The Prosperity Problem

The Prosperity Problem. So we are aware that the Prosperity Gospel is a bad thing but could there be ways in which we allow it to creep in too?

Does the Bible talk about money more than it does about love, heaven and hell? Some people have suggested that Jesus and the Bible have more to say on this topic than anything else. Is that true?

Should we talk about money in church? Is there a place for teaching and preaching on this controversial topic?

What does the Bible say about money? If we are to teach properly on giving and stewardship, then we need to see what God’s Word really says.

Blog Posts from April 2020

“It doesn’t apply to me” When people decide that they are above the law

Jesus Thank you Palm Sunday sermon from the 5th April, 20202 on Isaiah 53:10-12

Does Each Scripture have just one meaning? Or should we be expecting to discover new meaning every time we read a Bible passage?

Is God Punishing us? Can we interpret the Coronavirus pandemic as a specific judgement from God?

Absence makes the heart grow fonder -whilst our loss of particular things we usually enjoy will teach us not to depend on them but cling more tightly to Christ, absence and abstention also teaches us to appreciate those good gifts from God even more.

Apologetics in a time of coronavirus – How will a crisis situation affect the way we defend our faith and challenge the beliefs of others?

Anxiety in a time of coronavirus – hints and tips for those struggling with anxiety and/or depression in the face of a health crisis and isolation.

Church in the new normal – reflections of our experience of church during lock down

A Strange Easter? – Well this has been an odd kind of Easter, living under lockdown, unable to celebrate as we would normally. But maybe these strange times give us a closer affinity with the first Easter?

The absence of mourning – cremations and burials are being limited to just a handful of people and some local authorities are even running cremations with no funeral and no mourners present. Such stark circumstances highlight the brutality, ugliness and loneliness of death.

Easter means hope In a time when life seems bleak and feels like winter, #EasterMeansHope #SummerIsComing

Loneliness “There’s a good chance someone in your congregation, indeed in your home group is struggling with loneliness right now…”

Preaching to yourself Having to look myself in the face as I preach to a screen has been a seminal experience.

He was raised for our justification Easter Sunday sermon.

Learning the wrong lessons (2) The Sweden factor and panic time – ways in which we can draw the wrong conclusions in a crisis

Bullies – a personal story My reflections on my own experience of childhood bullying and thoughts about implications for church life and the abuse/bullying crisis today

We love a drama – one of the reasons why we end up in squabbles, fall outs and splits is our need to be centre stage in a drama. The cure? A greater sense of enjoyment in the best drama of all.

Pastoring in a pandemic – applying Richard Baxter’s The Reformed Pastor during Coronavirus

Learning the wrong lessons – Vaccines and the Mark of the Beast Is the coronavirus vaccine the means to giving people the mark? The short answer is “No”

Fulfilment in Matthew 1-4: How does Matthew’s Gospel interact with the Old Testament?

We love a drama – why do we get into crisis situations, splits and fallouts?

Forgiveness – how do we forgive, especially when the other person is unrepentant?

My biggest enemy is …. The big reveal!

Another Birthday Sometimes Christians talk about being born again. Here’s my story

How to be safe from wolves – There is a lovely little meme doing the rounds on twitter. A sheep has been found wandering in the wilds. Over time it has grown a thick coat of wool. It has been attacked many times by wolves who have attempted to devour it but none could bite through the wool….

Have we lost the Holy Spirit? Matthew Mason has suggested that conservative evangelicals lack a functional doctrine of the Holy Spirit and a meaningful experience of him. This prompted me to do some thinking, writing and speaking about the Holy Spirit

Learning the wrong lessons: virtual church and remote pastors. Do The Apostle Paul’s letters provide a model for remote pastoring?

Assurance and Security Can I be sure that I am saved? Could I lose my salvation?

Learning the wrong lessons: Lies, damned lies and statistics What can we actually tell from the data coming out during the Coronavirus pandemic?

Rest, sabbaths and recessions – a look at the OT teaching on Sabbaths and Jubilee Years

Who is the Holy Spirit? What does John’s Gospel tell us about who the Holy Spirit is?

Prayer when prayer is hard – How do we pray when we feel as though prayer is a struggle, when we don’t feel like praying or we can’t find the words

Awkward – the unsayable – so the Prime Minister and his girlfriend have a baby out of wedlock. Do you congratulate with effusive praise and joy, condemn in the harshest of terms … or something different?

Putting God First What does it mean to make God number one in your life?

Meeting the one Does God have one perfect partner and one perfect plan for your life for you?

The greater risk What would be worse, taking communion when you shouldn’t, or not taking it when you should?

Facing Depression (The videos) – an introduction to my videos on facing depression as a Christian

Learning the wrong (right) lessons – the importance of curiosity

Foxes in the Garden #SummerIsComing We saw baby fox cubs in our garden for the first time in a while, a reminder that it is Spring, that Summer is coming and that there is the hope of new life.

Is it arrogant to say that there is only one way to God? … doesn’t that make Christians sound exclusive?

Playing the Gnosticism card – the difference between being alert to heresy and being quick to label in order to win an argument.

Disinfectant for the soul … when the President of the US suggests we start injecting ourselves with cleaning fluids maybe it is time to start worrying!

Three types of Depression There are a number of different causes to depression. This means we cannot respond simplistically.

Why talking about virtual church is unhelpful Going online for communion conjures up images of the vicar having an avatar and gifs of bread and wine …

Coronavirus – why do the rules have to be strict What happens when people don’t comply with lockdown.

Some posts to read (March 2020)

Thankless – How do we respond when our efforts and gifts go unappreciated?

I don’t just want you to survive … we want to get through the Coronavirus but God calls us to more than just surviving

Uncertainty – From the Enigma Sermons – how do we live and trust God in uncertain times?

I don’t want you to panic … I want you to think – The title is self explanatory for this one!

#SummerIsComing The Stark family in Game of Thrones have a saying that “Winter is Coming” warning of dark and difficult days ahead. Christians believe that Summer is Coming. Finding Hope in dark days.

Food for the long haul How long term Bible teaching has been preparing us for this present season.

The lies we believe about God This is one from the freezer. If we believe lies about God the we will struggle to cope with the trials of difficult days ahead

Isolation and Communion (Part 1) Can we take communion without gathering as a local church to answer this, we need to think carefully about the underpinning beliefs that affect the decision. We begin with a bit of church history.

Isolation and Communion (Part 2) What does the Bible say about Communion -the key bible passages

Isolation and Communion (Part 3) The Big Story. How Biblical Theology affects our decision

Isolation and Communion (Part 4) Truth and Lies. How Systematic Theology shapes our decision

Isolation and Communion (Part 5) Coming to some conclusions

The Bread that divides – engaging with Garry Williams’ argument that we cannot share the Lord’s Supper during lockdown

False Accusation: Psalm 109 and our response to slander

A different kind of leader: Isaiah 42, Jesus and the bruised reed

Only the young from our Enigma Sermons series, Ecclesiastes 11:7-12:7.

Plugged In Review of Dan Strange’s book on how we engage the culture

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