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Showing posts from March, 2008

Young, restless, reformed - UK?

Challies reviews Collin Hansen's Young Restless & Reformed. It's something of a biography of this movement of the new Calvinists in America. Think Louie Giglio & Passion, think Piper, think Driscoll. I've not read it, though I'd love a copy. I wonder how it'd go down in the UK. Piper and Driscoll appear to be influencing a good number of the students I encounter though there are plenty of other voices in the crowd too - like the altogether less helpful Eldridge, Bell etc.

There is something compelling and attractive about Driscoll's confidence in the truth and Piper's passion for the glory of God that should rightly resonate with any Christian (whether or not you buy into all seven points of Piper-Calvinism).

In the UK, many in UCCF and Newfrontiers have long been journeying with Piper&co (There are lots of non-Calvinist's in the UCCF family, and I'd guess that Newfrontiers isn't entirely Calvinist either.) and there are plenty of chu…

Vintage Jesus (Mark Driscoll & Gerry Breshears)

I'm only just starting to read Vintage Jesus and it looks good so far. What's striking at first though is the cover design work, which is reflected inside too. I'm no fan of Rob Bell's confusing books but I do like that he's put effort into how they look. Crossway have done well with the design here, and the content looks good too, as I'd expect from Mark Driscoll. Cool plastic dust-jacket gives way to the hardcover which has all the classic images and ideas of who Jesus is. The Amazon pic does not do this justice.

Rob & Debbie Honeysett

Easter weekend was crazy. We travelled from Exeter to Northamptonshire on the Thursday, then to Coventry and back on the Saturday, and then back to Exeter via St Neots on Easter Day. And it snowed. And we went to Debbie & Rob's wedding in Coventry. An Easter wedding to remind us of the marriage of Christ & the church. Brilliant.

On the third day

A first draft...

Let their be light, he said and there was,
Bringing order to chaos, light into dark.
Forming his creation the Lord spoke,
Bringing seed bearing plants, on the third day.

Offer your one and only son, said the Lord,
Obeying Abraham journeyed, to the green hill.
Receiving his son back from death's altar,
Confessing the Lord will provide, on the third day.

Wait at the foot of the mountain, he said to Moses,
Shaking the earth in holiness, a consuming fire.
Chosing them as his treasured possession
Revealing his salvation plan, on the third day.

The Lord's annointed was rejected and despised,
Wandering around in the deserts in search of life.
Conquering his enemies, rescuing captives,
Enthroning the new King, on the third day

Hezekiah reformed the nation, from their sin,
Gathering in humity, to call on the Lord
Falling into pride he was afflicted until,
Rising to meet with God, on the third day.

A decree was passed against his exiles,
Dying for the faithfulness of Saul's heir.

on the third day according to the Scriptures

At home group on Wednesday someone asked about why Jesus rose on the third day. And then on the train today I was listening to Jim Hamilton. First some Biblical Theology / Typology that connects up the Books of Samuel (which I'm loving reading at the moment) with Jesus:
[In David's rise to power we see the ] king who would be anointed, who would save God’s people, and who would restrain their evil. This king would be something of a surprise—he would come in an unexpected way, and he would be opposed by the establishment. He would follow in the footsteps of those “of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth” (Heb 11:38). This coming king might be expected to take responsibility for wrongs done by others, be betrayed by those whom he had blessed, and refuse to lift his hand to defend himself but rather entrust himself to God, who judges justly. This king would almost certainly be expected to crush the head of the s…

Allberry : Islamic Christianity?

From my new facebook friend, Sam Allberry: A penetrating diagnosis of what happens to the church when we miss the Trinity, including: "A unitarian view of God will lead to a monochrome view of the church. Maturity will be understood in trying to make everyone a certain kind of Christian. Christians will look the same and sound the same. They'll be encouraged into the same kind of ministry. Particular gifting will be the hallmark of the spiritually advanced. In Corinth (reading between the lines) it was the gift of tongues. Today, in many conservative evangelical churches, it is the gift of teaching. Those who are really committed to the gospel will become Bible-teachers. There will be cultural and vocational flatness."

