- 2005. Café Theology Exploring Love, the Universe and Everything. London: Alpha International (a popular-level systematic theology).
Recent Research Articles and Chapters
- 2020. ‘Farrer on the Problem of Evil’ in Austin Farrer: Oxford Warden, Scholar, Preacher, edited by Markus Bockmuehl and Stephen Platten, with Nevsky Everett, SCM Press, pp. 53-69.
- 2019. ‘George Friedrich Händel: Musical Theology that is Christological, Soteriological, and Supernatural’ in Hymns and Hymnody: Historical and Theological Introductions: Volume 2: From Catholic Europe to Protestant Europe, edited by Mark A. Lamport, Benjamin K. Forrest & Vernon M. Whaley, Cascade Books, Eugene, Oregon, pp. 268-284.
- 2019. ‘Alister McGrath’s Theodicy’ in The Interface of Science, Theology, and Religion: Essays in Honor of Alister E. McGrath, edited by Dennis Ngien, Pickwick Publications, Eugene, Oregon, pp. 201-223.
- 2018. ‘Theodicy, Fall and Adam’, and ‘The Fallenness of Nature: Three Non-Human Suspects’ in Finding Ourselves after Darwin: Conversations on the Image of God, Original Sin, and the Problem of Evil, edited by Stan Rosenberg, Michael Burdett, Michael Lloyd and Benno van den Toren, Baker Academic, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
- 2018. ‘N.T. Wright’s Theodicy’ in One God, One People, One Future: Essays in Honour of N.T. Wright, edited by John Anthony Dunne and Eric Lewellen, SPCK, London, pp. 59-71.
- 2013. ‘Towards an Outline of Handel’s Theology’ in Händel-Jahrbuch 2013, edited by Annette Landgraf, Bärenreiter, pp. 151-166.
- 2006. Review of Grace and Necessity: Reflections on Art and Love by Rowan Williams, New Blackfriars, Vol. 87, No. 1012, November 2006, pp. 665-666.
- 1996. Article on ‘The Fall’ in the Routledge Dictionary of Ethics, Theology and Society, edited by Paul Barry Clarke and Andrew Linzey, London and New York
- 1998. ‘Are Animals Fallen?’ in Animals on the Agenda, edited by Andrew Linzey and Dorothy Yamamoto, London: S.C.M. Press
- 1998. ‘The Humanity of Fallenness’ in Grace and Truth in the Secular Age, edited by Timothy Bradshaw, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Michigan, & Cambridge, U.K
I wrote my doctoral thesis on The Cosmic Fall and the Free Will Defence (Bodleian Library, 1997). This is a survey of Christian responses to the problem of evil, and a constructive defence of the Fall of the Angels hypothesis. I am working on turning this into an academic treatment of theodicy, and most of my academic work is in this area. In my article on “The Humanity of Fallenness”, I argue that, without a doctrine of the Fall, the problem of evil is insoluble and Christian theology unravels. Many theodicies attempt to defend suffering as in some way instrumentally beneficial. This seems to me pastorally damaging, as it makes God the cause of people’s suffering and their enemy, at a time when they most need to know that He is with them, for them and on their side. I want to argue that theodicy should be about the defence of God, and should not pay suffering or evil the respect of granting it any positive place in the plan or purpose of God.
I also have a very amateur interest in the theology of G F Handel, and his place – I believe it to be a significant one – in the Deist Controversy of the 18th Century. Creative artists, composers, and writers play a bigger role in the shaping of intellectual culture than professional theologians and philosophers have tended to recognise: creative artists help shape what we can imagine, and what we can imagine shapes what we can believe. I am therefore delighted that Wycliffe has recently been able to appoint an Artist in Residence, as part of our Vision to be a centre for the intellectual renewal of the Church, and, through the Church, of Society.
Michael is a resident discussant on St Paul's Theological College's GodPod. He joins Dr Graham Tomlin and Dr Jane Williams to discuss all things theological.