God: are we exploring further in or climbing out?

Youth questioning‘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 God at all; people who question what we mean by ‘God’, and whether we can possibly answer the questions; people who value their church but don’t see the point of God, and people who value God but don’t see the point of churches.

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Grenfell Tower and Hillsborough: who is to blame?

Grenfell Tower burning28 years on, six people are to be prosecuted for the Hillsborough tragedy. What, just six? Is that justice? Is nobody else to blame? What about the more widespread culture of mutual support and avoiding blame, among the police just as in many occupations? After all, whistleblowers are unpopular – and the louder the whistle, the more unpopular the blower.

Blame for the Grenfell Tower fire is even harder to pin down. The contractors who installed the inflammable cladding? Kensington and Chelsea Council? The other contractors and councils, elsewhere, who used the same cladding in buildings which by lucky chance didn’t burst into flames? After cuts upon cuts to local government expenditure, should we blame the Government for squeezing the whole system to the point where this happens? But then, if the Government is to blame, aren’t the voters to blame for electing them?

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British values from Jeremiah to Grenfell Tower

This is my sermon for this coming Sunday, published early in case any other preacher wants to pinch bits. The text is Jeremiah 20:7-13.

It compares the recent changes in British values with the tensions in Judean values at the time of Jeremiah.

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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 birthday.

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Why Christians should vote for a different government. 15) Votes

Ballot boxThis post is the last in my series summarising some of the arguments in my new book Why Progressives Need God.

An election looms. How do we decide who to vote for?

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Why Christians should vote for a different government. 14) Truth

TelevisionThis post is part of a series summarising some of the arguments in my new book Why Progressives Need God.

Here in Britain we claim to have a representative democracy. However, it cannot be truly representative unless the voters have access to reliable and balanced information.

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Why Christians should vote for a different government. 13) Progress

SignpostThis post is part of a series summarising some of the arguments in my new book Why Progressives Need God.

Governments always tell us about the progress they have achieved. We’ve sorted this and this, they tell us, while ignoring the things that have got worse.

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Why Christians should vote for a different government. 12) Freedom

John Locke

John Locke

This post is part of a series summarising some of the arguments in my new book Why Progressives Need God.

We all like to be free. The Liberal tradition in modern politics is so called because of its commitment to freedom. Yet recent theories have adapted it so that some versions actually take freedom away.

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Why Christians should vote for a different government. 11) Peace

Flowers at the site of the Manchester bombing This post is part of a series summarising some of the arguments in my new book Why Progressives Need God.

I was in Manchester today, and took the photo below of the ‘Islam Against Extremism’ preacher.

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Why Christians should vote for a different government. 10) We

Children surrounding the worldThis post is part of a series summarising some of the arguments in my new book Why Progressives Need God.

This post is about how we identify ourselves and who we exclude.

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