Andrew's blog

Are the commands of Jesus just legalism in another form?

I believe in grace, not legalism. Today I preached on the sermon on the mount in Luke. I came face to face with the problem that Jesus preached a lot of commands, and ended the sermon saying that those who kept the commands would be preserved and those who didn't would be destroyed (the house on the sand).
How come Jesus didn't say "I love you and nothing you can do will make me love you more or love you less"? Instead he gave us a set of commands that are even harder to keep than those of Moses, and said things like "Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him." (John 14:21). I don't believe that we are loved on the basis of our performance, but this is what it sounds like Jesus is saying.

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The Kingdom and Healing

This evening I preached on The Kingdom and Healing. This wasn't a polemic against cessationists, but an attempt to get a better understanding of how healing worked in the ministry of Jesus and his disciples. It came out of my own desperate study to improve in this area. As I grappled with chapters 9-11 of Luke I found a flow of ideas which was helpful to me. In the (rather short) sermon I simply went through these chapters and pulled out this theme.

My rathier brief notes on the Kingdom and healing as well as the audio are uploaded here.

Review of TT5-1 Sam Poe - Engaging with Oral Culture

Newfrontiers Leadership Conference 2006 - Training Track 5-1

I found this a fascinating session, but I had one important reservation which I will explain in a moment. Sam argues that the way we communicate with those who have an oral culture is fundamentally different with those from a literate culture. He gives many examples taken from life and makes his points clearly. What gives this subject added relevancy is his statement that

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The Atonement debate

I have just been reading the article by Adrian Warnock on "Word Alive and Spring Harvest to Separate After 15 Years Because of the Atonement". I think that even 10 years ago no-one would have dreamed that this could happen. The situation reminds me of a Ph.D. thesis written by Paul Wilson and summarized in this paper: Central Canadian Baptists and the role of cultural factors in the fundamentalist-modernist Schism of 1927: "Culture wars" are not a new phenomenon.

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Review of TT6-3 Colin Baron & David Stroud - Church planting and the gift of leadership: how to make a church plant thrive

Newfrontiers Leadership Conference 2006 - Training Track 6-3

This session was so useful (especially for me in my current situation) that I decided to make much more detailed notes. I think that most of his points are of value to any church leadership, not just those who are church planting.

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Let Conscience Speak by David Fountain

My father wrote this booklet as a series of articles in 1973, but it remains one of the best studies available of the Biblical teaching on the conscience. I have just had it typed and uploaded it to

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The Resurrection

On Sunday I preached on the resurrection*. As I was preparing for it I was very stirred by some things that Richard Gaffin wrote in his "Redemption and Resurrection: An exercise in biblical-systematic theology". I am captivated by the idea that the resurrection is a fragment of the future that has invaded the present reality. It is our very first sight of that awsome new creation that one day will rise from the ashes of the present heavens and earth.

Here are some quotes (and please don't be put off by the academic language:

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Last week I finished teaching a course on the book of Hebrews. I have just got together the notes and outline for Hebrews on The book made a big impact on me. I spend many hours working on trying to understand the structure of the book and once this began to come together it was a huge step in understanding how the book works as a whole, it's thought flow and emphasies.

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Review of TT4-2 Scott Marques, Andy Martin & Mike Frisby - Supporting mission

Newfrontiers Leadership Conference 2006 - Training Track 4-2

This is a very practical session with many good suggestions as to how local churches can do an excellent job at supporting missions.

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Expository Preaching

I have just been reading Ten Conclusions About Expository Preaching from Adrian Warnock's Blog. My favourites are the first two.

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