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

Did Paul disobey the Holy Spirit? (Lessons on guidance in Acts 21)

In Acts 21, we are told about Paul’s final journey to Jerusalem.  It’s an illuminating case study on interacting with God’s guidance through the Holy Spirit. Paul travels from Miletus where he has met with the Ephesian elders and given them the commission to provide for and to protect the flock. He has spoken there… Continue reading Did Paul disobey the Holy Spirit? (Lessons on guidance in Acts 21)

Some big themes in Mark’s Gospel

Kingdom The theme of God’s kingdom is significant to all of the Gospels but particularly stands out in Matthew and Mark. Matthew refers to it as The Kingdom of Heaven, this links to a Jewus reluctance to even speak out God’s name so that other words are used in place of “God” or “YHWH.” Heaven… Continue reading Some big themes in Mark’s Gospel

Food from around the world wide web

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First of all, a couple of articles related to mental and emotional health. We’ve got a guest article on Grace In The Depths where Jon tells his story of experiencing periods of acute hyper- mania The Great White Shark. Secondly, This article about ministry burnout in Premier Christianity includes an interview with my friend Pete… Continue reading Food from around the world wide web

Don’t forget who the real enemy is

Back after 911, there was a particularly intense period when anyone of Asian or middle eastern appearance was at risk from backlash.  Not only did people conflate the attack by Islamist extremists with an attack from all Muslims but also people who were not even Muslims but rather Sikhs and Hindus were conflated with the… Continue reading Don’t forget who the real enemy is

Why do we struggle to talk about pastors and depression?

A few years back I was asked to cover a couple of sessions for a ministry training course. One of the sessions was on “failure.” The request came with a couple of those expected awkward jokes along the lines of “we aren’t picking you for any specific reason.” Indeed, at the time, arguably I’d not… Continue reading Why do we struggle to talk about pastors and depression?

Towards a theology of depression

 Last year I contributed to a short book called “The Pastor with a thorn in his side.” It’s a book which tells the stories of 7 pastors who have faced depression during their ministry. Steve Kneale edited the book and as well as telling his own story provides an introduction and a conclusion. In those… Continue reading Towards a theology of depression

Can we talk about ugliness?

John Piper hosts a podcast called “Ask Pastor John”. Recently he was asked: ““Pastor John, why did God make some people ugly and unattractive? How can I accept the fact that God, though capable of making me beautiful or at least average looking, chose to create me in an unattractive manner?” Now I guess, Piper… Continue reading Can we talk about ugliness?

In the Darkest Hour (1 Peter 3:8-22)

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“In the darkest hour, when I cannot breatheFear is on my chest, the weight of the world on meEverything is crashing down, everything I had knownWhen I wonder if I’m all alone” These are the opening lines of Lauren Daigle’s song “Remember.”  What do we do when we face “the darkest hours” of our lives?… Continue reading In the Darkest Hour (1 Peter 3:8-22)