Can we talk about sex and relationships? The pastoral challenges and pitfalls

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I’m returning to the themes coming out of The Gospel Coalition’s controversial article “Sex is not your saviour but it points to the one who is” which provided an excerpt from Josh Butler’s forthcoming book, Beautiful Unnion. As promised, I want to deal here with some of the challenges and pitfalls around talking theologically and… Continue reading Can we talk about sex and relationships? The pastoral challenges and pitfalls

What if church discipline becomes abusive?

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I recently wrote about how church discipline should function in the light of the recent Stephen Sizer case.  This did prompt one question about what to do with the church discipline process is itself abused. The example was given of a pastor who persistently contacted another church to presurrise them into keeping a former church… Continue reading What if church discipline becomes abusive?

The sheep with a broken leg? The danger of embellishing Scripture

Herdsmen Sebastien Uthurriague (R) and his father Michel watch their Manex sheep in Iraty, Larrau, in the Pyrenees on July 24, 2019. - In the 'Ibarrondua kayolar' (shepherd house), at 1300 metres, at the foot of the Mount Orhy, eight herdsmen take turns from June to September to watch some 1,500 sheep and to prevent bear attacks. (Photo by IROZ GAIZKA / AFP)

I’ve only heard the claim once from a pulpit but perhaps that was already one time too many. I’ve since come across other people who have heard the claim.  A preacher talking about the Lost Sheep in Luke 15 claimed that after finding the sheep, the shepherd would then break one of its legs. The… Continue reading The sheep with a broken leg? The danger of embellishing Scripture

Is narcissism the problem?

The Gospel Coalition have just published this article offering further engagement with Chuck De Groat’s book “When narcissism comes to church.”  The writer, Dan Doriani, is positive towards Chuck’s work but has some concerns, particularly with the thesis that: narcissism is especially common among pastors because they often enjoy a high profile. Narcissists crave power,… Continue reading Is narcissism the problem?

Wrong reasons for pushing others into peace talks

Reports in the press over the past week or so have suggested that the US is pressing Ukraine to move towards peace talks with Russia. It is ironic when reports refer to the communications as private. What that means is that no politician is publicly calling for talks in public statements. However, when the world’s… Continue reading Wrong reasons for pushing others into peace talks

Taking care about what you are singing

Christian song writers can certainly have a knack for finding the most bewildering and cringeworthy song lyrics.  Sometimes, it ends up being silly and amusing. Sometimes, context just makes a hymn inappropriate and sometimes we suffer from the way that words and phrases have changed meaning and usage over time.  For example, a few centuries… Continue reading Taking care about what you are singing

We shouldn’t be throwing anyone under the social media bus

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The other day, I shared this Gospel Coalition article urging people not to throw their pastor under the bus.  The article was specifically about how Christians engage on social media.  I thought it might be helpful to say a little bit more about the specific subject. By social media we mean internet sites and phone/tablet… Continue reading We shouldn’t be throwing anyone under the social media bus

On not throwing people under the bus -why you need to give that TGC article a second look

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The other day, this article was posted on The Gospel Coalition website.  The article drew quite some ire. In fact, some of the responses on twitter may even ironically have been of the exact kind that the article has in its sights.  I understand that there are some reasons why some people may have struggled… Continue reading On not throwing people under the bus -why you need to give that TGC article a second look

Safer Churches e-book

Here in one place are the studies and discussion questions helping us to think through what it means to plant safer churches Planting Safer Churches I would encourage Church leadership teams to work through these over a series of sessions. I am also currently preparing a series of YouTube videos to accompany the discussions

Watch out for wolves

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This is the bit we don’t really like to talk about because we don’t like to be personal. But your church will face attacks from wolves.  Paul makes it clear that not only might happen but that it will happen. “after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own… Continue reading Watch out for wolves