bible

Culture, Discipleship, Theology

Ancient Missional Adrenaline


7 Comments

KFC Church

When I read the book of Acts, I really want to be a believer, a lover, a follower of Christ. I’m glad to be. I’m proud to be. When I go to church, I often feel like there’s something very important missing and I can be left feeling like I do when I occasionally go to KFC for some fried chicken – i.e. I’ve just eaten a bucket of it but I want to eat something else to combat that slightly empty, greasy feeling that it leaves me with. (Not that I’ve ever been to a church that I would describe as being greasy, or ‘chickeny’).

I’ve been ‘in church’ all my life so I’m not talking about looking for the mythological ‘perfect church’. (It’ll be our wedding day when we are ‘perfect’). And I absolutely agree that church certainly isn’t all, or even mainly, about our consumption and ‘being fed’. But it is a bit, isn’t it? Even when we’re ‘self-feeders’. Believers need the gospel as much as unbelievers, surely? Pastors need discipling as much as anyone else, right?

What I am talking about is the frustrating and inadequate compromise that there seems to often be in churches who excel in one major area of ecclesiology but then struggle in others. Let me give you some examples:- (more…)

angels&demons, terrorism, Theology

Russell Brand’s ‘Manifestations of the Infinite’


No Comments

It’s been another harrowing week on planet earth. The terrible atrocities in Paris and Nigeria (and elsewhere not covered by the media) have again functioned as the exclamation mark for the statement of our times – of threat, fear, violence and deceit – churned out from terrorist groups all around the world: “we will strike anywhere; you are not safe”.

I don’t know about you but I have a world-view that includes a conception of a spiritual realm – that beyond the world that we see and touch and taste and hear, there is another ‘more real’ world…the world of the infinite. This isn’t a world of confusing and sad-feeling interstellar realities, or of the actual post-code of the Lady in Black; it is an actual realm of angels and demons and of armies of both.

You may or may not believe in ghosts – I do – though not Casper ghosts or any kind of ghost that can be ‘busted’ by Bill Murray or Dan Aykroyd. I believe in a spiritual dimension comprised of a Triune God, One God in perfect oneness and yet divisible and individually knowable in Three Persons: – The Holy Ghost (The Holy Spirit), Jesus Christ the Son of God and the The Father. I believe in a Triune God like this because the bible tells me that He is so. The bible also tells me that angels and demons (try not to hear that as a Dan Brown novel title) are a major part of the unseen spiritual realm: angelic hosts that worship God and do his will and demonic spirits that wage war against the purposes of God in heavenly places and on the earth. These are some of the ‘big stories’ from the ‘big narrative’ of the bible and you can find it for yourself if you don’t believe me.

Russell Brand

(more…)

Bible, Theology

Hitting Unsubscribe


No Comments

The Bible tells us to ‘take captive every thought that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor.10:5)

Do you ever look at your email inbox and ignore a whole bunch of emails because they’re not important to you – you can tell by looking at the sender or subject title? Well, you may ignore them, as I do, but they still clog up your inbox – they still encroach in your world and demand some form of attention.

(more…)

Culture, Theology

Jesus and Marriage


No Comments

I was asked to write a blog article recently for the wesbite of the church that I work for but unfortunately the subject I chose upset several people and resulted in attitudes and accusations toward me, amongst others, of being homophobic. The blog article is pasted underneath this one and has subsequently been taken down from the church website.

(more…)

Theology

Snow Leopard Revelation


9 Comments

I remember Mike Bickle once saying that one way of recognising that the Holy Spirit is speaking to us as we read the Bible (The Spirit of wisdom and revelation – Eph.1:17) is that you can be reading a passage you have read a hundred times before and then suddenly you notice something for the first time about it that leaves you touched/moved/challenged/corrected/rebuked/motivated or inspired.

(more…)

Reading, Theology

Garden Wild


5 Comments

I found a great e-book to download for free this week to do with manhood and masculinity, particularly as it relates to men working. It’s written by a guy called Richard Phillips and is called Masculine Mandate.

There are some really interesting thoughts in the book but none more so than the area surrounding Phillips’ disagreement with John Eldredge’s big thought in Wild at Heart about the core of mans’ heart.

In Phillips’ first chapter he writes:

(more…)

Theology

Drip Feed Devotion


4 Comments

The drip feed imagery of Matthew 4:4 in the Message is really helpful in understanding what Jesus was meaning about how to read the bible and build a healthy devotional life:

It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.”

I was in hospital this week for an ankle operation and within 10 seconds of the Anesthetist putting a intro-venous line into my hand and starting the flow of drugs, I was gone – totally asleep and oblivious to pain and trauma allowing the Surgeon to do his work.

(more…)

Theology

Into the Barn to Burn (sermon)


1 Comment

Plato’s problem is that there isn’t enough stimuli in the world around us to reinforce the knowledge-based convictions we have in our heads; we don’t experience what we know. But Heraclitus would have said 100 years before that it doesn’t matter because everything is changing constantly anyway – you can’t step into the same river twice because before your second foot touches the water the river has moved on. The river changes.

And so is our knowledge-application-gap getting smaller or is it getting bigger as we continue to ‘know’ and struggle, (if we’re all honest), to experience? Are we changing and becoming more as our knowledge tells us we should be? Specifically, are we changing to progressively experience the power of the Holy Spirit that we see in the Bible?