Has the usual seasonal avalanche of "they're trying to ban Christmas!" stories abated somewhat, at least in Britain? Simon Barrow looks at the evidence and asks what it says to us about the church and Christianity in an emerging post-Chrstendom era.
Seven years ago this week, Ekklesia first published a report entitled 'When the Saints Go Marching Out: Redefining St George for a new era'. Simon Barrow shows how an old story re-told can also help us re-understand the rightful impact of the Gospel in the contemporary era, beyond imperial religion and politics.
My response to the debate about Christianity now raging across sections of the media is this: No, Britain is not a 'Christian country', but it is a country marked by the history and institutions of Christendom.
In Holy Week, as the Prime Minister grew ever more vocal about his personal faith and the importance of Christian values, the Daily Express brought us the glad tidings that the PM’s colleague Iain Duncan Smith is ‘Winning the War on Benefits’. That’s a war on financial assistance to people who are old, sick, disabled, unemployed or working but paid too little to make ends meet.
Media coverage of George Windsor's baptism gave the impression that baptism is about conformity. Baptism began in a far more radical way, before its domestication by the powerful. Since then, many people have rediscovered baptism's original subversive force, as a sign of dedication to the kingdom of God – and a rejection of the kingdoms of this world.