Three reasons for giving

This is the penultimate talk in our believing and belonging series. We have talked about what healthy churches look like, who should belong to a church, the importance of baptism and communion and how we are to use our gifts together in the service of the Gospel. Next week we will be looking at pastoral care and church discipline. Today we are going to talk about giving. Continue reading

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Leaders

When I first came to Bearwood Chapel, one of the things I said at the start was that I cannot guarantee that I will get everything right.  I am human and fallible, I will make mistakes. So, the promise I made was that when I get things wrong I will be the first to hold my hand up.

I’m reflecting on that for two reasons as we talk about leaders in the church. First of all, I have always felt that an important requirement of leadership is that leaders should be teachable. We must not put them on a pedestal and infallible. Continue reading

Two Trees

Here’s a further thought about the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve are in the Garden, they are told they can eat from any of the trees except the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

There were two trees at the centre of the Garden. The other was the Tree of Life.  The first humans were not forbidden from eating from this tree. Continue reading

Deuteronomy, rape, sexual violence and a deeper approach to application

In the last article we had a close look at Deuteronomy 22 but any preacher reading should have been screaming “You’ve only one part of the job.” You see, in the first article we didn’t touch too heavily on application. And yet this is so important. I have been strongly critical of a more liberal approach to Scripture that discourages the deep interaction with the text that it wants to claim. However, my own conservative evangelical constituency can miss out too if we simply look at these texts as apologetic problems and when we see them think purely in terms of “How am I going to explain that one.” Continue reading

Does the Bible require a woman to marry her rapist?

One of the reasons why people like Steve Chalke are asking us to re-evaluate the nature and role of Scripture is because of some of the challenging texts that seem to go against our contemporary cultural ethics and even against Christian morality.

One of the examples given of this is Deuteronomy 22:28-29 which the NIV translates:

“28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels[c] of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.” Continue reading

The Work of the Holy Spirit (John 16:4-15)

Have you been filled with the Holy Spirit?

Is this Church a Spirit Filled Church?

Maybe you have heard those two questions and not been sure how to answer them. Sadly, those two questions cause a lot of division within churches and between churches. This is ironic givent hat he is meant to be the Spirit of Unity.

Maybe it has caused you to doubt or to worry. Am I a proper Christian – or just a second class believer? Is there something I am missing?  Continue reading