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Opinions/Reflections July - December 2015 


The beauty in the building How should we as Christians think about magnificent buildings? By Colin Sedgwick

Don’t panic, Captain Mainwaring! It's not the proposal to abolish collective worship in schools that's more dangerous, but our potential reaction to it By Martin Sweet

Twenty reasons to go to church You're speaking to a group connected to the church, but rarely, if ever, join in Sunday worship. Here's what you could say By Andy Goodliff

Sunday mornings: the centre or the heart beat? Should our main Sunday gathering draw everything in, or be the place that gives life to one another and the activities we are involved in? By Tim Parkman

You were not on that beach in Tunisia… And you were not in that church in Charleston… but the events there have changed you By Chris Goswami

A misguided zeal? A dilemma with his hairdresser leads Colin Sedgwick to wonder whether we have lost our evangelistic nerve

Being a Christian in the Middle East There is major concern, but not despair, writes Azar Ajaj


Our neighbours, and breaking the ice... Heather Skull considers why we should be reaching out to those around us in friendship and what the result might look like...

Advice to a young pastor Reflecting on his long ministry, an experienced Baptist pastor offers 25 tips for those just setting out By Paul Beasley-Murray

Were the Pharisees really so awful? Better understanding of the Pharisees should give fresh insight into Jesus himself, writes a retired Baptist minister By Roger Amos

Responding to a day in Calais - Teenager Matt Dominey visited the refugee camp in Calais last Tuesday (18 August). These are his reflections - and a link to the petition he has subsequently created calling on the UK to take in its fair share of refugees

Sort out your affairs, Ashley Madison - Why do people have affairs – it's all about SEX right? Well apparently not... By Chris Goswami


Jesus said, “I am the door..." - Lynn Green shares reflections on the recent Baptist World Congress held in Durban, South Africa
Are you happy in your church? - It may not be perfect, but here are five suggestions that could strengthen your own commitment and help it become the kind of church where others can find the risen Christ. By Colin Sedgwick
Where have all the APEs gone? - This might seem like a strange question, but it's one that explains why the Pioneer Collective has a vision to identify and release 400 new Baptist pioneers, explains Simon Goddard
Common as Muck - The common pigeon as a metaphor for the Holy Spirit? Six reasons why we should stop looking for doves, and start noticing pigeons. By Ruth Whiter
Euthanasia - can we live without it? - A look at Assisted Dying ahead of a Parliamentary debate on Friday (11 September). By Chris Goswami
Will autumn damage the health of your church? - John Rackley questions the demands many churches place on themselves at this time of the year

Dialogue and dancing in Durban - Birmingham-based chaplain the Revd Dr Doreen Morrison shares reflections on the 21st Baptist World Congress

Spotlight on asylum seekers Dave Smith, the founder of a Christian organisation serving destitute asylum seekers, gives an insight into the UK's response to the refugee crisis

What's it like to be 375 years old? - A reflection on King's Stanley Baptist Church marking its 375th anniversary and its joint celebrations with eight others. By Jo Regan

Living out the call - 'It is not enough to be called – the call needs to be lived out'. Paul Beasley-Murray introduces his new, four volume guide for pastors that draws on his 43-year career in ministry


How can God love me? Many people feel unworthy of God's love, which is why they need to be encouraged to approach God just as they are, writes Baptist minister and counsellor Patrick Coghlan

Responding to war and the refugee crisis Baptist responses to the multiple challenges of war, violent persecution, and the refugee/migrant crisis were shared at the Baptist World Alliance Congress in Durban earlier this year. Nick Megoran was there
Israel and the Returning King Is God preparing Israel for the Messiah? By Clare Lambert
All creatures great and small Baptist minister Andy Goodliff reflects on a service where pets were invited
Ugly words about beautiful people An obsession with outward appearance is a symptom of a false set of priorities. If we are to seek beauty, let it be of that inner kind that Peter mentions, writes Colin Sedgwick
Reflections on Baptist Union Council Our renewed culture is beginning to be embedded by the new-style Council, says General Secretary Lynn Green 

And don’t let us yield to temptation An excerpt from Sheridan Voysey's new book Resilient: Your Invitation to a Jesus-Shaped Life

Seasons of thankfulness As the harvest is safely gathered in, Heather Skull looks at what it means to be living in thankfulness in all circumstances

Going to church will make you happy Research shows that going to church regularly is a HUGE contributor to your wellbeing. By Chris Goswami 

We need to talk more about Jesus How can we help contacts on the fringe of the church to become inquirers seeking Jesus? Baptist minister Peter Thomas shares his sabbatical studies 


Reflections from the Jungle A sobering day in Calais leaves a Baptist minister resolved to lobby the Government to begin processing asylum applications for all those lost in a limbo of indifference in the camp. By Simon Jones

God, Mammon and Climate Change In the run up to the Paris Climate Change Conference COP21 later this month some significant economic considerations are emerging, writes John Weaver

Building bigger people We all have something to offer in mentoring others – and a biblical mandate to do so, writes Clive Burnard

Reflections on Remembrance Sunday Delving into Baptist history helped one church to reframe its remembering in broader ways to include all who have suffered from the consequences of war. It was also a reminder that the victory of Jesus is won not through violence, but cross and resurrection. By Andy Goodliff 

Grey areas For many dilemmas there are no straight forward answers - so what principles can Christians adopt when deciding how to respond? By Colin Sedgwick

How can we know? Gethin Abraham-Williams ponders a question that still troubles our restless spirits, and finds a clue in a disciple too often overlooked

Discomfort with the comfort The way young adults are re-thinking how they connect to church highlights how mundane it has become. Let's simplify our faith and focus on what is real and true, writes Michael Shaw
Another way of responding to ISIS Militant non-violence is an alternative to bombing Syria, and it stems from Jesus' often misunderstood teaching about turning the other cheek. By Chris Goswami


What happened next? Elizabeth  It is tantalising to wonder whatever happened to the people left behind in the unfolding story of Jesus. Here's a look at Elizabeth

What happened next?  The shepherds  John Rackley imagines a conversation between shepherds the morning after meeting the baby Jesus

Jesus was an asylum seeker But would we have welcomed him? The founder of a charity working with destitute asylum seekers doesn't think so

Keep it simple!  Many Christians tie themselves in all sorts of knots when thinking about their faith, writes Colin Sedgwick. But certain Bible verses can come to the rescue

Breaking a season of habits We're creatures of habit, but, says Heather Skull, let's make sure they're good ones...

The care and guidance of souls  A Christian counsellor offers a glimpse of God’s grace and mercy in the life of a young man emerging from a crisis

Analysis of COP 21 Paris As the White Queen offers Alice, is the Paris agreement an offer of ‘jam to-morrow’? By John Weaver

Going underground Can churches take inspiration from the brilliant simplicity of the London Underground map? By Martin Sweet




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