Skip to main content


Showing posts from April, 2006

Peter Adam on Preaching

1. Arguing for Expository Preaching

2. Preaching and Pastoral Ministry

3. Preaching and Biblical Theology

Peter Adam, Principal of Ridley College Melbourne, Australia
Articles now at

Men of the Spirit

Yesterday a group from our church went to the London Men's Convention at the Royal Albert Hall. This year was on being men of the Spirit. I'll give a few reflections on the day but it looks like Nathan Burley is going to give some more detailed notes so I recommend you read his blog.The Spirit of Life
1. Pete Woodcock on Romans 8. No condemnation. This is the song of the Christian. And all Christians have the Spirit. There is no such thing as a Christian without the Holy Spirit. And we should be Spirit-led. What does that mean? The Spirit leads us into battle against sin.

The Spirit of Truth
2. Dick Lucas on the Spirit and the Bible from John 16. This was the first time I'd heard Dick Lucas speak. He is warm, rigorous, careful and applied. In passing he very helpfully reminded us that Jesus isn't speaking to us in John 16, but to the disicples. And what Jesus says gives assurance that the Holy Spirit is the one who gives us the New Testament through the disciples. We cann…

Now that's what I call preaching

Just read it:
Why Expositional Preaching is Particularly Glorifying to God"Preaching is not talk, teaching, discussion, but the heralding of a message permeated by a sense of God's holiness and majesty. It can be any topic, but that topic must be taken into the blazing center of the holiness of God in the Word of God."

"Where will the weight of God's glory be felt if not in the preaching of the Word? If not from the man in the pulpit, where? God planned for His Son to be crucified and for hell to be terrible so we would have the clearest witnesses possible to what is at stake when the pastor preaches. What makes preaching seriousness is that the mantle of preaching is soaked in the blood of Jesus and singed in the fire of hell."

"The mission of the church, therefore, is to declare His glory to the nations. Nothing affects preaching more deeply than to be struck almost speechless (almost!) by the passion of God for the glory of God"

" The job of t…

Together for the Gospel (UK)

Together for the gospel is now happening in the USA. Liveblogged by Challies. How and who can make this happen in the UK? I really think we need this... to unite on this sort of basis: "We are brothers in Christ united in one great cause -- to stand together for the Gospel. We are convinced that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been misrepresented, misunderstood, and marginalized in many churches and among many who claim the name of Christ... We are also brothers united in deep concern for the church and the Gospel. This concern is specifically addressed to certain trends within the church today. We are concerned about the tendency of so many churches to substitute technique for truth, therapy for theology, and management for ministry... that God's glorious purpose for Christ's church is often eclipsed in concern by so many other issues, programs, technologies, and priorities.... [there is] confusion over crucial questions concerning the authority of the Bible, the meaning …

Fish Grew Legs

Fish grew legs and pigs might fly
Certain God can't exist, don't ask me why.

Things have never been better
Thats why we're killing each other
Set you free from your morals
Make you lay down religion
I'm the cream of the crop
I'm the top of the pile
Wont let you forget it
This is me, this is I

Fish grew legs and pigs might fly
Certain God can't exist, don't ask me why.

Accelerating faster than ever
You wont stop me now
The king of the castle
The Lord of the manor
Understanding more, we're so clever
No more indoctrination
Just listen to what I say
Let me say it again and again

Fish grew legs and pigs might fly
Certain God can't exist, don't ask me why.

I'm on your TV screens
Watch me I'll set you free
John me in the vacuum
The world that I'm making
I'm full of perfect excuses
To stop me from believing
Deleted God from my history
And put myself on the throne

Fish grew legs and pigs might fly
Certain God can't exist, don't ask me why.

Believing in random se…

Them Links Are Made For Clicking

I am coming back properly... soon.
The urge to write is almost irrestistable.
In the meantime do read the archives and read other blogs too. Back into termtime here. Highlights of the working week so far.... ...exploring heights of the gospel and seeing how small I really am in Romans 9 with Paul and Ben... (seeing again why Piper realised that this God would not just be analysed but also proclaimed!)
...wrestling with Habakkuk with Hoops and then lamenting with Joel... meeting with Reading CU committee... (Dan that missing line really matters)... trying to craft that talk on Acts 6 for Surrey...
Meanwhile, yesterday was Em's birthday - I'm now officially numerically young for three weeks.
Looking forward to the weekend: London Men's Convention and we start a series in 1 Corinthians 12-14 with church!! And 24 continues.
Also loving reading Acts with the companionship of Chris Green's The Word of His Grace.Challies is live-blogging from Together for the Gospel. I'm s…

Pray-Play-Say. Gospel Partnership

Finishing the week with Graham Daniels, evangelist and director of Christians in Sport is the perfect way to be sent home. It was good to see Dano again so soon after Reading CU's mission last term.

