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Can you Spare Two Minutes?

The Home of Good charity that we have founded is calling the church to reconsider putting adoption and fostering centre stage as part of our calling to serve the world. Our aim is to help the whole church: young and old, married and single to know that we need to respond to the needs of the vulnerable children in our communities who need new families. Sometimes our job as a charity is to shine a light on what is already being done by families in the churches and making sure they get the practical support they need. Sometimes we are challenging congregations to open its eyes to the children in need around them. Sometimes we are calling the Christians to refuse to turn a blind eye while children in our towns and cities suffer.

Help us put adoption on the map by taking part in adoption Sunday. Its very simple thing to get involved with. Here are five things you could do –  any one of which would be a great way to get involved.

1) Two minute  Option

Could your church pray on adoption sunday for more adopters and foster carers?  Simply pray as part of your regular Sunday celebration.

2) Two and half minute Option

Could you show our amazing new Adoption Sunday Video? Just sign up on the Home for Good website and we will send you a link.

3) Five Minute Option

Why not interview someone in your congregation who has adopted, fostered or was fostered or adopted as a child.

4) 15 minute Option

Why not show the new Home for Good video and then do our all age children’s activity in the #AdoptionSunday pack.

5) 30 minute Option

Show the Home for Good video and then use our #AdoptionSunday sermon included in the pack.

Sign up here to get hold of the exciting Free adoption Sunday pack. 

This Sunday I will be in my home town of Brighton and speaking alongside Joel Virgo on Adoption at there three satellite sites of Church of Christ the King.  

Would love to see you there. Click here for details. 

Photo adapted from Nicksie 


Home for Good South Africa

Arise, Adopt Love, and The Message Trust are hosting an afternoon of collaborative learning with Krish Kandiah President of the London School of Theology (www.lst.ac.uk) and Founder and Director of Home for Good (www.homeforgood.org.uk) a brand new charity mobilising the Church to care for vulnerable children through adoption and foster care.

On Saturday 27 September from 2-4 PM, Krish will be at the Arise Family Centre in Heideveld to share the Home for Good story and hear from the South African Church and learn from our experience. We are praying that from that conversation, we may be prompted to think together about how a similar movement might occur in our churches.

We are hoping for a small group of passionate and influential local leaders to participate in this informal conversation and would like to invite you to join us. Please do RSVP to info@arisecapetown.org.za so that we can prepare appropriately. You may already be thinking of someone else you would like to invite – please do so! Feel free to share this invitation with other key leaders in the Church who are passionate about seeing children in families. Just remember to help us by sending a quick RSVP to info@arisecapetown.org.za.

To reach Arise, it is generally best to exit the N2 at Duinefontein Road toward Heideveld, then take the first right into Ascension Road, the first right again before a Shell garage into Postern Road which bends 90 degrees, then the first right into Groenberg Road. We are immediately on the left at the first gate on the grounds of St. Thomas Church. The physical address is 68 Groenberg Road, Heideveld, if you will be using a GPS.

We are excited to see what God might accomplish through this gathering and what new networks and partnerships might form. Thank you for considering being a part of this event!

bake off meltdown

Meltdown on Bake Off

Anger management lessons from Ian Watters

Apparently it wasn’t just the sponge layers on the Tiramisu that involved dodgy cutting last night on the BBC 1. The editing on last night’s now infamous edition of The Great British Bake Off may have unfairly pointed the finger at Dianne Beard (69) for sabotaging the amateur baking competition. The show depicted Dianne taking Iain Water’s ice cream component of his Baked Alaska out of the fridge at a crucial stage in the preparation. It lead to a gloomy mess rather that Ian threw in the bin rather than present to the judges. Iain’s reaction lead to him being ejected from the competition as he failed to present anything to the judges for their evaluation.

Like many of the viewers of the programme joined twitter to protest his treatment.


But I have been reflecting on what happened and want to commend Iain for the way he conducted himself. I think there are four lessons about handling anger that we can take away from the show.

  1. Take yourself in hand

I was impressed that Iain showed incredible self-control by taking himself out of the situation. Rather than reacting with vengeance, as I might have been tempted to do – there was a flamethrower and meringue swans close by. Walking out of the glare of the lights to compose and gather himself was definitely an excellent way to handle the pressure.



  1. Take the time you need

My mother always had a count to ten strategy when things were getting a bit heated. It gave her the thinking time she needed to get herself together rather than losing her cool in the heat of the moment. Too often in the heat of the moment we react rather than respond. After retreating to a safe distance to gather his thoughts Iain came back a more composed person than when he left.

