Life in a Foreign Country

Ed Shaw helps us to understand our changing culture.


Ed is the pastor of Emmanuel City Centre in Bristol and part of the editorial team at He loves his family and friends, church and city, gin and tonic, music and books. He is the author of The Plausibility Problem: The church and same-sex attraction.

Ideas for further thought and discussion

1. Do you find Jonathan Haidt’s “moral matrix” a helpful guide to the way people make moral decisions today?

2. If Haidt’s right, how much do you think we should start to use the whole matrix and argue that actions are moral if they do no harm and liberate people? How would the Bible speak to that idea?

3. Ed argues that we need to reckon with the power of stories and narratives to change people’s minds.

  • Why not host a discussion watching the videos Ed mentions on p13 and describing what makes them powerful?
  • How do you think you could make better use of narratives in your evangelism or teaching?
  • How do we avoid fighting narratives with narratives in an unhelpful way? [e.g. how do we avoid suggesting that the most moving story must be the truest?]

4. Do you agree that the church idolises heterosexual marriage as what it means to have life to the full? How is singleness thought of and spoken of in your church, and how might that need to change?