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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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

Dealing with anger and resentment in the face of injustice

Some of you are facing what seems to be terrible injustice. You have been falsely accused. People have said hurtful things to you.  In our church community, quite a few people have experienced received negative decisions about immigration or benefits. Often, it’s not just the decision that affects them but how it was made and the tone with which it was delivered Continue reading

Why did we end up talking about grief in our Sunday sermon?

Last Sunday morning, I was preaching on 2 Samuel 1. One of the key themes that came through during the sermon was “grief and mourning.” How and why did we end up talking about grief?  For me, this highlights the beauty of sequential, expository preaching. Would I have chosen to preach this passage if I was just choosing my own passage each week or selecting a series of topics to look at? Probably not, and we would have missed so much. However, we were constrained by an expository approach to look at a passage together and that’s how the application came out.  So, here are three things we might have missed if we didn’t have expository preaching. Continue reading

The Problem with prejudice another perspective (part 3 )

We have seen the danger of prejudice including “implicit bias.” This includes:

  1. The danger that if I have an implicit bias against others I may misjudge them, I may mishear them. I may fail to see what they have to offer, fail to encourage them in their gifts and fail to hear truth from them.
  2. The danger that I may experience of perceive implicit bias from others means that I will hear everything they have to say as loaded, subjective and prejudiced. I may miss the truth when it is spoken by them. I may mistrust them and reject the love that freely offer.

Here are some reflections on how we can move forward. Continue reading

The problem with prejudice – another perspective (part 2)

Last week, Sarah Champion was forced to resign from the Shadow Cabinet. What did she do wrong? Well she wrote an article for the Sun in which she said

“Britain has a problem with Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls.”[1] Continue reading

Advocacy – Another example of acting for justice

One of the ways in which we have tried to support justice is by seeking to stand alongside people seeking justice through our immigration system – particularly asylum seekers. The immigration system is exactly one of those examples of justice been distant and difficult to access. Continue reading