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Showing posts from November, 2011

The Old Testament is Christian Scripture

I've found myself in a few conversations recently about how to read the Old Testament. This is a passion of mine.In 2002 I became one of the founding editors of BeginningWithMoses.org which is designed to equip people to get into the Old Testament as Christian Scripture.

Seems to me there are six common approaches to the Old Testament. Three mistaken approaches are surely...

1. The god of the OT is a primative brute.
2. The OT teaches children to be moral, or at least some of it does.
3. The OT teaches a Messiah who isn't Jesus of Nazareth. (like the Pharisees did)

Better are these three, and FWIW I don't think these are necessarily alternatives to one another.

1. The OT teaches a Messiah will come. Revealed through the story of God's people in God's place under God's rule (Graeme Goldworthy's approach), the end point of these lines is Jesus.
2. The OT gives some examples for believers to learn from.
3. The OT shows us the Triune God. Father, Son and Holy S…

The story that all humans know in their bones they want to hear

"Being a Christian means living from within a particular story,. It is the subversive story of God and the world, focussed on Israel and thence on the Messiah, and reaching its climax in the Messiah's death and resurrection.

No Christian can ever tell this story too frequently, or know it too well, because it is the story that has shaped him or her in baptism and that must continue to shape thought, life and prayer thereafter... the exodus sttory, which stands behind so much of [Romans 6] remains decisive... Just as Jewish people discovered in the exodus story the character of their rescuing God, so the covenant faithfulness of this same God has been fully unveiled in the paschal events of Golgotha and Easter.

Learning about the Christian life and learning about the God revealed in Jesus Christ are two sides of the coin... the exodus story offers itself as the true story of the human race, and the Christian retelling of this story in terms of the death and resurrection of Je…

MP3: Noteless Preaching

Since August I've been trying to preach without notes, although I've bottled it a couple of times and reverted to a short outline that I've reached to from my back pocket.

On Sunday morning and evening I held my nerve as I preached from Acts 2:33 on Jesus Ascended for my good friends at Reading Family Church. You can listen to the morning mp3 here: RFC Resources. I think the evening one was slightly better and a few minutes longer than the 30min first run.

The whole experience of going noteless has huge advantages - no lectern, no notes to look at, no need to break your eye-contact with people, no formality of words... and everything seems to flow better. The cost is sometimes a little lack of precision in language, though not much if you work at it and continue to love language and reading as I do, because really the cost is in much more preparation time, internalising the message and believing it... which is no bad thing! It means that what I preach isn't the transf…

By his wounds we are healed

Last Tuesday Anna Mason preached at Exeter University Evangelical Christian Union from Isaiah 53. She showed this video before helping us to see the new life and sonship we have because of the cross: