Can I say to an unbeliever “God loves you?”

At least one pastor on social media doesn’t think so. This raises some interesting questions. The first of which is can we through a quick scan through Acts draw such a dogmatic conclusion as that the apostles “never” did something. Interestingly, if we are looking for examples from New Testament narrative, my friend -and experienced… Continue reading Can I say to an unbeliever “God loves you?”

Desire and Rule – handling a difficult and controversial text

Aimee Byrd, author of Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood has caused some further controversy with the release of her latest book “Sexual Reformation.” As with her previous book, at least part of the focus is on challenging some of the presuppositions behind the Biblical manhood movement.  Her most recent target is how Genesis 3:16… Continue reading Desire and Rule – handling a difficult and controversial text

Relentless Spiritual Warfare (4) I am tempted to disregard the body of Christ

Whilst Joab has been settling scores with Amasa, Sheba flees to a city called Abel. Joab pursues him there and lays siege to the city. A wise woman challenges him.  She reminds him that the city is part of Israel, part of the Lord’s inheritance. Will Joab seek to destroy the city. He assures her… Continue reading Relentless Spiritual Warfare (4) I am tempted to disregard the body of Christ

In Christ alone

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Every so often I pick up on a complaint/objection to Stuart Townend’s hymn “In Christ alone.”  Here is one such example. There are people who would be happy, they say, to sing the hymn but are deeply distressed by the line “Til on that Cross, as Jesus died The wrath of God was satisfied.” Now,… Continue reading In Christ alone

God in parts

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Today, I’m continuing our mini-series about idolatry.  One way in which we commit idolatry is that we look to other things in order to find satisfaction and meaning. We make gods out of physical objects such as wood and stone or we make gods out of ideals and needs such as approval, comfort, security and… Continue reading God in parts

Safe?

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What does it mean to be a man in Christ, made and redeemed in God’s image? We hear a lot about Biblical manhood, about taking the lead, about not being weak, about being distinctive in terms of body build, clothes and length of hair. Recently some US pastors have felt it important to pronounce judgement… Continue reading Safe?

Laying down your life for your friends in a pandemic

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Throughout the pandemic, pastors have found themselves under fire from two sides. For some, every decision to conform with guidelines, providing online services, introducing social distancing, asking people to wear masks has been seen as an act of compromise with the state driven by fear of death. Thy are told that they should not fear… Continue reading Laying down your life for your friends in a pandemic

How we treat others – a lesson from The Magician’s Nephew

Prompted by a friend, I’ve started re-reading the Chronicles of Narnia. The one volume edition we have starts not with the Lion, the witch and the wardrobe but with its prequel “The Magician’s Nephew”, the story of how Narnia all began. The story is of a boy Digory and his friend Polly, tricked into using… Continue reading How we treat others – a lesson from The Magician’s Nephew

Love is more than empathy

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What’s the best thing that you can do when you see someone else suffering, crying out in emotional pain?  The answer is of course, that often it is simply to go and sit with them, to say nothing but rather to simply be alongside them, to feel their pain with them and to weep with… Continue reading Love is more than empathy

Returning to church and hugging etiquette

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Quite a lot of churches tend to be quite “Huggy” places.  Some of us have had  to learn to adapt to this if we are not among life’s natural huggers and in fact left to our own devices would tend towards the introvert.  The etiquette of “greeting” and “hugging” post COVID is something I’ve frequently… Continue reading Returning to church and hugging etiquette