threeways

Three ways to help

Everyday Ministry

I have never thought of myself as a technologist, but now I realize that we all are. As Tim Challies has pointed out in his book, The Next Story, humans are incurably and inherently technological. We shape and form and make things constantly as we fulfil God’s creational purpose for us to multiply and subdue the earth. The things we make are usually neither good nor evil in themselves—a wheel, a fork, an office block, a chair, a screwdriver, a book—but each one can be used well or badly, and each one comes with both risks and benefits. (Some technologies, I would contend, are just inherently evil—such as the office laser printer—but we will leave that discussion for another time.) (more…)

Pastoral Ministry and Changes

Pastoral Ministry

Just as Christians can never retire from serving the Lord Jesus Christ, so also we can never retire from serving other people. The work of prayerfully proclaiming Christ, his cross and resurrection is a way of life more than an occupation.

One form of this service is that of a pastor: that is a shepherd or under-shepherd of the Great Shepherd. Being a pastor involves caring for and leading a flock. We misuse the word ‘pastor’ when we confine it to ‘counselling’, especially counselling an individual. Pastoral work is different to the work of the modern counsellor and a pastor does more than care for an individual sheep; he leads a flock. (more…)

fishing

Identity

Life

“Hello, my name is Bill, and I’m an alcoholic.”

So goes the usual opening of testimonies at Alcoholic’s Anonymous. The willingness of Bill, to accept and openly testify to the fact of his addiction to alcohol is a great step forward in addressing his problem. But is Bill telling the truth when he says “I’m an alcoholic”? Is that his true identity or should he be saying “I’m a human who is addicted to alcohol”.

Are there bad children or only children who do bad things? Are there liars or only people who tell lies? Are there thieves or only people who steal? Do we punish criminals or crimes? Does God love the sinner but hate the sin? (more…)

Editorial: Outclassed by a kindergarten kid

Editorial

I think my daughter is a better evangelist than I am. She’s five years old.

Largely it’s because she hasn’t yet learned the unspoken rules: that other people might find what you believe to be offensive; that it’s just not ok to discuss religion or politics in polite company; that you must simply conceal, by whatever means necessary, any suggestion that you are part of, attend, or are in any way associated with church. (more…)

WSB authors welcome print version

Following its publication as an ebook in early May 2014, we are delighted that Women, Sermons and the Bible (WSB) will soon be available in a print version (available from Matthias Media in August). (more…)

God made me this way

Life

The nature/nurture debate is as endless as the determinist/freedom dispute.

The safe position to adopt combines both nature and nurture. Yet that doesn’t end the debate; it simply moves the discussion onto the character of the combination.

Scientific research will not bring a resolution. Not simply because the question is large and complex and the research is narrow and detailed, but because the reason for the debate is the implications of its outcomes. (more…)

Help us help people read Christian books

Resource Talk

“I still believe that sitting down and reading a book is the best way to really learn something. And I worry that we’re losing that.”

When the executive chairman of Google (Eric Schmidt) says this, it’s worth asking: what are we losing as Christians if we don’t read books any more? (more…)

Priceless treasure in cardboard cups

Pastoral Ministry

‘Ministry’ can be a very vague and unstructured idea. The joke that clergy work only one day a week is untrue, but it’s not immediately obvious what they do the rest of the time—are they some kind of spiritual social workers (as the confused mother of my best school friend asked when I quit university to become an Anglican minister)? It’s not really any clearer for those who attend church but are not in paid positions of leadership there. What does ‘ministry’ look like? Lots of coffee (preferably espresso)? Serving on endless rosters? Church politics? (more…)

A Bible for Muslims

Everyday Ministry

Do we simply share the gospel? Not really.

We present the gospel in a way that is understandable to the person we are speaking to; we take their background understanding about God into account. In the book of Acts we see the apostle Paul do this. To the Jews he presented Jesus as the fulfilment of the promises God made through the prophets. To the Gentiles he proclaims that God is the creator, idols do not represent him, and that his true representative is Jesus who he raised from the dead. (more…)

Revelation 5:9-10

Bible 101

And they sang a new song, saying,

 

“Worthy are you to take the scroll

and to open its seals,

for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed

(more…)

photo | Nicolò Bonazzi on flickr

Feeling God?

Thought

Do you ever wonder if there’s something more to the Christian life? Maybe you’ve heard of or know people who tell you about having some sort of amazing God-experience—whether it’s been intense feelings of peace and joy, some kind of ecstatic excitement, maybe even visions or voices—and you wonder if you’re missing out. You hear about these things and you think to yourself “I want more”. (more…)