The new justice secretary's approach to prison indiciates a healthy departure from previous policy, but before we get too excited, it should be noted that it falls a long way short of restorative ideas, says Jonathan Bartley.
The Times newspaper has been running short pieces by Christian backers of the three big parties in Britain, getting them to say why Jesus might support their favoured political horse. Jonathan Bartley takes a rather different tack.
A champion of right rather than might, St George should belong to the people, not their overlords, says Jonathan Bartley. This, not nationalism, is what a true patriotism is about – commitment to "another country" where all have a place, not just those with the power.
Conflicting views of the meaning of the crucifixion have led to strikingly different patterns of behaviour among Christian believers, says Jonathan Bartley. Damaging understandings of atonement have tragic consequences for healthy Christian witness and performance.
Arrangements which allow an undemocratic, external institution to parachute into Parliament their own appointees who can only be from one section of the country, of one gender, and from one particular strand of one religion – are the kind of thing we might condemn as profoundly unjust and corrupt in other parts of the world. They are defended in the UK in the name of Christianity.
The Churches need to need to end their dualism over mission and recognise that where their treasure is, there their hearts will be also. And this means an end to their investments in oil, mining and other companies which are driving climate change, says Jonathan Bartley