The Simon Barrow Column

Reflecting on how Christian political imagination can help change society's agenda. Follow Simon on Twitter here: www.twitter.com/simonbarrow

  • 24 Jun 2008

    Gordon Brown's recent poll humiliations have left him seeking to rebuild support, says Simon Barrow. The 'faith constituency' is one that he has a particular interest in - and it won't go away.

  • 20 Jun 2008

    'A love genuinely lived by a people joined to Christ for the sake of the world' is how Simon Barrow defines the mission of the church. It is about something more transformatory than projects or agencies alone, he says.

  • 17 Jun 2008

    Now Cameron is up and Brown is down. But there is something unstable about the media-driven leadership swings and roundabouts, says Simon Barrow. Even so, the Prime Minister will have a job wooing the public.

  • 9 Jun 2008

    When it comes to religion and public life, there is frequently unhelpful confusion in the debate, says Simon Barrow. Initial responses to the Von Hugel report on church and welfare illustrate this.

  • 5 Jun 2008

    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.

  • 27 May 2008

    Globalisation constructed as top-down control and the triumph of the powerful needs to be disrupted by a different and gentler logic, says Simon Barrow. But will we choose Pentecost or Babel?

  • 8 May 2008

    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.

  • 1 May 2008

    Gordon Brown's political appointees represent corporate influence and PR savvy, says Simon Barrow. But is all this smoothness good for the soul of politics?

  • 16 Apr 2008

    Britain counts itself as a mature democracy. But what really guarantees freedom and fairness, asks Simon Barrow, and how does the church relate to the will of the people in wider society?

  • 26 Mar 2008

    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.

  • 20 Mar 2008

    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.

  • 11 Mar 2008

    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.

  • 3 Mar 2008

    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?

  • 28 Feb 2008

    The annual Channel 4 Political Awards offer an entertaining entree to the world of parliamentary politics, says Simon Barrow. But an award to a controversial lobby group raises questions about how politics is conducted - not least by Christians.

  • 17 Feb 2008

    The natural presumption of Establishment insulates the Church of England, says Simon Barrow. Even worse, it takes the opposite direction to Jesus, who rejected worldly power in the Temptation that Christians recall during Lent.