Who do you think you are? (John 8: 31-59)

  1. Who do you think you are? Is a TV show where celebrities trace back their family tree in the hope that their forefathers will have been related to royalty. To their embarrassment, half the time they discover that their ancestors were semi-literate convicts. Continue reading

Joseph as a type of Christ

Like King David, Joseph offers us both an example as a typical believer and a pointer to the Gospel as a type of Christ. Here I want to pick up on some of the ways that Joseph provides us with that pointer to Christ and the Gospel. Continue reading

The heavy Burden (The Enigma Sermons 5)

How are we to make sense of the enigma of life? Trying to understand a messy, often unjust world is difficult, often frustrating.  Qoholet keeps comparing this to “vapour” or “chasing after the wind.” In 1:13 he tells us that:

“It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with”[1]

The ESV translates the Hebrew word ra’ as “unhappy” this is the same word that is often translated “evil.” Is the task God has given us an evil one? Bartholomew sees Qoholet’s assessment as in sharp conflict with Genesis 1 -2. Continue reading

A disturbing Interruption (Genesis 38)

Our Sunday Night Church studies have been taking us through the life of Joseph in Genesis 37-50. The story begins in chapter 37 with Joseph telling his brothers about his dreams, being given a beautiful coat marking his father’s love for him and then being sold into slavery. However instead of continuing the story with Joseph’s service in Potiphar’s house, chapter 38 interrupts the flow with the disturbing story of Judah and Tamar. Continue reading

Does the Old Testament encourage abortion?

Two Bible passages have been used to suggest that the Bible encourages abortion. The first is Exodus 21:22 which says:

22 “When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. “

The second is Numbers 5:11-31 which is about when a husband believes that his wife has been unfaithful but there isn’t objective evidence.  In this case, the woman is given water mixed with a little dust and with the words of a curse dipped into it. If she is guilty then this is the curse:

“‘the Lord make you a curse and an oath among your people, when the Lord makes your thigh fall away and your body swell. 22 May this water that brings the curse pass into your bowels and make your womb swell and your thigh fall away.’”[1]

Let’s take these in turn Continue reading

Unfinished business, legacies and racism

On Sunday I preached about unfinished business between David and the Gibeonites (2 Samuel 21). . We saw how Saul’s actions a generation earlier were still having an affect under David’s reign. We saw that superstitious concepts about generational curses are wrong but that there is a Biblical principle that our actions can have far reaching consequences. Continue reading

Pro Life or Pro Choice? The oldest dilemma

If the abortion debate is framed in terms of pro-choice or pro-life, then it should be no surprise that people generally tend to go with “pro-choice” because that is what we have been doing throughout history. This is the oldest decision.

In Genesis 2, God provides two trees at the centre of the Garden of Eden, one is the Tree of Life, eating from it provides a daily testimony to the life which Adam and Eve have from God. They were made to live for ever. The other tree is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, eating from it was a declaration that humans would make their own choices about right and wrong. Eating from it was a claim to autonomy -that they did not need God’s revelation to know how to act. The first Tree was literally pro-life and the second pro-choice. Adam and Eve ate from the second tree because they wanted to be like God, to have the power and independence he had.

The sad thing about that decision in the Garden of Eden was that humanity already were made in the image of God and already shared a precious quality with him, the quality of life, living for ever. The other sad thing about that decision is that in not choosing life, they were choosing death. God warned them that when they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they would die.. Continue reading