Browsing All posts tagged under »Culture«

The place of the churches in society

February 24, 2012


In an article in the Independent newspaper this week, Mary Ann Sieghart (or her subeditor) announced that ‘You don’t have to believe in God to cherish the Church’, a proposition which she offered in response to the latest attack by Richard Dawkins. Dawkins produced a survey showing that many people who ticked the ‘Christian’ – perhaps particularly […]

Modesty wraps rock! Or, getting public theology right

February 9, 2012


Over the last couple of weeks I have become aware of a campaign in the UK to make ‘modesty wraps’ (that is, plain covers) compulsory on all magazines displaying sexually explicit content on their covers. I am not sure who started it – there was an earlier, and linked, campaign concerning the placement of such […]

If you don’t want Tim Tebow, we’ll have him!

January 14, 2012


OK, the ‘Tebowing’ thing has been on the edge of my consciousness for a while now, mentioned on Twitter feeds and the like every so often. I could see various American friends getting exercised about it, concerned that it promoted ‘slot machine prayer’ theology, in which public intercession by a quarterback could be expected to […]

Of the Monarch, her Bishops, and the press

December 26, 2011


The Christmas tradition of the Monarch making a direct address to the nation is not one I object to, but nor, I confess, is it one I generally notice. All that I know of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II leads me to suppose that she is a person of wisdom, true Christian faith, and an […]

David Cameron ‘doing God’

December 17, 2011


Alastair Campbell’s intervention has become famous. Asked, in the course of an interview with Vanity Fair, something that touched on his personal faith, the then-Prime Minister Tony Blair hesitated, and Campbell lent across to refuse the question with the line ‘We don’t do God.’ Blair’s faith was clearly genuine, if kept quiet; the same was […]

Catholic Bishops, Baptist pastors, and same-sex marriage

December 13, 2011


It seems fairly likely that we in Scotland will see the extension of marriage to same-sex couples before the rest of the UK, probably in the next 2-3 years. The government has proposed this, and a consultation on the proposal has just closed. How should a Christian commentator respond to this idea? The theology here […]

The Politics of Christmas

December 1, 2011


I don’t usually highlight my own writing here, but since this is available for free, I thought I’d mention it. I was commissioned by the excellent political thinktank Theos to write on ‘The Politics of Christmas’. The brief noted that we tend to assume that Christmas should be apolitical in our contemporary celebrations, but that […]

True Christian manliness? CVM & The Code

November 10, 2011


Back in the day, I led my share of Boys’ Brigade parade services. Now, I’ve nothing at all against the BB (I’ve known, indeed chaplained, companies that worked astonishingly well as Christian youth organisations), but that bit in the service where we went through the organisation’s old object, ending with ‘and all that tends towards […]

Queer Hippo: musings on human sexuality

September 20, 2011


[This is a ‘Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis’ post: the ideas have been in my head for several years, and I’ve been wondering what, if anything, to do with them. Then I thought of the title, and just had to publish somewhere. There’s a book here – I’d be interested to know if readers of […]

‘Save me from the nothing I’ve become…’

September 19, 2011


Evanescence are, without doubt, a great band. And ‘Bring me to life’ might be the best thing they have yet released. The song expresses a profound sense of personal worthlessness, and a plea – there is no indication of who is being pleaded with – that someone beyond the singer would create meaning and so […]