Healing the blind -a question of timing and location

Jesus is travelling through Jericho and as he is coming out of the city, two blind men cry out to him and ask him to heal them. Continue reading

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The Garden (Genesis 2: 4-25)

We now get what many scholars take to be a second and possibly contradictory creation account.[1]  By the way, I think it is unlikely that someone would just stick two contradictory accounts side by side: common sense tells me that. There are also good reasons found in the text itself for rejecting that suggestion and we will see them as we work through the passage. Continue reading

The simplest Bible Study

Bible studies come in different shapes and sizes. Often study leaders face them with a certain level of fear and trepedation. We are not sure where to start so we do one of two things. Either we

1. Rely on a pre-prepared study in a book. Or…

2. We prepare a monologue where we talk to the group.

I want to suggest two very simple questions that we use in our home group and which mean any group can study the Bible together. 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

How should we interpret Genesis 1-3?

One of the big questions we will have to consider is “How should we interpret Genesis 1-3. . Of course, whenever we think about interpreting and applying Genesis 1-3, the question of Creation and Evolution is never far from my minds. Or to put it another way, how do we interpret the Bible’s account of origins in the light of modern scientific understanding? Continue reading

Exegeting my own heart

Preachers need to do three types of exegesis

1. We need to clearly understand the text

2. We need to know the congregation we are speaking to

3. We need to be aware of our own hearts.

 

The third one, exegeting myself, means being aware of where God is challenging us, this includes where he disagrees with and rebukes us but also where he encourages and comforts us. In other words, I pray “Lord speak to me that I may speak…”  It means being aware of where my biases, hobby horses, cultural assumptions etc are.

Here are some things that might help us to do this. Continue reading

Learning to See – pastors preachers, missionaries and planters

In earlier posts I’ve talked about the preachers need to exegete or understand 3 things before preaching: God’s Word,  The Congregation and himself (see towards the end of this post). What I mean by this is that we don’t just look at the text in isolation.

1. We need to apply it so we need to think carefully about the congregation- what is the application they will need in their pastoral circumstances and what will stop them from hearing or obeying.

2. We need to be aware of ourselves. What is in my own heart? What might prevent me from hearing, communicating and applying God’s word truthfully and Effectively?

I want to expand on this in two ways. Continue reading