In defence of church planting and Church planting movements

Church planting and church planting movements have been the big talk in Global Missions over the past few years. Internationally there’s Acts29 and City to City. Here in the English Midlands we have our own 2020 Birmingham which started with an aspiration of 20 church plants by 2020 and now is seeking another 3o by 2030 with the prayer that each of those churches will plant one more.

Not everyone is happy about this though. On certain parts of the inter-web questions are being raised.  The underpinning theme is “Is this Biblical? Or is it human strategy?” These are vital questions and as I’ve been asked them directly myself I want to respond to them. Continue reading

#Prayfor… – How do we pray in response to terror and tragedy?

It has become common over the past few years to see a #Prayfor hashtag on social media straight after tragedies and terror attacks. For some, the hashtag is just another way of expressing grief, outrage and sympathy but for many there will be a real desire to pray. We have responded to the recent attacks in London and Manchester as well as the Paris attacks to pray for those cities. We also take time to pray for those experiencing suffering and persecution around the world on a regular basis.

So, what do we pray for? I want to suggest the following ways that we can #PrayforManchester and #PrayforLondon Continue reading

The answer to terror

The aim of terrorism is to cause fear, panic and terror. That’s where it gets its name from.  Over the past few months, we’ve been learning from the book of Revelation that this world is often frightening, chaotic, messy, senseless. Terrorism is just one expression of evil – a world in rebellion against its loving creator. Continue reading

A tale of two scrolls – How we know Revelation is for now

We have insisted throughout our #ReturnoftheKing series on Revelation that the book offers God’s heavenly and eternal perspective on history in order to enable us to live now. This contrasts sharply with some esoteric approaches that treat it as a series of codes that will only make sense at a future date. Continue reading

The Wedding Feast (Revelation 22)

Power has won another round

Freedom’s shaking, gagged and bound

But we’re not so far away

And all these mighty little men Proclaiming dollars, sterling, yen But we’re saving for the day Continue reading

The end or is it (How The Resurrection helps us make sense in the midst of terror)

First posted following the Paris terror attacks. Reposted today following events in Manchester. Hope it’s helpful

faithroots

Introduction

The events of last weekend brought great terror and distress. It wasn’t just the events themselves but the fear of further terror.

Last weekend reminded us that lie can be distressing, confusing and terrifying. It’s not just those big events. There is the fear of sickness, death, unemployment. The distress of being hurt, let down. The regret of failure.

 Read Mark 15 :42-16:20

  • What happened? –Making sense of extraordinary , confusing, terrifying events

Mark 15:42-47 Jesus is buried

Normally the Romans left the bodies of executed criminals to decay. But the family could request the body from the magistrate.

The body is requested by Joseph of Arimathea.  He was one of the Sanhedrin.  He was looking for God’s Kingdom. Something had happened to draw him to Jesus.

Jesus is wrapped in cloth. The body is laid in a tomb cut into the rock. A stone is placed across the…

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Millenium

On Sunday, we discovered that Satan’s power is finite and temporary as we looked at Revelation 20:1-6. This is the primary point that we should take away from those verses. Pastorally this makes it a deeply encouraging passage.

However, as I pointed out in the sermon.

  1. These verses have been the source of controversy over the years as people have debated exactly when and how Satan’s power will be limited
  2. Although we have just a short passage here, people have often decided their interpretation of the book of Revelation and indeed the Bible’s whole teaching on eschatology from these few verses.

In a sermon, I don’t really have the time to unpack all the options, nor do I think that would be the best use of my time. However, it may be that some would like a little bit more background and explanation. So here it is. My plan is to first of all give an overview of the different positions taken and then give a short explanation of why I’ve landed on the interpretation I have. Continue reading