‘Joseph Ratzinger: European Pope’ – a poem

In St Peter’s Square, Holy smoke and a shy smile Of Bavarian piety and curial power. Funeral oration, Conclave sermon, Acceptance address: Momentous momentum. A hard act to follow, They chose a hard man. In thinking, penetrative; In doctrine, conservative; In power, effective; In discipline, pressive: Continuity reigns. Enforcer becomes caretaker To take care of … Continue Reading

‘Karol Wojtyla: Polish Pope’ – a poem written on the day of his funeral

In St Peter’s Square, Presidents and Prime Ministers, Princes and people gather. A simple cypress-wood coffin Is surmounted by the gospel book. He said he lived his life Under the word of God. The ruffling wind of the Spirit Bears witness, turning its pages. A previous Pope, John the Twenty-Third, The great caretaker, In surprising … Continue Reading

David Sheppard: Trailblazing and Hope

Article for the Good Friday 2005 edition of the Highbury & Islington Express ‘I don’t think I have ever read such unmixed admiration and affection across so many very long obituaries. They painted a portrait of a man who made the very best of his gifts by constant application.’ Andrew Brown of the Church Times, … Continue Reading

Review of Whose Religion is Christianity? The Gospel beyond the West by Lamin Sanneh

Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003 ISBN 0-8028-2164-2 paperback, xii+138 pages $12.00 (£8.99) In his latest book, which is slim but not slight, Lamin Sanneh exploits the genre of a modern Socratic dialogue to publicise and discuss the phenomenon of Christianity as a world religion. He has summarized – rephrased? – and answered questions from his students … Continue Reading

The Passion of the Christ

published in The Guardian Friday 19 March 2004 Mel Gibson doesn’t do reticence. The face of Christ is in your face. In the New Testament, the gospel writers narrate the crucifixion with admirable restraint and economy of words – what is surprising, in their accounts, is the very lack of gory detail. Here, perhaps, we … Continue Reading

Anglican Communion: Long Term Solutions not Dissolution

A paper written just prior to the Primate’s Meeting at Lambeth Dr David Jenkins, a former Bishop of Durham, is disillusioned with the Anglican Communion and suggests its dissolution (The Times, 13 October 2003). He considers that the churches should concentrate on mission and serving the flock within their national boundaries. This emphasis on nationalism … Continue Reading

Canal, River and Rapids: Contemporary Evangelicalism in the Church of England

(published in the journal Anvil Vol 20 No 3, September 2003, pp167-184) Contents The headings on this page are hyperlinked into their sections. The notes in the text are hyperlinked into the end notes; to return to the text, click on the end note number. Introduction Current Outlines of Watercourses Canal: Conservative Evangelicals River: Open … Continue Reading