  1. Take responsibility

Rather than spitting with fury and rage and making sure the other bakers got their “just desserts.” Iain didn’t point any fingers at anyone else, he took responsibility for what he had done wrong in the situation. I found that very inspiring.


  1. Take a bit of perspective

Now that the weeks have passed since this particular incident was filmed. Iain could have been steaming away with anger like a pressure cooking ready to explode. But instead he has gone out of his way to be gracious and kind to his other bakers – including Dianne. He apparently phoned Dianne to make sure she was ok and even tweeted support of her as the twittersphere was lighting up with anger. In the end this is a amateur baking competition and people are more important than cakes. Iain models something powerful in his gracious and measured response to this situation.


I would love to see Iain being given his own show perhaps called “Appetite for destruction” or “Meltdown “ where he helps people handle their anger management problems. What say you friends?




Not too late for a new theological adventure

What a Summer it has been. I have just come back from Momentum a massive conference for 20 somethings that takes place in Shepton Mallet . Its the last of the events in the New Wine &  Soul Survivor family of conferences on the site this season.

Packed in for an exposition from Ephesians at LPO.
Packed in for an exposition from Ephesians at LPO.

It will have been one of the last major events that I speak at as an Evangelical Alliance Director as I have just taken on two new jobs. It gave me opportunity to reflect a little on the transition. As I have had the honour of working for the Evangelical Alliance these last 7 years I have travelled the length and breadth of the UK and met so many people hungry to go deeper in their relationship with God, eager to relate their faith to their professional work and life and passionate to serve God in their communities and churches. When the opportunity to become the President of London School of Theology came up it seemed a natural next step to try and respond to that hunger so many people are feeling for depth in their relationship with God.

Powerful talk from Katherine Welby-Roberts about God and Mental Health
Powerful talk from Katherine Welby-Roberts about God and Mental Health

Theological education is an opportunity to think hard and deep about God’s word so that we might know God better. I have been writing and speaking a lot recently about the need to push beyond the simplistic answers and so it has been exciting to see packed out seminars at Keswick and Momentum this summer with people young and old wanting to invest time to beef up their theology. Hundreds had to be turned away at both festivals  this summer as we literally could fit everyone in the venues as we did some serious theology together. There was always a queue of people wanting to discuss rich theological questions afterwards whether it was about how to interpret scripture, how to answer friends’ difficult questions or how to reconcile difficult theological concepts together.  I also spent a week teaching at Le Pas Opton in France and decided to try and stretch guests there by taking a look at theology, technology and the book of Ephesians and tackling the book of Esther in the evenings. I was so encouraged to find all ages hungry for more of God’s word.

The hunger is there – maybe its in you too?

Great chat about space, time, free will  on the paradoxology sofa
Great chat about space, time, free will on the paradoxology sofa

So I would like to invite you to come and study with us at LST.

It’s not too late and we have a range of very exciting programmes. Let me just mention two to start with:

BA in Theology

Why not make your first degree one in theology, its not too late to get into the programme this year if you act quickly. come and study at the largest theological college in Europe with a great faculty and students from all around the world.

MA in Integrative Theology

I love this programme. This is theology for the digital age – as academically credible as possible but now more accessible than ever before. Study completely online or mix it up and spend time with us at college. Choose from seven exciting specialisations: Social Justice, Christian Worship Studies, Old Testament, New testament, Systematics and Public Leadership to get an MA in theology that will do you good and equip you to do some good in the world. The MA is flexible enough to allow you to study full or part time anywhere in the world. 

There’s still time if you act quickly to come and join us here at LST this academic year.  We’d love to help you on your theological adventure.  

The amazing photos from Momentum on this post are by Alex Moyler .  


The Evacuation Spirit

It was the “biggest and most concentrated mass movement of people in Britain’s history.” It began on the 31st of August  1939 saw around 3 million people move from the dangers of the cities to rural towns and villages to escape the Nazi bomb attacks.  It was codenamed “Operation Pied Piper. ”  Four days later Britain declared war on Germany and World War Two began. This year marks Operation Pied Piper’s seventy-fifth anniversary.  As they boarded trains travelling out of their home cities, the children did not know if they would ever see their parents again. Yet on reaching the countryside, they were received by families who opened their homes, often at considerable sacrifice. For many from poor inner-city homes, it was their first experience of a healthy, well-nourished life. 13854_s

Three quarters of a century later, we must rediscover the welcoming generosity of Operation Pied Piper. We do not face air raids, but today there are thousands of children who need homes and families. In England alone there are six thousand children waiting for adoption and another eighty-six hundred need foster care. In 1939, even men and women who could scarcely afford it welcomed children – many from difficult backgrounds – into their homes. We need that spirit today. We need women and men who will step forward and put the needs of the vulnerable children in our towns and cities first and look to see if they could be the parents that these children need in their lives.

