The Doctrine of the Fall

God made the world good. The sense we get in Genesis 1 is of “perfection.” By perfection we do not mean in the sense that it was complete but rather that it was fitting for its time. It was incomplete in the sense that humans still had the work of filling and subduing creation and of tending and caring for it.

We see here an eschatological trajectory. As a number of commentators over time have noted, the movement is from a Garden to Garden City. We look forward to a day and a place where God will dwell with all his people (see Rev 21-22). I believe that Revelation 21-22 was always the goal of Creation.

According to John Calvin, this means that sin was both a fall from where we were and a departure from where we are going. Continue reading

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Another way to help the urban church – use your retirement

Are you planning for your retirement? What does that retirement look like. For some people it will mean staying put and increased opportunities to serve in their home church. For others, the dream may be of a move to somewhere new to enjoy a well earned change of scenery. Some may even be looking at a place in  a retirement village. Continue reading

Faithful Servants and #Churchtoo #MeToo

When I first wrote about handling the difficult Bible passages in 2 Samuel about David, Bathsheba, Amnon, Absalom and Tamar, I identified 3 types of person in the narrative. The first two are

Culprits – who are causing harm to others through their sin and carry specific guilt.

Victims – who are hurt by the sin of others often subjected to shame and a sense of defilement.

However, I don’t want us to lose sight of the third category. There are those we identified as faithful servants.  These are people seeking to be obedient to God and faithful to his word and promises even in the face of intense provocation. Continue reading

6 more ways you can help and encourage urban mission

I’ve recently shared two articles about how churches and individuals can partner with and support urban mission in the UK.

The latest article talks about how we have been trying to encourage urban mission and church planting in our area and the previous puts forward two suggestions, one for churches and one for individuals.  The idea for “individuals” is something anyone could start doing now. The idea for churches is something that many of us might find a little beyond us at the moment.  So here are some further small step ideas. Continue reading

What are we doing to help encourage and support urban mission?

In the last post I mentioned two ways in which churches and individuals in wealthier parts of the country could support urban ministry in needy areas. Continue reading

What about … (2 practical ideas for supporting urban mission)

There has been some talk recently about how we encourage mission to needy urban areas. Here are two simple ideas. One for churches and one for individuals. Continue reading

#ActBC – Why are we asking you to partner with us? (part 2)

A few years ago, there was a local website called “We love Bearwood” encouraging people to love and enjoy their local community around where our church is located. I realised that this kind of helped sum up my personal mission.

I want people who love Bearwood to come to know and love Jesus.

I also want people who know and love Jesus to love Bearwood.

But actually, I’m not just thinking about Bearwood. We often talk about wanting to see Bearwood and beyond transformed by the Gospel. Continue reading