Blog

Read back past articles here on a variety of topics

Resources for facing depression – I plan to keep this link at the top of the blog. It includes links to my own articles on facing depression. It also links to a number of helpful articles and books including suggestions from others.

July 2020

Awestruck – Lessons in Lockdown part 5 – learning to stand in awe of God the creator

Return to the building – some ideas for the future. Starting a brainstorming process for how we can continue to move forward post lockdown as a church

Reopening Bearwood Chapel Building – our plans for coming out of lockdown.

Church planting in a time of Coronavirus – here’s a suggestion for collaboration to use online outreach as the starting point for new church plants.

Could come to church … should come to church – our church buildings are reopening for those who are able to and would like to attend but at some point the emphasis will change to an expectation that people should attend if able. How do we pastorally walk through that without heavy shepherding?

Following the Science – but which science? A reminder that using the term “The Science” is unhelpful because there are a variety of scientific fields and not all scientists agree.

Body Ministry is best – lessons in lockdown Churches function best when every member is looking after each other.

Amazing Grace and the Spiritual dimension of depression Sam shares his testimony

Aimee Byrd and Biblical manhood (part 1) Aimee Byrd has written a book “Recovering from Biblical manhood and womanhood critiquing some aspects of the moment.

The Trinity Controversy (Aimee Byrd and Biblical manhood 2) – Engaging on a hot topic in Trinitarian Theology. Does The Son submit to The Father

Talking behind closed doors (Aimee Byrd and Biblical manhood 3) A look at the expose of Genevan Commons and the defences made.

Risk assessing the return to buildings – we can see the requirement for post COVID-19 lockdown risk assessments as bureaucratic inconvenience or as a spiritual responsibility and opportunity. Here’s some advice on approaching a church risk assessment.

Does the Son submit to the Father – further thoughts – continuing to sharpen our thinking on the EFS debate

#SummerIsHere – finding hope in the now and not yet of return out of lockdown.

Returning to the building – our story – our first Sunday open after lockdown began to be lifted

Evil Nazis, The Sky Fairy and the abortion/euthanasia debate – If you had to choose between the arguments of modern science and some bronze age beliefs, which would you choose. What if modern science and philosophy was used to argue that the most vulnerable should have their lives terminated?

What is the abortion amendment to the Domestic Abuse Bill. An attempt was made to decriminalise abortion using the Domestic Abuse Bill on the 06/07/2020

Why I won’t be joining the Christian Concern case against the Government CCFoN are seeking a Judicial Review of the Government’s decision to lockdown churches. I don’t think this action is either needed or helpful

Being transparent about risk (1) Don’t allow scare headlines to paralyse you

Rishi’s Gamble An introduction to Biblenomics in the light of the emergency budget

Forgiveness, reconciliation and trust -it is possible to rebuild trust but we have to chose what we remember

Forgiveness, restoration and abuse – part 2 of a look at forgiveness. What happens when there has been abuse to trust?

Being Transparent about risk (2) COVID-19 is still with us. We must not be reckless or complacent as we return to church buildings

Don’t forget about asylum seekers The horrific case of a child put at risk of FGM by our immigration system is an important reminder not to forget about other big issues in the middle of the pandemic

Reforming Theological Education We need to change how we approach theological training if we are to equip people for ministry in hard places.

How theological college helped prepare me for gospel work – I think we need to reform pastoral training so it is more accessible but I think classic seminary courses still have their place

The anxious middle -who are the most anxious as we come out of lockdown?

Why I wrote to my MP about abortion and not other matters – Tim Farron thinks the church risks becoming a single issue campaign group. This is why I disagree

Stop worshipping at the foot of the magic money tree The problem with the debate about Government spending is not that the magic money tree doesn’t exist but that it does and we have been worshipping it too long.

Happy people (Matthew 5:1-12)

God’s happy people living under God’s rule -an introduction to the sermon on the mount

I don’t feel fed Have we placed too much expectation on the Sunday morning service to deliver all our teaching and feeding needs.

I don’t feel fed (2) How do we feed the church? Here are some thoughts on providing that broader diet.

