Deep darkness is punctuated by the flash of a thousand cameras; rumbling bass rattles through my bones. Throughout the arena I can hear the burbling, surging, building crescendo of music ready to erupt—and then, with a synthesizer burst, lights erupt throughout the stadium, only to be extinguished just as quickly.1 (more…)
To be frank, putting this issue together was tough. That’s largely because the main article, written by yours truly, is in places fairly critical of others and their ministry—with good reason, mind you, but the point still stands. Despite what you might think, calling others out is not something that comes easily to me, nor do I enjoy it.
Sam Freney: Your new book One Forever: The transforming power of being in Christ is about ‘union with Christ’. This is a topic that theologians get excited about, but why should the rest of us care? (more…)
God gives different gifts to different people. The important thing is not the gifts we’re given, but what we do with them. Being a godly man, Chappo always used his gifts for the gospel, and always for other people. (more…)
From a fascinating article by Damon Linker at The Week on the continuing crop of ‘new atheists’:
If atheism is true, it is far from being good news. Learning that we’re alone in the universe, that no one hears or answers our prayers, that humanity is entirely the product of random events, that we have no more intrinsic dignity than non-human and even non-animate clumps of matter, that we face certain annihilation in death, that our sufferings are ultimately pointless, that our lives and loves do not at all matter in a larger sense, that those who commit horrific evils and elude human punishment get away with their crimes scot free — all of this (and much more) is utterly tragic.
(h/t Jean Williams)
My generation missed Chappo. I think I heard him preach once, maybe twice. By the time I went through Moore Theological College he was no longer the one giving sermon feedback. Others were the regular evangelists up at the Katoomba conventions when I attended them. I heard a number of his jokes—even I knew of his encouragement of younger Christians with words along the lines of “Don’t worry, the first 40 years are the hardest”—but I heard most of these stories from others who knew him better, or had heard him more often. (more…)
You’ve probably heard of the Gideons. Even if you haven’t, you’ve probably at least seen one of the Bibles they’ve placed in hotel rooms, doctors’ waiting rooms and elsewhere. An evangelistic organization with a particular goal of personal evangelism coupled with getting Bibles into the reach of as many people as possible (and especially at times and places they might be inclined to read it), they’ve placed over 10 billion copies of the word of God in a variety of places around the world. (more…)
Christians face many dilemmas, some more obvious than others, with new methods of reproduction. Best acknowledges that the Bible does not specifically address ART, so Christians must look instead at what the Bible does address—human life.
If you can get to the Gospel Coalition conference, her seminar would be well worth attending.
Sinclair Ferguson gives a short history lesson on certain views of Protestant theology by the Roman Catholic church, and counters them with some reflections on Hebrews:
How would you answer? What is the greatest of all Protestant heresies? Perhaps justification by faith? Perhaps Scripture alone, or one of the other Reformation watchwords?
Those answers make logical sense. But none of them completes Bellarmine’s sentence. What he wrote was: “The greatest of all Protestant heresies is…”
I won’t spoil it. Go read the post to find out.
Thabiti Anyabwile, on lessons he’s learning having committed himself to doing the work of an evangelist, along with a story of the same:
Second, I’m learning again that faithful evangelism requires putting to death the fear of man. Will I ever stop having that halting tightness in my chest? Will those hesitation-inducing thoughts of rejection and offense ever fade away? You know, probably not. I’m likely to always feel some hesitation and some fear of man when it comes to evangelism. But what am I going to do? Not share the greatest news the world has ever received? No. I’m going to remember Romans 1:16, Philemon 6, and Hebrews 10:38-39, and other such texts which encourage, admonish, promise, and guide.
Just like every time I hear about personal evangelism, I’m equal parts encouraged and challenged.
The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”
In one of the most spectacular examples of passing the buck in the history of humanity, Aaron explained Israel’s sinfulness in worshipping a golden calf just a month after making a covenant with God like this:
More video content about preaching from St Helen’s Bishopsgate, an evangelical church in the middle of London:
Charlie Skrine shares his thoughts on preaching persuasively while Phillip Jensen helps us as we apply the Bible.
You can also catch up on the growing number of back-issues.
“Hi, we’re from the local Anglican church, and we’re…”
“No thanks, we’re Orthodox. [Or Catholic.]”
[Door closes. Evangelists exit stage right.]
So went the bulk of conversations on my first day of door-knocking during a mission in Sydney’s south a few years ago. (more…)
My experience of Christians is that many of them – including me – are really quite clumsy. Not literally stumbling or falling over ourselves, but often doing the social equivalent. We put our feet in our mouths, we make others feel uncomfortable, we have a knack of saying the right thing at the wrong time, and vice versa.
Let me say this. I hope that none of my friends dismiss the Christian message simply because of my clumsiness. I pray they’ll put up with some of my mistakes, my awkwardness, even my selfishness, and hypocrisy… and look beyond me to Jesus.
I also appreciate his reflections on dealing with his lung cancer, such as this post on body image.
“Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonours you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’”
Many moments that change the world are self-evidently important because of their very scale, uniqueness, or impact: the moon landing; the 9/11 attacks; Nelson Mandela’s release; the dropping of atom bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Genesis 12 recounts for us a life-altering, world-changing, history-shaping moment, but if you were there at the time you’d be forgiven for missing it. Quietly, God made a promise to Abram. If you were with Abram at the time, near Ur of Mesopotamia, this promise might not have seemed like much, yet it underlies and shapes the plot of the whole Bible—the story of God’s people—from here on. (more…)