Hold the rope

The exercises of faith

Genesis 13.
Lot settles in plentiful Sodom.
Abram, a pilgrim in a barren land.
What do we make of that?

Matthew Henry:

"Lot perhaps had the better land, yet Abram had the better title. Lot had the paradise, such as it was, but Abram had the promise. Lot had lifted up his eyes and beheld the plain of Jordan, and he had gone to enjoy what he saw. God says to Abram "Come, now lift up your eyes, and look, and see your own." That which God has to show us is infinitely better and more desirable than any thing that the world has to offer our view.The prospects of an eye of faith are much more rich and beautiful than those of an eye of sense. Every repetition of the promise is a ratification of it. To you and your seed— to you to sojourn in as a stranger, to your seed to dwell and rule in as proprietors." Jesus will rule and dwell there with his people. Lot is taking hold of his own eden, in the lush valleys of Sodom, but Abram has God's promises. He's then told to …

Only he brings life

Once she was called the joy of the earth,
Til her people abandoned the word of God.
And in justice he burned against her,
Faithful to the promise he'd spoken.

Her inheritance was given to the nations,
Once glory shone out but now they mock.
Words that should have delighted her heart,
Sounded in bitter songs of lament.

The LORD reigns forever
Outside of his favour is only death and despair
Only he can restore, only he brings life

The city will rise from the misery of sin ,
And he will be the new city, coming from heaven.
Those he has saved will live with their God,
When the old passes away and all is renewed.

Why did Jesus come? 2. he came for the sin-sick

We live in an age that loves scandal. Tabloid headlines greet us as we walk into the newsagents. In his day, Jesus was the great scandal-maker. We might imagine him to have been meek and mild but people were regularly outraged by him. One reason for that was the company he kept. He regularly ate with those considered to be the worst in society, and people labelled him guilty by association. Do-gooders and lovers of respectability were outraged. His response was to say: Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.

Many have imagined that the way to be ‘holy’ is to withdraw from the world and avoid being corrupted by all the ‘less holy’ people and things around us. Such people imagine that if you get rid of your worldly mp3 library, avoid pubs and cinemas and people who aren't Christians then you'll get more holy, particularly if you replace them with only listening to online sermons and 'contemporary …

Ibrahim sacrificing his son?

So, the kids at my wife's school are studying sacrifice this week.
As part of that they were taught today "the Islamic story of Ibrahim" (that'll be Abraham) being asked to sacrifice his son, a story celebrated at Eid ul-adha. Application: be sacrificial. Lots of questions from that.. of which two:

1. When's Christianity going to get some air-time? I'm not all that fussed about this, because I don't really expect it. But, in a pluralistic society, surely Jesus should at least have a seat at the table. A table in the world that he made, owns, sustains and stakes his claim on.

2.If that's the Islamic application of Genesis 22 how come Christians tend to teach it the same way? Similarity from the same text isn't too absurd, but Jesus did say that a right understanding of Genesis (and the rest of the Old Testament) means believing in Jesus, and I don't see the Muslim doing that. How often do we teach the Old Testament in a way that Jews and Muslims (…

"If you're biblical you'd be at least a bit charismatic..."

Walking to Exeter University today for a meeting I listened to Mark Driscoll: Religion Saves... The Regulative Principle which was a refreshing preach on worship, church meetings and includes Driscoll talking about his experience of being challenged by Mahaney & Piper about how much he makes of God's grace in his ministry.

Listening to Bob Kauflin's Hymns Project: Upward, on the way back was pretty exhiliarating - cos it's not a sin to sing about Jesus.

What is a legalist?

Dan Phillips is raising the question about 'what is a legalist?'. It's a problem and it does need careful answering.

