Nick Faldo’s Golf Swing and Theological Education

In the mid-80s, Nick Faldo made one of the bravest decisions a professional athlete can take; he chose to completely overhaul his technique. It was not as if Faldo was a failure: he was already a European Order of Merit winner, had carded three top-10 Open finishes and was, to that point, the youngest Ryder…

On Tim Farron

Tim Farron’s resignation statement as Lib Dem leader was one of the clearest, bravest, most moving statements of commitment to Christ by a British public figure in recent years. His conclusion that ‘to be a political leader — especially of a progressive, liberal party in 2017 — and to live as a committed Christian, to…

Poetry and Preaching

Late one sleepless night last week, I wandered downstairs in search of something to read and picked up a volume of R.S. Thomas’s Collected Poems. I’ve had it on my shelf for fifteen years or so, I should think, but his verse still has an austere sparseness that I find intimidating. Reading a few of…

On ‘Learning In War Time’

It is hard to describe the impact of Mike Ovey’s death on our little community at Oak Hill. Mike’s influence was pervasive across the life of the college and no aspect of its existence will be untouched by his passing. All of us, student, staff and faculty, held him in esteem, affection and admiration. And…

Why I’m voting for Brexit

With the referendum two days away, I thought I’d write some thoughts on why I will be voting to leave the EU on Thursday. There are many good people on both sides of the debate and honourable motivations for voting for either side, and I see no reason why friendship and fellowship cannot survive disagreement…

Human Authorship and the Meaning of Scripture

In the last couple of posts I’ve been putting some thoughts down on the issue of whether the purpose of the human authors of the Bible are exhaustive of the meaning of the Biblical text. The issue is not whether the human author’s meaning is important, or whether it’s possible to discover it, but whether…

Authorial intent and application

Last week, I began thinking about the role of authorial intent in theology.  The history of British conservative evangelicalism is in some sense a history of hermeneutics. You can listen here to Dick Lucas tell the story of how we moved from hanging ‘a ragbag of holy thoughts’, as my Dad calls it, on a…

Which Author? Whose Purpose?

What is the connection between conservative British evangelicalism suspicion of: ·      Systematic theology – the whole ‘be a Bible Christian not a system Christian’ type thing ·      Apologetics – why do apologetics when you can do an exposition? ·      Cultural and social engagement – does the Bible really have anything to say about art or…

Eucharistic Wine and Evangelical Wineskins

I recently had the chance to write an essay about the Lord’s Supper as part of my studies here at Oak Hill. I chose the topic because recently I was asked to speak at a communion service and realised that though I was aware there was a theological debate on the subject, I had no idea…

Donald Trump and The Decline of Democracy

The arrival of the Iowa caucuses, taking place as I write, has sparked a flurry of excellent articles analysing the rise of Donald Trump and his Democrat counterpart, Bernie Sanders. Rusty Reno at First Things, Sean Trende at Real Clear Politics and Alastair Roberts at Mere Orthodoxy all mention the economic and cultural troubles of…

Imagination and the Gospel

Peter Leithart has posted the first part of a fascinating essay entitled ‘Why Protestants Can’t Write’. Leithart argues that a Zwinglian, or memorialist, view of the sacraments divorces grace and nature and therefore makes fiction impossible. It’s a characteristically audacious and sweeping argument that shows Leithart’s own prodigious gift of, in the best sense of…

Beavers, Magpies, & Contextualisation.

My old pastor William Taylor at St Helen’s Bishopsgate, posted a video on the topic of contextualisation to which the principal of my theological college, Mike Ovey, has just responded to. The video and blogpost represent a discussion that’s been going on in British evangelical circles for a number of years now and I hope…