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
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
During the panel discussion on Justice, 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?”
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.”
Then Anyabwile and John Piper take it up a level and say something absolutely vital to our understanding of justice. Anyabwile says Continue reading
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
When this question came in, my interviewer looked a little nervous “We don’t want to get into politics on a Sunday morning!” He said. And in that context, he was right. The Gospel is bigger than party politics and political personalities and so we are careful not to get into that type of debate. Continue reading
The problem when we approach predestination philosophically
Predestination is often (almost always) seen as one of those tricky doctrines to be explained and defended (a bit like the Trinity). It’s something controversial and complicated. However, just like with The Doctrine of the Trinity, if we treat Predestination as one of those embarrassing relatives to be hidden away and whose behaviour we will probably have to make excuses for, then I think we lose something wonderful. Continue reading
The Big Question
So, this is the big question that has stumped theologians and divided Christians. If God is sovereign and predestines, then what freedom do we have to make choices and thus what responsibility do we have for our actions.
This is a question we will come back to in more detail when we look at the Doctrine of Humanity and so at sin and redemption. However, it is important that we start looking at it now as we consider God’s character and nature. Continue reading