Recent blog posts
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.
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.[read more...]
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:[read more...]
Last week I finished teaching a course on the book of Hebrews. I have just got together the notes and outline for Hebrews on loveintruth.com. 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.[read more...]
I just listened to a message by David Devenish on "Discipling those of different cultures" from last summer's Brighton conference (review to appear soon). He makes some very interesting points about worldview, and tells the story of missions work in the Philippines: Missionaries unintentionally gave the people only a layer of teaching on top of their underlying worldview which was spiritism. Successive waves of missionaries, both Protestant and Catholic, only succeeded in changing their formal beliefs while the underlying spiritism remained intact.
This got me thinking. There are four levels at which we operate:
Behaviour can be altered to some extent by external pressure (although ultimately it flows from the underlying layers). Teachings can be taught. Attitudes are far more difficult and need to be taught by example, as Paul and Jesus did. Worldview, however, and this was the interesting part for me, is changed by telling stories.[read more...]
I just preached on temptation today at King's Family Church. It was one of those sermons where it was a real struggle to prepare, but everything came together at the last minute. (To be honest, after the last minute, while I was actually preaching.) I have changed my notes to match what I actually said and uploaded them along with the audio of the sermon. The upload link is here: The temptation of Jesus in Luke 4 and how we can experience victory over temptation.
I was very struck when I learned in seminary about the way Jesus deliberately quoted all his responses from Deuteronomy, and then even more gripped to see the strong parallels with the three categories of temptation in 1 John 2:16, which also mirror Eve's temptation in Genesis 3. What is really important for me is how this understanding can really help us defeat temptation.
I am in the process of re-launching my theology and teaching website: loveintruth.com. I have just finished teaching a 30 hour course on "Interpreting the Bible" at the TACF School of Ministry. I have posted almost the entire teaching notes from the course on loveintruth.On the technical side, this was my first time using the book module in Drupal and I was very pleased with how it works. I think the whole thing hangs together well and is easy to navigate. Eventually I want to move all the content on the site into that format.