Thought for the Week

Mutual Back-Scratching

Dear Friends, “You scratch my back, I scratch your back.”  Or, perhaps, in this holiday season, we might say, “I put the sun cream on your back, you put it on mine.”  The reality is, an enormous amount of life operates this way: at work, between neighbours, among friends, in the family, even at church. 

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A good deed in a wicked world

Dear Friends, One writer said that it “shines out like a good deed in a wicked world”.  What was this heroic and unusual deed, you may ask?  He was referring to an event in the recent cricket match between England and India.  For those who understand cricket and know what happened, it won’t need repeating. 

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John Stott, 1921-2011

Dear Friends, “Like Moses, he was one of the humblest men on the face of the earth, and yet at the same time he was one of the truly great leaders God has given to his people.  He was, for all of us who knew him, a walking embodiment of the simple beauty of Jesus,

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Phone hacking and all that

Dear Friends, What are we to make of the phone hacking scandal?  If you’ve not heard about it, count yourself fortunate!  If you have, you may well be wondering how to assess it from a Christian point of view.  Here are some initial, and sketchy, thoughts: First, we do love to make judgments, and to

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Where is Jesus now?

Dear Friends, We’re currently having some work done on the vicarage.  This happens once every five years, when the diocesan surveyor arranges for things to be fixed and put right.  In a similar way, we periodically need our thinking to be tightened up and ‘put right’. An article in The Briefing did that for me

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Insiders and Outsiders

Dear Friends, Why did Peter deny Jesus?  In John’s Gospel, when Jesus was arrested, Peter and John followed him to the high priest’s courtyard.  John was known to the high priest, so he went inside.  Peter only got in because John spoke to the girl on duty on his behalf.  Once inside, she asked Peter

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Why are some unbelievers so nice?

Dear Friends, Have you ever asked yourself why some unbelievers are so nice?  And, on the other hand, why can some Christians be so unpleasant?  If you haven’t noticed that both of those are true, you’re either not very observant or you’re living in denial! There are two biblical truths, or doctrines, that help enormously

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Understanding our culture

Dear Friends, Culture is like air.  We breathe it without realising.  Put simply, a culture is a way of thinking and acting.  The truth, of course, is that most of us inhabit numerous micro-cultures (work, family, school, etc.) rather than one single culture.  Nevertheless, it is possible to identify some common features.  When I wrote...

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What use is the Trinity?

Dear Friends, Of course, we’d never ask the question as bluntly as this: “What use is the Trinity?” We know we’re meant to believe that God is one in being and three in persons. And we know that truth must be useful – somehow. And yet, how many of us in practice function as if

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The ‘right’ to die

Dear Friends, The death of Peter Smedley will be the first assisted suicide to be shown on terrestrial television in this country, in a documentary called Choosing to Die.  It seems to be part of a steadily mounting campaign in the media to make assisted suicide legal. It is sadly ironic that death should be

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