Sadly I was feeling quite ill during this meeting and my concentratino wasn't great... still a good preacher makes simple points: Pray, Play, Say, Partnership.... plus a memorable introduction to Alan Godson... not to mention Richard Cunningham's banter with Dano before the talk.

This is all about life under Christ's rule.
Paul and Epaphras are continually in prayer, wrestling in prayer. They're devoted to it. It is hard to pray. Evangelism needs prayer. Prayer is our vulnerability to God. There are no short cuts and easy answers. We hvae to be watchful - looking to Christ. Watchless Christians will be easily attacked by the devil.
Is your prayer life devoted?
Who can I be praying for to come to know Christ?

Paul's life work is to proclaim Christ, …

Be Men of the Spirit

London Mens Convention 2005 - 29th April

Finally got booked - should be interesting if potentially contraversial.
Anyone else going?

The Ministry of Marriage

Word Alive is all about getting into the Bible, glorying in the cross and seeing the Spirit at work in our lives.Now to turn to the more contraversial evening celebration talks... Contraversial because Biblical teahcing is very counter-cultural. Contraversial because we're more culture-compromised than we realise. Contraversial because it probably didn't cross the cultural divide from middle-america to studentdom enough. Nonetheless there were some vitally important things for us to hear - and we should not let the difficulty of it excuse us from application of these things.Setting our hearts and minds on heavenly things gets firmly rooted into the day to day of relationships in the church community... in marriage, parenting and work. To look to our heavenly marriage to Christ is worked out in our relationships of today. Talk of married life in the student venue might have felt a bit too future-minded for most, but it needs thinking about in advance.

The gospel teaching about t…

Global Broadcast

On Easter morning Piers spoke at our church on Luke 24v46-47.

Firstly about the proof of Jesus' resurrection - they saw him, he spoke and he ate with his friends. They were eye-witnesses of his resurrection.

Secondly, about the promise of Jesus' resurrection:

"...and [Jesus] said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem." - Luke 24v46-47
Repentance and forgiveness of sins proclaimed to all nations. A promise being fulfilled today! Repentance means turning around, from idols to God. This is what God's word had been promising. Beginning with Moses and all the prophets their testimony had rung out together... and Luke carefully surveyed the evidence to present it in his gospel. This is Jesus, we can have certainty.

The message of the church is then repentance and forgiveness of sins, becau…

Whole New World

"A whole new world
A dazzling place I never knew
But when I'm way up here
It's crystal clear
That now I'm in a whole new world with you
Now I'm in a whole new world with you"
When the apostles came to replace Judas among their number this was their task:"Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection." They needed someone who had witnessed the life and death of Jesus, and crucially his resurrection. The elected person's life work would be to "become a witness with us of his resurrection". This was a particular task for the apostles. Today no living witnesses remain to the historic resurrection of Jesus. But we pass on the apostles teaching... the dawn of the new creation.

As the history of the church unfolds we find opp…

When wolves kill eskimos...

Roger Carswell took us into Colossians 3, into the practical application of being rooted in Jesus Christ...

Before he stood to speak we witnessed Roger being given a wardrobe makeover by Anna Mack and Linda Marshall... quite possibly the funniest moment of the week. This was to illustrate the theme of chapter 3... putting off the old self, and putting on the new.

Roger began by reminding us that the cross and resurrection of Jesus changes everything. He warned us against BK Theology. Their place mats declaring: "It's all about you...
we are the Kings...
you are the almighty ruler

Why did Jesus die and rise again? Romans 14v9 - from God's point of view to make Jesus Lord of the dead and the living. Great benefit to us, but primarily about him.

1. Seek the things above

This is the positive. Set your heart and mind above. Why? Because Jesus is risen. This is reality.

v3 - We died we can't come to sin anymore. We're dead.
v3 - Life is in Christ.
v4 - Christ is my life. Withou…

Love Actually

Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow airport. General opinion makes out that we live in a world of hatred and greed I don't see that.
Seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy but it's always there. Fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends.
When the planes hit the Twin Towers, none of the phone calls from people on board were messages of hate or revenge, they were all messages of love.
lf you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around.'
So says Hugh Grant's Prime Minister at the start of the film Love Actually. Is he right? Where do we find love? We want it, but what is love?Is God love? Certainly people seem to think so. And we like the idea of God being love. No one is offended to hear that God loves them. In fact, rightly or wrongly, it makes us feel good. Wh…

Where are you planted?

Nigel Beynon is a genius, clearly bringing the hard teaching of God's word about the gospel, with brilliant illustration and careful sensitivity.

Last year he led us into Galatians by way of Bridget Jones...
This year he arrived on stage with a pot plant!

We were kept us in suspense for a moment about his pot plants whilst getting us thinking about why we want more in the Christian life.

In our quest for more we start to set down roots in other pots. We put down roots outside of Christ. All such other pots may look appealing but they're hollow and empty.

2v6-8 are the answer we're looking for....
"Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. "We need the positive a…

Jesus the Only!

To treat someone rightly you have to know who they are... and thus Vaughan Roberts introduced us afresh to Jesus Christ. All-surpassing!

