Monday, July 27, 2009


"In today’s world, poverty and humility should be a thorn in the side of secular society and the church, a dangerous recollection of Jesus and a threat to the status quo of church institutions." - Karl Rahner (hat-tip to Roy Dorey)

It was good talk today to Roy Dorey, a Baptist minister with a long track record in church and community development. We were liaising over a future book about the recovery of church vision and practice in a society in which dominant understandings of power and its use have disabled (and in some cases corrupted) the Christian understanding and doing of local community. Along with our prime publishing partners in Edinburgh, Shoving Leopard, Ekklesia intends to get into quite a bit more book production over the next few years.

In addition to my Fear or Freedom?, the book I edited with Jonathan Bartley, Consuming Passion (DLT), two titles from Jon himself and a further one due next March from our new associate Symon Hill, called The No-Nonsense Guide to Religion (New Internationalist Publications), we have a number "on the boil".

However, my latest book, Threatened with Resurrection: The difficult peace of Christ remains very, very late. It should be with you all fairly shortly. But I'll be a bit cagey until I can be sure of the publication date. Whereas I throw out articles, both journalistic and academic, rather quickly, when it comes to books I want to keep changing my mind, angle of approach, selection of material, and so on. Probably some illusion about "completeness". Still, as my own harshest critic, I'm reasonably pleased with the way it has developed (even if embarrassed at the delay). But it will be the readers' opinions that really count. That's the terrifying thing about committing yourself to paper with a cover round it, an ISBN, and an entry price.

Good job the leopard doesn't bite. Well, the one in Edinburgh, anyway.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


What role does Anabaptism have to play in renewing Christianity in the new century? How do we appropriately take our past into the future? Can Mennonites and other peace churches make a serious impact on inherited and emerging church in the UK? The forthcoming London Mennonite Theology Forum, on 10-11 September 2009 will take place at the Guy Chester Centre in North London. The keynote speaker for the forum will be Ted Grimsrud, theology professor at Eastern Mennonite University and author of the recent book Embodying the Way of Jesus: Anabaptist Convictions in the 21st Century. Other presenters include Simon Barrow (co-director of Ekklesia), Anne-Marie Visser (Mennonite representative on the advisory committee for Inter-Religious Encounter for the Dutch National Council of Churches), James Jakob Fehr (director of the German Mennonite Peace Committee) and Vic Thiessen (theological consultant, and until recently director of the London Mennonite Centre).

For more information and booking, click here.