Taking Scripture seriously: Why Steve Chalke gets the Bible wrong

Steve Chalke has been posting a series of 95 short film clips to mark the Reformation. His aim is to encourage a conversation and in effect a new reformation in our approach to Scripture.

In video 10 he talks about the Bible being a library of books that reflect the faulty cultural views of the authors.  This means that:

“These books chart the long discussion between God who inspired, initiated and pushed the conversation forward and men and women created in his image.”

“These books reveal the all too often partial but at the same time gradually expanding human understanding of the character of God and what it means to be human.” Continue reading

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What does the fox say? – and the hedgehog know

“The fox is a cunning creature able to devise a myriad of complex strategies for sneak attacks upon the hedgehog. Day in and day out, the fox circles around the hedgehog’s den, waiting for the perfect moment to pounce. Fast, sleek and beautiful, fleet of foot and crafty p-the fox looks like the sure winner. The hedgehog on the other hand, is a dowdier creature, looking like a genetic mix up between a porcupine and a small armadillo. He waddles along, going about his simple day, searching for lunch ad taking care of his home.”[1]

But every time the Fox shows up with a clever strategy to get the hedgehog, the hedgehog simply rolls up into a ball.  It is safe.  The world is divided into foxes and hedgehogs argues Jim Collins in Good to Great. Foxes are those who look at the world and see lots of complexity and have lots of ideas and strategies. Hedgehogs are those who simplify the complexity. [2] Or to quote Isaiah Berlin, “The fox knows many things but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” [3]

From this, Collins developed his Hedgehog principle. This is the idea that great leaders keep the main thing the main thing. They focus on one important thing and don’t get distracted. For Collins this is based on three factors Continue reading

Can I trust the Bible? Isn’t it just a load of made up stories?

Can I trust what I’m reading?  It’s an important question -especially if you are reading out the winner of the Oscar for best film! Continue reading

How do we hear God?

In our recent mini-series on Worship and gifts, we saw that there are 3 key reasons for gathering to worship. These are: To glorify God, to encourage each other and to hear God speak.

So how do we hear God speak?  What can we know about God from the world around us? Is it possible for us to use our reasons to discover the truth about God? Why is the Bible so important? What part do things like prophecy, words of knowledge, dreams and visions have to play in the church today. Continue reading

What stops me hearing God?

At Bearwood Chapel we’ve been thinking a lot about our worship together and discovering and using our gifts recently. This has been the big theme from 1 Corinthians 11-14.  We’ve seen that three things should be happening.

                We should be glorifying God

                We should be encouraging and building each other up

                We should be hearing God speak to us

I want to pick up on that third point here. How do we hear God speak and what can stop us from hearing Him? In earlier articles on faith-roots, we’ve seen that everything God does reveals something of his character. So God speaks through creation, through his acts in history, through personal testimony. We see something of this type of revelation in what are sometimes referred to as words of knowledge and prophetic insights. These things are part of God’s General Revelation. Continue reading