A gift to the church – more on church leaders

Last Sunday I preached about the role of leaders in the church and I focused on Ephesians 4:11 which says:

“ Now, these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.”

We saw that Continue reading

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Working class or middle class leaders to reach working class communities?

One suggestion about why we struggle to reach working class communities is that we primarily have middle class leaders of churches, furthermore, we have middle class leaders because we put barriers in the way of working class people becoming leaders because we identify the qualities and training methods associated required for leaders with middle class qualities. Continue reading

The Goldilocks Zone: Collected Writings of Michael J Ovey – A Review

Let me take you back to one year ago.  I had just finished reading “Your Will Be Done” by my old college principal, Mike Ovey. I mentioned to my wife that I should drop him an email to say I’d enjoyed reading it and that he should write more books.

I never got to send that email because not long after, we received the shocking news that Mike had died suddenly. In the aftermath, as we read other people’s reflections, the theme “why didn’t Mike write more books?” came up again and again,  and the response kept coming back, “his books were his students.”

However, Mike did write so many things including articles, essays and conference papers and here is a wonderful volume bringing together some of those pieces. Chris Green was Mike’s Vice-Principal at Oak Hill and a close friend, so who better to do the job of carefully selecting and assembling the material?

The Goldilocks Zone is divided into four sections: Continue reading

The Goldilocks Zone

goldilocks zoneAs you will know, it is just under one year ago since Mike Ovey, Principal at Oak Hill died suddenly.  Mike was principal whilst I was at Oak Hill, He had such an influence on my own theological formation but like so many people have commented, Sarah and I were also indebted to his love, care and kindness to us. So I’m really encouraged to see that Chris Green is bringing out an edited collection of his writings.A more detailed review of the book is available  here but in the mean time I wish to strongly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in knowing God’s Word and God’s World better.

Mike was a brilliant communicator of Gospel truth and this shines through in the volume. He also had a sharp analytical mind with the ability to pull apart false, crooked and woolly thinking, lovingly but firmly. You will also see  a model of true academic gifting, the ability to take complex issues and explain them simply.

Continue reading

What is the point of a theological argument? (Updated)

A week or so ago, I mentioned some of the challenges relating to theological debate, discussion and disagreement. One challenge I mentioned was this:

“We want to be careful to give matters their proper importance

There are two things to watch out for here. First of all, we need to carefully identify which issues are essential to Christian faith and which are not.  There are some matters that if we get them wrong, we undermine the Gospel. There are other areas that are still a matter of discussion and debate between Christians. Continue reading

Why theology matters

Why does training people for urban ministry matter?

Why bother joining our #TrainBC programme and studying for Union’s GDip?

Why get involved in talking about theology?

A lot of people who are keen to share the Gospel and see urban churches planted are just desperate to get on with the job. Theology is seen as complicated and a distraction from knowing and preaching Christ.

To start to answer those questions I want to ask one more: Continue reading

The Father and the Son – navigating a minefield in the Eternal Subordination debate

Here are some of the specific challenges that those negotiating the debate about how The Son relates to the Father have to negotiate: Continue reading