I suppose there are issues around what view of the law we take, which determine what part we think the OT Law should take in the Christian life, and then there are the broader issues of legalism and Christian living.

Phillips raises the question well (by providing some thorough observations of what people say around this area), and it'll be interesting to see what answers come in the comments.

Dominic Smart's article at is worth a look on this topic:
"Legalism isn’t a matter of having rules, structures, limits or instructions in our congregations or individual lives. While they can be overdone, and often are by people of a certain temperament, they are necessary for godly order in any fellowship: God has given many to us in the Scriptures. The opposite of legalism isn’t lawlessness (antinomianism, as some like to call it)…

Why did Jesus come? 1. to preach

One of the big challenges for Christians is that we claim to believe in a God we cannot see. It's not all that unusual to believe in things you can't see, but there have to be pretty good reasons. Especially if that unseen 'thing' you're talking about is meant to be personal. How can we know God? How can we know that we’re not believing in someone who isn’t there? When we’re first introduced to Jesus in Mark’s gospel he is preaching to crowds, and healing many. One day a whole town gathers to have their sick healed (1v33). But, very early on Jesus gives priority to his preaching when he says: Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came...

This is the first of three clear statements (in Mark's gospel) of intent from Jesus about why he came. Why does he give priority to preaching?

Firstly, to reveal himself to us. Jesus knows the problem we face about how it can be possible to know God. And so he comes to show God to us. He …

Biblical preaching that speaks into everyday life

This is a helpful paper on how to connect the Bible text with life in the way that we communicate what it says. I think I have a lot to learn in this area.

Brian Jones - teaching students the applicational power of the big idea.
"It is crucial to realize that the big idea of an expository sermon must be in concert with the exegetical big idea of a passage. Just as a chef cannot make mashed potatoes out of glue, so the preacher cannot justifiably preach that “God wants you to have a new boat this summer” from the Noah narrative. There must be a foundational correspondence between the exegetical big idea of the passage and the homiletical big idea of one’s sermon. Despite their linkage, there are important differences between the exegetical big idea and the sermonic big idea. Understanding these differences is the first step to crafting a big idea that can serve as the applicational core of the message."ht: Colin Adams

Snow, resurrection and Egypt

Having woken up this morning to remember that Jesus is alive and then looked out of the window to see snow, and then travelling around 250 miles from Northamptonshire to Devon via Cambridgeshire I got pondering about the curious details of God's geography in Genesis. Again. So, Abram of Shem faces famine in the land of Canaan of Ham that God promises to his offspring. He goes to Egypt of Ham to get food.
Issue 1 - he's out of the land so God's promises are under threat.
Issue 2 - he's in the land of Ham once more. Ham whose son Canaan should serve his offspring, yet Egypt is in control, and threatens to take away Abram's wife. No wife, no offspring... though his wife is barren so that's not a new problem.
Issue 3 - the recurrence of Egypt in the story of God's people. What's going on there?I love the curiosities and questions. Questions remain. Snow dissolves - and I recall John Newton's imagery. "The earth will soon dissolve like snow, the sun fo…

Mike Reeves MP3s

Geography of the cross, finding the way back into Eden

On a day that remembers the darkest day (from which floods of hope breakforth!) I thought found my self riffing on some Biblical Geography. This is the Cross meets "We've been feeding on Genesis with our local church" with a twist of Reeves...

Man in the garden, walking with God. Everything is as it should be. Man ruling the world under God's rule. The glory of that really requires more than three sentences.

Then man overthrows God and incurs just curse for his rebellion. The curse manifests in many ways, one of which is being kicked out of the garden and sent East. Two angels with swords block the east side of the garden. Don't think light-sabres, think the most tragic picture as man is shut out from the presence of God. Ejected from Mt. Eden into the wilderness he was meant to rule under God.

