Tuesday 9 November 2021

A fool's bet

It was June 2018 and I was giving out invitations to gospel meetings that were being held in the area. I knocked a door and a young man answered. When I told him what I was there for, he told me that a World Cup match was going to start soon and as soon as it started our conversation would finish.

Monday 8 November 2021

The Good Book, the final word

Imagine you are travelling home one night in your car. You are going through a dangerous part of a big city and you run out of petrol. You have to get out and walk to the nearest petrol station. As you are walking through the dark streets you see a group of young men coming down the street towards you. Would you be more scared or less if you found out that they were Christians who had just been having a Bible study?

Thursday 4 November 2021

The Good Book, part seven

Don’t eat pork or shellfish, don’t wear clothes of mixed fabrics, don’t sow your vineyard with different kinds of seed, don’t shave the edges of your beard… That is a sample of the commands God gave in His law that strike many today as…well, weird.

Tuesday 2 November 2021

The Good Book, part six

Context is important. If I told you I saw a man running up to an unsuspecting little boy and rugby tackling him, breaking the boy’s arm in the process, you might want to know was the man reported to the police.

Friday 29 October 2021

The Good Book, part five

It’s possible to give a right answer but leave a wrong impression. That was driven home to me one day as I overheard a conversation between a Christian and a woman who would have described herself as spiritual but not religious. 

Thursday 28 October 2021

The Good Book, part four

Back in 2012, the Church of England voted down legislation to approve women bishops. The Prime Minister, David Cameron, expressed his frustration, saying that the Church needed to “get with the programme”. They did, of course, “get with the programme” a couple of years later, and so have many other churches. A few churches here and there still haven’t got on board. Why is that? Well, they recognise that the job of a local church is not to get with the programme set by politicians or society. There is another programme that Christians are called to follow, and it is laid out in Scripture. Because of this, they, and the Bible, have been charged with misogyny, i.e., “dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women”. This is a serious charge. Is the Bible guilty? Hardly. Let’s look at the facts.

Monday 31 May 2021

The Good Book, part three

Culture has shifted, and shifted fast. In 2015 in the USA, same-sex marriage was declared a constitutional right and legalised in all 50 states. The President, Barack Obama, was an enthusiastic supporter of this, but when he was running for his first term in 2008, he said he believed marriage was between a man and a woman and was not in favour of same-sex marriage. To say such a thing now is to declare yourself a dinosaur, a bigot and a hater.

Thursday 27 May 2021

The Good Book, part two

In the first Good Book post we looked at the subject of slavery, and saw that the Bible does not affirm or encourage the slave trade – it is decidedly against it. Another subject that causes people to think the Bible is an immoral book is the slaughter of the Canaanites in the time of Joshua. It is portrayed as an act of genocide – a tribal deity commanding ethnic cleansing. The image is disturbing, but it is distorted.

Friday 9 April 2021

It is finished

I imagine many victims of crucifixion just before they died would have gasped, “It is finished.” They had tried to overthrow Rome, but their efforts were in vain. However, they wouldn’t have used the word Jesus used. He didn’t use a word that merely signified the end of something, but rather the accomplishment of something. It was a cry of victory, not a sigh of defeat. The word He used could be translated, “Fulfilled”, or “Paid”, or “Completed”.

The fear of death and the death of fear

Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (Hebrews 2:14-15)

Someone has said that this world is a dangerous place – you won’t get out of it alive. Death is a reality we all must face, and yet, so many bury their head in the sand, and refuse to think about it. It doesn’t have to be that way. The fear of death can be replaced by the death of fear.