November 2015: Blog developments

I am pleased to announce that, after a period of blogging silence, I am back. I am also pleased to announce that from now on I will be posting biblical studies posts at the site now dedicated to my primary research and writing project: The blog is: I will occasionally include biblical studies content in posts on this blog. The JesusMonotheism blog will be dedicated to academic content. Enjoy. … Continue Reading →

On the Meaning of Christmas (2015)

The clip below captures the spirit of Christmas beautifully. You may need to think about it. And, if you are a Christian who believes that the Incarnation is at the centre of everything, the implications for our life in the twenty-first century are surely far-reaching and disturbing. The key word is empathy. Empathy is: “the art of stepping imaginatively into the shoes of another person, understanding their feelings and perspectives, and using … Continue Reading →

Clarity in Writing

My writing is a so often a battle to organise the chaos of the thoughts in my mind. They are all exciting, or troubling, or “true”. So they all demand to have their say. Clarity of expression is easier when I fix my attention on my audience. When I know for whom I write it is easier to decide what to write.

On Empathy and Sympathy for the Terrorists

We should not sympathise with the terrorists. But if we do not empathise with them, we will not understand them and our actions to defeat them will be misguided and ineffective. Please do not mistake my desire to understand them — to feel what they feel and to see with their eyes — for sympathy.

On Brother Lawrence

Brother Lawrence (d. 1691) wrote a famous book entitled  in which he described the habits of a life of worship (a “practice”) focused on the presence of God. The practice (noun) of the presence of God is a start. But is it enough? Do we not also need to progress to the presence of the practise (verb) of God? Do we not also need to cultivate habits that make present to the … Continue Reading →

The Temple and Cosmology: Recommended Reading

I am often asked if I have published anything that would give people, in an accessible form, a written version of what I teach on the OT Temple and the cosmos. Alas, I have not. But now somebody else has produced a highly readable discussion of these topics. So I highly recommend Robin Parry’s . He’s done a far better job than I could have. In particular, I liked: The avoidance of … Continue Reading →

On the necessary balance between the Incarnation and the Cross.

We are so fearfully and wonderfully made that he honoured us by becoming human like us. We are so flawed and fragile that he rescued us by dying for us. The first proposition states the deeper reason for the second. If we only accept the second we denigrate ourselves and we offend him.

Theology and Marketing


I returned last Thursday from a trip to Las Vegas (with my friend Bill Westwood) for a Round Table conversation on the nature of marketing, organised by my old friend Flint McGlaughlin. To the casual observer not much happened: a handful of leading marketing academics met with a small group of eccentric theologians, and a Harvard English literature Prof., for 2 hours conversation over fine cuisine. But I suspect I will … Continue Reading →

Codependancy on Church: There is Hope

This week a friend (Claire Debnam) sent me this moving video story of the rise, fall, and rise again of Carl Tuttle. Tuttle was rescued from a disastrous life trajectory by the group that became the Vineyard. As a gifted worship leader and pastor, he eventually succeeded John Wimber as Senior Pastor of the (flagship) Anaheim Vineyard in 1994. Three years later he resigned, his personal life in tatters. After years … Continue Reading →

Starting with our ‘why’. Thank you Simon Sinek.

I am enjoying, and being deeply impacted by, Simon Sinek’s bestselling Start With Why (2009). His succinct and eloquent TED talk is justifiably the second most viewed of all time. Sinek argues that a key to a healthy business is to identify, or create, a cause to live for and fight for. At the centre—at the core—there has to be an answer to the question “Why does this company exist?” And the answer … Continue Reading →