What’s wrong with rights?


Late last year we were confronted by news of the horrific shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, USA. The senseless massacre of six adults and twenty children quickly sparked calls for governments to consider reforms for gun control, so as to protect lives and prevent these tragedies from happening in the future. (more…)

Freedom of religion and thought

Life, Sola Panel

The theologian and social critic David Wells suggests that we have seen a significant rise in the language of victimhood in both society and the church. He suggests ‘playing the victim’ comes from being overly sensitive to individual rights. We often excuse our behaviour by noticing every insult or injustice that comes from others. Wells warns that when everyone is a victim—as it seems many feel—it trivialises real victims. (more…)

Libertarian censorship


Censorship was a debate most people thought was won (or lost) in the 1960’s. But it has been neither won nor lost—just changed—and that for the worse. (more…)

Does the future have a church?

Pastoral Ministry

Tim Thornborough offers here a rough guide to where Protestantism is in the UK, and a look at some particular indicators that suggest several major strategic directions that we need to consider for the future. (more…)

Biblical tolerance


A biblical word for ‘tolerance’ is ‘patience’. Within the Bible, patience is not just ‘passively waiting’, but ‘enduring suffering without retaliation’. (more…)

All we like sheep have gone astray … from basic Bible literacy?


All we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way.

So wrote GF Handel in the second chorus of Part II of his great oratorio Messiah. Keen readers may have spotted that this is not an original thought; Handel drew on Isaiah 53:4-6. In fact, Messiah is fundamentally a musical Bible study on the saving work of Jesus, and it is often performed at Easter, so get along if you can. (Here’s a performance for Sydney readers.) (more…)

The Facebook of truth

In our churches and in our outreach, questions of ‘truth’ don’t seem so important any more. Is this is a loss, an irrelevance or an opportunity? Tony Payne reviews two significant books on this subject by David F Wells.

Above All Earthly Pow’rs: Christ in a Postmodern World, David F Wells, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 2006, 339pp (more…)

Did Christianity really decline?


The Death of Christian Britain

The Death of Christian Britain: Understanding secularization 1800–2000
Callum G. Brown
Routledge, London and New York, 2001, 256pp.

It’s an ironic title, is it not? After all, Britain is still, obviously, a place where a mainstream publisher will take on a book which is entirely about the social significance of Christianity and which argues against the assumptions of secularist theory. Moreover, the first chapter, which describes “the Christian churches in crisis”, quotes,