Love in eternity (or: On faith, hope and God)

I think of myself as a theological sheep-pig.

The image comes from the film adaptation of a children’s book called “Babe”. It’s about a pig that thinks it’s a sheep-dog. The pig is so good at sheep-herding that the farmer enters Babe into a competition. There’s a moment where the farmer contemplates the application form and the line “Name of animal”. The narrator remarks that the farmer takes comfort in reading this, for if it had said “Name of dog” he might not have entered Babe into the competition.

Similarly, the idea of a “sheep-pig” is possibly the best way I can make sense of myself and where I stand in my theology. I don’t belong – and yet I do.

For an all-round flavour of the topics that I blog about and my theology, have a read of Always reforming: 95 statements on hope, sexuality and consent, it includes statements like:

1. When God expresses himself through us, the outworking result is authentic to both us and him.
29. God isn’t boring, has a sense of humour, and understands suffering.
33. Any sexual ethic based on inexperience and/or passive preservation, is purity culture.
51. Awareness of sin comes with maturity; it’s not always a prerequisite for putting faith in Jesus.
56. The commission of the church is to embody, for the sake of the world, the same reconciling covenant faithfulness (that is, righteousness) that was shown to us in Jesus.
58. Acculturation does not always mean conformity to the pattern of the world. Witness Esther.
85. Purity-as-separation subverts God’s plan for reconciliation and is contrary to the church’s covenant calling.

Analytical or sermon-like posts on Bible and/or Theology

Good Gifts for Growing People: A sermon on Romans 12:1-8 (Nov 2017) (includes YouTube video)

I always loved the Torah – and now I feel lied to (a complaint about translation) (Oct 2017)

Worn used NIV Study Bible

Esther in the Bible: Surprisingly political

Book Esther In Ancient Jewish Thought by Aaron Koller

Who breaks in and does the washing up? Strange stories and Easter (Apr 2017)

Yellow roses in garden

Be a priest in 2017: Identify with those who are like and unlike you (Jan 2017)

Wedding shoes of different colours but similar ribbons and style

Revelation 22 for beginners (with illustrations from Harry Potter) (Dec 2016)

Movie posters from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, with the caption "It all ends"

Serving the marginalised: Glamour and honour in Luke 14 (Nov 2016)

Parable of the great banquet in Luke 14

Ruth and Joseph: A closer look at love vs abuse

Year of Hell, Remember Nothing, & The Wish: lessons on hope

Janeway Voyager Year of Hell

Posts about a new perspective on purity

Rethinking virginity: yes, it is about purity, but it’s not like a silk scarf (Jul 2017)

A brain-dump about purity: this time, I think I really might change the world (Sep 2017)

Why purity-as-separation undermines the church’s covenant calling (Oct 2017)

Creative pieces

Resurrection me: tasting future glory (poem that reminded me of C.S. Lewis’ writings) (Apr 2017)

Steps leading into light at Manorbier Castle, Cair Paravel, with poem about resurrection

His name is John: Elizabeth writes to Mary (based on Luke 1)

Bible pages open at Luke chapter 1

Love vs Abuse: two stories you’ve not heard like this (based on Genesis 39 and Ruth)

Ruth and Boaz Bible

A prayer of welcome to the Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit dove prayer adoration

The Cedar of Lebanon (not Bible based)

Cedar of Lebanon in garden

My Christian walk

More than memories: why I am not afraid of losing our holiday to epilepsy (Feb 2018)

Lefty catcher's mitt holding baseball on table

An open letter to JK Rowling: nine things I can’t thank you enough for (Jul 2017)

Harry Potter and the philosopher's stone book with cinema 3D glasses

Why do I write about 50 Shades?

My choice in the wake of Orlando and Brexit

What? A study on Nehemiah? And The Gospel Coalition wrote it?

An open letter to Nate Sparks on leaving evangelicalism

The friend who was always there: on faithfulness, creativity and being me (Jan 2017)

Music, perfection and play: shedding childhood shame (Oct 2016)

Sheet music of Harry Potter music The Room of Requirement on a piano

Reflections from standing outside the Fifty Shades Darker premiere (Feb 2017)

Protest banner against 50 Shades "Not consent, not redemption, not a fairy-tale" with quotes from Fifty Shades Darker

How can we make church more inclusive spaces for ‘minorities’ (Jul 2017)