Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Missions Not Martial Arts, Please!

In a somewhat densely written post, Mike Bull suggests that the remedy for feminised men in churches is not more testosterone and martial arts etc, but a knowledge of the call of God on their lives - in other words to be on mission. Talking about the men and women of our great evangelical past, the Wilberforces and Newtons etc, he cites:
"This evangelical generation changed the world, or major parts of it at least: they broke the international economic system of the day because it was unjust; they reformed prisons, factories, poor laws, and anything else they could think of; they saw major revivals, and huge numbers of conversions; when it came to gender politics, they taught men to be gentle, and women to be active in ministry."

Saturday, 21 January 2012

God Is On The Move

Have just got hold of Michael Bull's new book Bible Matrix II: The Covenant Key. In the preface, he writes:
God likes to move stuff. Motion is life and beauty and productivity. Stillness is stagnation, decay and death.

As we saw in Bible Matrix, the work of God in Man is not merely
there and back again. Nature abounds with cyclical motions, from atomic spin to the "circle of life" to the rotation of galaxies or the identical cycles of the movements of a clock.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Philosophical (but terribly polite) Pirates

Legend of the Americano-Evangeli-Christian Sphere Mark Driscoll has been accused of claiming all British preachers are cowards. He counters that accusation here.

Responding to his plea, may I be the mouse that roared and say that the following video, lovely as it sounds and as personable as the speaker is (and I think he is extremely personable) it is philosophical piracy. (Mobile users click here.)

Friday, 13 January 2012

Some Videos Beautifully Explaining Baptism - Not What you Might Expect

Ever wondered why (if you're a Christian) you should be baptised? It symbolises the passing through death (down into the water) to new life (back up again) - Passing from the family of Adam to the Family of God in Christ; from the old humanity to the new humanity.

Here are some videos that help explain. WARNING if you're anything like me, you'll need tissues to hand and make sure no family china /liquid is anywhere in your immediate vicinity:

The video makes mention of the Hebrews coming out of Egypt and being given a new identity - the Israelites. If you don't know that story, watch the next video:

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Trinitarian Heresies

At this week's BTF, we looked at Trinity and some of the classic heresies people have fallen into over the years. All of these heresies in some way fall short of the statement:
God is three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Each person is fully God; there is one God
The Heresies:

That God is a single being who wears the masks of Father, Son and Holy Spirit as he appears in history. What this lot make of Gen.19:24 and Matt. 3:17, I'm not sure.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Jesus Reigns, Follow Him: Notes from Sunday's Sermon

At this time of year, many experts are wheeled out on to TV, radio etc. and asked for their professional opinions on what will happen in 2012. Something in human nature loves to speculate about / prophesy the future. What about you? How is your 2012 shaping up? Good? Bad? Boring? A mixture of all three?

What’s the conversation that turns over in your head when you get space to have your own thoughts? Proverbs 23:7 (in many translations, not ESV) says that the way a man thinks defines who he is. How is your thinking shaping your destiny? Are you sleepwalking through life? If so, Matt. 7:13-14 needs to be a big wake up call.

What role will Jesus play in your 2012? Is he the genie who gets you what you can’t get for yourself? The superhero who you draft in to save you in times of trouble, but ignore until the next disaster? Or the King of the universe to whom you say “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” The question is not what role will Jesus play in our lives in 2012, but what role does he want us to play in his story this year?

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

The Best Way to Avoid Neuroses...

Below is a video by A. J. Jacobs on how healthy living nearly killed him! If you are having trouble viewing it on your smart phone, click here.

On a day when I got home from work to find a large part of one of my trees where my car should have been, I'm so grateful for Jesus' words in Matthew 6:31-33.

Monday, 2 January 2012

How do You Worship?

The vast majority logging on to this post would be amused by the tree hugger on the right here. But humour aside, that our bodies express the attitude of our hearts is something we cannot get away from. So what does the position we take (literally) when worshipping say about us?

Ancient peoples would (amongst other things) bow before their gods of sun, moon, rain, fertility etc when they worshipped them (Dan.3:5). The people of God would bow in corporate worship before YHWH. (Ex.4:31)

As "modern" people we don't like that kind of thing, it smacks of bondage, servility and ignorance. Secular man doesn't express the worship of his idols through bowing and sacrifices, but through study. He studies the natural world and contemplates it, using the fruits of this contemplation to bestow upon himself ever greater glory in the form of freedom and prosperity.