Like many of you, I spent yesterday morning, not at church, where I would usually be, but sitting on my sofa at home in front of a laptop, watching a livestream of my pastor preaching to an empty building. In just a week, it seems, everything has changed. The Covid-19 pandemic means that ordinary Sunday services, along with most other kinds of social gathering, won't be possible for some time to come. It's unprecedented and unsettling (though I'm very grateful for the technology that enables virtual connections of various types).
Thinking Faith blogs
Is the Duke of Edinburgh God’s Chosen One?
There are people on the island of Tanna in the South Pacific Ocean who worship the Duke of Edinburgh as a god.
The islanders used to be committed cannibals and they ate the first two missionaries who came to Tanna.
More missionaries arrived, told them about Jesus and many of the locals became Christians.
They stopped eating each other and began to eat Jesus instead (John 6:54).
In the 1960s many of the islanders noticed Prince Philip in his wonderful, shiny, white uniform.
Delighted that the Baptist Times has published my article on Serving God in schools and on the streets. I am trying hard to get people thinking about a worldview-infused way of doing mission and discipleship. Please write to the BT and join the discussion.
For the early academic, the rallying cry is ‘publish or die’! In an over-saturated job market, we are trained to focus on publication, believing—because we are more or less told—that we are only as good as our publishing record.
I have long dreaded the publication process. The stakes seem so high and I’ve been resentful of how the pressure to publish shifts my focus from my research topic itself to how I can market is successfully. I know that publishing is a ‘necessary evil’ in academia, but I also know it as a hollow and demoralising process.
I want to share some experiences from inviting Christian friends to contribute to a course on "the values of nature", and my own shifting position on one of the major ethical issues of our age.
RealityBites works in schools but we also work on the streets serving students, homeless people and passersby with Christian hospitality and good-humoured conversation. We set up our stall opposite the Library pub situated on the edge of Hyde Park, next to the Leeds University campus.
I've written before on FiSch, as well as elsewhere, about my research on prayer. Today I want to look at a particular idea which jumped out at me recently, speaking to my own life and practice as well as to the medieval recluses it was meant for. This is the simple statement in Ancrene Wisse, a guide for women recluses, that 'Reading is a good way to pray'.
A few months ago I passed a milestone in my own post-PhD academic life, by starting a full-time academic contract. For several years I'd been juggling two part-time contracts at neighbouring universities, adding up to roughly full-time hours and with a higher than usual concentration of teaching, so in terms of raw time commitment the move to a full-time job didn't seem particularly daunting.
Finishing a doctorate is glorious and wonderfully freeing (see previous post). But it's amazing how quickly reality sets in after a brief moment of victory. One set of goals is replaced by another and the challenge of navigating along the unmarked, foggy road of a DPhil is followed by the equally challenging task of locating the next road to take. I am a newbie to the post-viva life and very far from mastering it, but I thought I’d share a few thoughts I’ve had as I get used to this new part of the postgraduate journey.
Of all the discipleship opportunities open to Christian PhD students in the UK, perhaps the Cambridge Scholars Network offers evangelical thinkers the most sustained and intense mentoring experience you could easily apply for. This year's event runs from 12 to 18 July, and I'd like to encourage eligible readers of this blog to apply.