What do you do with difficult Bible passages?

Our church have been working through Mark’s Gospel both in our Sunday morning services and at our midweek life group.  Most of Mark feels like plain sailing (well, there is the occasional storm). However, there are a couple of more challenging texts. I suspect that the ones that stand out are Mark 10 which raises… Continue reading What do you do with difficult Bible passages?

The only stumbling block (Mark 10:32-34)

In Mark 10, we’ve been seeing the different obstacles and barriers that people face or create for themselves when it comes to knowing Jesus.  It is so important that we do not put barriers up to others.  There is however, one barrier that none of us can avoid.  Peter has responded to the sad case… Continue reading The only stumbling block (Mark 10:32-34)

How do we approach studying Mark’s Gospel?

It is possible to work through the Gospel in one of a few ways. This might include  Picking up a number of themes and tracing them through the Gospel as a series of sermons on The Kingdom of God, The Son of Man, Suffering and the Cross etc. A longer and detailed series might have… Continue reading How do we approach studying Mark’s Gospel?

Slow Down

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If you take a preaching class, one of the first things you’ll start with is something called Exegesis.  Exegesis is all about how we read the meaning out of (Ex) the text. This is contrasted with eisegesis, reading our own meaning and ideas into (eis) the text.  The risk when preaching is that we will… Continue reading Slow Down

Learning to See

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Yesterday I paid a visit to Eye casualty.  I was picking up a sort of wormy line in my vision. I suspected it was a floater and those are generally harmless but given I have a pre-existing eye condition and cornea grafts I thought it wise to get things checked out. The doctor confirmed all… Continue reading Learning to See

Recreating the home group and restoring the prayer meeting

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Discussing with a few people the demise of the prayer meeting the other day, I was struck by a thought.  The problem is with our home groups. One of the main reasons that you won’t seem many people at traditional prayer meetings is that they have been replaced by Home Groups. The problem is that… Continue reading Recreating the home group and restoring the prayer meeting

What do we do with the ending to Mark’s Gospel?

At Home Group the other night, the group were wrapping up Mark’s Gospel. The group leader felt it was worthwhile spending some time talking  about how we responded to the the shorter and longer endings to the book. I am not going to rehearse the arguments for and against the inclusion of v8b or v9-20… Continue reading What do we do with the ending to Mark’s Gospel?

Does each Scripture have more than one meaning?

This is a question I heard the other day. It’s quite a common one.  At one end of the spectrum is the insistence that yes, when you read Scripture there is a specific purpose and meaning and you should not deviate from it. At the other end of the spectrum you will hear people say… Continue reading Does each Scripture have more than one meaning?