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Showing posts from May, 2009

Worship without Powerpoint?

Have a look at what Iain Campbell has to say . Just to entice you to click on the link and read, here's some of the conclusion: I am no Luddite – I believe in embracing the new technology. I can tolerate PowerPoint for welcome notices, for asking people to switch off their mobile phones, for displaying notices, for displaying our psalms and speaking to the children. What concerns me is the assumption that one need not take even a Bible with one to worship, because it will all be provided on the screen, And what I simply cannot tolerate is the growing dependence on PowerPoint for proclaiming the message of the Gospel, and the niggling feeling I have that we are raising a generation of public speakers who cannot preach a sermon without turning it into a presentation. Update: Here's another take on Powerpoint and Sermons: 'Powerpoint and the Death of Preaching'  from the Exiled Preacher. 

D.P. Williams on Evangelism

[An Evangelist should] be always careful that he is occupied with the truth ... the central truth being CHRIST CRUCIFIED. The Evangel , or the Gospel, is a message of Good Tidings. The Evangelist is the one to proclaim that message, the herald of glad news of great joy. He must be possessed with intense love for the message, as well as compassion for the souls of men, knowing at heart that God has entrusted him as an ambassador with the message of Peace to a rebellious world, and with the prescription of healing to the dying millions ... This declaration of Salvation by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus is the function of the Evangelist, so, in order to be prosperous, he must understand his message, as well as be equipped to proclaim it. D.P. Williams, The Work of An Evangelist ( Penygroes : The Apostolic Church, 1928), 15

Why has everyone forgotten Nadab and Abihu?

Leviticus Chapter 10:1-3 (ESV) 10:1  Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized fire before the  Lord , which he had not commanded them.  2  And fire came out from before the  Lord  and consumed them, and they died before the  Lord .  3  Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the  Lord  has said, ‘Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified.’” And Aaron held his peace.

Glorified, Risen and Ascended (Pt 4)

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Okay, so the Ascension lies behind the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. But what's it got to do with our Apostolic distinctives? How would they disappear without the Ascension? Well, tonight lets just look at one important aspect of Apostolic theology, namely the Headship of Christ.  Christ's Headship over His Church is at the very heart of Apostolic theology, and behind this central theological distinctive lies the Ascension. Ephesians 1:19-23 links the Ascension with Christ's Headship. God gave Christ to be 'head over all things to the church, which is his body' (Eph 1:22-23) as a result of the Ascension. If Christ were not ascended, we could not have Him as our Head. And, without the Head, there wouldn't be much of a Body! After all, the Body depends on the Head for its life. As a result of the Ascension God gave Christ as Head of His Church. In fact, that means that we've seen two gifts that God has given as a resu

Warrington on Suffering and the Spirit

It is to be expected that the Gospel will be opposed and that its witnesses will be rejected as reflected in the writings of Luke and the experiences of the early Church leaders. The persecued Church is the norm; the church that is not suffering is therefore a cause of wonder or concern. Asking the Spirit to empower believers while removing them from suffering is thus often inappropriate. However, asking for the power of the Spirit while engaging in suffering for the Gospel is to emulate the life of Jesus and the greatest leaders of the early Church. Keith Warrington, Pentecostal Theology (London: T&T Clark, 2008), 308

Whilst on the subject of theological jokes ...

A friend sent me this: Karl Barth, Paul Tillich, Reinhold Niebuhr, and James Cone find themselves all at the same time at Caesarea Philippi. Who should come along but Jesus, and he asks the four famous theologians the same Christological question, “Who do you say that I am?” Karl Barth stands up and says: “You are the  totaliter aliter , the vestigious  trinitatum  who speaks to us in the modality of Christo-monism.”  Not prepared for Barth's brevity, Paul Tillich stumbles out: “You are he who heals our ambiguities and overcomes the split of angst and existential estrangement; you are he who speaks of the theonomous viewpoint of the  analogia entis , the analogy of our being and the ground of all possibilities.”  Reinhold Niebuhr gives a cough for effect and says, in one breath: “You are the impossible possibility who brings to us, your children of light and children of darkness, the overwhelming oughtness in the midst of our fraught condition of estrangement and brokenness in t

Nursery Rhymes and Critical Scholarship

Bultmann reads Mother Goose N.T. Wright reads Humpty Dumpty (Funny if you're up on your C20th NT Scholarship)

Glorified, Risen and Ascended (Pt 3)

Part 1 Part 2 Right, so we've established that Christ's Ascension was not an end, but a beginning. But, what exactly did He begin to do? Well, more than one thing in fact. Let's start off today by being Pentecostal. 'What's being Pentecostal got to do with the Ascension?', I hear you ask. Everything, I reply. On the Day of Pentecost, Peter explained to the crowd what had happened.  Yet Peter wasn't content simply to recount an experience. Rather, he made known the theological foundations of the experience of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. In fact, Peter explained that it is the Ascension that lies behind the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. ' Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.' (Acts 2:33). Christ's receiving of the promise of the Spirit from the Father is a result of Christ's Ascens

Glorified, Risen and Ascended (Pt 2)

