What can the church learn from Lean Manufacturing?

After the Second World War, Japanese manufacturing, especially the car industry dominated. They were able to produce in volume, quickly and to quality standards that put western manufacturers to shame. Gradually other manufacturers around the world tried to learn how the Japanese did this and so we began to learn about “Lean Manufacturing”[1]

After a while, people began to apply the thinking into other sectors including service and after sales support and even the supermarket industry (Tesco at the height of its powers employed Lean techniques).

Can we learn anything from Lean Manufacturing? Continue reading

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Wisdom’s Invitation (Proverbs 9)

Do you like getting invited out for dinner? It’s great isn’t it to know that you won’t have to cook for yourself – and no worrying about clearing up and washing up afterwards. Even better still is the invite to a party with lots to eat and plenty of good company.

Here wisdom sends out invites “come and dine with me.” It’s another way of showing us once again and from another perspective the goodness of wisdom. Wisdom offers a happy, fulfilled, fruitful life. Wisdom will provide for you. Wisdom will look after and honour you. Continue reading

God in the Dock (3) What kind of love is this?

So what is the nature of God’s love? Remember four things at this stage. First of all, that Open Theists are not the only people to be emphasising love as God’s chief essential attribute. Rob Bell and Steve Chalke both make essentially the same move and in fact, as we saw earlier, Bell also equates love with freedom which is a key plank in his argument about hell. Continue reading

God in the dock (Part 2) The Challenge of Open Theism

Let’s remind ourselves of what Open Theism is all about.  We can say that it is the belief that:

God’s main attribute is love

In his love God wants humans to have genuine freedom

In order for us to have freedom God designed a world where even he did not fully know the future. Continue reading

The Difference 2016

LOGOLast summer we ran a special festival called “The Difference” it was all about the difference that Jesus makes. We had a great time as we enjoyed art, food, music, cultural performances but the best bit of it was hearing different people tell their life stories about how God has made a big difference in their lives.

This year we are planning another special festival, The Difference 2016. It will run from March 23rd –March 27th and will be all about the difference that Easter makes. Why do we celebrate Easter? Is it just an excuse to feast on chocolate or a celebration of springtime? Christians believe that Easter is special because it was at this time of year that Jesus was executed on The Cross and rose again three days later.  The Difference 2016 will explore why this event was the most important event in history. Continue reading

Wisdom’s True Identity (Proverbs 8)

Do you like a good riddle? Remember in the Lord of the Rings when Bilbo first meets Gollum. They get into a riddle contest. Each gives the other a clue and they have to work out who or what the other is talking about. Finally, Bilbo stumps Gollum with an accidental riddle “What have I got in my pockets?” Continue reading

Should I stay or should I go? (Christians and the EU vote)

So we now know that the UK will come to a decision about its future relationship with the Europe on June 23rd.  Over the next few months, the news will be dominated by the EU referendum campaign.

Now, before you decide whether or not to read on, I want to say two things:

  1. Not all of our readers will have a vote or direct interest in this referendum (including readers from other countries.) However, hopefully you will find it helpful as you think about your engagement in other political issues (e.g. Presidential nominations). Also, please do take time to pray for Britain and the rest of Europe over the next few months.
  2. If you will be voting, I’m not about to tell you how you should vote. I don’t think that’s for me to say and I’ve no intention of declaring how I will vote or even if I’ve decided. My aim here is to help us think about how we engage with issues like this as Christians. So, if my own opinions on the question (informed or otherwise) leak out occasionally here, then I apologise in advance and include the caveat that such views are personal and not official Bearwood Chapel policy.

So here are few quick thoughts. Continue reading