Which came first – Scripture or culture?

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Yesterday I wrote about God, gender, pronouns and the church.  Now, the classic response of liberal theology is to argue that the language we use about God and the church with Christ as groom and church as bride is somewhat arbitrary so that we could reverse it.  Then, it is further suggested that the reason… Continue reading Which came first – Scripture or culture?

It’s okay to go off-piste when preaching … providing you signpost it clearly

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There’s been a few occasions when I’ve been preaching where something has struck me and I’ve felt it particularly relevant and helpful but it hasn’t been something that the passage specifically addresses. Rather, it’s been a question arising perhaps out of something the passage leaves unaddressed.  There have been other occasions where I’ve drawn an… Continue reading It’s okay to go off-piste when preaching … providing you signpost it clearly

Is three a magic number?

You’ve probably heard people quote these words from Matthew 18:19-20 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” And you’ve probably heard them used to suggest… Continue reading Is three a magic number?

Return of the King -download

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I love the book of Revelation. The imagery in the book is vivid, the plotline exciting and this book keeps pointing to our certain hope in Christ and the wonders of future new creation. However, it’s an often misunderstood and misused book. Revelation has become the scene of many unseemly scraps between Christians becoming dogmatic… Continue reading Return of the King -download

The hermeneutical spiral

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One of the things we’ve been exploring is the challenge that comes when reading Scripture. The problem is that although God’s Word is objectively true, infallible, inerrant and clearly revealed, we are finite, affected by The Fall, conditioned by our own culture and experience. The result is that we bring all of those things into… Continue reading The hermeneutical spiral

When your argument proves more than you want it to…

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I’m going to try and start to wrap up my mini-series about baptism -which is more correctly about good Biblical exegesis.* Right back in my first article I said that putting the phrase “for you and your children” back into context “makes it clear that the promise is for those it is proclaimed to not… Continue reading When your argument proves more than you want it to…

Does Baptism save?

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Generally speaking, most paedobaptists would stop short of teaching baptismal regeneration.  That’s the belief associated primarily with Catholicism that it is the act of baptism itself that objectively brings about salvation.  The closest we have got to that idea has been from  some Federal Vision proponents who insist that baptism does objectively do something and… Continue reading Does Baptism save?

Blessing from nowhere

I was talking with my friend Dan James about sermon he was preparing for his church on Haggai 2 the other day and was struck by something fascinating. Have a look at Haggai 2:10-19.  What stood out to me was verse 19: 19 Is the seed yet in the barn? Indeed, the vine, the fig tree,… Continue reading Blessing from nowhere

How much application?

We are usually told that we need “more application” and that our sermons shouldn’t become boring technical lectures, so this article from Chris Thomas may prove a surprising read to many. For balance, you may want to read this from Steve Kneale showing that there are still people arguing for more application. I also want… Continue reading How much application?

Breaking it down and finding the flow

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I’ve been writing a few posts about how I study a passage in the Bible in order to give you a feel for how to go about the close textual analysis involved in exegesis. This should be helpful to anyone who is planning to preach, lead a Bible study, teach a youth group or even… Continue reading Breaking it down and finding the flow