Borison Johnson, Mayor of London agrees and offered Home for Good the following quotation:

The Second World War saw children in their thousands evacuated from the capital and taken into the care of families around the country. The 75th anniversary of Operation Pied Piper is an opportunity to remember the kindness of those who willingly provided a safe haven for those young Londoners. It should also remind us that thousands of youngsters today, in the capital and across the country, are also in need of a loving home and I urge more people to consider fostering and adoption to help them get the start in life they deserve.
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London​

We also have been gifted this amazing replica poster by graphic designer: Katie Frearson. Of course fostering and adoption is offering more than a spare room to a vulnerable child. This is a replica of an evacuation poster – evacuees needed more than a spare room they needed love and security too. The poster is designed to be a bit provocative – hopefully not offensive – to make people look at their lives and homes and see if there is room for them to show the hospitality that vulnerable children need.Home_For_Good_Poster_A3_2_pdf That’s why we have started up Home for Good. Seeking to help find loving homes for vulnerable children in the UK. Today; 1st of September 2014 marks the first day that Home for Good exists as its own organisation.

I wonder if you might help us commemorate this day and this important anniversary by being one of  75 regular donors to set up a standing order to help us find the finances we need to change the culture in the church and the nation on fostering and adoption

Already we have seen amazing things happening: We have managed to put the message of adoption and fostering face to face to over a hundred thousand people. We saw generous donors help us find the £30 000 start up costs we needed to get going. We saw 200 churches take part in the first ever adoption Sunday last year.  In 2013, churches in Southampton set out to find 40 new foster placements for the City Council. In one year, more than 70 people applied to become foster carers. We are now working with groups of churches and local authorities in towns and cities throughout the UK to run similar campaigns. I have met literally hundreds of Christians who are fostering and adopting children who are grateful for Home for Good’s championing of this opportunity. We are delighted by the response we have seen already.

So will you stand with us as we help every child that needs one to find a Home for Good.  Click here to be part of way we, together can make a difference. 


To celebrate Home for Good launch day. I am giving a way a bundle of Home for Good and Paradoxology RT the tweet below for a chance to win.



3 dangers in Interpreting 1 Timothy 2

3 dangers with interpreting this passage

As a young Christian, I became convinced of a complementarian position when it came to women in leadership. In any argument 1 Timothy 2:11-12 was my trump card. It was so clear that anyone who disagreed was clearly denying the authority of scripture and was driven by a culture-pleasing and ultimately liberal agenda. Though I respect my many friends who hold a complementarian position due to their reading of scripture and their conscience I have changed my mind. I am not alone in this change: Howard Marshall, Chris Wright, John Ortberg, Ron Sider and Bill Hybels have made the same journey. In such a short article it’s not possible to solve all the controversies surrounding this passage, so I’ll merely ask some framing questions to help us navigate the pitfalls this verse creates.

Here’s the passage in question:

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles.

Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, 10 but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women[c] will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.


  1. Edit 1 Timothy 2:11-12 out of scripture, dismissing Paul as sexist

All scripture is God-breathed. That means it carries the weight and authority of God behind it. Some of my complementarian heroes accuse egalitarians of not taking scripture seriously. To be honest they have a point: but only about some egalitarians. I have heard many times that we can ignore Paul because he was obviously a misogynist. I have also heard people argue that we can ignore Paul and prioritise Jesus. But this is not an option for an evangelical egalitarian because of our doctrine of scripture. The scriptures are not a random collection of the thoughts and suggestions of certain ancient people as to how one might like to do church. No, we believe that scripture is breathed out by God which means that when we ignore scripture we are ignoring God. Paul is not speaking his own views or opinions – he is being used by God to communicate His word to God’s church.

  1. Use 1 Timothy 2:11-12 as a lens through which to interpret every discussion of women in leadership

J.I. Packer argues clearly that “scripture must interpret scripture; the scope and significance of one passage is to be brought out by relating it to others”[1].