A garden in the west. Man to the east of it. Man continues to multiply and fill the earth until the flood when things are reset due to sin, but sin remains. Less than 100 yea…

More than nothing

The gospel could say: God is favourable to you. The Christian future could happen by God just doing everything secretly and beaming his Christians into his new creation. But that's not what happens. That could just be 'because' with no further reason. But I can't help but think there is more to God's way of doing it, to God's motive in doing things the way he lays them out in the Bible. The beam the holy to heaven approach would carry truth of God's favour but it would also surely meet with general apathy. It would leave us not knowing God until the future, and thus leave us utterly unaffected with him. It would also avoid the horror of sin and the cross.

God has spoken, and so there is more to say. Just saying 'God is favourable to you' sort of presumes we're all living in Eden and so enjoying that favour by default, which we clearly aren't.

Actually the gospel is subtly (though not that subtly) different, and richer too. The gospel says: God…

We're gonna change the world in one day, and it feels good

If one extreme that threatens the church in being underwhelmed with the gospel, merely understanding without engaging the heart there is another problem. As Mo frames it: "what about the people who spend all summer jumping up and down and getting very emotional about their faith and then don't do any evangelism? In other words, there's also a big problem with fluffy emotionalism and no doctrine. Maybe, I would say, a bigger problem than the one you highlight."

If one extreme is called Sandemanianism, I'm not sure what to call this. Usually minus the visions of angels it's something like Colossians 2v18: such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen. Where the focus is mostly on what we have experienced more than the substantial reality of the gospel. As said earlier, experience is essential but like faith the issue is what's the object of it. We all have experience - life is experience. Two issues in the question - one is emotion without doct…

Safeguards to your soul

I was struck at our CU leaders weekend by John Risbridger's observation that we're kept safe by joy (Philippians 3v1).

...rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you...

Now Pete Dray observes another safeguard - generosity.

People talk about the value of so called 'disciplines' like prayer and Bible study and I don't doubt the vitality of them. But the practice of gospel-joy and gospel-generosity need to be in the mix too.

Afraid of our emotions, lacking any passion for worship or missions?

Chatting with a friend over lunch at the weekend I realising afresh that there are two parts of preparation for teaching the Bible. First to get it accurately. That's essential because without accuracy and understanding we don't have truth, we just have imaginations which will tend toward idols. But, secondly there is a need to feel it. To have the word of God detonate the heart. To have the word of God shine in our hearts to see Jesus. To have the word of God warm our hearts, revive the soul and awaken our affections in proportion to the truth being considered, as Jonathan Edwards put it.

Less than that would be idolatrous like lacking understanding. Less than that would be worse that lacking understanding, because it would be to see the glory of God in the gospel of Jesus Christ and to remain unmoved. That's to treat him with contempt, that's to mock God. I'm not saying it has to overflow absurdly. Being (in this sense) charismatic is not the personality disorder …

This is the only lever which has ever turned the world upside down

JC Ryle (cited by CH Spurgeon, My Sermon Notes, p259) -"The cross is the strength of a minister. I, for one, would not be without it for the world. I should feel like a soldier without weapons, like an artist without his pencil, like a pilot without his compass, like a labourer without his tools. Let others, if they will, preach the law and morality. Let others hold forth the terrors of hell and the joys of heaven. Let others drench their congregations with teachings about the sacraments and the church. Give me the cross of Christ. This is the only lever which has ever turned the world upside down hitherto, and made men forsake their sins. And if this will not do it, nothing will. A man may begin preaching with a perfect knowledge of Latin, Greek and Hebrew; but he will do little or no good among his hearers unless he knows something of the cross. Never was there a minister who did much for the conversion of souls who did not dwell much on Christ crucified. Luther, Rutherford, Wh…

Scribblings on Shem, Canaan and a long wait for a promise

God blesses Shem and promises that Canaan will serve him (Genesis 9v26). Shem lives to see many generations of his family and a world that is filled with problems. Ninety-four years after the promise man conspires to overthrow God at Babel before being scattered. Shem's descendants head east while Canaan settles in the west. How will the promise be kept?

