singing

The role of singing in the life of the church

Life

Now there are all sorts of reasons why Christianity is a singing faith; for the practice of making melody to the Lord, and of hymn singing in particular, has many purposes. My intention in this article is to focus specifically on congregational singing and to open up its three principal purposes. (more…)

The story of the glory of God (Part 1)

Thought

We may not often think about it, but the glory of God is integral to our salvation. In part 1 of a two-part series, Rob Smith takes a look at this theme and shows why it encapsulates the very heart of God’s character. (Read part 2.)

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Borers in the pulpit?

Pastoral Ministry

Boring sermons are often the bane of church life. However, it need not be so. Rob Smith offers some reflections on how preachers can minister the word of God more faithfully and more effectively.

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The New Perspective in action

Thought

All Christian teaching has implications for Christian living. Likewise all doctrine works itself out, one way or another, into a pattern of Christian practice. Having examined the ‘New Perspective’ on justification in the two previous Briefings (#228, #229),1 in this article, we want to explore the ‘cash value’ of the ‘New Perspective’ on justification—that is, its impact on Christian experience and ministry. Once again, we will focus our attention on the teaching of Tom Wright— partly because of the significance of the challenge he poses and partly because he (more than others) has taken the time to articulate what he sees as the practical outworkings of the ‘New Perspective’ on justification.

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Wright up close

Thought

In our last issue, we looked at the way in which the rise of ‘the New Perspective on Paul’ has led to a radical rethinking of the doctrine of justification; one that is at odds with the traditional evangelical understanding inherited from the Reformation. Perhaps the most vocal and best known proponent of this ‘New Perspective’ is Tom Wright, who has already been introduced. This article seeks to show that the ‘New Perspective’ (generally) and Tom Wright’s position (particularly) are far less Scriptural than the traditional evangelical understanding of justification.

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Was he JUST like us?

Thought

The Jesus of the late 20th-century shopping mall nativity scene seems high on humanness and a little low on divinity. How important is it that Jesus is divine? And why do some high-profile theologians seem to be lowering the stakes on this issue?

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Old Answers to New Questions

Thought

With Roman Catholicism proving increasingly attractive to some evangelicals, questions are being asked afresh about religious authority and the place of Scripture. Catholic apologists such as Scott Hahn are delivering an eloquent challenge to the traditional Protestant view of the authority of the Bible. This challenge is not new. Rob Smith highlights our need to rediscover how the Reformers dealt with these very challenges under the banner of Sola Scriptura. (more…)

Choosing Songs

Everyday Ministry

It can be a last-minute job. While the chairs are being set up, the songleader frantically rummages through the songbooks in search of that one with the chorus that goes “Da da dumty dum”. But last minute arrangements are thoughtless arrangements. We need to sit back and think about what we sing and why we sing it.

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