theology

Eschatology, Evangelism, Jesus, Theology

What Do You Think of Jesus?


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Jesus. You might love Him. You might hate Him. You might reduce Him to fanciful notion and religious crutch. Jesus. Regardless, I have come to find Him to be irresistibly, insatiably and authentically Who He said He was: the Way, the Truth and the Life – the only reconciling way to know and embrace the Father. Jesus. Very God of Very God. His loving Presence unmistakeable, incomparable. His eternal, infinite reality transcendent over everything physical and emotional and spiritual, making perfect sense of our incomprehensible smallness. Jesus. He is Sanity in anxiety; He is all substance found in faith. I don’t think we really know what it means to abide in Him; I don’t think we really know what it means to pray. So much of life and so much of “church” conspires against these bread and butter inheritances. Some wittingly some unwittingly. Either way, I believe God wants to revive us through tears. No man lives via bread alone. Check out my vlog on prayer via my author’s page here and, if you haven’t already, grab a copy of Body Zero by clicking here.

Is there more to life than this? Heck yes. The supernatural life of a disciple of Christ… enough wasted time. We need to be radically prepared for His return.

Bible, Eschatology, Theology
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What do you think about denomination?

Here’s the fifth VLOG in the Body Zero series accompanying the groundbreaking book of the same title.

You can buy the book here and view the videos here

Bible, Church, Culture, Theology

Bishop Michael Curry: Miracle Donkey or Whore Mule?


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The dislocated union of promiscuous wife and distraught husband is the most powerful picture in the entire Bible. No other poetic device or theme comes as close to conveying the smitten and lovingly-steadfast heart of God. In short, the juxtaposition of adultery and fidelity – God-amnesia and Jesus-fascination – is the premier theme of all Holy Writ. (more…)

Bible, Theology

Carried Along (5 minute study of 2 Peter 3)


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I was reading 2 Peter earlier this morning in the ESV as I leaned in to God for a cuddle.  A phrase struck me that I found immediately vivid and helpful:

Right at the beginning of the letter in 1:21, Peter refers to the human writers of Scripture who were “carried along” by the Holy Spirit. Right at the end of the letter in 3:17, he warns of not being “carried away” with the error of lawless men.

Carried along and carried away – two phrases that, though having different roots in their original Greek, are constructions Peter clearly contrasts with each other as a word play.

Bumbling Peter, the restored rock of the church who, on more than one occasion, knew what it was to be carried away by the deception and cowardice of Satan. But also Mighty Peter, the stalwart Great on whom Christ would build His church as its Spirit-carried leader.

An Illustration

Have you seen the new version of the Disney classic Jungle Book? We watched it the other day and loved it! But there’s a scene in the original 1967 animated movie that illustrates Peter’s point here better than the new one and that came to mind as I read:

  1. Do you recall Mowgli drifting down the jungle river sitting on Baloo’s cushion-like belly without a care in the world? This helps us to understand what Peter meant by being carried along by the Spirit, by Whom we become more than our mere human nature. Becoming like God Himself as He fills us and carries us every day.
  2. Seconds later, Mowgli is snatched by King Louie’s monkeys. This helps us to understand what Peter meant by not being carried away by the error of the lawless.

The point is that, positively, in order to be carried along by the power of the Holy Spirit and not, negatively, to be carried away by the schemes of the devil, we must do two things:

a) Be On Guard – (2 Peter 3:17) – Every day when we wake up, and every night when we go to bed, let’s make sure to pray. Pray that you would be alert to the schemes of the enemy and increasingly aware of the power of the Holy Spirit.

b) Grow in Grace & Knowledge – (2 Peter 3:18) – This ‘being on guard’ isn’t a passive hope; it’s an  active priority to take your Bible and increase your knowledge of who Jesus is as we become more like Him in His grace.

In 2 Peter 3:-3-4 Peter tells us  that in the last days there will be scoffers. This means that there will people and spiritual entities who will scoff at the reality of being carried along by the Holy Spirit.

So, let’s do what Peter tells us to do in response to this in verse 8:

Do not forget this one thing….with the Lord a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years are like a day.

He is nearer that you think.

Read Acts 17:27 then ask Him to show you His nearness again.

Jesus, Jesus Come, second coming, Theology

Ready: Introduction


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What’s This All About?

Most of you who read Firebrand Notes on even a semi-regular basis will know that about eighteen months ago we produced a film/music project called Jesus Come. Not only were Mairi and I really pleased with the way the project turned out, we passionately believe in the message that it carries: that the world is in a desperate, desperate mess (more than we can see) and people are hurting (beyond our capacity to understand); Jesus Christ is the only hope to bring justice and order and He is coming again.

For generations, the church has flitted between the excessive polarities of, on the one hand, talking about the Second Coming too much (while doing very little) and, on the other, focusing on an ‘attractional’, ‘relevant’, seeker-sensitive model of church (while failing to teach disciples to live in the reality of His coming).

In both cases, the gospel is generally more of a fix-my-life-make-it-better prescription than it is an invitation to surrender, suffer, die and live in the evangelistic power of the early church.

Houston, we have a problem.

What Is The Problem?

(more…)

Church, theology

Into The Pray – The Bride


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*This is the third piece in a 7 part blog series called “Into The Pray”*

Pic ‘n’ Mix

The church Mairi and I have left recently are awesome in many ways. But in other ways they are not awesome. This can be said of any church as well as of ourselves personally, so this  shouldn’t be offensive news to any of us, should it? But as a symptom of the common departure of denominational ‘church’ from Biblical truth about the Church, into a kind of blinkered brain-washing, some of you reading this will already be offended. (more…)

Church, Culture

Into The Pray – Prelude


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Raw Disclaimer

{No, I’ve not gone vegan, but I would like to issue a WARNING that this series is going to possibly offend or insult if you’re religious or blinkered by denominational or institutionalised forms of control. The aim of writing Into The Pray is absolutely not intending to insult or offend in anyway (I take the subject of the church to be almost incomparably important) but I do want to deliberately ‘shoot in raw’ without ‘editing’ in order to process as best as I can}

_________________

“Once more into the fray…into the last good fight I’ll ever know.

Live and die on this day…

Live and die on this day…”

Ottway, The Grey

__________________ (more…)

Bible, Prayer, Theology

The Humanity of Prayer


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We were flicking through movie rental options on TV the other night when we stumbled across Kevin Reynolds’ 2016 film Risen – a film about the resurrection of Christ as seen through the eyes of a Roman Military Tribune, Clavius ((Joseph Fiennes).

Inititially I thought the film was going to be lame but was surprised by the way the film grew on me, particualrly when Jesus featured, as played by Cliff Curtis – I’d thoroughly recommend renting/buying the film!

Barging into the Upper Room

There is one particular aspect of the film that continues to speak to me powerfully:

As the Bible says, when Jesus rose from the grave, after Mary Magdalene had recognised Him by the grave-side, Jesus appeared to His disciples. Walls, Roman Soldiers, constanty conspiring Pharisees and the frightened bewilderment of His people weren’t a problem – Jesus met with his friends to prove his resurrection glory and to encourage His grieving mates. (more…)