And 262 years after the promise later Abram, descendant of Shem, arrives in Canaan from Ur via Haran, to be to be promised that his offspring will inherit the land (Genesis 12v7). This isn't a great likely candidate to be the one who sees God's blessing come to Shem's line. Abram is a worshipper of false gods, but God has spoken to this sinner and appeared to him as 'the LORD of glory' and he becomes one who calls upon the name of the LORD!

When Shem dies, 138 years later, he's surely still holding to these promises in a world where the land of Canaan is promised to the offspring of an old man with a barren w…

Virgo & Driscoll / Together on a mission

I'd like to go to this...

...but do I need to go to New Word Alive, Together for the Gospel, Together in Taunton and Together on a Mission in one year. And can I afford it. Hmmm.

Wherein lies the offence of the cross?

CH Spurgeon, My Sermon Notes p257-8 - The religion of Jesus is most peaceful, mild and benevolent. Yet its history shows it to have been assailed with bitterest hate all along. It is clearly offensive to the unregenerate mind. There is no reason to believe that it is one jot more palatable to the world than it used to be. The word and the gospel are both unchanged.

1. Its doctrine of atonement offends man's pride
2. Its simple teaching offends man's wisdom, and artificial taste.
3. Its being a remdy for man's ruin offends his fancied power to save himself.
4. Its addressing all as sinners offends the dignity of Pharisees.
5. Its coming as a revelation offends 'modern thought'.
6. Its lofty holiness offends man's love of sin.

... Herein is grace, that we who once were offended by the cross, now find it to be the one hope of our hearts, the great delight of our souls, the joyful boast of our tongues. Herein is heart-searching. Perhaps we are secretly offended at the cro…

Theology is The Revolution

On theology d'apr├Ęs Gideon (Judges 6.22-27) [Sourced from Mike Reeves is my Theology Advisor] "Theology is smashing up idols - smashing up the idols in our minds and in our world. And not just smashing them up but replacing them with (v26) proper kinds of altars to the Lord our God: replacing them all with Jesus Christ.

"The story here is: Gideon is surrounded by the idolatry of the Mideonite regime. And he begins the revolution against it by bulldozing Baal. And that is theology! It's not just reading books, studying languages, whatever. It is about rebelling against the world order, not just the Mideonites' little regime; rebelling against the whole world order as it rebels against God. Rebelling against it, bringing down the system, utterly replacing it; that is theology. Theology is The Revolution."

"Theology is washing our brains by the Mediator rather than being brain-washed by the media."
See TheologyNetwork for more of that!

MP3s to reload that…

Lamentations 5 - The LORD reigns

This morning Andy and I finished five studies in the Old Testament book of Lamentations. The book is made up of five laments written while Israel were being exiled by God for their sin. They show the terror of wrath, the pain of enduring it and why it happened. They provide an anatomy of God's attitude to sin.

Judgement removed gospel benefits.
The final poem appears to be a repentant prayer that calls on the LORD (Gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love) to see their situation. Verses 1-18 give a summary of the situation faced as God judged his people (and the earlier poems make it very clear that the judgement came from God's hand, as God acted in accordance with his own word and in response to their sin). The detail centres upon a loss of inheritance, joy of heart, crown, sight and heart. These are the benefits of being God's covenant people.

The Christian lives inseparably in these benefits - it's unimaginable to think of the loss of fellowship…

Wrath, reconciliation and opposition (the X-Media cross/hell discussion continued)

Sometimes you get the feeling that whatever you say you're not really getting anywhere. A wiser man than me might give up, but I can't quite resist yet here's three more thoughts.

1. Is God wrathful towards us, therefore needing to be reconciled to us?
Or, is the problem all us?

Stanley writes at x-media:

"And here you have said it yourself: Christ takes us back to God by justifying us, He does not bring God back to us by changing God's attitude toward us. God does not need to be reconciled to us, but we to Him."Erm. I said, he justifies us and he is just by putting Jesus forward as the hilasmos (which I'm translating as propitiation) for our sins. Because God takes punishment upon himself in the death of Jesus he acts justly toward our rebellion and so he is no longer wrathful towards us but instead favourable.

