Trump’s Christian supporters – are they Christians?

Congratulations to Paul Bayes, the Bishop of Liverpool, for speaking out in public about the misuse of the terms ‘Christian’ and ‘Evangelical’ for people who oppose what Jesus stood for.

He did so in an interview with the Guardian at the launch of a new charity, the Ozanne Foundation, to work with religious organisations on LGBTI, sexuality and gender issues. This itself remains controversial in church circles, where opposition to same-sex partnerships remains strong; but the Guardian highlighted the implications for American Evangelicals who support Donald Trump. Can people who support his policies really call themselves Evangelicals, or Christians?

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Praise Be! London Gets Its First Woman Bishop

This was the front page headline on the Evening Standard as Bishop Sarah Mullally was announced as the 103rd Bishop of London on 18th December.

Amid all the gloom about Brexit and a faltering economy, amid all the great international tensions whipped up by the tweeting Trump, this was welcome news and something to cheer.

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Divination - a most neglected, most important element of religion

The study of religion has been driven forward by competing camps claiming primacy for different aspects of religion: myth, ritual, belief, sacrifice, social association and so on.

One of the few elements of religion which has not been elevated in this way is divination: yet the more I study religion – both past and present – the stronger I find its claim to be.

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More than 'Ho, Ho, Ho'

One of our Big Issue sellers has decided to be Father Christmas. I chat with him from time during the year and buy his paper, so there is a sort of affinity between us.

There is something about good conversation, however brief it is, which connects you to a person. If you talk with them often enough you discover a sort of kinship.

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The real Jesus of Nazareth – Why we celebrate Christmas

Last week I read a headline on The Independent news website that said:

‘One in five Brits does not know Jesus Christ born on 25 December’.

I have good news for them – he almost certainly wasn’t!

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