2022 Reading Roundup

It’s that time of year where people humblebrag about how much they read, under the pretence of making recommendations for others. You can hardly move on Twitter for end of year reading lists. And Phil Whittall’s roundup of roundups takes it to an Inception-level extreme – lists within lists. As Qoheleth might have said, ‘Of…

Learning to Listen in a Lonely World

‘You can be lonely anywhere, but there is a particular flavour to the loneliness that comes from living in a city, surrounded by millions of people.’ Olivia Laing – The Lonely City In her haunting book, The Lonely City, Olivia Laing explores the theme of loneliness, especially as experienced in urban contexts. Loneliness is not…

Living Sacrifice: Four talks on Romans 12

Last week Helen and I had the privilege of speaking at a weekend away for Wheatley Community Church. It was such a fun weekend getting to know them better, and serving them. We were certainly grateful for the way they welcomed and embraced us as a family, and I also loved the opportunity for me…

Joseph and Restoration (Genesis 42-45)

On Sunday I had the privilege of preaching at Oxford Community Church, continuing a series on the life of Joseph. We looked at Genesis 42-45, this long stretch in which Joseph is reunited with his brothers after 22 years. But rather than revealing his identity to them immediately, he puts his brothers through a series…

The Bible in Four Minutes

How do you quickly and effectively summarise a story as complex as the Bible? Impossible, you might think. But storyteller-poet Dai Woolridge has given it a pretty good shot! His latest video tells biblical story in four minutes, weaving together many of the key themes and threads, showing how they connect beautifully around the person…

The Provocation of Hope

‘Hope is never mere, even when it is meagre. When all other senses sleep, the eye of hope is first to awaken, last to shut.’ (Gil-Galad, The Rings of Power, Season 1, Episode 5) I’ve been thinking recently about the theme of hope, prompted by a few verses from the Epistles (and that quote from…

Learning to pray on Gethsemane roundabout

This strange little roundabout is a few minutes from my house. The first time I walked across it, taking my then-five-year-old daughter to school, she declared: “Oh, I know this place from my Bible! It’s the Garden of Gethsemane.” It was a strange thing for her to say. Gethsemane in her storybook Bible looks far…

BeReal: Connecting with Culture

If you’re curious what a ‘geriatric millennial’ makes of a social media app much loved by Gen-Z, then you’re in luck! This week I had the privilege of writing the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity’s Connecting with Culture, and I chose to offer a few thoughts on BeReal. The concept is simple. Users receive a…

Covenant-making and context collapse

A few weeks ago I made a joke that took on a life of its own. Sorry if it’s taken you all that time to erase it from your memory, only for me to remind you again. I tweeted a picture from the Bible of Jean de Sy, which depicts Abraham’s circumcision in Genesis 17:…

God’s Holy Love (Isaiah 6)

For some of us, those two words don’t naturally seem to fit together; holiness and love. The idea of God’s holiness can feel daunting or scary, whilst the idea of His love may feel far more warm and inviting. So it’s tempting to see these as two aspects of God’s character which are at war…