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Showing posts from April, 2016

Every story whispers his name

Since my first son was very young Sally Lloyd-Jones' The Jesus Storybook Bible has been staple reading in our house. We've probably read it 60-70 times through. A potent dose of Tim Keller style gospel-centred Bible reading, translated for little people, illustrated by Jago and placed in the hands of parents as they pastor their children.
Cultural alarm bell! We're teaching our faith to our children!!! Are we indoctrinating them? Well, on one level - yes. Everyone is. You can try to keep your kids neutral but that's loaded with presuppositions and convictions and beliefs,... We've sought to thoughtfully teach our children the Christian faith, always welcoming and inviting questions from them. And it's remarkable how they can tell the difference between what's true and what's made up in life... they read our passions and our indifference, and more than that they read our lives with extreme scrutiny. Further, if you can permit a moment of faith, if my chi…

What's in a name?

In the spirit of Shakespeare we might ask "what's in a name?"

Among evangelicals "nominal Christianity" is disdained. At times we look down our noses at those who are Christians "in name only." Charles Taylor's analysis, rightly or wrongly, suggests that we evangelicals are descendants of a move to take faith more seriously, of zeal and enthusiasm. He criticises this for causing many to depart from the faith. Similarly the study 'Christianity and the University Experience' suggests that evangelical Christianity at University is, observably, about as attractive as it is repulsive, it's zeal draws people to Christ, the same zeal drives as many away.

Jesus, Luke, Paul and Isaiah would perhaps counter: the stone has been laid in the road - some will have faith in him, some will stumble over him. Sociologically, zeal might appear to be the issue. Theologically, Christ is the issue. Moreover, in favour of zeal and consistency, Christ doesn&…

She forgot me (Hosea 2:13)

Through the unique ministry of Hosea, the Lord charged Israel, 2500 years ago, with forgetting him.

We sing: "Who his love will not remember?" They didn't.

What does it mean that they forgot the Lord?

Don’t hear carelessness. It’s not “I forgot to buy apples.” Or “I forgot Mother’s Day.” 

 Everything in the life of Israel was designed to remind them of the Lord and his salvation.

 • Every reminder on their smartphone…
 • Everything in their wardrobe…
 • Everything in the kitchen cupboards…

The laws, customs, architecture and music of their culture, divinely designed to saturate their society with the gospel.

Put simply, no one in Israel, then, forgot the Lord unless they deliberately suppressed the knowledge he’d given them in the Law. And it's not exactly like those of us who aren't Israelites don't do that either - the heavens have been declaring the glory of God for a very long time, and Jesus is pretty famous...

The only way to forget the Lord was to cov…