We don’t try and interpret a Bible text in isolation – we need to allow the rest of scripture to inform and temper the limits of the interpretation of a text. For example: Paul talks about the baptism for the dead in 1 Corinthians 15:29– it would be wrong to build a theology of posthumous salvation from this verse when the scriptures are silent on this issue. Of course, holding the whole of scripture in our minds when we interpret any one part is difficult to do.


3. We ignore the context of 1 Timothy 2:11-12 in the letter itself

This verse is more complex to interpret than immediately meets the eye.

i) No one believes that a woman’s salvation is guaranteed through physical childbirth – the climax of the argument in v.15.

ii) I have yet to visit a church that consistently applied the prohibition of gold jewellery for women (v.9), the lifting up of hands for men in prayer (v.8) and the restriction of women from leadership roles (v.12). There are clearly time bound contextual elements in this passage that do not apply across all times and all cultures and universalising one without the others is very selective.

iii) An argument back to creation is not a deal-closer. There are two problems with arguing the mention of Adam and Eve means this is a creation ordinance. First, Paul argues from creation that women should cover their heads in worship and that men should uncover their heads in worship (in 1 Corinthians 11:7-9), but most interpreters understand the specific issue of head coverings is culturally and time bound and so does not apply today. Second, Paul’s argument is also from the Fall – it is at the Fall that Eve was deceived and “became a sinner” and the events of the Fall are being undone by the redeeming work of Christ. Also when it comes to the Fall the rest of Paul’s reflections do not pick out Eve as more culpable than Adam. (see Romans 5:14).

Finally, the specific challenges Paul addresses in the letter cannot be ignored.

As Scholer argues: “1 Timothy should be understood as an occasional ad hoc letter directed specifically towards enabling Timothy and the church to avoid and combat the false teachers and teaching in Ephesus.”

Paul’s prohibition of women in leadership in 1 Timothy was due to the specific challenges Timothy faced in Ephesus. For me this makes sense of the ministry that Paul encourages in women such as Junia, Euodia, Syntche and Priscilla. I remain convinced that those women that God has called and gifted for leadership roles within the church should be encouraged and empowered to use these gifts to the glory of God.

[1] Packer, J.I. (1958) Fundamentalism and the Word of God, IVP, p.103

This blog was first published for Sophia Network’s blog.

You may also like:

1. Tim Keller, women in leadership and ignoring your own rules.
2. Learning from women in leadership – inspiring quotations from women leaders.

Photo credit Photoree. Alyssa L. Miller




Poor old Richard Dawkins. I am thinking about starting a new Twitter campaign #pray4dawkins. He has landed himself in yet another social media storm. But this time I couldn’t let it pass. So forgive me if I rant a little…

Hot on the heels of comments about date rape and his refusal to back down when challenged on Twitter, he has now offered parenting advice to any that will listen.


Look at the following Twitter exchange:


Notice the tone of the tweet.

Abort it – cleverly dehumanising the foetus. It’s not a person, but an object. Not murder, just termination.

But the kicker comes in the next line – it would be immoral to bring it into the world. Well at least he isn’t arguing for a consumeristic situational ethics: ‘If you don’t fancy raising a child with a genetic abnormality then chose for yourself.’

No, Dawkins has no place for this kind of relativism. He asserts categorically that it is immoral. So anyone who has carried a child with Down’s Syndrome to term and lovingly cared for the child until adulthood and often beyond as many people with Down’s Syndrome do not go on and live independently, has been immoral.

Dawkins shows his true colours. It reminds me of Friedrich Neitzsche’s book The AntiChrist where he criticises Christianity for resisting the will to power by instilling pity and compassion for the weak and the needy.

For example Neitzsche writes: “Pity preserves things that are ripe for decline, it defends things that have been disowned and condemned by life, and it gives a depressive and questionable character to life itself by keeping alive an abundance of failures of every type.”

It wasn’t long ago that Dawkins was arguing that religion was a virus of the mind and his friend Christopher Hitchens argued that religion poisons everything. Today we saw another side to life without God: human beings reduced to biology, people discarded if they don’t measure up to a certain standard.

Dawkins once described God as the worst villain in all fiction because Dawkins misunderstood Old Testament texts, thinking they promoted genocide. Well there’s a gaping inconsistency that sees Dawkins advocating genocide – wiping out anyone with an additional Chromosome 21. Sounds like if Dawkins had his way 40 000 residents of the UK who have Downs would not be in the world – that sounds a lot like genocide to me.

