Pastoral Apologetics

Pastoral Apologetics My approach to apologetics is founded in the assumption that most people are not asking the types of questions that philosophers are asking. They are not trying to work out if there are proofs that there is a God. We have been conditioned into thinking that this is a reasonable question to askContinue reading “Pastoral Apologetics”

Matters of conscience and matters of wisdom

This is a quick response to my friend Steve’s article this morning. Today, Steve has commented on the issues with identifying something as a matter of conscience. Some people seem to treat a “matter of conscience” as a kind of subjective route into saying that they can hold to their own personal truth unchallenged.  AsContinue reading “Matters of conscience and matters of wisdom”

Yes Advice changes!

You know how when you are driving through town, you get instructed by the road sign to drive at 40 miles per hour? It’s very frustrating when 5 minutes later those in charge of the road change their minds and tell you to drive at 30 miles per hour.  Then to compound things you turnContinue reading “Yes Advice changes!”

Giving advice

Here are some thoughts on giving advice and opinions, especially in a church context. The first thing to say is that it is best not to offer unsolicited advice, it is very rarely welcome. Indeed, often when people tell you something, they are not particularly looking for advice. They are looking for three things TheContinue reading “Giving advice”

Isolated (Proverbs 18)

“Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire;    he breaks out against all sound judgment.”[1] These are probably not helpful words for a Government attempting to encouraging COVID-19 patients to self-isolate. Yet, our experience of having to socially isolate over these past 7 months have been a crash course in the cost of such isolation. When weContinue reading “Isolated (Proverbs 18)”

Home (Proverbs 14)

One of my favourite places to visit is Blenheim Palace. It’s an impressive tourist attraction, an elegantly designed building set in acres of beautiful parkland.  As well as being a tourist attraction, it’s actually the home of the Marlborough family. However, a number of commentators have observed that it wasn’t so much designed to beContinue reading “Home (Proverbs 14)”

Truth (Proverbs 13)

Pinocchio is a puppet who just wants to be a normal boy.  You’re probably familiar with the story.  Whenever he tells a lie, his nose grows a little longer.  Most of us probably wish that this would happen to the people we were dealing with. Then we’d be able to tell if they are tellingContinue reading “Truth (Proverbs 13)”

Discipline (Proverbs 12)

How do we respond to the challenges of circumstances around us? During COVID-19, I believe I’ve seen three unhelpful responses to circumstances. The first is to leap in and announce that this is a plague and therefore judgement from God. Usually, such firm pronouncements come with an opinion on the specific sin we have committed.Continue reading “Discipline (Proverbs 12)”

Notes on teaching through Proverbs

I’ve been posting some talks and articles on Proverbs recently. A few years back we did a teaching series through the book and it was highly enjoyable. Many Christians find it helpful to learn individual proverbs. However, we tend to shy away from running expository series through the book because the literary style is veryContinue reading “Notes on teaching through Proverbs”

The Good of the City (Proverbs 11)

Why does it matter how our politicians, celebrities and business leaders behave? Why the tabloid obsession with their misdemeanours? Partly it’s just gossip. But a big part of it links to a sense of justice – that good people should do well and when they do, we all do well. It’s why we get behindContinue reading “The Good of the City (Proverbs 11)”