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Showing posts from January, 2012

A Feast Doesn't Just Happen

A well planned and prepared feast. Yesterday I decided to cook myself a big dinner. No matter what, I had to go to the shop to buy some food, so I decided that I would at least make it worthwhile; I would make a hearty stew. So I bought all the ingredients and was beginning to really look forward to my dinner. But as I drove home from the shop, I passed a building with a big digital clock on display (there's no clock in my car!) and began to get the sneaking suspicion that my plans had not been well enough laid. Sure enough, when I got home I checked and saw that it was going to take 3½ - 4 hours to cook, by which time I'd be at Christianity Explored. So alas, no stew. You see that's the thing with a good meal: it takes planning, time and preparation. As yesterday's lack of stew reminded me, you can't just decide to have a feast on the spur of the moment. As a church, we've been talking in Leeds recently about seeking the face of God. We've seen that

What hath Leeds to do with Tokyo?

'In Yorkshire the percentage that goes to church once a month or more is 0.9 percent; evangelicals account for only 0.4 percent. Both figures are still falling. This is comparable to the state of affairs in, say, Japan.' ( Don Carson )

Be sure you understand what God's saying!

Sometimes we can be so used to an expression that we don't even stop to think about what it means. Those who have been Christians for some time have probably got used to hearing all sorts of biblical expressions; they might sound quite odd and incomprehensible to anyone else, but we're so used to hearing them that they just sound normal. Yet being used to something isn't the same as understanding it. Recently at church God spoke to us prophetically and told us to seek His face. A few days later I was talking to some of the teenagers and realized that it sounded quite odd to them. What did it mean to seek God's face? After all, we don't normally talk about seeking anyone else's face! Now, the teenagers thought about it and realised they didn't understand what it meant, but sometimes we don't think about these things, and so we don't realize that we don't understand what God is saying. I'm not just talking about prophecy here; this applies

Worship, Feelings and Biblical Truth (or Confessions of a Theologian turned Worship Leader)

Worshipping God at AblazeUK.Wonder what they're singing? In sundry times and ways throughout the Christian life we can get confused between feelings and truth. C.J. Mahaney addressed this problem in one of the chapters of his excellent book, The Cross Centered Life , called 'What You Feel vs. What Is Real.' Mahaney was writing about the fundamental issue of basing our faith on the Cross rather than our feelings. Yet the same thing comes into play when we gather in our various churches on Sunday mornings to worship: it's all too easy to get confused between truth and feelings. Our worship should be based on the Cross, not on how we feel. Now for the confession bit...

Of Popularity and Plurality (or Mark Driscoll on the UK)

Mark Driscoll seems to have a knack for stirring up controversy in his own country, but that's normally rather an irrelevance to us on this side of the ocean. This week, however, he's managed to stir things up here in the UK with an interview published in Christianity magazine and broadcast on Premier Radio , part of which went as follows: Driscoll: I go too far sometimes. Almost every other pastor I know doesn’t go far enough and that’s okay ’cause the church tends to be led by people who are timid and fearful of going too far. I mean, let’s just say this. … Right now, name for me the one young good Bible teacher that’s known across Great Britain.  Brierley: Hmm …  Driscoll: You don’t have one. That is a problem. There’s a bunch of cowards who aren’t telling the truth.  Brierley: So you think that the Bible teaches …  Driscoll: You don’t have one. You don’t have one young guy who can preach the Bible that anybody’s listening to on the whole earth. So, it se