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Showing posts from January, 2007


Mike Reeves - Where are we heading - Armageddon or Apocalypse?45mins to blow your mind about eternity. You need to register for free with to download this sermon from April 2006 and hear Mike riffing on the future. A lot of the material here is similar to stuff Mike taught the UCCF South Team in April 2006. And that was v.good!

New Adventures in Cosmic Broadcasting

Another big view of God's plans in the book of Ephesians. This time, 2v11-3v13. It's all about being together in Christ - seeing the church as God's all frequencies transmission of the message of his immense grace.2v11-22. God has made a new humanity - “one new man” through the dead of Jesus (2v16). This removes the hostility between man and man, and between man and God. All who come in Christ can now have access to the Father, by the one Spirit – The whole trinity involved in bringing us to God. The result of this is that we belong with God (19), members of his household. That house has Christ as Cornerstone – everything built on him and upon the “apostles and prophets” so that the church becomes the place where God now dwells. We, the people of God, are the new temple of God – not a building but the people.3v1-13. Paul then turns to speak about “the mystery of Christ”. This mystery however isn't something mysterious, mystic and inaccessible. The mystery is something …

From prostitute to princess

Mike Reeves - belief from a brothel (Joshua 2v1-24)Mike preached this at the end of our 2006 staff conference, you have to register to download the free All Souls version (dated 2003) but it's worth a listen if you have a spare 20mins.

Coming back to the heart of worship?

This thought originates with Dr. Stephen Dray, though anything erroneous is my doodling over his brief thought at our UCCF team gathering in December. So.... there are three underlying principles in how churches do 'worship' - that is in the limited use of that word to describe the content of their church meetings.

Firstly, there's Calvin's Regulative Principle. This basically says you only do what the Bible commands. This has it's roots in the Old Testament where we see some of God's people gettting flamed for offering unauthorised sacrifices. Clearly we don't want to worship in ways God hasn't said to do, they argue.

Secondly, there's Luther's Normative Principle. This basically says you do anything unless the Bible forbids it. This is the flipside of the regulative principle. It notes that we're given very little detail about New Testament church meetings - sure the regulative principle gives us instruction to have Bible teaching, singing, …

Seven Days - Relay 2 Special

Links of the week:

Jason Clarke recommended:Derrick Olliff: The Gospel: The Return of the King(hosted by David Field)

From Monday to Saturday I was at UCCF's Relay 2 conference at Ledbury... Very little happened to me this week that didn't happen there.1. Anna Mac says..."God is still God. The gospel is still true..." ...and that's reason #1 why I look forward to Relay 2. This is the model for missions conferences... feasting on God's grace together. Reason #2 is family fun with the staff team... and seeing all the relays again.Anna ♥ Mo2. The gospel is the announcement that Jesus Christ is Lord"Evangelism is announcing the gospel; the gospel is the declaration that the crucified Jesus is Lord of the world; yes, I will always, gladly and as fully as I am allowed expand on the component parts of that announcement - why crucified, who is Jesus, what does lord mean, how do we know, what good does that do us, what response is required and so on. But just look…

Chosen for Life

PDF of Introduction and Chapter 1

Sam Storms has a new book out... on divine election.


ContentsAcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. What Is Divine Election, and Why Is It So Controversial?2. The Arminian Concept of Election3. The Calvinistic Concept of Election4. Freedom of the Will (?)5. Faith and Repentance: Gifts of God or the Fruit of Free Will?6. Amazing Grace7. Unconditional Election (1): The Gospels and Acts8. Unconditional Election (2): The Epistles and Revelation9. Unconditional Election (3): Romans 9:1-1310. Unconditional Election (4): Romans 9:14-23 (1)11. Unconditional Election (5): Romans 9:14-23 (2)12. The Order of Salvation13. Crucial Questions Concerning Election (1)14. Crucial Questions Concerning Election (2)15. A Defense of a Defense of Divine ElectionConclusionAppendix A: Three Problem PassagesAppendix B: Who Can and Who Cannot Pray for God to Save the Lost?Appendix C: The Divine DecreesGeneral IndexScripture Index
(HT: Justin Taylor)


As I head away with work for the week, these are on my mp3 player.
From what I know of Tim Keller these outght to be v.good.
Always good to fill your ears with the sound of the cross.

