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

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

The Lies we believe about Creation

What we believe affects how we live. This includes what we believe about four key things:

  • God
  • Creation
  • Us
  • New Creation

We are now going to take some time to look at what we believe about Creation. We’re going to do this in four parts: 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

Making your mind up – “I don’t know who to vote for”

The lesser of two evils?

Last year I wrote about those times when voting is difficult because it feels like a choice for the lesser of two evils. You may recall that I said at the time that it is okay to choose not to choose, in other words, not to vote for either option.

My reasoning was simple. So often, the message goes out at elections that it doesn’t matter who you vote for so long as you vote.  That cannot be true, can it?  All viewpoints are not equally valued or ethical. What about the person who goes and votes for a neo-fascist committed to racial supremacy? What about the person who opts for a hard-line Marxist committed to the elimination of all religion?  Is the important thing that “at least they voted?”

I said in the article that when we do not feel that there is a suitable choice, then it is okay to say “I refuse the options put in front of me.” This is itself a choice. Continue reading

Coming up “Where did we come from”

Our next big faithroots series is all about Creation. We’ll be looking at origins- how did God make this World. We will also find out more about God’s providence, how he sustains and looks after his creation. The series will look at the problem of evil and the affect of the Fall on creation. Continue reading