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Showing posts from March, 2016

But Jesus Wins: Parenting conversations sat on the bathroom floor with my 7yo

I thought a fair amount about how to share my faith with my children. Some say you shouldn't teach your kids what you believe imagining there's some sort of neutral approach, but we all pass on our worldviews - and besides that, whatever we say, our kids see what we really believe...

For all the preparation in advance I'm not sure anything can really prepare you for joys and anguish of day in day out parenting!

It is a wonderful privilege to teach my boys about Christ. I do that for my day job with others but my home is my first congregation. And was uncharted territory, as I didn't know Christ til I was 18, though my wife came to know him aged three.

I thought about family Bible reading, good resources like Jesus Storybook Bible, Thoughts to make your heart sing, Every thing a child needs to now about God, Gospel Project for Kids Church Curriculum... regular gospel-shaped conversation, the freedom to ask anything, the safety that the cross of Christ brings, understan…

Silence and beauty

Over the last couple of weeks I've read two of the most poignant books I've read in a while. Shusaku Endo's Silenceand Makoto Fujimura's Silence and Beauty. Silence is the classic 1966 novel by a Japanese author that will soon be on the big screen as a Martin Scorsese's passion project starring Liam Neeson and Andrew Garfield that asks: is there a God?Silence and Beauty is the forthcoming reflection and engagement of a brilliant Japanese-American artist on Endo's book.

Silence tells the story of the persecution of Christian missionaries in Japan, the whithering of the gospel after initial growth in the 17th Century. Sebastian Rodrigues and his co-workers are called to deny their faith. The moment of denial will be in trampling on an image of Christ. A perverse attempt to get a Christian to deny a faith that is all about Christ being trampled upon...

Throughout the novel Rodrigues fights to stand firm in his faith, wrestling with painful questions, while watchi…

"Why can't we value the unoriginal pastors, who simply love their people and aspire only to pass down the faith handed to them?"

Yes! Great question from Jake Belder.

Preach the word, love the people. 

And asGlen Scrivener puts itEvangelism is pastoring non-Christians. Pastoral care is evangelising Christians. 

As my friend Matt said to me the other day - If I have people and a Bible, what else do I need. 

It's "boring" and unimpressively plain looking, but innovation and fads are for heretics - the living and abiding word of God is where life is found.

Not that I'm anti-systems - if they serve people in helping them to hear about Jesus.
And I'm not anti-vision - if it's about the gospel for and to people.
And I'm not anti-strategy - as long as it's about ensuring that by all means at whatever cost, people get to hear about Jesus.

But we have to keep our eye on what this is actually about.

Image - Creative Commons - David Wright

Welch's Questions on Anger

I spoke at Grace Church on Anger, observing Saul's murderous heart towards David (1 Samuel 19:1-16), and the way that Jesus says...
[21] “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murderswill be liable to judgment.’ [22] But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brotherwill be liable to judgment; Jesus "the good teacher" puts us firmly on the hook defining our anger as murder. We forfeit our lives when we kill others in our hearts. If we only take Jesus as a teacher we're in deep trouble. We need Jesus the murdered God, the innocent one who forfeited his life for us - a perfect exchange that gives us his life for ours, and shows us the different way of love.

We might not want what Jesus gives, but the murderous state of the human heart needs acknowledging and answering some how.

Where our anger leads us to harm others - in murder or countless other horrific acts - there are and must be consequences - that's why…

Spurgeon's Questions on Rebellion

In 1 Samuel 15, Saul is confronted:
“Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has also rejected you from being king.” Rejection of the Word, Incarnate, Enscriptured, Proclaimed, is rejection of the LORD himself. No wedge between the Triune God and his creative, re-creative gospel word..

So, B.B. Warfield said: what Scripture says God says...

Charles Spurgeon asked these questions of his church 150 years ago... Is there anything that you are neglecting?Is there any sin in which you are indulging?Is there any voice of conscience to which you have turned a deaf ear?Is there one passage of Scripture which you dare not look in the face, because you are living in neglect of it?Let Samuel’s voice to Saul come to you, and set you seeking for more of Christ.  Jesus asked a lot of questions, and I need to ask myself good questions and ask others to ask me them too.

Above all I need the one who entrusted himself to his Father, who is the Father's Word, who knew what it was to be rej…

The resurrection answers death

How does the resurrection help with the prospect of death? 
An ultimate reality for every one of us, and a present reality, whether close at hand for us, or for those we love. I’m aware there are a couple of big issues in 1 Corinthians 15: 21.
Firstly, Adam, portrayed as a real + influential on your life.
Secondly, there’s Jesus, resurrected from the dead. BY ONE MAN CAME DEATH (21)
Paul asserts that there was an Adam who took the world down to death. The idea of “Original Sin.” What can we say here?

[With thanks to Glen Scrivener for his 321 TWO material] You might ask if it’s true – that’s a good question. Let me ask back, if not this, what is your origin story, how do you explain this broken world? Can your way of doing it account for your experience of life? You might ask if it’s fair – the sin of this Adam leading the world into death. If it even happened, we ask, how and why should the sin of Adam affect me??

In 1269, Johes de la Bysse fled from France to the Sussex coast. His dec…