Christmas is a time for reflection. But sometimes, thankfully, someone else says pretty much what you might have said yourself, and probably better. Gratitude to Giles Fraser for his seasonal Guardian piece, 'The Bethlehem story takes us deeper into what it means to be human' (24 December 2013).
The issue of what constitutes 'the good', in persons, in relationships and in society is an interesting one. It is far less straightforward than many assume, says Simon Barrow. He highlights the importance of theology, and the Christian doctrine of God in particular, for appreciating how we arrive at 'goodness', and how we develop an ethic based on communal virtue in the church and beyond.
Rachel Mann's passionate and thoughtful new book Dazzling Darkness: gender, sexuality and God, published by the Iona Community's Wild Goose imprint, is being launched at Manchester Cathedral, in the Nave, today (6 November 2012) at 7pm. The bookshop will be provided by St Denys' Manchester, and the launch price is £9.50. Ekklesia sends warmest wishes for the launch.
How extraordinary it is that so many interpreters cling to "Abba" as indicating Jesus' unique relationship to God as "Daddy", using mysterious language from which - upon closer examination - the gospel writers seek to escape, says Deirdre Good, dispelling some common biblical misunderstandings.
Security does not land in a helicopter; it grows from the ground up - that's what Iraqis told a professor of peace-building at Eastern Mennonite University in the USA. Different experiences and perceptions of what it is to be secure or seek security were among the insights shared by contributors to a forum at the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation in Kingston, Jamaica, in May 2011.