Category Suffering

What Jonah Tells Me About Advent

Advent is about waiting. It is the time between the “now” and the “not yet”, the darkness before dawn, the grain of wheat in the dark, silent earth. The night voyage. It is a time of waiting on the promises of God. One of my favourite stories is Jonah and his giant fish and how […]

Miley Cyrus and the Five Thousand Year Conversation

So, there I was. Grief, loss, suffering: a reasonable stab at Frankl’s Tragic Triad. But, as I’ve previously said, I don’t want to stop there. I don’t trust theology – or indeed people – who jump right to the happy ending without the journey. But what is the journey? Do I have to do it […]

Grief, Loss, and a Weekend In Lorne

A couple of weeks ago, before life intervened, I began a little series trying to lay out the building blocks of my own, personal pre-theological understanding/journey. If I’m going to criticise thinkers, I felt I should present my own position. So, this is the second one. The topic? The role of suffering, and how a […]

From Despair to Hope?

I originally entitled this article “Why Peter Rollins Gets On My Nerves” (actually, my original title was even less polite than that, but in deference to the delicate sensibilities of my gentle readers, I restrained myself.) It’s still a kind of unofficial subtitle, but I think what I want to write about goes deeper than […]

Christianity vs Real Life

I had a really interesting conversation yesterday, with a friend who comes from a very conservative Christian background, from which she has escaped. I have a lot of friends like this, but she put the issue in a very striking way: What has Christianity got to do with the real world? Out there in the […]

Krakow Busker

On Waiting Anxiously

No matter how bad the future might be, the exact second now is OK. This has been my watchword for a number of years, but especially this week. I will spare you the details, but it has been a pretty stressful week chez Pate, waiting to hear whether I got a temporary developer job with […]

Suffering, Authenticity, and Ministry in the Post Modern Church

I don’t want this to sound like Cafechurch is a drag, a place where people sit around moaning about how hard life is, but suffering is a topic which we come back to again and again. It is often at the bottom of why people leave their big churches, and what people who search us […]