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Tattoo: Taboo, or no more than a skin deep issue?

Tattoo: Taboo, or no more than a skin deep issue?

Learning to Love Leviticus #2 by Guy Brandon ‘Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD.’ – Leviticus 19:28 (NIV) Along with sundry other activities such as wearing polycotton trousers and defrauding your neighbour, Leviticus 19 apparently prohibits the Israelites from the practice of tattooing […]

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Learning to Love Leviticus and the Ban on Mixed-Fibre Clothing

Learning to Love Leviticus and the Ban on Mixed-Fibre Clothing

by Guy Brandon We’re starting a new series for Engage Magazine on the laws found in Leviticus. Variously considered to be irrelevant, outrageous or just plain weird, Christians often struggle to make sense of the Levitical laws. Guy Brandon starts the series with a fresh look at the ban on mixed-fibre clothing. ‘Do not wear […]

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Lord Michael Farmer: Christian influence in the world

Lord Michael Farmer: Christian influence in the world

by Charlee New Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom… Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us… Establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands. (Psalm 90:12, 15, 17) Michael Farmer is the co-founder of one of […]

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Thinking Critically About AI

Thinking Critically About AI

  Discussion paper by Calum Samuelson This article acts as a second installment in our ongoing thinking about AI and robotics. It seeks primarily to provide clarity and encouragement in the midst of dialogue that seems increasingly confused, contradictory, inaccessible, and provocative. It also aims to generate dialogue and inspire critical thinking. It is neither […]

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Life on Mars?

Life on Mars?

by Guy Brandon  2018 has been billed as the ‘year of digital disruption’, but is there something more fundamental at stake? With the second decade of the 21st century well into its autumn, we might legitimately start to consider what its legacy is going to be. More than what we’re doing or where we’re going, […]

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The Rise of the Machines: Preparing for the revolution in robotics and artificial intelligence

The Rise of the Machines: Preparing for the revolution in robotics and artificial intelligence

  by Josh Parikh Introduction In light of the coming revolution in robotics and artificial intelligence, this discussion paper looks to examine some current trends in robotics and artificial intelligence and the social implications of these trends. The increasing prevalence of news stories on these topics is bringing many of the issues surrounding AI and […]

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The Steering Wheel: Confronting the ideologies driving the West

The Steering Wheel: Confronting the ideologies driving the West

Are you concerned that the dominant ideas in the Western world are undermining the dignity and value of human beings?  The Steering Wheel is a new research paper that examines afresh the four major ideologies driving Western culture and society, and proposes a relationships-focused strategy to subvert these trends. Focusing on the four main ‘-isms’ at work in the […]

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Sentient Animals, Relational Animals

Sentient Animals, Relational Animals

Guest Post by Tim Lornie, 31st January 2018 Sentient Animals, Relational Animals: The political significance of November’s animal sentience vote Last November’s vote on animal sentience made headlines up and down the country. Opposition MPs sought to transfer an EU clause on sentience into post-Brexit law, but the amendment was voted down in the House […]

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The Woman who Anoints Jesus

The Woman who Anoints Jesus

by Guy Brandon ‘Wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.’ (Mark 14:9)  Jesus’ words about the woman who pours perfume on him in the days before his death have been borne out by her story’s inclusion in the gospels, but beyond the […]

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Christianity: A relational religion?

Christianity: A relational religion?

by Christopher Hancock   Introduction First, let me say what a pleasure it is to be at this conference on ‘New Avenues for Christian Witness’. I have been fascinated to hear from Michael Schluter about the character and development of ‘Relationism’, and am glad to have an opportunity to think aloud publicly about how ‘the […]

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Inspiring Dialogue: Moving beyond ‘agree to disagree’

Inspiring Dialogue: Moving beyond ‘agree to disagree’

by Calum Samuelson This article reflects upon some central themes of our Reformation2017 project and how they can be carried forward in the future… Despite our unprecedented access to knowledge, the world today seems more confused than ever before. Christians are called to speak into this cacophony with hopeful, distinctive voices and offer coherent contributions […]

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Adam and Eve: Feet of Clay

Adam and Eve: Feet of Clay

by Guy Brandon The story of Adam and Eve is one of the ‘Sunday School’ passages of the Bible that can easily lose their impact through over-familiarity. It’s a good story, but it also belongs to a bit of the Bible that we treat as distinct from the history books or the gospels. Life works […]

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Amos the Unprofessional

Amos the Unprofessional

Amos the Unprofessional by Guy Brandon In the collection of the prophetic books of the Old Testament – simply titled ‘The Prophets’ or nebi’îm in the tripartite classification of the Hebrew Bible – Amos is the earliest prophet with a book to his name. Despite the twelve so-called Minor Prophets coming after the longer books […]

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The Enduring Power of Vocation by Calum Samuelson

The Enduring Power of Vocation by Calum Samuelson

The Enduring Power of Vocation: From the Reformation to 2017 by Calum Samuelson MA MPhil   Today, most use the term ‘vocation’ interchangeably with others such as ‘occupation’, ‘profession’, and ‘career’. While mere etymology cannot unravel the present conflation of these terms, it is important to observe the distinct historical connotation of ‘vocation’, which comes […]

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Relational Proximity: a biblical perspective

Relational Proximity: a biblical perspective

A discussion paper by Guy Brandon   Good relationships are critical to the success of organisations and projects of all kinds, but ‘relationship’ tends to be a black box that is not readily amenable to analysis or quantification. The Relational Proximity Framework (RPF) is a way of unpacking relationships and better understanding what makes them […]

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Jonah: the Bible’s best and worst evangelist

Jonah: the Bible’s best and worst evangelist

by Guy Brandon Jonah is one of the most famous stories of the Old Testament, a Sunday School classic up there with Noah and the Ark, David and Goliath and Jesus feeding the 5,000. Although for Christians it’s rarely used in sermons, observant Jews read it start-to-finish every year on Yom Kippur, the Day of […]

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How should we reform the UK monetary system?

How should we reform the UK monetary system?

Event report: Monday 5th December 2016   Money is part of our collective narrative as a society. We have always worried individually and as families not just about how much money we have, but about how decisions taken at a national and international level impact that. Inflation figures, interest rates and quantitative easing (QE) have […]

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Judas Iscariot: racketeer or revolutionary?

Judas Iscariot: racketeer or revolutionary?

By Guy Brandon As the man who betrayed Jesus to his death, Judas has gone down in history as a Thoroughly Bad Man. His name is synonymous with treachery, as is the sum of money he was paid for identifying Jesus on the Mount of Olives. In his Inferno, Dante depicts Satan as a three-faced […]

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The First Step: Re-thinking Factory Farming

The First Step: Re-thinking Factory Farming

By Tim Lornie 28th July 2016. ‘There is no bad odour, no sound, no monstrosity, to which man cannot become so accustomed that he ceases to remark what would strike a man unaccustomed to it.’ – Leo Tolstoy, ‘The First Step’, 1892 In his moving and challenging essay ‘The First Step‘, Leo Tolstoy tells the […]

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Leah: unexpected matriarch

Leah: unexpected matriarch

by Guy Brandon In the star-studded cast of the story of the Patriarchs, Leah sits in the background. She is the daughter of Laban, and becomes his nephew Jacob’s first wife.  She plays second fiddle to her beautiful sister Rachel, who herself plays a relative bit-part against the backdrop of the rivalry with Esau and […]

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