2. Is the context of the word hilasmos in Romans 3 one of wrath and justice?
Or, is God only loving towards us?

"The context of Romans is about wra…

Michael Ramsden MP3s.

Mike Kendall MP3s.

Online sermons from Mike Kendall of St Neots Evangelical Church, Cambridgeshire.

Mike is an excellent preacher who communicates with great clarity and application.

See also: Mike Kendall at Reading University Christian Union

The Reason for God (UK)

The Community of the Spirit

Galatians 6 - Plymouth CU.

The community of the Spirit is the community of the cross. Sin is not fatal or scandalous because restoration is possible, and the members take responsibility for self and one another. We then live by the Spirt not mocking God with self-indulgence or growing weary of self-righteousness. And our passion is not cross avoidance and impressing people but glorying in the wonders of the cross and our subsequent new creation.

This preach is definitely a bit more rough & ready than tightly scripted, a felt like I ended up labouring the point in places where with more time to prepare I could have nailed things in more firmly and more quickly.

See Jesus and rejoice (part 4)

Download MP3 - Dave Bish - Luke 10:1-24 at Grace Church Bristol

But there is a second joy for Jesus, v22.

Who knows God? Anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him! Like who? V22, revealed to little children! V24, Kings and prophets longed for this. Desperately seeking it. I know Nathan has been enjoying Ranaulph Fiennes biography – a modern day king and prophet. Yet, Fiennes may search forever and never find Jesus.

Jesus is a rare jewel, greater than the most awe-striking places on earth, places whose grandeur is mere testimony to the greatness of the crucified king of peace. Even the great minds can think and think and think and yet only imagine idols rather than the glory of Jesus. We often do it. We say – man is like a big version of people. So we might think if I were god I’d let people do what they want, and so God is even more permissive. Such talk and such thinking is just hot air. The grand, the clever, the rich and the mighty are denied one thing. They can’t find it. They c…


The genesis of the Evanjellybean... "As we sat in our seats, twitching, a few people came round with baskets of jellybeans.. an illustration of Grace. We didn't do anything to earn the sweeties, they were just a really nice gift. It hit me - Jellybean Grace - I couldn't think of a better illustration of the shallow, trite, cheap, unsatisfying version of The Faith offered by the post-modern, emergent, purpose-driven church. Grace as a nice gift in a fairly neutral setting, not Grace as phenomenal, extravagant mercy to those who are wicked God-haters. And so, the Evanjellybean was born."I guess this just got me wondering whether our Christianity is big enough for the Biblical gospel. Thomas Bilney wrote of the word of God detonating his heart (in A Passion that Shapes Nations, Charlie Cleverley). That's the sort of clarity and conviction that Paul concludes Galatians with, as Luther paraphrases it: “God forbid,” says the Apostle, “that I should glory in anything as…

A solid substantial joy

"Power to become the children of God is to be valued more than a power to work miracles; for we read of those who did in Christ's name cast out devils, as Judas did, and yet will be disowned by Christ in the great day. But they whose names are written in heaven shall never perish; they are Christ's sheep, to whom he will give eternal life. Saving graces are more to be rejoiced in than spiritual gifts; holy love is a more excellent way than speaking with tongues... Nothing rejoices the heart of the Lord Jesus so much as the progress of the gospel, and its getting ground of Satan, by the conversion of souls to Christ. Christ's joy was a solid substantial joy"

John Calvin (on Luke 10)

Which is not to reduce the glory of miracles or any spiritual gift. Rather, his gift of life is greater. Likewise, when Jesus speaks of the necessity of leaving behind things of this world at the end of Luke 9 is he saying they're worthless. Rather, life in Jesus is all the greater. …

See Jesus and rejoice (part 3)

