I am the Way and the Truth and the Life

The reason I get passionate about theology is because it matters. Not because of any eternal consequences, but because theology determines how we treat others in the here and now. If our picture of God is of an angry and violent brute, we tend to become violent and brutish ourselves. And it so happens that [...]

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How To Read The Bible

If you read the Bible and find comfort there, then I suspect you are not reading the Bible properly. Almost certainly, you have not fully understood what you are reading. The various texts that comprise the Bible were penned for a lot of different reasons: to preserve the history of a people, and to tell the stories [...]

Demythologising Sacrifice

It is impossible to condense a complex anthropological work into a blog-sized space, even a blog-sized space that is significantly larger than blog-sized spaces are supposed to be. So if you treasure the work of René Girard, please understand that what is to follow is a very much reduced (and thus inevitably inadequate) summation of [...]

The Way of the Cross

All faith is derivative. In other words, because nobody (at least nobody I wouldn’t regard as either a fraudster or schizophrenic) has personally interacted with God, all faith is based on individual interpretations either of religious texts or of personal experience. This means that the nature of the values we believe God to espouse will [...]

Rejecting the Nashville Statement

If you move in vaguely Christian circles, or if you are part of the LGBTQ community, you have probably heard of the Nashville Statement. And if you have heard of the Nashville Statement, you almost certainly have an opinion on it. The Nashville Statement was the brainchild (I almost wrote brainlesschild, but I have reminded [...]

Weeping for Jerusalem

It’s been a busy few weeks, workwise. In many ways, they have been very rewarding. But the last few weeks have been disillusioning too, and I have found it very difficult to write. I feel like I am beating the same drum, over and over again. But that drum is my heartbeat at the moment, [...]

When I consider the Heavens

I am immensely fortunate to have the colleagues that I do. They are more than colleagues – they are friends. It is why, even though it is difficult to be away from home as much as my job sometimes demands, I enjoy my work-related travels. This week we were in the Cape, the first stop [...]

Innocence Lost

As long as I can remember, I have loved the bushveld. It is one of the few places where I feel completely alive and free. There is an immediacy about life in the African bush that I find wholly alluring. When you are walking in the territory of lions and elephants, for example, your regrets [...]

To Nathan On His Fourth Birthday

In October I attended the funeral of somebody for whom I have a great deal of respect and fondness. She was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident, and everyone expected the memorial service to be a particularly emotional and sombre affair. Indeed, when her daughters spoke, it was particularly moving. But not because her loss [...]

Saying No to Rape Culture

Every year from 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) until 10th December (International Human Rights Day), we are encouraged to support the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign. I am an activist by nature, and these are issues particularly close to my heart. In [...]