(For the beginning of the series click here.) The Ascension tends to be thought of as an end. It was the end of Jesus' earthly ministry. It comes at the end of the Gospels. Now, it is true that the Ascension marked the end of Christ's earthly ministry, but what we tend to forget a little bit is that it also marked the beginning of His heavenly ministry. The Ascension is not only an end, but also a beginning. The Ascension marks the beginning of something new; it marks the beginning of the presence of the God-Man in heaven. Sometimes we are in danger of forgetting that. Sometimes we act as if Christ's incarnation was only temporary, ending when He ascended into heaven. Yet the whole point of the biblical accounts of the ascension is to stress the fact that Christ ascended bodily into heaven. Christ left the earth as God Incarnate and He entered heaven in the same way. It is the Incarnate Son of God who has sat down at the Father's right hand on high. We have

Glorified, Risen and Ascended

Last Thursday probably passed most people by quite unnoticed. In the UK thoughts were probably drifting towards Bank Holiday Monday and the long weekend. In Belgium Thursday itself was the Bank Holiday, so I spent the day driving from Brussels to Wales. However, last Thursday was not just a Bank Holiday squeezed in to give Belgians a Thursday off work. Last Thursday was a Bank Holiday precisely because last Thursday was Ascension Day. Most evangelicals today retain the old High Holy Days of Christmas and Easter. Afterall , they celebrate events which are theologically very important to us as evangelicals. Special reminders of the Incarnation and Resurrection of Christ serve a good purpose. Many Pentecostals have a vague idea of Whitsun (or Pentecost for any Americans out there). In the UK Whitsuntide has traditionally been a time for Conventions in various parts of the country among the Apostolics . (In fact in the early years it was the time of year for one of the four b

Thanks for Entering the Competition

Thank you to all those who entered the competition to win a copy of Words of Life by Timothy Ward.  Congratulations to the winner, a Bible College student in the United States.

What is the Hypostatic Union?

Today I was talking to some students about the Hypostatic Union . But what, I hear you ask, is this Hypostatic Union ? Well, the Hypostatic Union is the fact that Christ's human nature and Christ's divine nature are joined in one person. (In fact, Hypostatic really just means personal .) This means that Christ is fully human and fully divine; He is not part man and part God. Neither is He a mixture between God and Man (that would make Him neither really God nor really human, but some sort of third option instead). Rather Christ is, in the words of the Westminster Shorter Catechism , 'God and Man in two distinct natures and one person forever.' Ever since AD 451, Christians have explained the Hypostatic Union with the Definition of Chalcedon  (sometimes called the Chalcedonian Creed): We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also per

Centre For Pentecostal Theology

I stumbled across the Centre for Pentecostal Theology  (CPT) today. This is a research centre devoted to Pentecostal theology on the campus of Church of God Theological Seminary in Cleveland, Tennessee. Being on the other side of the world, the most interesting aspect of CPT is probably its role in significant publications; the centre is editorial home to the Journal of Pentecostal Theology , The Journal of Pentecostal Theology Supplement Series , and  The Pentecostal Commentary Series . They have also launched the CPT press , which has published three titles already this year, all of which are, of course, about Pentecostal theology.

Don't Forget to Enter the Competition...

Wouldn't you love to win a copy of Words of Life ? Then don't forget to enter the competition by clicking here . The competition closes on Tuesday 19 th May so you better hurry up and enter for your chance to win.

Preaching in the Power of the Holy Spirit

Preaching is not simply about getting information across.  The idea is not simply to increase people's knowledge. Neither is preaching simply about stirring people's emotions.  Preaching is not just a Christian form of public speaking. Rather, preaching is about God's work. As the preacher faithfully proclaims God's Word, God acts by His Holy Spirit through the Word preached. Sometimes this is easy to forget. After all, the preacher has to put in a lot of hard work studying the biblical text and crafting a sermon which is faithful to the text. So, sometimes we focus a lot on the preacher's work. Yet we should never forget that the preacher is not alone in the act of preaching. He is not a lone proclaimer, announcing his own message on his own authority. Rather, he is God's herald, proclaiming the Word of the Sovereign Ruler of the universe with the authority that comes from the message itself. It is not the preacher who convicts of sin; it is the Holy Spirit.

Magazine Article about CTS

CTS (Continental Theological Seminary) has been featured in an article in the Pentecostal Evangel (an American AoG magazine). You can read the article (and see the pictures) here . HT: Shannon Buckner

For Your Consideration

Today, a few interesting links you might be interested in reading. Death of the Emerging Church?  (Michael Patton suggests that Emerging, as a movement, has run its course and gives somes possible reasons why.) William Mounce on 1 Tim 2:15 ('saved through childbearing')   Willliam Mounce on Transformation  (These are both from 'Modays with Mounce', a weekly post on Koine Greek, exegesis and related topics by the author of the Basics of Biblical Greek .) Was Joseph a Type of Christ?  (Article by James Hamilton from The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology , 12.4 [2008])

Competition: Win a Theological Book!!!

Last week I wrote a quick review of an excellent new book on the doctrine of Scripture ( Words of Life: Scripture as the Living and Active Word of God by Timothy Ward). This week I thought I would encourage some good reading by offering you the chance to win a brand new copy of Words of Life. So click here for your chance to enter the competition for the opportunity to own the book described by Donald Macleod as a 'treat' and 'a great read'.

The Bible & Church Day Conference - London

On 20th June, Tyndale House is organising a day conference in London on the subject of Bible and Church. The event will take place at Westminster Chapel and further details can be found here . The topics and speakers for the day will be: Have we got the history right? Dr Peter J. Williams Have we got Jesus right? Dr Simon J. Gathercole Have we got the text right? Dr Dirk Jongkind  (My Greek teacher at university)