Preaching to the Affections means that we need to read our communities and our congregations (Preaching to the Affections part 2)

What he said was right. It was faithful to God’s Word, the exegesis was spot on, the doctrine sound a the application flowed neatly out of the text -and there was plenty of it. However, something wasn’t quite right.  There was something about the tone. It seemed to miss the mark.  Have you ever sat through a sermon like that? I’m sure most of us have. In fact, if we are honest, most of us who preach will also recognise that we have far too often been guilty of preaching a sermon like that.  Now sometimes it is just that we didn’t quite hit it, sometimes we are tired, sometimes our own circumstances mean that we are passionate about something that is true and right for us but not for the congregation. That’s why I find myself increasingly thinking about how I exegete or read the congregation and how I exegete my own heart as well as the Bible text. Continue reading

The Answer to Rage – Preaching to the Affections (1)

People are angry. There’s a sense of frustration, grievance and even fury in the air. As we saw in yesterday’s post there’s talk of a Day of Rage today. Continue reading

The Beginning of the Story (Genesis 1:1-2:3)

The story of Creation starts right at the beginning of the Bible. The stage is set, the main characters introduced and we begin to read about who God is and what he is doing in time and space.  In Genesis 1, we are told that God creates the world over a 7 day time frame. Continue reading

Marriage, Abortion and Euthanasia are public matters not just private choices

Yesterday I wrote about why Christians should and could be involved in public life. I wrote in the context of Tim Farron’s resignation as Liberal Democrat leader.

The root of Farron’s resignation can be found in a series of interviews he gave at the start of the General Election campaign. Farron was pushed hard to say whether or not he believed being gay and/or gay sex was a sin.

Farron’s initial defence and that of his supporters was that his religious beliefs about moral questions were a private matter and did not impinge on his public role as leader of the Liberal Democrats.  Farron eventually stated that he did not think gay sex was a sin. However, I think he would have wanted to say that the principle he had argued still stood. Farron was also challenged about his views on abortion.  Could he as a Christian see abortion as wrong whilst leading a party that supported it as representing a woman’s right to choose. Continue reading

Why Evangelical Christians can and should be involved in public life

Yesterday, Tim Farron resigned as leader of the Liberal Democrats explaining that he felt “torn between living as a faithful Christian and serving as a political leader”[1]

Today, people are asking whether or not Christians who believe the Bible’s teaching on moral matters such as abortion and same-sex marriage can still be involved in public life or whether their view now in effect bar them from mainstream politics and high office. Continue reading

Leadership lessons from #GE2017

I promised some practical lessons for leaders from the General Election. This is because whatever we think about the specific political qualities of different candidates and parties, there’s a lot we can learn about leadership both from what they do well and what they do badly. Continue reading