The Cross and suffering (Tim Keller)
The Cross converts us (Tim Keller)
The Cross changes us (Tim Keller)
The Cross unites us (Tim Keller)
The Cross transforms us (Dan Doriani)

Second Presbyterian Church Media

Brothers - Feel, Think, Preach God

This looks like a quality resource:
Brothers—Feel, Think, Preach God (DVD)
The Happy Necessity of God-Centeredness in the Pastor's Feeling, Thinking, and Preaching

Man-centeredness pervades our world. Even in the church, a gospel is often preached that makes man the focus and puts God at the edge. People become God and he becomes their lackey. Into this context, the Bible levels a radical challenge to feel, think, and preach with absolute God-centeredness.

In these three messages from the 2006 Phoenix Seminary Pastors Conference, John Piper preaches to preachers, urging them to lead in a way that keeps God where he belongs – the center. Also featured is an hour of Q & A with John Piper and Wayne Grudem.

Bethinking Notes

Core Foundations
Devoted to Christ Crucified
Ready to answer
Reason for belief
Gentleness and respect
(1 Peter 3:13-18a)

Q1. Contradictory, Unreliable and Irrelevant: Why not bin the Bible?
What is the Bible?
Basic facts. The Canon & Authors. Translation.
What claims does it make of itself?
John 20v30-31 + 21v25. (Luke 1v1-4, 2 Cor 4v1-6, Acts 4v25)
What is it's message?
John 5v45-46. (1 Cor 2v2)

Q2. Egotistical restrictive and out of touch: what kind of a God demands so much
Is Egotism always wrong?
Are restrictions always bad?
Why did God make us?
Genesis 1:26-28 Isaiah 43:7, Revelation 4:11
Does God need us?
Acts 17:24-29
What does Jesus demand of us?
John 3:3-5, Ezekiel 36:25-27. Matt. 4:17, Acts 17:30-31
If God isn't out of touch what's the other possibility? Chew over: Romans 9v20-21

Q3. Condemning, hypocritical, and arbitrary: What kind of God sends sincere people to hell?
How does it feel when you're in trouble?
What comes to mind when you think of hell?
Why do we find hell difficul…

Caffeine for the soul

What does it mean to be a Christian? What is God doing in the world today? Ephesians is the book that more than any other shows the cosmic and corporate scale of God's salvation plan through Christ, and for Christ – which results in the exaltation of Jesus above all (1:22-23) through the establishment of God's church. We're a Christian Union, not the local church, but we're are part of the church, and involved in building the church locally, and globally – part of God's big plan!God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fulness of him who fills everything in every way. (Ephesians 1:22-23)We could spend a year in the book of Ephesians but we don't have the time! Instead we're going to take a birds-eye view – to fly high. We'll have to overlook some of the amazing detail (take time to zoom in sometime soon) but what we'll gain is the big picture. We'll find that God'…

Seven Days

Links of the week:

Anthony Bradley - Don't forget to talk about hell

Carl Trueman - on pride

John Piper - On Kermit

1. Caffeine for the soul
Otherwise known as Ephesians 1v1-2v10 with baby-cell leaders. Soaring on the waves of the gospel. Mmmmm.2. Public Transport
This was the week I should have caught four trains. I caught none. Thanks to the weather and other interuptions. Nothing you can do about that though!Lengthened journeys held up several other things like preparation... this is a pressing issue.3. Adcomm.
I'd hoped to get to Surrey CU's advisory committtee. Ended up at Reading's - see point 2.
Partnership with local church guys (Scott, Stan, Pete, James and Simon) is a great blessing. ...and then the lady arrived with cake.4. Promises
Esther. And divine intervention as Sophie picked a load of songs about God's promises just before I told her that the talk was about God's, magic and sparkle5. Relays
Back with my Relay - 2 Chronicles and stories o…

RUCU welcomes anyone to attend their informal courses and lunches

A helpful article in this week's Students Union paper. The title looks a bit inflamatory but the story is accurate and positive. And the quote on the right is great!