Are we meant to feed ourselves? Part 3 -is it the pastor’s job to just feed the flock or to teach them how to feed themselves from God’s word?

Happy people – The poor This week we are taking a detailed look at the beatitudes – first up “Blessed are the poor in spirit.”

Happy People – those who mourn The second of our articles looking at the beatitudes

Happy People: The hungry and thirsty What does it mean to thirst for righteousness?

Happy People – the merciful Do you show mercy?

God change and debate – From the Freezer, a look at the debate about classical theism between James Dolezal and John Frame

God in the dock – challenges to his goodness and greatness – another one from the freezer, engaging with open theism.

Happy People – The pure in heart … but the problem is that my heart isn’t pure

An odd type of insult – on being a biblicist – this seems to be a favoured attack on people who lack sophistication in their theology. But why is being a biblicist such a bad thing?

Happy People – the peacemakers – how can we contribute to peace in our world?

Happy People – the persecuted – you wouldn’t expect happiness and blessing to include persecution yet Jesus says it does.

Being Salty – share the good news – what does it mean to be salt and light?

Being Salty – you can be distinctive by speaking up when its unpopular it is easier to speak up on some issues than others.

Being Salty – a light that cannot be hidden – I always focused on the bit in Matthew 5 about not hiding our lamps under buckets but what if in fact it is impossible to hide our light? What do people see then?

Being Salty -we hide our light when … in what ways do we seek to hide our light from the world?

Ssh … we don’t talk about money – when I made the mistake of raising a taboo topic

A need that has not gone away in lockdown why we need urban church planters and why they need our support

Being Salty – taste and see the church helps the world to get a sense of the flavour of God’s goodness

What if the vaccine never comes? -we hope it will but are we prepared for a world where COVID-19 is always with us?

It was the Russians – Russian interference has been blamed for Brexit, Trump’s election victory and various other elections. Who do you blame when things don’t go right?

Be Salty -submit to the authorities, love your neighbours and wear a face mask

Stopping a virus from spreading -what if we put the same effort into stopping spiritual viruses as we put into protecting from COVID-19.

Keswick non-conventional – time in Keswick during Coronavirus

Recovering from Biblical manhood & womanhood -a review of Aimee Byrd’s book

Simple – from the freezer, God is Simple, what exactly does that mean?

Skin Deep (Matthew 5:17-48) Sermon on Jesus coming to fulfil the Law.

Husbands wives, Ephesians 5 and mental health – responding to some questions Beth Moore askes of complementarian pastors

Skin Deep – anger and murder How anger kills and what to do about it

Antisemitism is racist no ifs not buts. Sadly this form of racism seems to be accepted as respectable but this should not be the case.

When pastoral questions may be linked (continuing to respond to Beth Moore’s questions). We may have been tempted to treat her questions about marriage relationships and hypothetical and unrelated but supposing they were based on a real pastoral case and were linked?

Reopening churches and why John MacArthur has got this badly wrong GCC, Sun Valley have put out a statement saying that they will defy the civil authorities on COVID-19. Here is why I believe they have got it wrong.

When did lockdown really start? or “Is Matt Hancock re-writing history?”

So what was that really all about? More reflections on the John MacArthur church re-opening controversy

Skin Deep? Sexual immorality Jesus says that adultery is not just about the physical act.

What if we took Jesus seriously about divorce? What if we tried to stick to Jesus’ very tight restrictions on divorce? How would that affect our approach to marriage?

Assessing motives -to what extent can we assess the motives of others. Does it cross the line to suggest that John MacArthur and Tom Buck engaged in friendly fire over Coronavirus lockdown?

Going Further – An eye for an eye and going the extra mile

Fighting a pandemic – how have we done so far? First in a series of articles taking stock

Grooming gang ideology – Dr Ella Hill is a grooming gang survivor

Monsters Angels and racism – if we are going to see racial justice we will need to escape the monster -angel language

Behavioural fatigue – did we get tired of lockdown and did the Government accurately predict this?

local lockdown and local church should churches continue to open if there is a local lockdown like the one in Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire

Like a thief in the night -local lockdowns, short notice and something of greater importance

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