Here’s another podcast in the “mission in post-Christian Europe” category. It’s an interview with Paul and Jordan Prins and Sheila Wittenberg about their Urban Monastics project. They have some really good things to say about cross-cultural mission in Western Europe, their reasons for starting an “ecumenical monastic community,” and the values and vision that they are seeking to put into practice. The audio quality is a bit uneven in places, but hopefully that won’t be too distracting.
I've got to know Rob Bavington through his connection with Communitas. He has been something of an accidental church-planter, first in Sweden for some years, now in Bradford. We talk about what he's learned, what he's learning, and some of the less obvious cross-cultural dimensions of church-planting in the UK today.
I’m hoping to do the occasional podcast interview with people doing mission in the Western secular context. This is the first one. I’ve got to know Lynsey and Stuart Gilmour through Communitas and I love listening to them talk about who they are and what they do. They live in Stenhousemuir, Scotland, and have been working for some years with a very alternative crowd in the Glasgow and Edinburgh. They also go into schools and talk about sexual and mental health issues. You can find out a bit more about them on their Is This It? website, but listen to the podcast first.
This is the audio version of a recent post on my blog. There's a lot going on in the world right now. Climate change and ecological destruction is relatively slow and longer term, but it is likely to constitute an existential crisis on an epochal, even geological, time scale. This podcast looks at one way of framing a response to this in biblical terms.
This is a quick look at how the evangelical church might "justify" its mission today in the light of what Paul has to say about "rightness" and faith in Philippians 3:2-11.
My book End of Story? Same-Sex Relationships and the Narratives of Evangelical Mission (2019) grew out of many conversations in a missional context about the problems and opportunities created by the widespread legalisation of same-sex marriage. In seems to me that the issue provides us with a powerful lens for reviewing the nature of Paul’s mission and for reimagining the function of the church particularly in the post-Christian West. This podcast looks at Paul’s critique of a Greek culture distinguished by the prominence given to certain forms of homosexual activity (Acts 17:16-34; Rom. 1:18-32), and considers the implications of the fact that this critique belonged to a story that ended long ago.
This is a cut-down, humourless re-recording of a sermon on Jesus as the “bread of life” in John 6, which I preached at Crossroads International Church in The Hague, as part of a series on the true identity of Jesus. In all sorts of ways, John’s presentation of Jesus is very different to the one that we find in the Synoptic Gospels. But perhaps not as different as we sometimes think.
On my blog and in a few books I argue against the theological interpretation of scripture and for a consistently narrative-historical interpretation of scripture. Why? Because the method makes much better sense of the texts. But can it do more than that? Can it give us better answers to the big questions about God and the universe?
Most people probably still think of the "gospel" as the offer of eternal life to individuals on the basis of Jesus' atoning death. That is quite wide of the mark as far as the New Testament is concerned. I argue here that the good news was an unfolding story about how the God of Israel was transforming the status and place of his people in the ancient world.
The popular debate about “hell” has been misconceived. Our narrow theologies of personal salvation have blinded us to the large-scale narratives that give meaning to the language of wrath and judgment in the teaching of Jesus and of those sent out to proclaim his name among the nations.