Can we find hope in apocalyptic times?

I write a column for Preach magazine, in which I explore a significant word or phrase in the Bible and the ideas that it expresses. The first one was on the phrase ‘Word of God’, and second on ‘Justice’ and the third on ‘Mission’. This one, published in Preach Magazine issue 23 Chaos and Truth, explored the … Continue Reading

Palm Sunday in Matthew 21

It is always a relief when we celebrate Palm Sunday from Matthew (as we do in this Year A in the lectionary) or Mark’s account (next year). Luke 19.36 in his account talks only about the garments, and does not mention palm branches, so in those years we have to call it Garment Sunday (which … Continue Reading

Who was the first Immanuel?

Richard Goode writes: The name Immanuel can be found in Matthew’s account of Jesus’ birth (Matt 1:23). Joseph has just learnt that, although they were still unmarried and before “they lived together” (sunelthein – lit. ‘come together’), Mary has been found to be pregnant (1:18). Matthew’s readers would have known that a circumstance like this placed … Continue Reading

Is Revelation a vision—or an audition?

One of the things I have noticed in studying Revelation in the last couple of years is the amount and importance of the material that John reports that he hears in comparison with what he sees. There have been several studies of the hymnic material in Revelation, and these sections are important in themselves, partly because of … Continue Reading

Is Jerusalem important?

Donald Trump made the headlines last week by announcing that he was ordering the US Embassy in Israel to relocate from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Anything involving an announcement by Trump is bound to be incoherent, and the situation in the near east is immensely complex, so you can guarantee that there was going to … Continue Reading

Preaching and creativity

In my nearly ten years teaching preaching, and my 37 years of speaking and preaching, I have come to the conclusion that the best way of summarising the task of preaching (in whatever context) is answering the question: What is God saying to these people at this time through this text? This roots preaching in … Continue Reading

Preaching as creative act

In my nearly ten years teaching preaching, and my 33 years of speaking and preaching, I have come to the conclusion that the best way of summarising the task of preaching (in whatever context) is answering the question: What is God saying to these people at this time through this text? This roots preaching in … Continue Reading