell it, works on the ‘orthodoxy’ model. The Church carries on, with its doctrines. True church members accept them, heretics debate them, unbelievers reject them.

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Memories of David Jenkins

David Jenkins‘Best known for expressing doubts about the virgin birth and the physical resurrection of Christ’ – The Guardian .

‘“Unbelieving bishop” Jenkins famed for his sceptical views…
He shocked believers by expressing doubts about the virgin birth and the resurrection of Jesus’ – The Daily Mail .

‘An Anglican bishop who questioned some of the fundamental beliefs of Christianity… His views on the virgin birth and the resurrection caused a storm of protest’ The BBC .
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