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Believing in Jesus is central to John’s Gospel – we are told the aim of the Gospel is to evoke and encourage belief in order that we might have life (20:31). Yet along the way John introduces us to characters who believe in Jesus, before revealing that they have not believed in the way the Gospel intends. By doing this, John prompts us to ask what genuine belief entails.


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As education everywhere continues to evolve, and more and more is done through various forms of online learning, it is important that we pause to ask whether, and to what extent, seminaries, theological colleges and Bible colleges should utilise leading-edge technology to provide distance education. While I am prepared to declare up front that I have some serious reservations, it would be far too clumsy and reactionary to simply polarise the conversation, or to suggest that nothing good for the Kingdom can be achieved through distance study. My hope then, is that this piece can serve as a proper conversation starter; not a final declaration, but the opening up of a discussion that I believe we need to have as we witness a significant growth in the number of options for distance theological education.


With the rise of the so-called 'New Atheism' over the last decade, there has been a parallel rise in the energy that Christians have spent on apologetics and interactions with those vocal unbelievers who would want to discredit our faith.