Religion that binds others with condemnation and superstition is far from the heart of the Gospel, says Simon Barrow. The church needs to face its arguments and seek to be a place of healing if it is to rediscover its global role.
The notion and shape of 'the land' means many things to many people, as the contradictory responses to this 60th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel are showing. Simon Barrow looks at the relationship between rootedness and aspiration.
The current media-propelled debates about God are mostly hopelessly out of touch with their own intense fallibility, says Simon Barrow. He tries to explain why God-talk will always be helpfully elusive if it is faithful to what it seeks to point to.
The modern temptation is to dismiss resurrection as fantasy or reduce it to spiritualised sophistry, says Simon Barrow. The shape of the core Christian hope is both more substantial and more subtle than that.
In Christian and biblical terms, good citizenship is not about flag-waving, says Simon Barrow. It is about the good practices and ways of organising our public lives which enable people to belong to one another across nation state boundaries.
Free market ideologues have used Fairtrade Fortnight to attack what they regard as counter-productive do-gooding, says Simon Barrow. But what does freedom mean in economic terms, and is fairness something to be left wholly to markets?