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Labour of love

The Christian life is a life of waiting and working. Advent puts us in mind of the waiting.  We look not only to Christ’s first coming, but ahead to His second coming, to judge the living and the dead. Here is how Old Testament saints waited for that first coming: “5 I wait for the […]

All things to all men

When we hear the phrase we think of two-faced gossips, slick marketing men or political spin doctors.  Actually Paul is speaking about a ministry philosophy of deep integrity.  He’s talking about a flexibility that seeks to honour something far deeper than cultural expressions. In 1 Corinthians 9 the Apostle is laying bare his modus operandi.  He is […]

The Powers That Be

Romans 13 has introduced two phrases to the world that seem to pull in different directions – at least in the way they are used. On the one hand we have “the powers that be.”  We commonly use this phrase to describe nameless authorities handing down impersonal judgements: —  “Apparently, in their infinite wisdom, the […]

In Him we live and move and have our being

How do we proclaim the gospel to a world that thinks so differently? “Contextualisation” is a buzz word in some Christian circles to describe the way our message needs to be fitted to our surroundings.  Today’s phrase is often used as a prime example of how Paul drew on the truths already present in the […]

Turned the world upside down

On Good Friday, Christianity was “down and out.”  The Christ was dead and buried.  His followers were despondent and scattered.  And that should have been that. Yet, within a very short period of time, Christ’s people were said to be ‘turning the world upside down.’  How did such an extraordinary revolution happen?  Not through the […]

An evangelistic talk on the KJV

An after-dinner talk on the KJV.  I speak about the impact of the KJV on language, on culture and then speak of the true King of the King James Bible.  Everyone left with my book at the end.  (If you want me to do something similar at your church, let me know). Here’s the Powerpoint. And here’s the […]

Out of the mouths of babes

We tend to use this phrase interchangeably with something like “Kids say the darnedest things.”  But Jesus was making a deeper point.  He wasn’t only referring to children but was encouraging us all to child-like-ness.  It is not just infants, but more generally it is the simple trusters in Jesus whose surprising wisdom will shock the […]

Highways and hedges

Personality tests split the world into introverts and extroverts.  The diagnostic is usually something about energy levels – do you energize on your own or with others?  If you re-charge by yourself you’re an introvert.  If you come alive around people, you’re an extrovert. I’m not sure it’s helpful to label people so definitively.  Such […]

Shout it from the rooftops

Recently I wrote a post on my other blog about open-air preaching.  One commenter responded: “Do you have to bother people with this stuff? Can’t you just stick inside the churches.” This man (not a Christian) perfectly expresses the spirit of the age.  We are happy with privatised beliefs.  We are content that folks practice […]

Wise as serpents, harmless as doves

Matthew 10:16 is a veritable menagerie of biblical imagery: “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” Not since the ark have so many animals been crammed into so short a Scriptural space.  Yet Jesus thinks we will be well prepared […]