The movements of Pentecost

Coming once again to the New Testament texts about Pentecost, I have been struck by the extraordinary dynamism which seems to be present in every aspect. In the gospels, Jesus is the dynamic focus of action—constantly on the move physically as a way of expressing the dynamic presence and movement of God in his ministry—and … Continue Reading

Why I love New Wine

I have just returned from our 19th visit to New Wine in Shepton Mallet—though a good number of our visits have been to New Wine [Gateway to the] North in Newark. We first attended when our eldest was 1, and continued attending each year, even when number 2 was one month old and number 3 was two … Continue Reading

Role models in the Acts of the Apostles

I’ve been at the Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting in San Diego. (I have been staying in the squat tower on the right.) It is an extraordinary global gathering of around 7,000 academics running over five days, and alongside are 5,000 academics meeting as the American Academy of Religion. The programme booklet giving details … Continue Reading

The Spirit and critical study (2)

In my previous post, I highlighted the dilemma we find ourselves in when there is a dissonance between our experience of hearing God speak through Scripture and our experience of engaging in more reflective study of the same texts. I characterised these two sets of experiences as follows:   Immediacy — Delay Clarity — Ambiguity Relevance … Continue Reading

The Spirit and critical study (1)

There is a widespread view that the work of the Spirit and the work of critical study of the Bible are like oil and water—they simply don’t mix. This is reinforced from both directions. People who read the Bible devotionally often look distinctly nervous when the subject of ‘academic’ study of the Bible comes up. … Continue Reading

Do Christians grow more holy?

Across the pond, another dispute has arisen and another split taken place, though it has not been much reported beyond narrow interested circles (fortunately). I have to admit to struggling to relate to this kind of debate, so you will need to look elsewhere for a better reporting of it (if you are interested). But it does … Continue Reading