What the Preacher Saw (The Enigma Sermons 4)

Ecclesiastes brings us the observations of Qoholet (the preacher) who is king in Jerusalem (1:12). He sees himself as in position to do this because of his great wisdom (1:16) and so he makes the pursuit of understanding his life project (1:13, 17). Remember that we have seen already how his perception is that life is an enigma, vapour like, hard to pin down, like chasing the wind (1:2, 14. Here are some of the things he observes about this enigma as he tries to pin things down). Continue reading


“I’ve become a Christian but my partner is still an unbeliever -should I leave them?”

Question -someone becomes a Christian. They are living with or involved in a sexual relationship with their boyfriend/girlfriend. The boyfriend or girlfriend is not a Christian and shows no interest in becoming a Christian.

How do we respond?


–          There is a relationship/friendship. Do we want to be the cause of it breaking? How does that affect witness etc?

–          It is messy because we do not have the clarity of marriage.

–          What affect will the ongoing relationship have implications of being unequally yoked.

–          Most importantly -we want to glorify God and give Biblical advice not just our own opinions. Continue reading

Under the Sun

One classical assumption about Ecclesiastes is that it offers a negative view of life because Qoholet embarks on a thought experiment with certain constraints that will lead to a negative outcome. Specifically, he limits his observations to life “under the sun.” This is sometimes read as suggesting that he is only looking at life in natural terms, “under the sun” is treated as excluding “heaven” and God from the picture. Life within the bubble is “meaningless” or “empty.” Continue reading

Vapour (The Enigma Sermons part 1)

Fog Forest Mist Mysterious Vegetation ForeOne word can stand out as iconic making a whole passage or book memorable. It can shape how we think about that passage or book, how we read it, how we understand it.

One such word is “vanity” and the book is Ecclesiastes. Continue reading

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

Welcome to the Mess: “My hands are dirty” … “He doesn’t mind”

Glen Scrivener has put together a beautiful little set of short films imagining the scene where a time portal opens between a 21st century British home and Bethlehem on the first Christmas night.

In the story so far,Will and Claire have gone to stay with Claire’s parents for Christmas. It’s not been an easy time for Will the awkward boyfriend but he has been the first to “meet the Nativity~” whilst the rest of the family head off to the midnight service.  On Christmas Day , he shows Claire too. Continue reading

Why Cold Feet disturbed and challenged

I’m just catching up with last weekend’s TV having been in Austria for Hannes’ induction (watch this space for a report). So last night we settled down to watch Cold Feet.

The week before, we had discovered that Olivia, one of Karen and David’s twins was now pregnant aged 17.  This week picked up on the consequences and followed Matthew (16) and Olivia’s intense, heart breaking struggle about whether or not to keep the baby or to have an abortion. Continue reading