Latest Blog Posts

Posted 16 hours 55 min ago

No, it isn't a spelling mistake. A young tree, planted relatively recently, then uprooted by the wild winds of winter, might be said to be a sad sight. But when I paused on my walk from Crown Point to Clowbridge and looked round the plantation where it lay, I concluded that there was something sad about the site itself, up there on the edge of the moors.

Posted 1 day 11 hours ago

Posted 2 days 21 hours ago

I like the names of old pubs and seeing how they often link to Biblical and spiritual themes. There is one in Barnoldswick called the Fountain Inn, which was built the same year as our chapel, 1816. It is an unusual name. There are no fountains nearby to my knowledge, so it doubtless refers to the liquid refreshment on offer.

Posted 4 days 21 hours ago

Burnley is sometimes known for its low house prices, suggesting a lack of demand to live there. In 700BC, it was a much sought-after location. There’s a couple of square miles or so between Worsthorne village and Briercliffe district which contains two stone circles, four tumuli (ancient burials sites, now mounds) and three other ancient earthworks. The area enjoys wonderful vistas of Pendle and the valleys between.

Posted 5 days 21 hours ago

Steve Chalke is really enjoying himself. He’s such a rebel, taking on the evangelical establishment, challenging its most cherished teachings and fundamental principles. He’s attacked penal substitution and traditional views on gender and marriage. The latest target upon which his sights are set is entry to heaven. God does not reserve heaven for Christians alone, asserts Chalke, but all people. Saying that only Christians go to heaven is God playing a "geographical lottery":

Posted 6 days 23 hours ago

Satan would seem to be mannerly and reasonable; making as if he would be content with one-half of the heart, whereas God challengeth all or none: as, indeed, He hath most reason to claim all that made all. But this is nothing but a crafty fetch of Satan; for he knows that if he have any part, God will have none: so the whole falleth to his share alone.

—Joseph Hall

Posted 1 week 22 hours ago

I attended the picture-house the other night to watch Black Panther. I took with me a teenaged boy thinking it would be his kind of film. It was, and mine also. It is part of the successful Marvel franchise; all the films are pretty much the same, with a hero or heroes saving the world from some terrible threat. This script had a few more twists than certain others, and there were some funny moments, but the best part for me was its portrayal of Africa and black people. In this film, they were the heroes and heroines, the masters of technology and the smartest people on earth.

Posted 1 week 1 day ago

At a recent meeting at work, someone involved with spiritism informed me that they saw my dead grandmother standing behind me. I duly asked for a description and was told she had grey hair and glasses. In fact, my grandmother had white hair and glasses. It’s tempting to consider this person a charlatan; most grandmothers’ hair turns grey and most have poor eyesight. I understand, however, that she is considered successful in such circles. Even allowing for levels of gullibility among known believers in contacting the dead, she must presumably appear to get it right sometimes.