Hope and fulfilment in the gospels

Biblical eschatology is founded on three key assumptions. The first is that the God of Israel is the rightful ruler of the world (and not just of Israel alone), often described in terms of his kingship over the creation. The second is that, even though this is the situation in theory, in practice the world … Continue Reading

How do young (and old) people read Bible stories?

The latest Grove Biblical booklet, Interpreting Bible Stories with Children and Young Teens, is a fascinating exploration of the challenge of reading Bible stories with young people, by Melody Briggs. Melody begins by setting out the practical challenge that we might face: You are a church children’s work volunteer and it is your turn to lead the next … Continue Reading

How soon will God act?

Unless you are a deist (even perhaps a moral therapeutic deist) then belief in the orthodox understanding of the Trinity implies an expectation that God, by his Spirit, is at work in the world and in the life of the believer. In 1 Corinthians, Paul describes the active work of the Spirit in the congregation … Continue Reading

Why is preaching so hard?

Many people in public ministry find that preaching is one of the most demanding things they are involved in. To put yourself and your theology on the line, to seek to offer an illuminating and life-transforming insight, week in, week out, is very tough! But why exactly does it feel so hard? There are some … Continue Reading

Does the Bible interpret itself?

I was recently passed a very large and heavy volume, beautifully bound in leather-covered boards, by friends clearing out their late father’s library. On opening the weighty cover, I was confronted with the bold declaration: THE SELF-INTERPRETING BIBLE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS BY THE REV. JOHN BROWN I’ve done no research to establish who this … Continue Reading

Why you need Bible reading notes

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Christian in possession of a Bible must be in want of some help in reading it. Bible reading notes were once the staple of any church which believed the Bible to be a vital resource for discipleship and growth, but like many habits, regular Bible reading and … Continue Reading

Should we aim for a pure church?

I have just been doing some writing on the anthropology of the Book of Revelation, and it is quite a challenging topic. In exploring how a book depicts human existence, you might (for example, in Paul’s letters) look at theological terminology or (for example, in the gospels) explore the narrative construction of reality. Neither of … Continue Reading

Questions for evangelical leaders

I am pleased to say that my Grove Leadership booklet Evangelical Leadership: challenges and opportunities is now available on the Grove website. You can order it post-free (in the UK) or have a PDF emailed to you. In it, I address what I think are the five major challenges for evangelical leaders—which of course offer five … Continue Reading

Should we fix the date of Easter?

I don’t really know Nick Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury (he was appointed after I left the diocese), but he appears to have a deep capacity for irony. Apparently he believes that fixing the date of Easter is going to be more complicated than agreeing on the status of same-sex unions: If the Primates of the … Continue Reading