The Good News—some follow-up thoughts

In response to my last blog—Is the Gospel Good News?—I was asked a very fundamental question:

What are the consequences of our deliberate evil deeds? Can we do whatever we like and will God forgive us anyway?

I decided to post my response here hoping that it may help others.

To be honest, a book is needed to answer this question! I probably won’t write one, though, because others have done a much better job than I could ever do—especially David Bentley Hart whose book (That All Shall Be Saved) I came across after writing my last blog. I write quickly, so my thoughts are not as organised as I’d like them to be! Continue reading “The Good News—some follow-up thoughts”

Is the Gospel Good News?

An Easter meditation in the company of George MacDonald and David Bentley Hart

“Yet I know that good is coming to me—that good is always coming; though few have at all times the simplicity and the courage to believe it.”

– George MacDonald

The Easter festival celebrates that Jesus, through his incarnation, death, and resurrection, decisively defeated the powers of evil in this world. Few who call themselves Christians would argue with this central Christian claim; however, exactly how this was achieved and its implications are an ongoing matter of debate. Here, I want to focus on just one aspect of that debate and its consequences with particular thanks to my mentor George MacDonald and to David Bentley Hart as we dip into the latter’s paper, “God, Creation, and Evil: The Moral Meaning of creatio ex nihilho.”1 Continue reading “Is the Gospel Good News?”

Rapture theology and the end times

Image: George Frederick Watts, Chaos (c. 1875).

With global anxiety increasing as we face threats in so many areas, how should we—as people of faith—respond?

It is clear that humanity is facing a number of existential crises: sea-levels rising, more frequent “weather events,” insect numbers decimated, oxygen levels in the sea declining, species extinction, plastic pollution, toxic air . . . and the list could go on. When we add to this political posturing, social inequality, the rise of nationalism, and nuclear arms proliferation we end up with the perfect storm. Many are anxious. Is this the end of the world? So prevalent is anxiety in the current climate that one paper recently presented us with the “A-Z of climate anxiety: how to avoid meltdown,” subtitled: “With the climate emergency putting our mental health at risk, Emma Beddington presents an everyday guide to eco wellbeing.” This may, perhaps, result in some personal comfort but offers little hope for the planet. Continue reading “Rapture theology and the end times”

New book on George MacDonald

The Theology of George MacDonald: The Child Against the Vampire of Fundamentalism

I am please to announce that my new book—The Theology of George MacDonald: The Child Against the Vampire of Fundamentalism—is now available. You can preview it here at Pickwick Publications or click here for the Amazon listing. If you are interested in the story of how it came to be written, read on.

 

Continue reading “New book on George MacDonald”

Draining the swamp of American Evangelicalism

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been troubled of late. It’s all down to the storm on the western horizon and what seems (from this distance) to be an alliance between Christians and radical evil. Someone sent me a link to a video showing a posse of what were described as ‘Evangelical faith leaders’ praying for a certain President in the White House and, to be honest, I found it profoundly disturbing. I wondered (not without a pang of guilt) how many times one could sell one’s soul to the devil before it became the latter’s property. Continue reading “Draining the swamp of American Evangelicalism”

Orthodoxy and heresy

To borrow an analogy from G. K. Chesterton (from Orthodoxy), I feel like the yachtsman who bravely set sail to discover new lands, but, due to navigation errors, finds himself off the coast of southern England some months later. Unaware of his mistake he bravely rows to the shore to plant the English flag and claim the new territory for the Crown. Surprisingly the natives speak English, and — to cut a long story short — he is soon enjoying some well-earned fish and chips, albeit with slight embarrassment. Continue reading “Orthodoxy and heresy”