Caroline Bridges

Go listen:
Caroline Bridges

Good food at high altitude

I have some confessions to make, though I'm not particularly ashamed of them... It was me who suggested Reading CU should study 10 chapters of Luke's gospel in seven weeks, in autumn 2006. Sometimes that was 80 verses a week. Some people complained that it was a bit too much. But, we were able to put the most familiar stories back in context and discover grace on the road with Jesus. Jesus is full of grace, and that's worth feasting on.It was me who suggested Surrey CU should study Estherin three weeks. But from a good height a strange story reveals the promises of God in the face of circumstantial crisis. The book might not mention God but he shines from it's pages when you fly high enough.It was me who designed a term of Bible studies for Reading CU cells this term in Ephesians. Studies that mean that today a group of brand new cell leaders prepared their first ever Bible study on Ephesians 1v1-2v10. It's a lot to eat in one go. But how amazing God's big plan…

Reasonable Faith - William Lane Craig

Reasonable Faith: lectures and debates with William Lane Craig
presented by Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship (UCCF)
Bill Craig is an instinctive communicator as well as a fine thinker. He is in great demand across Europe and the USA, yet remarkably is largely unknown in the UK. His lectures and debates are world class and appeal to sceptics and believers alike. No tickets, free entry.Is God a Delusion? MAJOR DEBATE with Prof Lewis Wolpert
7.30pm, Tuesday February 27th, LONDONCentral Hall, Westminster SW1H 9NH Reasonable Faith: The Evidence for Christianity LECTURE
7.30pm, Wednesday February 28th, LONDONAll Souls, Langham Place, W1B 3DA Does the Christian God Exist? MAJOR DEBATE with Dr Andrew Pyle
7.30pm, Thursday 1st March, BRISTOLUniversity Great Hall, Wills Memorial Building. BS8 1RJ Reasonable Faith: Does God Exist? LECTURE
7.30pm, Friday 2nd March, OXFORD Town Hall, St Aldates, OX1 1BX Reasonable faith: Is Life without God Absurd? LECTURE
7pm, Monday 5th March, MANCHESTERM…

Esther 1-3 - Prize God's Promises!

Surrey CU - January 18th
It's early in a new year, and people are full of predictions of what 2007 will bring. Many of them, keen to proclaim the end of the church, the end of faith and consign Jesus Christ to the history books... I've been reading Richard Dawkins book, The God Dellusion. Brian Eno writes on the back cover writes: “I see this as a book for a new millenium, one in which we may be released from lives dominated by the supernatural”. People love to predict the future... “Inventions have long since reached their limit, and I see no hope for further developments.” Julius Sextus Frontinus, Roman engineer, A.D. 10.
“Despite the trend to compactness and lower costs, it is unlikely everyone will have his own computer any time soon.” Reporter Stanley Penn, The Wall Street Journal, 1966.
In 1823, British scientist, Dionysius Lardner, warned that rail travel at high speeds was not possible because “passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia.”
Captain E.J. Smith of th…

IVP Award

Last week Ben Carswell inexplicably didn't win IVP's bookseller award. He came third. Bewildered I came second. But my bewilderment was nothing compared to that of the Award-WinningTM Cathy Midmer.

Thanks are probably owed to the wonderful book-buying (and hopefully book-reading) students of Reading and Surrey CUs. Like Carswell Sr. says, leaders are readers, readers are leaders... and all that! My angle is simply that reading books is great.Anyways, I'm merely blogging this for the comedy value. Would have been in my last seven but I'd forgotten about there you go.

Send revival start with me?

"We're looking to Your promise of old
That if we pray and humble ourselves
You will come and heal our land"

I love the 'spirit' of this Matt Redman song. It's desire for God's people to be revived - as expressed in it's chorus is wonderful. The chorus borrows from Isaiah 6 and the story of Isaiah being confronted with his sin in the presence of God, humbling seeking atonement. I just wonder if we ought first to consider what this meant to them, before we try to apply it to ourselves:

"We're looking to Your promise of old
That if they prayed and humbled themselves
You would come and heal their land"

My query is whether we can just claim a promise to them, for us. The people of God live by the promises of God so getting them right is very important. This promise is part of an answer to Solomon's prayers for God to regard the temple as the people's meeting place with their God.

The promise for healed land on the condition of repentance is i…

Lessons in Biblical Application in Today's Culture (2)

By The Book MP3sWhat about “Today's Culture”

What has changed in 2000 years since the last events in the Bible? At the end of the day.... Nothing. "Today's Culture" is an overblown concept. It's good to address it - we do need to apply some thinking to the discern the air we breath, but ultimately the Bible isn't about our culture today anymore than it's about me. It's the book of God.

