All religions, new and old, should be subject to the same disrespect that Charlie Hedbo so boldly and bravely paid them. As Salman Rushdie, a man who knows a thing or two about this subject, said religion deserves our 'fearless disrespect'. Long may such disrespect, whether it be in Charlie Hedbo or elsewhere, continue.
Now I'm not siding with the 'we brought this on ourselves' lot. What I'm saying is we just haven't got to grips with the fact rapid developments in communications technology and transport have well and truly moved the goalposts.
The journalists and policemen murdered in Paris are the latest tragic victims in an ongoing war of ideas and belief. To win this war theologians must get involved, abandoning relativism and, as blunt as it sounds, take sides.
I won't indulge myself in my own personal problems with the Mass, how the language sounds to my ear a lot like lines Christopher Lee should be spouting whilst dancing around a windswept island in The Wicker Man ('It is right to give Him thanks and praise'), because I'll probably come across exactly as I am. A man who vehemently railed against his indoctrinal upbringing mid-teens when he realised his homosexuality made him, in the Dr Eckleburg eyes of the church, a sinner.
A friend once invited me to help myself to the many books she had become the de facto owner of when she purchased the flat of a very old woman in London's trendy Holland Park. The lady had died alone, a spinster with no descendants. E
Picture this. You gather family and friends of all ages in a large room and ask each person to hold a single, unlit candle. Then you turn out t...
While civilised people everywhere hold up their hands in horror at the massacre of children in Peshawar, Pakistan, we would do well to remember that it is human, not Biblical values, that stand firm against such evil.
On the day I got up as usual, it was still dark, and made breakfast. I prayed the Lord's Prayer - 'give us this day our daily bread!' and asked for strength in fasting as a spiritual exercise. I finished breakfast around 06.30 (discovering later that the fast should began at 05.30, no imam for guidance though I could have researched it better - this was several years ago).
By blindly insisting the creation myth of the Semitic tribes who became the Jewish people is fact - and telling children it is a valid alternative to the Big Bang - evangelical Christians are attributing to God the lack of imagination that cripples their own view of both humanity and the wider universe.
The trouble is that we all tend to think we're a little more well-liked than we are. Therefore, the receiving of a Hallmark offering is often the only validation we have of our self-perceived popularity.
Last week, with little fanfare and under heavy security, an historic meeting took place in Rome which marked a turning point in interfaith relations. Inside the 16th century Casina Pio IV villa, home to the Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Sciences, seven clerics representing over five billion people overcame lingering traditions of suspicion to commit to the eradication of modern day slavery by the year 2020.
Our dialogues which both underpin and overarch our practical initiatives will include reflecting on what we might say together, and differently, about the mission of Jesus Christ and the Prophet Muhammad...
Hello again. Still super connected?! I thought so. It's funny. When you take the time to stop and think about your life, you might not like what realisations occur. What if, for example, answers to the questions 'what do I want?' 'what makes me happy?' 'what is my life's purpose?' remain unknown?
As a church we can't teach how bad sin is, to love your neighbour as yourself, to live in Jesus' example; then attach 10 asterisks at the bottom of the page with our 'terms and conditions'. I'm sick of feeling part of a faith that, in part, will charitably give with one hand and damage with the other. Its literal hypocrisy, and its nothing like the religion that I believe in...
We live in a contingent world and do not have the luxury of choosing our friends; we share a seat with anyone who offers. And we must never lose our focus on the individual amid the complexity of the global.
In some ways I have remained evangelical but sustained by liberal querying and exploration. I have formed good partnerships with evangelical colleagues and in my own church which have enabled successful collaborations. However, I have not gone back to the evangelical places of my youth...