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A note about copyright. It is not my intention to break copyright in any of the material I have reproduced here and if I have done so then please email me to let me know.  As for what is mine on this site, I am happy for any of it to be reproduced wherever it might be helpful and I am not interested in being “credited” for it. On the other hand, those who claim credit for what is not theirs or distort material or try to use it in wrong ways, hurt themselves more than anyone else.

Some background about me:

Born 1962. Converted 1973. Licensed 1984 and ordained 1991. Husband to Sue and father to Sarah, Ruth, and Esther.

Raised, mostly, in Felixstowe, Suffolk.

1980-83 – Theology degree at Oxford

1983-84 – Assistant at Bethesda Baptist Church, Felixstowe

1984 – 87 – Lecturer at Samuel Bill Theological College, Nigeria

1987 – 88 – Unemployed (Humberside) and locum pastorate (Ipswich)

1988 – 91 – PhD in English Puritanism at Cambridge

1991 – 96 – Pastor, Horsley Evangelical Church, Surrey

1996 – 2000 – Executive at Oak Hill Theological College

2009 – Executive Search with Perrett Laver

Theological commitments: I fervently endorse, subscribe to and delight in the orthodox Christian faith as expressed in the catholic ecumenical creeds of the first five centuries (Apostles Creed, Nicene Creed, Chalcedonian Definition), the Reformed confessions of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (Belgic, Heidelberg, Dort, Westminster), and evangelical statements of faith of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries (UCCF, EA, FIEC).

Author: Alexander

  • We cannot toy unpunished with inversions of this type …

    Barth is exploring the relationship between divine essence and human essence in the hypostatic union. He examines a particular form of the Lutheran communicatio idiomatum which, for all the qualifications presented, appears to him to amount to a divinising of the humanity of Christ. However, since the human nature of Christ is the human nature of all humankind,…

  • Interruptions and the given or constructed self

    Adam Phillips (“On Making It Up” in Side Effects) discusses, amongst other things, the ancient debate about whether we discover ourselves or create ourselves (essentialist or existentialist; given or constructed; midwives or Prometheans). Then he puts the question in terms of “interruptions”: In a sense, the issue of trauma can be stated quite simply: is…

  • The liberator bound

    John 18.8, 13 // Judges 16 // Milton’s Samon Agonistes Ask for this great Deliverer now, and find himEyeless in Gaza at the Mill with slaves,Himself in bonds under Philistian yoke;

  • Increasing epistemological self-consciousness

    Low points for the Christian gospel over the last 1000 years: 1. Pre-Reformation – widespread assent, widespread conformity but desperate ignorance of the gospel 2. Pre-Evangelical Revival – widespread assent, widespread immorality, so horrible inconsistency with the gospel 3. 1990-2011 – widespread dissent, widespread immorality, so massive rebellion against the gospel. There’s increasing epistemological self-consciousness…

  • “That most common of conditions …

    … fear of the conversation flagging.” (Houdini’s Box, p.59) Just inhabit that moment in your imagination with different sorts of people. Horrible, isn’t it? So we – talk about ourselves endlessly (Conversational Narcissism – here; here; and here) – ask questions unceasingly (the respectable person’s way of making you keep your distance) – avoid conversations altogether – stick your earphones in,…

  • Attention is supremely selective

    Still Phillips, still Houdini’s Box: To learn to discriminate, to learn to talk and think and choose, is to learn to exclude (attention is supremely selective). “Attention is supremely selective.” That to which we attend is either what has power over us and/or what we regard as most attractive (where “attractive”, of course, can include a…

  • Idol reading

    From Adam Phillips, Houdini’s Box: On the Arts of Escape: Reading books was like a devotional exercise – they called up a more thoughtful reading-self in him that he liked and admired … But he read books very quickly, ‘getting in and out as fast as possible’, as though lingering was tricky for him. He wasn’t…

  • I have a dream …

    Much of our “applying the gospel” amounts to a reactive problem-solving. What would things look like, this side of resurrection morning, if we began to see God’s new world intensively and pervasively? If we were to start the final paragraph of a gospel speech with the words, “I have a dream …” then what would come next?…

  • The trauma

    Further to the previous post: Childhood is the trauma from which we spend our lives recovering … Genesis 3.23: the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken.

  • Lurching every which way

    Species of imbalance from Rutherford’s, The Trial and Triumph of Faith (1645): The truth is, while we endeavour to gain a grain-weight of truth, it is much if we lose not a talent-weight of goodness and Christian love. Many are friends to the success of reformation, not to reformation. Men’s faith goes along with the promises, until providence seem…