Causing and taking offence (part 4)

I have spent the first few posts focusing on the objective dimension of offence. This is not because there isn’t a subjective component to it or because this does not matter but because our society wants to deny and/or ignore the objective dynamic and so it ends up with very muddled thinking. Continue reading

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Causing and taking Offence (Part 3)

My primary aim when writing something here is not because I fancy getting into some interesting debate but because stuff is pastorally important. So what is my pastoral concern when talking about offence. Continue reading

When you think you are winning …

So, here’s the thing.  A few people saw this interview Jordan Peterson interview and began highlighting it as a great example of how to do battle with hostile, sceptical people who misunderstand you, sometimes wilfully.

I watched the interview and my reaction was. Continue reading

Deuteronomy, rape, sexual violence and a deeper approach to application

In the last article we had a close look at Deuteronomy 22 but any preacher reading should have been screaming “You’ve only one part of the job.” You see, in the first article we didn’t touch too heavily on application. And yet this is so important. I have been strongly critical of a more liberal approach to Scripture that discourages the deep interaction with the text that it wants to claim. However, my own conservative evangelical constituency can miss out too if we simply look at these texts as apologetic problems and when we see them think purely in terms of “How am I going to explain that one.” Continue reading

Both/And when evangelism is pastoral care and pastoral care is evangelism

“When we do anything, our test is whether or not it will speak to men in their 30s” explained the visiting US pastor. This provoked plenty of reaction and questions. Does this mean that women and older people were ignored or treated as second class. He patiently explained that it did not. It wasn’t that others were ignored but that: 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

Cut and run: Is it ever okay to skip over a passage in expository preaching?

On Sunday, our preachers were due to speak on 2 Samuel 12. It’s the Bible passage where King David’s sin against Bathsheba and Uriah is called out. The question got asked “How should we handle this?”

It was a baptism service, we were expecting guests, some young people among them, a good number who had probably not been to church or read the Bible before. The passage includes the particularly sensitive part I looked at in this article where David and Bathsheba’s child dies.  The questions raised were: Continue reading