Reading


Current books on the go

Reading, Theology, Worship

No Compromise


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I’m currently reading Tom Wright’s brilliant biography on the Apostle Paul. I’m also currently reading “No Compromise” by Melody Green – the life story of her late husband Keith Green.

Books separated by 45 years of church history and current affairs, they are dissimilar in many ways but, at their beating heart, are actually more alike than they’re not.

Starting tomorrow, I’m going to take a chapter from Wright and a song from Green and blog about the essential nature of these two men used mightily of God, though in different ways and at different times.

Keith Green, like the radical Jim Elliot, died tragically at the age of 28. I’m now 38 and so have already had an extra decade more on the planet than did these two fine brothers.

Like Paul, for to me to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21) and, convinced of my fruitful labour for the progress and joy in the faith of others, (Philippians 1:25), I too will remain and become even more undignified than this as I learn to love as I should, singing and proclaiming unto Christ a ‘new devotion’

Bible, Reading, Theology

How We Have Fallen


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What would dear Horatius have written had he lived in 2017?

We’ll chat one day.

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“Man is now thinking out a Bible for himself; framing a religion in harmony with the development of liberal thought; constructing a worship on the principles of taste and culture; shaping a god to suit the expanding aspirations of the age…The extent of the mischief no one can calculate. A soul without faith, a church without faith, a nation without faith, a world without faith – what is to be their future? What is their present? When faith goes, all good things go. When unbelief comes in, all evil things follow.” (more…)

Augustine, Reading, Theology, Worship

Augustine 


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I was astonished that although I now loved you…I did not persist in enjoyment of my God. Your beauty drew me to you, but soon I was dragged away from you by my own weight and in dismay I plunged again into the things of this world…as though I had sensed the fragrance of the fare but was not yet able to eat it.

How sweet all at once it was for me to be rid of those fruitless joys which I had once feared to lose…! You drove them from me, you who are the true, the sovereign joy. You drove them from me and took their place, you who are sweeter than all pleasure, though not to flesh and blood, you who outshine all light, yet are hidden deeper than any secret in our hearts, you who surpass all honour, though not in the eyes of men who see all honour in themselves…O Lord my God, my Light, my Wealth, and my Salvation.

Augustine, Confessions 

Reading, Theology

Recapture the Wonder


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I’m reading this jolly good book in my lunch-times at the moment – Recapture the Wonder by Ravi Zacharias.

At the beginning, Ravi focuses on an ancient theory from Plato who believed that all philosophy began with wonder until it was replaced by knowledge – that there is a world of difference between belief and knowledge:

Plato said, ‘belief was the position of a child; knowledge was that of an adult.’

Zacharias replies to Plato’s theory with this:

Can it not be our hope as well that the shadows and beliefs of our childhood become only greater and more wonderful when dispelled by knowledge? Can there not be a reality where the mere world of fantasy is superceded by the fantastically true?

He’s pointing us of course to our daily waking reality as followers of Jesus which is meant to be thoroughly infused with wonder and knowledge together (imagine a diagonally ascending line from left to right where X is knowledge and Y is wonder).

Like me, you may have secretly wandered into a wardrobe as a child, shut the door quietly behind you and gently reached out to touch the back, longing for it not to be there. As your finger tips touched the thin splintered back, the crashing knowledge that the fern cones and snow weren’t really there felt genuinely gutting, only compounded by a brand new sense of your own ‘silliness’ as your childhood dreaming began to drift across Plato’s bridge to the cul-de-sac of adult knowledge.

But both little children and big adults can be reminded again of the truth that the Kingdom within really will be like a ‘magic’ Kingdom without – to touch and taste and see; that this suspension bridge of other-worldly, gospel hope is more than sufficient for the wonder of belief to thrive side by side the ‘knowledge’ of our enchanted here and now.

Discipleship, Prayer, Reading, writing

Introducing: God’s Green Room


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Last year I wrote and submitted a book proposal with several UK and US publishers for a fresh book on prayer which is currently in the process of being edited and re-worked. It’s a book for millennial young people and young believers about radical prayer – so it’ll be fresh & original though I’m sure I’ll be brushing up on my semi-colon usage 😉 (more…)