What else? God is still the same. He has not changed. His character is the same. What he has done does change throughout the Bible. So, in reading the Old Testament we need to remember that we're before the cross – for example. But since then all is the same. Nothing of ultimate significance has happened since the end of the Bible – we're still waiting for Jesus to come back. And in the mean time he's still holding all things together by his powerful world. He's living and active, like his word – but 2000 years hasn't degraded or enhanced things.

About …

Seven Days

Link:How to Deal with the Guilt of Sexual Failure for the Glory of Christ and His Global Cause - John Piper at Passion '07
Online Book:

Relay Blogging:Ceryn blogs on: Prayer 1, 2, 3.
1. Church HistoryMike Reeves' passion for church history. Luther and Augustine - brilliant stuff and fresh clarity about justification. "talking yourself clear" - the deep value of conversations with other staff between sessions. New Zealand. Catching up with James Allaway and meeting Mark Grace; Clive Parnell's creativity; Staff Conference report from Kath Arnold - 365-style.2. Ant and DecOr, Iley and Povey's quiz. Pod vs. Jason; When Gareth sold Grudem; Motsy's Christmas present; The theological significance of baldness; youtube moments; and the evidence of why we're such a cutting-edge missions movement; Eats, Shoots, Leaves and Alan.3. Bookgirl

Rosemary's enthusiasm for Lindsay Brown's Shining Like Stars, before we discovered we'd get a free copy! 4. Jim Walf…

Lessons in Biblical Application in Today's Culture (1)

Download MP3: Apply the Bible in Today's Culture - Dave BishWe know the Bible applys to our life today – but the question is how... especially when we're often told that our Bible either teaches “love and tolerance” or “bigotry and intolerance” Meanwhile Richard Dawkins simply considers it a mess of contradiction, barely worth considering in the quest for God.

Classic evangelical application looks like this...
Reading the Bible – well yes, but that's what we're already doing... Some of the Bible tells us to read it – but that's not the usual application.
It is possible that reading the Bible might make you less inclined to do it again. However, that is called having your heart hardened... and that's not exactly a desirable “transformational faith aim” for our study of the Bible...Pray – yes, would be strange if we hear from God and don't want to reply..Do evangelism – yes, again strange to hear from God about himself and not want to share that...All of which …

24 Update

The Authority of the Bible

Download MP3 - The Authority of The Bible
2 Timothy 3v14-4v4

Why should we listen to what the Bible says? We've heard it read, sung parts of it... but in 2007 isn't it time to accept that the Bible is a relic that's best left in the past? It might be the all time bestseller but shouldn't we just let it collect dust on our bookshelves?

One newspaper recently said “The Bible is about love and tolerance” - which ought to make it very popular in our day and age... Another said: “Thankfully society as a whole - has realised that the Bible is not the literal word of God and believes that the bigotry and intolerance within its pages is unacceptable”.(1st - The Sunday Times, 2nd - Edinburgh Uni Student Paper)

And don't we say the same? I don't like what the Bible says, so I wont listen to it. Or more subtly – there are the pages we love, and the pages we overlook.... My opinion about the Bible isn't really the point – what matters is what it says about itself. This is …

Person of the Year?

The God Delusion
- Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins has been named BBC Religion's Person of the Year 2006... amongst other reasons For raising questions that need to be answered by any intelligent religious believer wishing to develop a coherent worldview.For being a scientific fundamentalist and the worst advert for atheism currently doing a book tour.In the mean time, I'm still enjoying reading his book.

Seven Days

MP3 of the week:

Mike Bullmore at NA2006
Feeding on God:
Cultivating a fruitful life in the word

The best $2 you could spend this week.

Quote of the week:"There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: 'Mine!'"Abraham KuyperBiblical Theology:
Sinclair Ferguson on
Preaching Christ from the Old Testament

and also a new update at:

Question of the Week:

Is £32.99 as good as it's going to get for Season 5 of 24, or do we hold out for the price to drop further in the next few weeks?

1. JonahA great friend to losers like me who can't handle God's grace. It's amazing that God even bothered with him. Nineveh could have been saved more quickly and then better discipled through the ministry of someone a bit more sorted. But our gracious God prefered to work with this petulent prophet whose first way out of trouble was to express a death wish. Amazingly this approach didn't just saving…