Dawkins argued in later tweets that autistic people should not be terminated because they are able to contribute to society.

How benevolent of him.

We are back to the utilitarian balloon debates and Dawkins is in charge of the seating arrangements. How do we judge who has made a contribution? If we are to be judged by our contribution to society I haven’t come across that many people whose lives have been made better because Dawkins has been involved whereas I had the privilege of being the foster parent to a beautiful young girl who had Down’s Syndrome. We poured love into her life from when she was only a few days old until she was three. When the time came for her to move on to adoption we hosted a party in our house and more than 80 people came. There were many tears as she left because so many people in our small town had had their lives enhanced because this little girl had touched them. But even if she hadn’t of made other people’s lives better, I believe every life is valuable irrespective of their utility. See a piece I wrote for World Downs Syndrome Day. 

Which other genetic groups should be eradicated from the planet? Perhaps Dawkins would argue that brown people should be next because they don’t make as great a contribution to society as white people? He did recently declare that Trinity College in Cambridge had more Nobel Prize’s than the entire  Muslim population. Perhaps we should IQ test in vitro and see if they measure up before we permit them to be born? Which other genetic abnormalities need to be purged from the gene pool? Dawkins once argued that we are DNA replicating machines – I am guessing people with a homosexual orientation don’t farewell under a Dawkins fuelled eugenics programme either as its hard to argue they will make good DNA replicators. I have always wondered how Dawkins managed to reconcile “survival of the fittest” with universal human rights, I guess we are finding out now.

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
Article 3 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Another disciple of Neitzsche’s nihilism managed to get enough power to put these notions into action 75 years ago. I for one will be doing everything I can to make sure that all children born into this world find a loving home – atheists are welcome to help if they can find a way to live better than Dawkins’ philosophy suggests. I will #pray4dawkins that he “goes away and learns how to” love.

Ok that last bit might have gone too far, I do want to engage with Dawkins, my anger of his upside down morality not withstanding. I genuinely call those who are up for it to #pray4dawkins – no one has strayed too far to know the compassion of God.


Photo credit (CC) Annikaliegh Flickr



 You might like this post on “5 Reasons Why Dawkins Should Know Better”. 



Spirit of Paradox

It is not every day you get to meet someone who has helped to start a genuine movement of change and restoration.  So you can imagine my excitement when it came to spending time with David and Mary Pytches – the couple who helped to birth both New Wine and Soul Survivor.

david pytches

David and Mary returned to the UK with four young daughters after serving as cross cultural missionaries in Chile.  Unsure what God wanted them to do they looked for a base in Chorleywood, which offered education facilities for the girls.  David was hoping to learn how to run a parish from the Vicar, but the Vicar was about to leave and David was offered the incumbency.  David speaks about his sense of inadequacy and eventually set up a daily early morning prayer meeting.   From this time saw an increasing number of people added to the church.   Mary recounts how they faithfully retained the liturgy at the same time as being open to the Holy Spirit.

Learning that John Wimber was coming to York David suggested that he call in on Chorleywood on the way.  It was an unforgettable weekend.   Despite very different ecclesiologicol backgrounds John and David hit it off and became close friends.   And soon David was helping John to find organisers for the UK conferences.

I enjoyed being able to tell David how grafeful I was for the Brighton Conference in 1986, where a friend of mine came to faith.  He later stood up in our class at our rough and ready comprehensive school and shared his new found faith in Jesus.  This was Steven Whittington – a key influence in my becoming a Christian.   It was great to learn about a young youth worker from a Baptist church where had run an open youth club, until the local teenagers rampaged the church.  The youth worker was Mike Pillavachi, who later became the youth worker at Chorleywood.

David and I had this opportunity to meet after he had read my book “Paradoxology” –  Why Christianity was never meant to be simple.  David explained to me that it was the title that grabbed him as he had reflected for many years on the paradoxes of scripture which we tend to brush under the carpet, which means our Bible teaching has no real integrity.   David reminded me of Charles Simeon, a great evangelical clergyman and bible teacher who had said

“The truth is not in the middle, and not in one extreme; but in both extremes.”

Mary commented on how we tend to cut God down to our size but ‘wouldn’t we rather have a big God’.   Interestingly we talked a lot about the liturgy undergirding our spirituality and both Paradox and Liturgy are things that James K.A. Smith has been arguing for recently.  Sadly many churches seem to opt either for intimacy with God or depth of teaching when there doesn’t need to be a choice.   Depth of true teaching should help us develop intimacy with God and our intimacy with God should drive us towards deeper teaching – it should be a virtuous circle.

