God doesn’t need me to change his mind – and that’s a good thing

Remember that age old question about whether or not God ever changes his mind and the case study of Abraham interceding for Sodom and Gomorrah/ Lot? Well it came up during our fantastic and lively Faithroots Live session yesterday.

The assumption is that God plans to wipe out the city and this means Lot, Abraham’s nephew will be killed. This moves Abraham to intercede for Lot and the result is that his life is saved. Continue reading

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A Tragic Victory (2 Samuel 18)

Absalom should not have died that day. It was unjust, avoidable, a tragedy. I’ve mentioned a few times recently the difference between comedy and tragedy. Comedy ends in victory, joy and celebration. The protagonist is better off at the end than at the start. Tragedy ends in disaster for the central characters. Continue reading

Why did God test Adam with the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil?

“If God knew that Adam would fail the test and eat from the Tree, then wasn’t it unfair of him to set the test in the first place?”

This is one of the questions that was asked at Sunday Night Church this week. The simple and short answer is “ He didn’t set a test” at least not in the way that we have grown accustomed to thinking about tests, trials and tempting.

We are conditioned by living in a world blighted by sin and so we know that we get tempted and fail. If someone tells you not  to think about something, say something or do something then you can’t help yourself. So, we assume that in the garden, that there was this tree and every day, Adam saw it and the tree subliminally shouted out to him “come, take a closer look, eat from me” until eventually, Adam gave in. Continue reading

Creation and God’s Greatness

When we looked at who God is, we saw that God is great and sovereign. His sovereignty is seen in his independence.  In John 5, we are told that both Father and Son have life within themselves. They are not dependent upon anything outside of themselves for their being, identity, status or value. Continue reading

In defence of church planting and Church planting movements

Church planting and church planting movements have been the big talk in Global Missions over the past few years. Internationally there’s Acts29 and City to City. Here in the English Midlands we have our own 2020 Birmingham which started with an aspiration of 20 church plants by 2020 and now is seeking another 3o by 2030 with the prayer that each of those churches will plant one more.

Not everyone is happy about this though. On certain parts of the inter-web questions are being raised.  The underpinning theme is “Is this Biblical? Or is it human strategy?” These are vital questions and as I’ve been asked them directly myself I want to respond to them. Continue reading

Justice Starts with God

During the panel discussion on Justice,[1] Don Carson asks

“What are the biblical texts and theological themes that should most control our thinking about justice and righteousness issues in our lives, in the church, in the time and place in the world where God has placed us?”[2]

Tim Keller, Voddie Baucham and Thabite Anyabwile all start with The imago Dei, that is, the Bible’s teaching that we are made in God’s image. Keller notes that this means that God holds us responsible for taking life, that we “should not speak abusively” of others and that “God even holds animals responsible for killing a human being.”[3]

Then Anyabwile and John Piper take it up a level and say something absolutely vital to our understanding of justice. Anyabwile says Continue reading

The local church and a General Election

So here we are facing a snap General Election just two years after the last General Election and one year after Brexit. How should a local church respond to an election?  Here are some thoughts Continue reading