people sitting on gang chairs

The most revealing meeting at church

Martin Buber said: “All real meaning in life is in meeting”. What’s the most revealing meeting at church?  – Sunday morning? In almost every church I know, the best attended meeting is the Sunday morning service. That’s the “high” point, where most work is put in. That’s where we expect newcomers to show up; it’s …

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one black chess piece separated from red pawn chess pieces

The Glorious Equalities & Inequalities of Heaven – part 1 of 2

Earlier this year, we spent some time as a church thinking about what happens to us when we die. We thought about the final hope of Jesus’ resurrected, glorified people in the new heaven and earth. Theologians call this the ‘eternal state’.  But is this eternal state identical for every individual or is their variation …

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man people woman pot

“Non-directive” preaching

It sounds like something straight from George Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth”. But it is in fact language that the Scottish parliament’s equalities committee are using as they explore out-lawing “conversion therapy”. The committee has concluded that religious teaching and prayer about sexual identity should only be permitted if it’s conducted in a “non-directive way” (para …

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silhouette photography of jump shot of two persons

How do the values of the cross apply at work, where I’m judged by success, profit, and efficiency?

M asked a great question the other night at prayer meeting. In 1 Corinthians 1, Paul is explaining that the values of the cross up-end the values of the world. Paul is seeking to stop the values of the world creeping back in to the church. So, M asked: “what does that mean for my …

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back view photo of white dove perched on palm tree branch

“Does the Holy Spirit speak to you personally?”

Here’s an outline of a conversation I had after church a while ago: “Does the Holy Spirit speak to you personally?” “Yes”, I said. “Absolutely! He’s been speaking to me and to you during the last 30 minutes, through the Holy Scriptures”.  “No, I don’t mean that. I mean do you hear his voice telling …

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woman with bracelet taking bath with foam

A sincere dilemma

Here’s a dilemma I have. I haven’t been able to resolve it yet. But, I think spotting the dilemma itself has some value.  It works like this:  On the one hand, I will read a passage like Titus 3. Paul says: “be gentle, and… show perfect courtesy towards all people, for we ourselves were once …

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