Category Archives: Theology

Brexit and the echoes of empire

Not only did Britain vote to leave Europe: it seems we can’t even negotiate with it. We seem overconfident that we can push our weight around and get what we want, while unable to take other Europeans seriously. Why? Do … Continue reading

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Why progressives need God

This is an edited version of the talk I gave at St Denys Bookshop in Manchester, on 30th September. It describes my new book Why Progressives Need God, and why I wrote it. My background is in liberal theology. For … Continue reading

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What is the meaning of life?

42. Okay, that’s funny. Why? It’s funny because it works grammatically, but it’s obviously an inadequate answer. We laugh because we know nobody has got an adequate answer.

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God and the hope of a better life

This is the last of a series of four reflections on progress. The first was about the ancient idea that a supreme god maintains the universe with a long-term design. The second and third were about the ideas of progress … Continue reading

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What does progress do?

This is the second of my series of four talks on progress. The first describes its origins. Human life is unsatisfactory but our lives have been designed, by some kind of god, with potential for improvement. Sometimes we go forward, … Continue reading

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Progress: what is it and is it possible?

I’m doing a series of four talks on progress at St Brides Liverpool. The first was last Sunday. This is an edited version of the text. At the end there are questions for discussion, because this is what we do … Continue reading

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The Parable of the Mustard Shrub

This is my sermon for this coming Sunday, based on the Gospel reading’s parable about mustard. I have designed it to illustrate two things. The first is how New Testament scholars analyse early Christian texts to shed light on what … Continue reading

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Steve Chalke, Pompeii and the clobber texts on sex

Steve Chalke’s new video analyses the New Testament ‘clobber texts’ on homosexuality in the light of artefacts reclaimed from under the volcanic lava at Pompeii. If you want to see lots of artistic representations of male genitals and sex acts, … Continue reading

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God: are we exploring further in or climbing out?

‘God: none, one, three or many?’ was the theme of Modern Church’s annual conference earlier this week, chaired by Jane Shaw and Linda Woodhead. We were in the company of people who believe passionately in God and don’t believe in … Continue reading

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Justification by faith

This is my sermon for this coming Sunday, based on the Lectionary epistle, published in advance in case any other preacher wants to pinch bits. It is planned for the Open Table service for the LGBT+ community, on its ninth … Continue reading

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