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Caesar’s Gold

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the ways that Christians respond to the politics of the age. When I was pastoring in an area in the north of Newcastle, I would be intentional about leading us in prayer for the local MP and councillors and encouraging people to view them as co-workers in our shared desire to see the good of the area. I believe we have a clear biblical mandate to pray for our leaders, be good citizens, submit to the rule of law. But that can feel hard to hold in tension when there are world leaders who seem...
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Reformed and being reformed

I’m not going to lie, I was underwhelmed by the door. When you travel over 650 miles to see a door, you expect it to be as you imagined it. While there’s some debate about whether Luther ever posted his 95 theses on the door of the Schlosskirche, we can all be sure he didn’t personally engrave them on the ornate door that now stands there. If the door itself was something of a let down, however, the trip to Wittenberg was anything but. I’d travelled there to learn more about the events that led to the reformation and to see...
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The thinkers and philosophers who gathered to grill the apostle Paul on his beliefs atop the Areopagus had heard many things in their time. Athens had always been a centre of knowledge and education; it was the city that had produced Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates and it carried the intellectual stature to match that tradition. The men Paul spoke with probably thought they had heard every idea under the sun. According to Luke, the historian who travelled with and wrote about Paul, they did little else with their time but talk about and listen to ideas. A revolutionary claim There was something...
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Everything is Illuminated

I watched the sunrise, yesterday, but you could be forgiven for thinking that I didn’t. It’s become an August bank holiday tradition to sleep under the stars. We’ve been in a cave, on a hillside, and yesterday found us on a beach. As tends to be the way with sleeping in the open, I was awake at dawn with my eyes scanning the eastern horizon. A low line of clouds hung in the sky and the time for sunrise came and left without that beautiful slither of gold making it’s appearance. I didn’t see the sunrise, but I knew that it had....
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The Dream of Freedom

“We are too young to realise that certain things are impossible,” said William Wilberforce, “So we will do them anyway”. There are perhaps no better words to introduce the life of a man who undertook the improbable, to achieve what seemed impossible, and lived to see his dream realised. We are too young to realise that certain things are impossible, so we will do them anyway. William Wilberforce had a dream, like so many great dreamers, of freedom. It seems that oppression, prejudice and captivity are the breeding ground of hope and dreams; what makes Wilberforce special was that he himself did not...
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