David has kindly written a commendation for the reprint of ‘Paradoxology’ which is out soon.  It has some typos and corrections added thanks to those of you who spotted my errors.  The book will be even better  because of you.   David says:  “I have been looking for a book like this for the last fifty years and am so delighted to have found it.”

I came away from David and Mary greatly encouraged.  They are rare people who have experienced so much of God and done so much in His name, and in their seniority are still keen to bless others.


A sofa-isticated faith

With a major row brewing in the church on the assisted suicide bill in the House of Lords, the Evangelical Alliance is encouraging people to pose this and other difficult and seemingly contradictory questions about Christianity. Dr Krish Kandiah, executive director of churches in mission, is tackling the most difficult questions that one can possibly raise about Christianity in the next week when he invites questioners to join him on the ‘paradoxology sofa’.


“The issue of assisted suicide is engaging widespread debate on Twitter and in the pages of the national press. Rather than avoid these tough questions I want to encourage people to bring out their most perplexing queries and questions and have confidence to talk about them rather than hiding them away,” he said.


“Other tough questions being discussed are why God seems to sanction genocide in the Old Testament, why is there so much suffering in the world? Is God an egomaniac that he wants everyone to worship him? Is God racist that he chose the Jews to be his people? Rather than discouraging awkward questions I will be actively discussing them at Keswick.”
These are being discussed during week two of the Keswick Convention (19-25 July), where the his ‘Paradoxology sofa’ has been set up to engage people during his seminar series based on his new book Paradoxology: Why Christianity was never meant to be simple.(Published by Hodder).
He will be sporting a ‘Paradoxology sofa’ (whose upholstery matches the cover of the book) complete with matching cushions (which are printed with quotes of reviewers!). A prize is being offered for the best questions or paradox raised in a photo competition.
“It’s a bit of fun to help Christians begin to sit up and engage with some serious questions. I believe that Christianity is true and so we do not need to fear any questions but we do need to be on our guard against over simplistic answers,” he added.
IF YOU WANT TO TAKE PART IN OUR LITTLE COMPETITION SIMPLY Tweet a picture of yourself with your question and use the hashtag #paradoxology. The best picture / question will be sent a book bundle including a copy of Paradoxology.

Summer Reading 2014

Books are such a wonderful gift and what could be more relaxing and refreshing that using some of the Summer holiday to get some reading in. Here are some of my Summer recommended reads:

Goodbye to All That – Robert Graves

This is a fantastic firsthand account of life as an officer in World War 1. Graves writes very poetically and movingly about the both the horror and the madness of life in the trenches and how he lived afterwards. It is controversial as some parts of the account are contested. On the 100th anniversary of ww1 this is well worth the read.

1913 The World before the Great War – Charles Emerson


This is a very interesting snapshot of life before world war 1 , it’s a strange thing how cosmopolitan and civilised relationships between the various european nations seemed to be before all hell broke loose with the bloodbath of the trenches. This is a fascinating global tour.

The Global Diffusion of Evangelicalism – Brian Stanley


This is a very well written and enlightening history of the Evangelical movement in the english Speaking world from the 1940s-1990s. (read my full review here).

Creativity Incorporated – Ed Catmull

Here’s the inside track on how Pixar conquered the world and then turned around Disney. Its an easy read with some great stories from life inside the world’s most successful animation studio.


Canada – Richard Ford



I loved this book it was my favourite novel of last year. It had me from the first sentence and maintained both beauty, depth and intense readability all the way through.

The Fault in Our Stars – John Green


This is a very good teen novel – it wrestles with intense questions such as mortality, disability, beauty and friendship. It is funny, witty and of course tragic. Haven’t seen the movie – am worried it will wreck the nuance and subtlety of the book.  If your teen is reading this – read it to. You will enjoy lots of it and it will give you a lot to talk about with them.

More than This – Patrick Ness


This is a great bit of science fiction – its a quick gentle read with some great ideas floating around. Another good book to engage the teen reader in your household .

Help Needed:

So now I need your help. I am looking for some good book recommendations for my Summer holidays. I’d love some good novels. I am currently planning to read:

To Kill A Mocking Bird- Harper Lee
The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

Cover Photo by Lightgrapher  CC