On Faith and Belief

What is the Gospel and What’s Your Role in it? Introducing the Awakening Project

Christians talk a lot about ‘the gospel’. We talk about hearing the gospel, believing the gospel, sharing the gospel with others. But what is the gospel?

When I went onto the streets to see who could tell me, I got answers like:

  • It’s something to do with the Bible and church…
  • It’s about God and love, and means different things to different people…
  • It’s a style of music, right?

If I was to ask the same question in a church I’d probably get a more detailed answer. The Gospel, someone would say, is that Jesus died for our sins and by believing in him we can spend eternity with God in heaven. But is that it? Forgiveness and More…

On Death Row for 28 Years. Here’s How Anthony Ray Hinton Stayed Joyful

Man In Prison

In 1985 Anthony Ray Hinton was charged with a double-murder, found guilty by a jury, and sentenced to death. But he was innocent. His sentence was overturned only in 2015—nearly thirty years later. What’s most astounding about Ray’s story is that he faced those 28 gruelling, unfair years with joy. How? More…

The Day Jesus Messed Up His Nice-Guy Image

Jesus Light of the World

In his famous painting ’The Light of the World’, Holman Hunt depicted Jesus in a white robe holding a lantern, knocking gently on a door that represents our heart. With blond beard, flowing hair and serene face, the Saviour is presented as a meek, mild soother of souls. Nice image—but the Holy Week of Easter really messes it up… More…

066 My Chat with William Paul Young, Author of The Shack

Image from The Shack of Mack (Sam Worthington) and Papa (Octavia Spencer)

When William Paul Young sat down to write a story for his children about a man who meets God in a forest shack, little did he know it would become a publishing phenomenon—and now a movie. In 2008 Paul dropped by the Open House show, to chat about the book’s meaning, the personal story behind it, and to answer his critics. More…

Are Angels Real? These Stories Will Get You Wondering

Angel statue photo by Aelena, Flickr

When I raised the topic of angelic encounters with my social media friends, I was expecting some nice stories about lights in the sky and perhaps a few kind strangers. Instead, their stories truly opened my eyes… More…

I’m Suffering. Is God Punishing Me?

Image of man with head in his hands, by Eflon,

Ever since writing Resurrection Year I’ve received hundreds of emails from people sharing their broken dreams and heartaches. In some, I’ve noticed a subtle belief that their trials are divine retribution of some kind—a punishment for their mistakes or wrongs. If you’ve ever felt the same, you’re not alone. But the feeling needs to be challenged. More…

Is Spock a Christ Figure? After 50 Years of Star Trek, Some Think So

Picture by Gage Skidmore

It was fifty years ago this week when the sci-fi pop culture phenomenon Star Trek, first hit TV screens. While it’s mostly largely secular humanist in outlook, that hasn’t stopped religious themes slipping into Star Trek’s storylines, sometimes quite overtly. In fact, its most beloved character has done some very Christ-like things. More…

One of The Best Things You’ll Hear Today: You Are Known

Picture by Lee Scott

In a world of global connections but ever-declining intimacy, of burgeoning cities with more and more alienated souls, of billions of individuals who secretly wonder if anyone really cares, here is a truth that heals and liberates: you are intimately known. More…

In a World of Ideas, How Can We Find the Authentic God?

Man standing on headland looking to horizon

As any psychologist can tell you, our understanding of God is vitally important. Many are held captive by an imaginary deity shaped by fear, pain, past, or our own desires. These humanly-inspired gods always fail us, or forever holding us in torment. So the question is, what is God really like? How can we spot the authentic from the counterfeit? More…

Where Do Your Ideas About God Come From?

Spiral Jetty - picture by Greg Rakozy

As a primary-schooler I contemplated God and felt trapped. At the time my parents were in one of the world’s more zealous religious sects, I was being raised according to its tenets, and the God of this faith was difficult to please. We all hold an image of God in our minds. So who is your God? What is your God like? Here’s one way to find out when, and how, you formed your image of God… More…