When it comes to sin and suffering there is a significant amount if debate, even amongst Christians - mostly because we can't actually know for sure and so how we read and understand the Bible determines our line of thinking. There are questions about the so-called original sin - did Adam and Eve bring sin … Continue reading Blessed Suffering
I am pretty sure we all know the story of Adam, Eve, the serpent and the fruit. Told in Genesis 3 immediately following the descriptions of creation and all that is good the Bible introduces the theme of what we know as ‘The Fall’. Interestingly there is very little description of the goodness of creation … Continue reading Falling Into Temptation
There are two accounts in the book of Genesis that describe God’s creation of humanity. Genesis 1:26-31 speaks of God creating people in God’s image to have dominion over the earth whilst Genesis 2:26-31 says that God first created man and subsequently woman to provide companionship as they tend and care for the garden. These … Continue reading Made in God’s Likeness
Whichever translation of the Bible you choose to read and whether you read it all as literally happening and true or take into consideration different forms of writing, both the angry God and the loving God can be shown. We put our own filters into the reading and interpreting what we read so the meaning for each of is influenced us by those things we have seen, heard and experienced before we read or hear the words. My reading of scripture and understanding of God is that God is love, love without exception.
The Bible is a collection of books to be wrestled with, studied, explored, enjoyed and loved. The Bible provides stories that help us to understand God and recognise ourselves, to see God at work even in the times when it feels like God is absent. I put my faith in God and I believe the Bible is the written authority on the nature of God. It is on this basis that I seek to understand what the Bible teaches about God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and humanity, about good, evil, creation, salvation, the Church, hope, faith and how I might live my life.
After Jesus’ resurrection there are surprisingly few stories in scripture telling us what he did, who he met and the witness that he was to the world. Matthew gives a couple paragraphs (Matthew 28), there is some debate about where the Gospel of Mark ends, but even the longest version only provides two or three … Continue reading Come and have Breakfast
To be a Jesus people is to flip the understandings of the world on its head and show a different way. To stand up and speak out for justice, to serve the widows and the orphans. Sunday is Coming and covid-19 will pass, our restrictions will lift and the light at the end of this tunnel will shine bright. We can celebrate the hope we find in Christ. But we are also called to be a people of justice – those who long to bring the hope of Easter Sunday to others. Will we continue to be the same church, unchanged by the unprecedented global events or will we rediscover what it means to live as an Easter People, turning over the tables of injustice and whilst we anticipate the second coming of Christ, pouring ourselves out for the lost, hurting, dying and broken just as Christ has done for us.
There is a fairly common expression of Christian relationships that speaks of three dimensions - Up to God, In to the church, and Out to the unbelieving world. I think this provides a useful summary of Christian community which I hope to unpack in future posts; but I have come to realise at least one axis is missing.
Sometimes things just need to be shared. This poem by Stewart Henderson is beautiful and sad. It's worth pausing and reflecting on. Land of Milk and Honey Is this the land of milk and honey,the one for which this city gaveconscripted youth to war’s dark waters,woodbine battalions of the brave? This city of abandoned vehicles,bankrupt … Continue reading Land of Milk and Honey
My wife and I enjoy making up stories about people. We might be out for coffee, sitting on a train or walking through town. Just based on what someone is wearing or how they present themselves we imagine a whole back story to their life, relationships they have or don't have, and what they are … Continue reading A Vision for Church: Listening