Thinking Faith blogs

Church forests: the Gospel in trees?

Today I want to share a fascinating story of Christian celebration of biodiversity.  In the highlands of Ethiopia, circular church buildings are surrounded by patches of the forest that once covered the landscape.  Varying from less than a hectare up to thousands, these forests host a wide diversity of both animals and plants, and include individual trees hundreds of years old.  But as farming has intensified, the church forests have been shrinking and their regeneration is threatened by cattle grazing.

Mr Khan has killed 400 girls

I would like to show you how to compare and contrast the dangerous materialist faith with the Christian faith. It’s an intelligent and engaging way to talk about God’s kingdom. Mention Hobbes if you like.

The following story is in our latest TFN course.

A few years ago the journalist Ross Kemp interviewed a notorious human trafficker in Bengal. This is what Mr Khan said:

Is Science being defrocked?

We posted on the secularization of science last summer, in connection with Herman Dooyeweerd's essay of that title.  Like me, you may have been surprised to learn that for Dooyweerd, the 'secularization of science' reached its culmination around the Renaissance, just as theology began to be marginalised in Western culture.  This might seem to belittle the Christian faith and piety associated with subsequent scientific thinkers, from Copernicus and Galileo to Boyle and Faraday, for example.  Isn't secularization a more modern phenomenon - perha

Confident, Imaginative Disciples are Urgently Required

There is a crisis in the church. Christians are not confident and imaginative when talking about the Christian faith. They might be bold when they talk about recipes, diets, sermons and holidays but they lack confidence when it comes to talking about the kingdom of God with non-Christians. There is a pervasive fear that if you talk about Jesus you will be cut down and ridiculed. Think World War 1. If you put your head above the parapet the machine guns will get you.

No one enjoys being shot at either with real bullets or conversational bullets.

Ministry to Sixth Formers

For some time I’ve been thinking a lot about how to reach sixth formers with the Christian faith. We are talking about 17 and 18 year olds who dislike ‘religion’.

I am reflecting on what I learned when I taught Religious Education (RE) and Philosophy A level in a high school in Bath in the noble county of Somerset. We’re talking early 1990’s.

Compare and Contrast Approach to Discipleship

A powerful way to disciple friends and neighbours is to compare and contrast different faiths. Instead of preaching at people, you are offering insights about ‘religion’ and then sharing important truths about Jesus. This approach is gentle, respectful and non-confrontational.

Here’s how it works.

Sumo Wrestling and Colossians 2:15

Sumo wrestling is a Japanese form of wrestling that challenges many aspects of Christian discipleship. Here are some of the reasons why I could never become a rikishi (sumo wrestler).

Firstly I am not fat enough. Good friends tell me that I am potbellied but you have to be gargantuan and weigh about 400 pounds to be a proper sumo wrestler. Secondly I am not good at wrestling. At school my mate Otto Chan easily beat me in a wrestling bout when I was 14. Thirdly I went to an independent school in Hertfordshire where sumo wrestling was never mentioned.

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