Church growth and decline in the UK 2: Is church decline due to ‘progressive ideology’?

John Hayward’s second claim is that the patterns of growth and decline he maps can be explained by the extent to which the various denominations have embraced/capitulated to something he calls ‘progressive ideology’. He unfortunately offers no evidence (beyond a claim that it is obvious to all) for the existence or nature of this ideology…

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Church growth and decline in the UK 1: Are UK denominations headed for extinction?

John Hayward has recently attracted a lot of attention with a couple of blog posts claiming extinction for many UK denominations, and that church decline followed an embrace of progressive ideology. This post addresses the extinction point.

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Thoughts on Theology and Theory

Three or four chance conversations over the past few weeks have raised the subject of ‘Theory’, or critical theory, in ways that have made me think about how I do theology. I’m going to argue here that there are good gospel reasons for theologians to be open to theory, and that these are particularly compelling for B/baptist theologians.

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‘Revive for a moment a broken Coriolanus’

I stopped blogging here regularly about six years ago, when I was asked to be Head of School here in St Andrews. I’ve posted a few pieces since, mostly where I wanted a space to say something that seemed like it mattered urgently, as during lockdown. I’ve now stepped down from being Head of School, and have a bit more leisure to let my thoughts and interests wander, which was always the occasion for the (infrequent) blog posts I put up here. So it’s back. I don’t know if it will last–that depends on the worth I find in it, and the worth I see others finding in it.  

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Three.Word.Dogmatics

I posted something about happenstance felicities of What.Three.Words addresses on FB, and Phil challenged me to write a three word theology. It’s been in my mind driving and walking around Northumbria on holiday this week, and this is I think my best attempt. I’ve used blank lines as additional punctuation, and there are some run-ons, which may be cheating. I’ve not checked whether any of these map to actual locations. Three.Word.Dogmatics God.Is.One God.Is.Three Father.Son.Spirit God.Is.Good God.Is.Love Many.Other.Perfections God.Creates.All Out.Of.Nothing God.Oversees.All End.Is.Coming Creation.Was.Good Humans.Did.Bad Creation.Is.Broken Humans.Need.Help God.Calls.Abraham Stories.About.Israel Exodus.Temple.Exile Return.Longing.Hope God’s.Son.Comes Born.As.Human Born.Of.Mary God.And.Human Lives.And.Loves Teaches.And.Heals Dies.To.Save Rises.To.Life Sends.God’s.Spirit Spirit.Is.God Spirit.Proceeds.From Father.And.Son Spirit.Brings.Life Spirit.Gives.Gifts Spirit.Grows.Goodness God.Calls.Church Body.Of.Christ Temple.Of.Spirit To.Father’s.Praise Church.Is.Sent Ends.Of.Earth To.Declare.Gospel End.Will.Come Jesus.Will.Return Dead.Will.Rise Jesus.Will.Reign Justice.Be.Established Joy.Will.Overflow Four.Last.Things Death.Judgement.Heaven… (OK, the Three.Word.Limit tripped me up at the end there, and it fell into universalism. There are worse errors.)...

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