When atonement is absent

I find Ian McEwan’s novel “Atonement” particularly bleak. It’s the story of a girl who witnesses a crime, Bryony sees her cousin Lola being assaulted and raped. She is convinced the assailant is the family gardener, Robbie and so he is falsely accused, arrested and convicted. Her error combined with her self-importance is the causeContinue reading “When atonement is absent”

In the Darkest Hour (1 Peter 3:8-22)

“In the darkest hour, when I cannot breatheFear is on my chest, the weight of the world on meEverything is crashing down, everything I had knownWhen I wonder if I’m all alone” These are the opening lines of Lauren Daigle’s song “Remember.”  What do we do when we face “the darkest hours” of our lives?Continue reading “In the Darkest Hour (1 Peter 3:8-22)”

Could aliens exist and would it matter if they did?

Another one of those questions put out on twitter. I suspect that what has provoked the question is that the possible existence of extra-Terrestrials and UFOs has been in the news recently due to reports that the Pentagon takes their existence seriously and treats reported sightings from military personnel as credible.  Now, I remain sceptical.Continue reading “Could aliens exist and would it matter if they did?”

Fall and Judgement

Failure and Rebellion In Genesis 1 and 2 God had been the primary actor and it was his voice that was heard consistently. God spoke in order to bring things into being and events to pass. Towards the end of Genesis 2, man is drawn more towards the centre of the stage so that heContinue reading “Fall and Judgement”

Live your new life (Colossians 2:6-15)

What have you got up to this week?  Who has: Visited a pub or café for an outdoor drink and meal? Been to the barbers/hairdressers? Done a bit of non-essential shopping? Stayed away overnight somewhere? Gone to the zoo? These are things that would have seemed commonplace and normal back in 2019 and yet weContinue reading “Live your new life (Colossians 2:6-15)”

Is Penal Substitution about redemptive violence?

Penal substitution is an aspect of the doctrine of atonement.  It is the belief that Jesus died in our place ad a substitute bearing the penalty for our sin.  One of the objections to it is that it perpetrates “redemptive violence” so that the violence enacted against Jesus is itself seen as redemptive.  Recently inContinue reading “Is Penal Substitution about redemptive violence?”

But now… (Romans 3:21-31)

You are talking with someone about the Gospel and they raise the classic objection. It is arrogant for you to claim that you will be going to heaven and they won’t. On what basis can you make such an outrageous and intolerant claim. You start to share the Gospel further with them. How would youContinue reading “But now… (Romans 3:21-31)”

Why Did Jesus Die? (Colossians 2:6-16)

We are coming into Easter week and  so I want to ask a couple of questions. Why did Jesus die on the Cross? Why did Jesus rise again? They are important questions. Often, we ask them when we are talking about why you should believe in Jesus. They are good questions for people completely newContinue reading “Why Did Jesus Die? (Colossians 2:6-16)”