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All articles by Stephen Kneale

Stephen Kneale is pastor of at Oldham Bethel Church in Greater Manchester.

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Article

April 2019
Uncategorised

Navratilova is hoist by her own prohibitive ‘consequence free’ petard

Martina Navratilova has come under fire for claiming that it is ‘cheating’ for transgender women to enter female sports tournaments. Though she has now rolled back from the word ‘cheat’, she maintains her arguments bear consideration and should be heard without being vilified as ‘transphobic’. She first received criticism when she tweeted: ‘You can’t just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women. There must be some standards…’ She went on to write in The Sunday Times: ‘To put the argument at its most basic: a man can decide to be female, take hormones if required by whatever sporting organisation is concerned,...

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Article

October 2018
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The number one reason youth leave the church

When churches find a dearth of young people in the congregation, it is never long before questions start being asked. The questions become even more pointed when children, who otherwise seemed engaged, drift off when they become teenagers. Were there not enough programmes available for them? Were they isolated from their peers? Did we just not pay them enough attention? The hand-wringing begins and the cries of ‘won’t somebody please think of the children?’ go up. The fact is however, the lure of the world is as great among adults as it is teenagers. Nor do teenagers leave the church because there are not enough...

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Article

March 2018
Articles > Cultural and Ethical > Uncategorised

On worship as entertainment and ‘Evangelicoolism’

As one animated sitcom in America wryly pointed out, Christian rock music doesn’t make Christianity better, it just makes rock and roll worse. It’s a fair summary of pretty much anything we try to do as Christians in the name of marrying Christianity to whatever passes as ‘wicked’ or ‘wizard’ among the youth these days. Trying to make Evangelicalism cool is something of a hiding to nothing. As Dick Lucas once averred, ‘Christians are weird, so don’t be weirder than you have to be’. Given the inherent peculiarity of being a Christian, whilst we shouldn’t be stranger than the gospel inevitably makes us, it does...

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