If you were an angel would you sing to a bunch of shepherds?

If anybody is to have a sneak preview of the saviour of the world, who should get it? According to Matthew, the preview was given to wise men from the East. According to Luke, it was given to a bunch of shepherds in fields just outside Bethlehem. Why choose them?

I take it that nobody saw it all happen and told Luke. Luke tells us he tried to get his facts right, but he still began by doing what biographers did in his day: using a story to illustrate the character of the person he was describing. The story is designed to explain who Jesus was and why he mattered. When he brings shepherds into the story he’s not just reporting what somebody told him; he’s making a point about Jesus. This post describes the point he’s making.

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The ‘being’ of God – Further reflection on the Trinity

Last month, on the Modern Church Facebook page, a commenter asked ‘What would be the Modern Church position on those that deny the doctrine of the Trinity?’

The important thing to remember about the Trinity, when it comes to whether or not a person ‘believes’ in it is that it is a description, a rough sketch even, but one which took a couple of centuries to complete and then only with much anguish and shedding of blood.

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Liberal theology and the Trinity

We at Modern Church sometimes get asked what our line is on a particular religious topic. Recently we have been asked about the Trinity.

We usually avoid having a line on specific religious doctrines. The whole point of liberal theology (at least, our version of it) is that we encourage people to think for themselves, and not accept a religious doctrine just because someone in authority tells us to.

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In such times

The worst politics and the greatest abuses of power invite the best satire.

The best satire endures and ultimately finds its place alongside other classics of the English language, or of another language – French comes to mind. It is also honoured among the visual or theatre arts. The best satire is always metaphor or parable.

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Genetic editing: what the debate tells us about ourselves

Robin Gill’s article in last Friday’s Church Times summarises the ethical debate about genetic editing. This post looks at the presuppositions behind the different positions.

Genetic editing is a new technique for altering DNA sequences in plants, animals and humans.

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