A friend of mine asked this question recently. I think it’s a really good question to consider. He later gave a bit more of an explanation about what he meant by self-reliant Christianity. He was describing those who become so buy in church life and ministry that they forget our ongoing dependence on Christ’s grace… Continue reading What’s worse: consumer Christianity or self-reliant Christianity?
The disciples see someone who has been out and about working miracles, specifically they are casting out demons and it seems with good results. It seems that this guy had at some point heard about Jesus, maybe witnessed him in action and maybe he had even encountered Christ’s healing power himself. Whatever had happened, it… Continue reading In his name (Mark 9:38-41)
Jesus receives a delegation from Jerusalem. It’s kind of like the rabbinic version of an OFSTED visit. The scribes and pharisees have come to see him, to check out what he is saying and doing, to test him and no doubt hoping to trap him. It looks like they are welcomed in and offered hospitality.… Continue reading When worship becomes farce (Mark 7:1-8)
This week, Dominic Raab stood in for Boris Johnson at Prime Ministers’ Questions whilst the PM was at the NATO summit. Given Raab’s reputation for putting his foot in his mouth, I assume his main job was to demonstrate exactly why Boris is still Prime Minister. He didn’t disappoint. Convention meant that if the PM… Continue reading Champagne Legalism
It was much easier when COVID rules were in place. We knew that we were to Keep a two-metre distance from others Wear face masks in doors Stay home for at least 10 days after testing positive and then only begin mixing again when we had tested negative on two consecutive days. At various times… Continue reading Can we manage our risks?
Through Mark we are going to keep running into the Scribes and the Pharisees, in fact, they show up quite a bit from the end of chapter 1 and through chapters 2 and 3. These are frequently mentioned as being in opposition to Jesus, seeking to catch him out, grumbling against him, accusing him of… Continue reading Unexpected enemies
I’ve just been on a training course for three days up in Manchester. It’s quite a bit of a sacrifice for a proud Yorkshireman to be that side of the Pennines but also to be spending time away from home. The course was to do with providing coaching for church planters. So, on the one… Continue reading The advanced training every pastor needs
How might we approach the question of Sundays and church attendance? Well the first thing we have to do is to recognise the dangers that exist for pastors and elders when it comes to the issue. It seems that Sunday attendance is so obviously a good and right thing to do that there can’t possibly… Continue reading Another approach to the Sunday question
Yesterday, I wrote about the decline of the Sunday evening service. This was in response to some discussion about it on social media. In that conversation, one person shared a link to this article which seeks to set out a Biblical basis for attending both a morning and evening service. I wonder what you make… Continue reading Sundays, Sabbaths and Legalism
It was just after I’d preached my first placement sermon whilst studying at Oak Hill and the pastor of the church, Joe Kapolyo came over to me to give me a little bit of feedback. “Well I’ve got some good news for you. It wasn’t perfect.” My initial mental response was “Well if that’s the… Continue reading Pastor: Preach grace to yourself