Expository Worship and 2 Samuel

I thought I’d share an example with you of our congregation leaders thinking through how to connect up the teaching series with the rest of the service over the next few months.  We are coming to the end of 2 Samuel (ch 14-24) and so we did two things. First of all, the preaching team met together to look at the big picture of what is coming up. The the congregation leadership team (11:15) spent a bit of time thinking about implications for songs, prayers, responses additional readings etc. This is what they came up with.

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Reasoning in an uncertain world – The Enigma Sermons and Straight & Crooked Thinking

When we started faithroots.net we said that we had two key purposes. First, this is a teaching and training hub. Our aim is to help equip people to be better able to serve the Gospel. Secondly, we also said:

“This website is for people living in a messy world.  The evidence of the mess is all around us.  I grew up towards the end of the Cold War and remember the day that the Berlin Wall came down.  We were promised that this would usher in a new era with a peace dividend.  One writer even claimed that we were seeing the end of history.  We seem to be a long way from that day now.  9/11 shattered those hopes so that we now live once again under a shadow of war and terrorism.”[1] Continue reading

Night and Day – Special Revelation, Spiritual Gifts and Revelation

I am not a cessationist. This means I believe that the types of spiritual gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12 are available to the church today.  However, we often have a problem about what to do with gifts like prophecy, visions and dreams.  These are revelatory gifts but we believe that Scripture is God’s full and sufficient revelation. Continue reading

The Art of Meditation

One of our elders prayed on Sunday night that people would be able to anchor their lives in reality. How do we do that in a world of fake news? How do we do that in church when it is so tempting to suspect and think the worst of others? How do we do that in the storms and chaos of life? How do we do that in the face of the devil’s lies?

We consistently talk on faithroots.net about the importance of replacing lies with truth. The simplest way of doing that is found in Psalm 1:2 which says of the righteous or blessed person that

Their delight is in the Law of the Lord, they mediate on it day and night.

We replace lies with truth when we meditate on God’s Word. What does it mean to meditate? Biblical meditation is not about emptying your mind and thinking about nothing. It is about choosing to focus on the truth of Scripture.

Here are some practical ways of doing this. Continue reading

Faithroots Live – This Saturday 10th March

Our Faithroots Live event is this Saturday. Join us at 9am for Breakfast. We will start the workshop formerly at 9:30 and finish at 2pm,

Our topic is “How Do you know?”

We will be looking at how we can know truth about God, Creation, Humans and New Creation.

Big questions asked during the day will include: Continue reading

Momentum: What do Eric and Bill Johnson (Bethel) teach?

In previous articles I’ve talked about the challenges of interacting with specific people when we disagree. There is the risk that we personalise things that should not be personalised and that we also use famous names, to provide a theological kind of click-bait.

At the same time, elders have a responsibility to guard as well as to feed and so, no matter how reluctantly and cautiously, there are times when we need to step into the fray and to name names.  The challenge is that there are so many novel ideas and big personalities around that we cannot keep up with anything and everything.

With those things in mind, I decided to pick up a book by Eric and Bill Johnson from Bethel Church in Redding California. I picked it up because it was being promoted, on prominent display in our local Christian Bookshop. Also, I’ve been aware of the fuss surrounding Bethel for a little while. There’s two sides to this. First of all, Bethel is extremely popular both in terms of its reputation as a “revival centre” and in the music that is coming out of it.  Secondly, a number of people have questioned the theology underpinning the church and whether or not its orthodox.  Of course, Christian leaders are there to be shot down, especially when amazing things are happening around them, so it is possible that they are being misunderstood or misrepresented. However, the popularity and prominence of Bethel means that this is something relevant to the life of our local church. It is important that our members are able to discern truth from error. Continue reading

Christ: filter or lens? Is Steve Chalke’s hermeneutic right?

Steve Chalke argues that because Jesus is the infallible Word of God and the one to whom Scripture points, we must read Scripture in the light of his life and teaching. So far, so good except that for Chalke, this means that he looks at Scriptures which he struggles with and if he finds that they don’t fit with his understanding of Christ’s life and teaching then he does not have to agree with them. Continue reading