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Chaos, fear, pain, anger – then Jesus came!

Britain sustained three home-grown terrorist attacks in 3 months. While the nation reeled the inferno at Grenfell Tower happened; the majority of victims were Muslim. Yet the Bible insists that even in despair God gives ‘treasure in darkness’ as a sign of the Kingdom breaking in. The media marvelled but couldn’t quite explain the impromptu solidarity – here’s some evidence of it.

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Identity Politics

Heads are turned by Islamic violence while behind our backs the Judeo-Christian heritage is being subtly eroded – the latest casualty is the concept of “gender”. The Bible says: ‘In the beginning God created humankind male and female’ (Gen.1:27-28) that can ‘increase and multiply’ but the secularist ‘liberal-left’ now says gender has little to do with our birth anatomy. What’s going on?                                                                                                                                                       Read more

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‘Integration’ or ‘Social Cohesion’ – which will it be?

Analysts have concluded that the notion of ‘multi-culturalism’ led to Britain looking more like a ‘community of communities’. Since then the government was still getting to grips with the routine levels of immigration when emergency migration to Europe began. It seemed to destroy any hope of healthy inclusion. Since then the debate is over what we should be aiming for – “integration” or “social cohesion”? What is the difference and is either actually achievable? Read more

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‘Guidance’ – action or reaction?

‘By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. (Hebs.11:8-9

Any missional activity brings us into a collision course with “guidance”. We read around the subject, theologise about it and discuss issues ad infinitum; but how can we get it and then act on it?Read more

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Flex or break – you choose!

When my wife was a babe in arms, the family was involved in a head-on car crash, which propelled her through the windscreen and over the bonnet. The little bundle bounced down the road and into the bushes. She was eventually found but what saved her life was a thing called ‘torsion’.

When I flew into Heathrow from Islamabad in winter, the runway was frosted over, so the pilot used auto-pilot. The plane landed with a hard thump and the fuselage contorted; lockers flew open; bags fell out and people screamed! Apparently it’s ‘torsion’ that stops aircrafts breaking up.

The dictionary says: ‘Torsion is an engineering term for the action of twisting or being twisted’. So “pressure” bears down on us but ‘torsion’ twists us. Here are a few missional applications:Read more

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Can a “nation” practice Christianity? (Part 2)

This is part of a 2-part series by Interserve’s Steve Bell. See Wednesday’s post for Part 1.

It’s hard to understand Europe without a grasp of Christianity’s role in shaping it. The old sacred/secular divide is disappearing as religion (not least Islamic) crashes into ‘public space’. But can Christians help a bewildered secular society to find its bearings?   

Last time I pointed out that it’s ‘individuals’ (rather than ‘nation-states’) who follow Christ. Nations are impacted as national leaders who are imbued with the values of Europe’s Judeo-Christian heritage implement it in the public good. Examples of this include Margaret Thatcher, Teresa May and Angela Merkel – all raised as the daughters of pastors.

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Can a “nation” practise Christianity? (Part 1)

This week we have a fantastic 2-part series from Interserve’s Steve Bell. Come back for part 2 on Friday!

Hitler’s Germany almost destroyed Europe by “pathological nationalism”. It now threatens it by “pathological altruism” as Angela Merkel makes history by inviting the world into Germany – a move that may yet trigger the demise of the EU.

Has it ever occurred to you that the instinct to defend the defenceless (although not unique to Christian teaching) originates in Europe’s ‘Judeo-Christian heritage’ (i.e. the biblical worldview embedded in our society, which insists individuals have both rights and responsibilities – see Mat.22:34-40). But how can ‘the heritage’ impact a secular Europe today?Read more

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Three in a marriage? – reflections of a ‘team directorate’

Let’s be honest, team-working is often only an aspirational value in both church and mission agency. I say this because it’s fine until we talk about doing it in top-leadership – i.e. a “team directorate”. This is ‘sacred ground’, which provokes questions such as “Is it biblical?”; “Someone has to be the buck-stop?”; “What when you disagree?”; “How does accountability work?”

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‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’

Whether you are for or against ‘Brexit’, the fact is the EU has drifted from its original moral vision to put economics before values; while the Bible is clear that human existence is not just about ‘the standard of living’ but also ‘the quality of life’.

The European project has failed because it now has little to say on any issue except economics. Yet the original idea was in fact a ‘Christian vision’ of ‘theo-political imagination’ (academic Scott Thomas).

However, socialist thinkers in the European project eventually subjugated all else in order to develop policies on abortion, same-sex marriage and stem-cell research. Issues that have been driven rough-shod over centuries of Judeo-Christian values the EU project looks set to marginalise altogether.

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