I want to promote cheerfulness; an approach to life simply defined as being happy, often under difficult circumstances. The cheerful person is capable of recognising the gravity of a situation but smiling nevertheless. In any ranking of virtues, cheerfulness comes below such things as faith, hope and love. Nevertheless, for all its modest ranking [...]

2019-03-12T09:47:36+00:00March 7th, 2019|Categories: J.John Blog|

Why Keep Lent?

The church’s calendar is marked by short festivals that are celebrated with joy, yet Lent is a period – a ‘season’ – of the forty days before Easter which is very much in a minor key. Lent is never celebrated but only ‘kept’ and is not so much marked by what we do but [...]

2019-03-04T09:57:10+00:00March 4th, 2019|Categories: J.John Blog|Tags: , , , , , |

A Fond Farewell to a Good Man

The rich and extraordinarily fruitful earthly life of my friend Michael Green came to a close this week. Michael led a life that was so innovative, varied and dynamic that it’s hard to summarise what he did. He was – often at the same time – vicar, evangelist, writer and theologian. Michael served the [...]

2019-02-25T11:23:56+00:00February 7th, 2019|Categories: J.John Blog|Tags: , , , , |

Let’s get the saints out and get them into circulation

We seem increasingly to be living in ‘interesting times’ where our society is torn by division, instability and polarisation. It’s an ugly period where lies have been legitimised, nastiness normalised, and rage has become routine. How should we as Christians react? There are certainly a number of inadequate responses. The first inadequate response to [...]

2019-02-08T16:42:25+00:00February 6th, 2019|Categories: J.John Blog|Tags: , , , , |

On Praying in ‘Interesting Times’

One of the most repeated scenarios in cinema is one where the hero makes a daring but calculated jump from some high vantage point onto a speeding vehicle as it races past far below. It’s an image that comes to mind when, in the first week of 2019, I’m asked to write an article [...]

2019-02-08T16:41:48+00:00January 21st, 2019|Categories: J.John Blog|Tags: , , |

Resolve to read the Bible

Whatever New Year’s resolutions you make, please make one to read the Bible. And not in some selective way of only reading the ‘greatest hits’ passages, but of seriously going through the whole Bible. It will be an effort but let me give you three encouragements. First, the Bible is a living book. Unlike any other [...]

2019-01-17T12:02:24+00:00January 2nd, 2019|Categories: J.John Blog|Tags: , , , , , |

Keeping the Christmas Spirit

Christmas promises a lot. Looking forward to the season, our imaginations paint a vivid and inviting picture for us. A powerful cocktail made up of nostalgia and advertisements conjures up a captivating scene, where loved ones gather, fires glow brightly, tables creak under the load of food, lights twinkle, and the only sounds are [...]

2019-01-17T12:03:27+00:00December 11th, 2018|Categories: J.John Blog|Tags: , , , , |

What does God want at Christmas?

One of the greatest developments in science occurred – so the story goes – when Isaac Newton asked himself, ‘Why do apples fall?’ In fact, although there are an infinite number of stupid answers there are far fewer stupid questions and sometimes the most childlike questions are actually vitally important. Asking the question, ‘What [...]

2019-01-17T13:43:40+00:00December 4th, 2018|Categories: J.John Blog|Tags: , , |

Conspiracy of Silence

There’s a tempting conspiracy doing the rounds that Christians can very easily find themselves falling for. It’s a conspiracy of silence and centres on a single, stark warning: ‘Whatever you do, don’t talk to people about Jesus!’ That threat is quite enough for some Christians. But if there be any hesitation or doubt, those already [...]

2019-01-16T17:14:40+00:00October 8th, 2018|Categories: J.John Blog|Tags: , , , , , |