God. With. Us.

I have a four-year-old daughter, who performed in her first school nativity last week. She played the role of Angel Number 1, which I suspect means ‘1 of many’ but I like to think it means ‘number 1 angel.’ Each kid gets one line to perform, and my daughter has been practicing hers for months….

Emmanuel

It was such a privilege to work on this short film, and I’m excited to share it with you! If you need a bit of festive hope and joy at the end of a challenging year, we hope you enjoy Emmanuel, a short film from Christ Church London. With a mixture of carols, readings, and…

Tracing the ripples from fallen pastors

It seems that hardly a month goes by without another scandal from a ‘Celebrity Pastor’. Abuse of power, sexual sin, financial irregularities, cover-ups. Each one a crushing blow; another straw heaped on the back of an already-straining camel, namely the public credibility of Christianity. I was talking to a friend the other day, and I…

NASA, Nigella and the power of the table

I’ve recently spoken and written on loneliness and the idea of church as family. In summary, I’ve argued that we have a deep need for human connection, and when we lack it, we experience loneliness like a deep aching hunger. One of the central symbols of the church is a table around which we gather,…

Church for a lonely city

On Sunday I spoke on the subject of church as family, and I argued that the church is God’s means for meeting one of humanity’s greatest needs – strong, deep relational connection. It is to be the place where, as Psalm 68:6 says, ‘God sets the lonely in families.’ This should be great news for our…

Kingdom Come: Family (Mark 3)

Loneliness in an epidemic, which leaves us feeling empty, and points to our deep need for human connection. In this talk, Liam considers how the church is God’s plan for dealing with the problem of loneliness, by placing the lonely in families. Listen or download audio

Toby Ziegler on Counting the Commandments

…and one other thing that amused me about the use of the Ten Commandments in The West Wing. I’ve watched this episode so many times and can’t believe I never noticed it before! In the Pilot, there’s a scene where Toby, Josh and CJ are meeting with representatives of the religious right, who are angry…

The West Wing and the conundrum of unenforceable laws

I am currently rewatching The West Wing, whilst also reading Bearing God’s Name by Carmen Joy Imes, which, it turns out, is a pretty good pairing! In Take Out the Trash Day (Season 1, Episode 13), Sam Seaborn has heard about a town in Alabama that proposed to abolish all laws except the Ten Commandments….

The Crown: A Parable of the Parables

Whenever I teach on Jesus’ parables, people ask whether they are intended to reveal his true message or conceal it? If I’m feeling in a sensible mood, I give a detailed answer. If I’m feeling more playful, I give this one… The question arises from the seemingly contradictory explanations in Matthew 13, Mark 4, and…

The Epic of Eden: Ordering your Dysfunctional Old Testament Closet.

Everyone has a dysfunctional closet somewhere in their lives. A closet where Jabba the Hut could be living, and no one would know it. The closet is crammed full of clothes slipping from their hangers, accessories dangling from the shelves, shoes piled in disarray on the floor. It is impossible to tell where one item…