Download MP3 - Dave Bish - Luke 10:1-24 at Grace Church Bristol

THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD: to have Jesus reveal the Father to you

V17. They come back from their evangelistic mission and report that it went well. In fact they exceeded their mandate and expectations. They were sent to preach and heal but they ended up casting out demons. V18. Jesus explains what happened. The gospel preached defeated Satan decisively. Jesus saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Which either means:

• Jesus saw Satan fall from heaven – and we do get something like that happening in the book of Revelation.
• Or, Jesus is saying he saw Satan fall. Falling the same way lightning does from heaven – i.e. decisively, instantly, completely.

Either way, Satan has been overthrown by the disciples preaching. V19. They in fact have ‘serpent-crusher’ authority with Jesus. Get the idea – Satan is beaten by the gospel. But, v20 – shock! Jesus says:
• Don’t rejoice in your exploits.
Not, don’t rejoice. But rather rejoic…

See Jesus and rejoice (part 2)

Download MP3 - Dave Bish - Luke 10:1-24 at Grace Church Bristol

v10-16. When peace is not received
In some villages, v10, peace will not be received. Then, v11 they’re to cast judgement on such people. But nevertheless – the kingdom of God is near. The gospel word always brings the kingdom of God to people. God comes near to give life. Or God comes near to judge. When the gospel is preached there is no third option. Life and death stand before all people.

Tragically, men and women have what Calvin called the “sacrilegious audacity” to treat God’s word as if it were on a par with all the other words. Scan reading the page. Pressing ‘mute’ to what he says. Yet, look at v12-16, how terrible it is to refuse the grace of God! Such rejection is worse than the infamous sins of Sodom and Gomorrah, Tyre and Sidon.

Indeed. they would have repented at such an offer of peace, v12, compared to those who reject the disciples teaching the fate of Sodom will be more bearable “on that day” of God’s final…

See Jesus and rejoice (part 1)

Luke 10v1-24 at Grace Church Bristol, part of Sovereign Grace Ministries.

Download MP3 - Dave Bish - Luke 10:1-24 at Grace Church Bristol

How would Jesus equip his church for action? What would evangelism bootcamp look like Jesus as the speaker? That’s what we find here in Luke 10. First the preparation to preach, and then the de-brief. What we see here is what makes Christian Evangelisation different from Muslim mission and McDonalds marketting. Remember Luke is always seeking to give us certainty about Jesus – carefully arranging the events of Jesus’ life and death and resurrection to persuade us to believe. Boot camp on the road to the cross is no mere training session it’s a stunning revelation of the one with whom they’re walking. This isn’t skills training it is heart-examination and so there are two things to see:

1. The worst thing in the world – to reject the disciples teaching (v1-16)
2. The best thing in the world – to have Jesus reveal the Father to you (v17-24)

[edit: I was a …

Mark Dever on Church (

"The church ultimately exists for the glory of God. Whether pursuing missions or evangelism,
edifying one another through prayer and Bible study, encouraging growth in holiness, or assembling for public praise, prayer, and instruction, this one purpose prevails. The church is the unique instrument for bringing God such glory."
Mark Dever - The Church -

Notes from my Moleskine

This week's lack of posting is largely due to mostly being no where near my laptop. This is because I've been invoved in some interviews for new staff (with some really outstanding candidates!). Can't really comment on how they're going, but here's some expanded notes from my moleskine notebook. At the start of the first interview candidates are asked to present the gospel for 5minutes as if to non-Christians followed by Q&A.

I find myself thinking -
How nice it is not to hear 'two ways to live'.
How many different ways there are to tell the story.
How amazing that it's my job to hear young gospel-ministry willing people revel in Jesus.
How good it is to hear about this being God's world.
How good life is meant to be in his creation.
How glorious and central the cross of Christ is.
How great it is that we can share in Jesus' resurrection life.
How great the hope of the new creation is.
How wrong, painful and and evil sin really is.
And, how powerful th…