Helping others with their burdens is not a matter of prescriptive advice based on dogma or prejudice, or trying to take charge of others’ lives, says Savi Hensman, drawing deeply on Christian scriptural wisdom. Instead it involves being willing to listen, learn and engage.
The origins of Christianity are in a dynamic and free movement around Jesus, but much of its history is bound up with institutional religion, says Simon Barrow. The challenge is to continue to respond to the transformative impulse of the Gospel, even in the midst of organisation and complexity.
Pope Benedict XVI and the Orthodox ecumenical patriarch Bartholemew are seeking to put differences aside in order to encourage a growing global vision of Christian unity in a divided world, using St Paul as an exemplar.
Some sections of the Anglican Communion are convinced that only their narrow vision of what is permissible in faithfulness to the Christian message is adequate, says Simon Barrow. But they are confounded by the biblical texts they claim loyalty 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.
Pope Benedict XVI, leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, has said that Christians should give priority to unity in the global Week of Prayer that runs from 18-25 January. He also commended a peace message from St Augustine.
Turkey's Catholic community wants to mark the 2000th anniversary of the birth of St Paul by improving the status of the country's Christian minorities, as well as reopening a church at the apostle's birthplace in Tarsus.
Christian faith is about sustaining faith in face of the knowledge and reality of death, says Simon Barrow. The feasts of All Saints and All Souls put us in solidarity with a host of people who have struggled to see right prevail.