“Why do you seek the living among the dead?
He is not here, but has risen.”
Even for the women who had known Jesus well—who by now must have been accustomed to apparently tangential answers and statements from the lips of Jesus—I guess that on the scale of unexpected questions this would be about a nine. (more…)
[This article is an extract from an upcoming Matthias Media book on the resurrection. We're excerpting it here as it's an excellent stand-alone article on a reasonably under-appreciated aspect of the New Testament accounts of the resurrection: Rory investigates why the resurrection of Jesus was unexpected, even to a Jewish audience, why it nevertheless fits the narrative well, and why it leaves us with a significant choice to make.] (more…)
At the church I serve, we’re about the preach the book of Revelation across all our congregations, as well as studying it in our growth groups concurrently. (more…)
‘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…)
If there is one practice which seems to many to be the opposite of authentic spirituality, it is saying set prayers. Prayer, we easily feel, ought to be spontaneous, heart-felt, uninhibited. Surely repeating old phrases runs the risk of losing these things. Surely someone else’s words cannot best express my uniquely individual thoughts and needs. Surely this would turn prayer into a hollow religious ritual. (more…)
This morning, I was doing Six Steps to Loving Your Church with my very small growth group (me and two church wardens). And the question asked: “What do you really love about your church at the moment?” And my answer? (more…)
The journalist Ambrose Bierce once defined praying as asking “that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy”. (more…)
Yesterday, I shared how words from an old youth fellowship song came back and comforted me when the birth of our twins turned into something of an emergency, and I was unable to articulate any prayer of my own. (more…)
Leon Morris was born 15 March, 1914. So today marks the centenary of his birth.
If you don’t know his name, he is one of foremost biblical scholars Australia has ever produced. (more…)
I have the privilege of preaching at the Ordination of Deacons (35 of them) in St Andrew’s Anglican Cathedral tomorrow morning in Sydney. I’d be glad of your prayer for them. (more…)
Well, to think that I almost didn’t write yesterday’s post, because my relatively few friends on Facebook had said it all… Since then I’ve trawled through over a total of 700 comments (and counting), between this blog, the Drum (on ABC) and various friends’ FB links. Today I am going to attempt a few follow ups. (more…)
This is a great reflection on the temptation of Jesus in the desert by Byron Yawn, and a worked example of how to mis-apply Jesus’ actions to ourselves, and in so doing domesticate them entirely.
Seriously. What’s the assumed application of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness? By assumed I mean – What have we been told (over years of preaching) this event is about? Is it not usually offered as a set of “principles” on how Christians can resist temptation? Or to put that another way, it’s about us. But honestly, is this really what’s happening at this moment? Is Jesus really offering an example how we can personally resist the temptation of the devil? Is this a tutorial for daily living? Of course not! A “how to” on resisting temptation is a secondary application at best if not tertiary. He’s not telling us to do anything. He’s actually doing it for us. There is something much greater under way in this moment. More importantly, do we need to be standing within view of the actual site to realize how misguided our take on it is?
I have heard the claim that Jesus never died on the cross many times over the years, in person, in the press, on the web and via social media. Here is my reply. (more…)
Perhaps some of the most famous words ever spoken on the topic of holiness by a pastor came from Robert Murray McCheyne. He said,