People suggest "there must be more than this...", more than Christ. But if we try to move beyond Christ we drift away from Christ. The Colossians were doing this. Sometimes by religious things, sometimes by non-religious stuff. We must not lose sight of Christ.

1. Christ is the All-Surpassing God (15-17)

Jesus is unique. He is the image of the invisible God. He is the way to get introduced to God. Look only to Jesus. See the image of God. No need to guess or speculate about who God is. See the picture. Unique Jesus, therefore unique Christianity. Everything else is only guessing.

He is the firstborn over creation. Most honoured. The family head. The leader. (Ps89v27). He is the most exalted. He is the sovereign ruler. Everything is his, for him. He has authority over all things. He is not meek and mild. He is the Lord. Its all for him and all …

This is us, we, you and me together...

Mid-week I found myself having coffee with Mark Stone, a fellow Staffworker. As we walked away from the Skyline Cafe we saw Becci Brown who we both happened to know - from the realworld, rather than the blogworld. Its nice to meet people again face to face, if a bit odd when you normally interact online.

As we were catching up with spotted a crowd of bloggers standing by the UCCF stand... people I knew, who had interacted with Becci on her blog, but whom she'd not met.... namely (I think): Alison Young, Kath Arnold, Sarah Brown (and probably someone else I've forgotten). We stood there for a moment we stood there looking, being slightly freaked out as our online experience slipped into the realworld. Its one thing to meet people in the real world and then interact online... somehow different when it starts online. It's a moment that could have been caught on camera - but I didn't have it with me... Eventually we went over and they were introduced... shortly after Pod ar…

I have absolutely nothing to say!

Word Alive is all about getting into the Bible, glorying in the cross and seeing the Spirit at work in our lives.

On day two I checked-in to the HitchHiker track. There are three of them. One is a Chronological Bible Overview - following the whole story of redemption (which produced Vaughan Robert's God's Big Picture) - this year with Charlie Skrine. The next is a Thematic Overview (see also Vaughan Roberts - Life's Big Questions), tracing themes through the Bible - this year (be)longing with Graham Beynon. The third is on Understanding, Applying and Teaching the Bible. All three are unmissable.

Vaughan taught us in the third track, taking Exodus as his source text. He did a similar one two years ago from Ezekiel. He warmly and carefully how to read the Bible, how to apply it rightly and then how to teach it....

Being able to read the Bible as a book that is all about God, and not firstly about me is life-giving. We were reminded that We Have Nothing To Say. But God does. So …

The Gospel has legs!

Word Alive is all about getting into the Bible, glorying in the cross and seeing the Spirit at work in our lives.

This year in the student celebration, where 2000 students from throughout UCCF: The Christian Unions gather, we dug deep into Colossians. It was great to have around 45 of the students from my patch there.

Richard Cunningham spoke on the first night (last Monday) from Colossians 1:1-14. Our focus all week was on Authentic Christianity and that theme runs from the start of the letter... a focus on Jesus Christ. I think that was one of the things that struck me all week. Everything was distinctively Christian.

We were reminded that there is no-where to move onto... beyond the gospel is beyond Christ. We can't get further than Christ. So we see:

1. The Nature of the Gospel - a true word to be understood, with power to spread and transform life. The gospel has authority and power: the gospel has legs!

2. The Fruit of the Gospel - faith, love and hope. We have faith in Christ - …

St Neots Evangelical Church

On our way home from Word Alive (many blog reflections to follow over the next few days) we stopped off over night at my parents and then went down to St Neots this morning. A friend of ours is an apprentice at St Neots Evangelical Church. It was great to spend the day with them and to visit them for their family service this morning.

The pastor is Mike Kendall and he preached a great and challenging sermon from Matthew 13 (the parable of the weeds). Jesus patient rule and his judging rule... It was very engaging, simple, faithful to the gospel calling us to Jesus from the Bible. Mark Dever fears that too few pastors teach the Bible. That may be true, but if it is St Neots is most blessed to have Mike.

Along the way we met the Nottingham CU evangelism sec, who had been at my Social Action & Evangelism seminars at Word Alive a couple of days earlier... didn't expect to see me at his home church! Good to chat with him and several others after the service.

Suffering and the Sovereignty of God

Download Audios

(HT: Girl Talk)

Book due to be published later this year.

Homogenous Church?

Mo ponders about homogenous church
(that is things like "youth/student church" vs. "christian unions".)

The Sound of Music

Rich, Em and I spent Saturday doing something we've not done since January 2000. Recording some of our songs. We spent the day at Arborfield Church Hall and arranged and recorded two new songs: too many hours and two sides.

We'll look to do a few more tracks over the coming months and perhaps offer up our efforts for your listening pleasure later this year.

Too many hours is a reflection on the futility of seeking understanding apart from God. Two sides considers the self-destructive nature of our society... something that is no surprise to those who know the gospel.

Currently reading