Browsing All posts tagged under »Culture«

Keep Saturday Special?

August 23, 2012

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The question of Sunday trading is in the news again. Here in Scotland, there is no difference in retail law between Sunday and other days; in England and Wales, however, there has been a limitation on trading on Sunday such that ‘large’ stores are only able to open for six hours. This southern limitation was […]

Church Growth in Britain 5: analysis

July 19, 2012

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Goodhew offers both an introduction and conclusion to the book, which are valuable. In the introduction, he identifies the classical secularisation thesis as a ‘dominant narrative’ assumed by much of the academy, and by essentially all of the media. He suggests that the book serves to ‘subvert’ that narrative. This might be ambitious: the secularisation […]

On writing and being read: Jared Wilson on Fifty Shades…

July 19, 2012

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‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’ ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’ ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.’ (Lewis Carroll, Alice Through […]

Church Growth in Britain 4: The Nations

July 13, 2012

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Three final chapters look at Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, offering some helpful different perspectives on church growth. Ken Roxburgh notes that the recent narrative of decline in Scotland is even more catastrophic than in the UK in general, before looking at five congregations in Edinburgh that have nonetheless grown to some extent. The case-studies […]

The trouble with ‘normal’: a further note on human sexuality

July 5, 2012

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I have argued before on this blog that one of the problems with contemporary ecclesial debates over human sexuality is the assumption that a Christian sexual ethic should celebrate, and enshrine, ‘normal’ sexuality. It occurs to me in reading some recent public comments from different churches that one of the problems with this is the […]

Church Growth in Britain 3: New Churches

July 2, 2012

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Six chapters of the book focus on new churches, three looking specifically at Black Majority Churches, and three more widely. Hugh Osgood gives an excellent overview of the growth of BMCs; Richard Burgess offers an account of one denomination, The Redeemed Christian Church of God; and Amy Duffuor offers an account of a single congregation, […]

Child circumcision and religious liberty

July 2, 2012

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The reporting of the recent regional court judgement concerning infant circumcision in Germany has been predictably sensationalist; it is a ruling of a local and low court, binding only in a very limited geographical area, and I assume – albeit as a legal layperson – that it will be overturned fairly quickly. (The European Convention […]

Church growth in Britain 2: Mainstream churches

June 24, 2012

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The section on mainstream churches contains chapters on the London diocese (of the Church of England) (by John Wolffe and Bob Jackson); Catholicism in London’s East End (Alana Harris); Baptist growth in England (Ian Randall); growth in (Anglican) cathedral congregations (Lynda Barley); and reverse mission (Rebecca Catto). For me, the study of London Anglicanism is […]

Church Growth in Britain?

June 24, 2012

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David Goodhew (ed.) Church Growth in Britain: 1980 to the Present (Ashgate, 2012) I suppose most of us in academia have a list in our heads of books that ought to be written: there are positions that you know to be true, but that have not yet been demonstrated to be so to the satisfaction […]

Translocal ecclesial identities

March 13, 2012

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The theme of the recent – and excellent – Evangelical Alliance Council meeting was ‘It takes a whole church to raise a child’. Amongst the points made, two seem to me to connect interestingly. First, there was emphasis on the increasingly post-Christian, and so alien, nature of our society, which means that churches must become […]

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