But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

Think Theology - Apologetic Report
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The past decade has seen the publication of lots of great books on sexuality, and yet good books on singleness have remained few and far between. (Interestingly almost all those that have been published in recent years have been by women and for women. Single men seem to have been rather...

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Wednesday, 15 May 2019 17:00

Dare to be a Mowgli

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The Jungle Book is one of those classics that has, until recently, passed me by. I've seen the Disney cartoon version, of course, but the following scene isn't in it - though the wily tricks of Kaa appear elsewhere. This is how the book tells it.

It comes after Mowgli has been captured by the...

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Tuesday, 14 May 2019 17:00

Follow the Money

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A few months ago I heard a genuinely shocking statement at a leadership conference for pastors. The individual was saying that he wanted people in his community to think of his church before any others in the local area, and said quite matter-of-factly, "I'm after market share. And I don't...

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Monday, 13 May 2019 17:00

Lessons from "Eighth Grade"

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I’ve recently seen a lot of references to university students as “millennials.” Conferences, news articles, podcasts, all claiming to want to reach students and referring to them as millennials. As one of the student leaders at my local church, it makes me want to start wearing a...

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Thursday, 09 May 2019 22:12

Basic Instincts, Changing Habits

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One of the characteristics of our era is to judge the past by the standards of the present: this has been especially the case in the verdicts – legal and social – handed down to showbiz figures from the 70s & 80s. The inverse of this is an assumption that people in the past held the...

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Thursday, 09 May 2019 05:02

Pushing our Luck

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We (well, Andrew) have not been very good at political predictions on Think, but here goes. As the 'probably' has now become 'certainly' and two weeks today the UK will be taking part in European elections, I offer some predictions - no opinion, simply prediction. Andrew is free to offer different...

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Wednesday, 08 May 2019 16:58

The Mirrors of the Ministering Women

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"[Bezalel] made the basin of bronze and its stand of bronze, from the mirrors of the ministering women who ministered in the entrance of the tent of meeting." - Exodus 38:8

This is one of those tiny verses that has slipped past my attention on every previous reading of the (somewhat tedious)...

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Tuesday, 07 May 2019 16:30

Pagliatelle

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Camille Paglia’s Provocations is not as good as the outstanding Free Women Free Men, which I reviewed last year, but it is full of punchy analysis nonetheless. As the title implies, there is plenty to be provoked, challenged or even infuriated by, and the fusion of contrarian perspectives and...

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Monday, 06 May 2019 22:11

The Joy of the Father

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There was a buzz of excitement yesterday as the birth of baby Sussex, the first child of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, was announced. As I watched the news coverage, I was struck by the contrast in the two ways in which the birth was announced.

Following standard royal protocol, the birth was...

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Sunday, 05 May 2019 17:00

A Book to Read and Give Away

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The questions non-believers ask of Christianity tend to be predictable and repeated: what about suffering? what about science? what about sex? The way in which those questions are framed, however, morph with the cultural context from which they are asked, and this means books answering them can...

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Thursday, 02 May 2019 17:00

Deliberate Ambiguity

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Paul says a number of ambiguous things, and some of us may wish he hadn't. But frequently his ambiguities are quite deliberate, designed to help us see how two apparently different things are both true. A classic example is his citation of Habakkuk 2:4 in Romans 1:16: "the righteous shall live by...

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Thursday, 02 May 2019 17:00

The Gift of Procreation

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Last Saturday I took a two-hour Q&A session on ethics at a local training event: ask whatever you like and I’ll try and take a swing at it. Predictably, questions around IVF, surrogacy and contraception all came up.

Regular readers will be unsurprised that my answers were more in line...

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Wednesday, 01 May 2019 17:00

Why We Need Philosophers

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Today there are local elections in much of the UK and in three weeks’ time we will again (probably) go to the polls to vote in the European elections. We haven’t been very good at making political predictions on Think (well, when I say ‘we’ I mean ‘Andrew’) but...

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Tuesday, 30 April 2019 17:00

Fashionable Evil

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Most of us think of "fashion" as referring to largely trivial things: the clothes we wear, music we listen to, TV shows we watch, and so on. But fashions may also include social phenomena, and even social pathologies, of a much darker nature, and that is something that pastors are probably aware of...

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Thursday, 25 April 2019 17:00

The Missing Veil

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I've been reading 2 Corinthians in my devotions recently, and spending a fair bit of time in chapter 3, where Paul famously says that "when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed" (3:16). So it was beautiful to read Jackie Hill Perry's description of what happened when she arrived at work the...

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Tuesday, 23 April 2019 17:00

Ex-Gentiles?

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In a passing comment in 1 Corinthians 12, Paul refers to the Corinthian believers as those who used to be Gentiles. Many translations obscure the connection—and I'm honestly not sure why—by rendering ἔθνη as "pagans" rather than "Gentiles" or perhaps "nations"; the...

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Monday, 22 April 2019 16:00

Becoming Ecclesiologically Attractive

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Many of us are aware, and deeply concerned, about the lack of young people in our churches. While there are no doubt churches who buck the trend, in general, the UK church is ageing. In 1980, 46% of Sunday church attenders in England were aged under 30. By 2000, that figure had dropped to 35%, and...

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Thursday, 18 April 2019 19:04

More than a Metaphor

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It is not difficult to find metaphor in the burning of Notre Dame.

There have been fires in Paris for months now as every weekend the Gilets Jaunes protest the failings of the state. France, the proud republic, totters on the edge of financial and political chaos, presided over by a peacock...

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Friday, 12 April 2019 16:00

AI: It's Time to Start Thinking

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a hot topic at the moment. Many of us are already interacting with AI every day, even if we are not really aware of it. AI is used in Sat Navs, social media feeds, digital assistants (such as Siri and Alexa), and online booking and payment systems, to give just a few...

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Thursday, 11 April 2019 05:58

Resistance Is Not Futile

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I got back from a trip to the US today and as I waited to be allowed off the plane scrolled through the BBC news feed. Just behind the arrest of Julian Assange and the latest Brexit developments was the story of rugby star Israel Folau. Folau, one of Australia’s best players, is facing the...

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Thursday, 04 April 2019 16:00

Love Thy Body

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It’s hard to deny that there has been a huge shift in secular morality over the past half a century or so. You don't have to think for long to come up with some examples.

Just over 50 years ago, abortion was legalised in England, Wales and Scotland and now around 200,000 abortions are...

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Tuesday, 02 April 2019 17:00

25 Years of Grace

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Yesterday Mrs Hosier & I celebrated being married for 25 years. April 2nd 1994 was a typically British Easter Saturday, in which we seemed to have all the seasons thrown into one: bright sun, snow flurries, rain and wind all put in an appearance. And the clichés are true – these 25...

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Monday, 01 April 2019 19:38

The Value of Art

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It is often difficult to pin down the value of art. Most people would recognise that art, whether in the form of music, painting, writing, performance or something in between, is valuable. However, defining what that value is becomes tricky.

One answer that can be offered is that art is valuable...

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Monday, 25 March 2019 17:00

Handling Statistics

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Statistics can be really useful. For those of us who like to wrestle with cultural issues, they can be a great way of getting a gauge for what’s going on around us. But as well as being useful, statistics can also be dangerous; they are easy to misunderstand and easy to misapply. So here are...

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Thursday, 21 March 2019 19:23

A Sure Foundation

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The narration of the facts is history; the narration of the facts with the meaning of the facts is doctrine. “Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried” – that is history. “He loved me and gave Himself for me” – that is doctrine. Such was the...

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