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Showing posts from January, 2015

A Eucharistic Prayer from Apostolic Sources

Thank You, O Lord God , our Heavenly Father, For You have richly spread this Table in our midst, Furnished with the holy bread and wine Which You, our kindly Maker, provide.
Nothing, Lord, have we to offer as atonement; Nothing can we win by our own merit. But You, in Your great love and grace Provide a full redemption By the one offering for ever of Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord Who by His death in our place Has fully paid our debt, Has banished all our wrong, And has clothed us with His perfect righteousness.

Top Ten Posts of 2014

The most-read posts on the blog in 2014:

1) The Biggest Theological Issues Facing Our Churches Today Far and away the most read post of the year. A year later, most of the issues are still issues (although now I might not be so quick to dismiss some of the issues from in the bottom section as not having much impact on our churches.)
Here are a few posts related to one of the issues on the list:
Sacraments Matter (because they're *Gospel* Sacraments!)The Words of Institution: Are We Really Breaking Bread
2) Athanasius on Penal Substitution A happily surprising entry at number two. (Always nice when classic theology beats contemporary controversies.)
Also on the subject of lessons we can learn from the Church Fathers:
Charismatics and the Ninth AnathemaChrist’s Seamless Garment, Our Spotless Robe, and the Unity of the ChurchIrenaeus On Revelation, Justification and JesusApplyingIrenaeus on True and False Pastors and Elders in the Evangelical & Pentecostal World Today
3) Restoring…

Heaven One Long Eucharist: Ian Macpherson on Eschatology and the Lord’s Supper

Ian Macpherson is well remembered as one of the greatest preachers of British Pentecostalism in general, and of the Apostolic Church in particular. He was also quite a prolific author, principal of our Bible College in Penygroes, and a hymn writer. And one of Pastor Macpherson’s great interests was the Breaking of Bread. He was so concerned that we have suitable songs to sing around the Lord’s Table that he compiled a new hymnbook – Hymns at the Holy Table – to be used as a supplement to the Redemption Hymnal for the Breaking of Bread service. In fact, he wrote several of the hymns for the new book himself (with several also being included in the New Redemption Hymnal), and through his hymns he teaches us quite a bit about the Lord’s Table.

But one particular line struck me recently. It’s the final line of Macpherson’s hymn ‘Here at our Holy Feast’ (No. 52 in Hymns at the Holy Table): ‘Heaven one long Eucharist.’ The last verse of the hymn speaks of how, in the resurrection, we sh…

Some Favourite New Songs from Church in 2014

As I gave you some old communion songs in the last post, I thought I'd highlight three of the new songs that we learnt as a church this year. They're some of my favourites, but also some that seem to be favourites of quite a few people in the assembly. (They have a few other things in common too, but I'll let you discover that for yourselves.) Click on the arrow under each song title to get the song to play.

Now Why This Fear and Unbelief

The Gathering: Live from WorshipGod11 by Sovereign Grace Music
Verse 1
Now why this fear and unbelief?
Has not the Father put to grief
His spotless Son for us?
And will the righteous Judge of men
Condemn me for that debt of sin
Now canceled at the cross?

Jesus, all my trust is in Your blood
Jesus, You’ve rescued us
Through Your great love

Singing the Lord's Table

Throughout church history, one thing that Christians have continually rediscovered is how the songs we sing help us to learn and understand the faith. I've been thinking about this lately in terms of the Lord's Supper. You see, there aren't really all that many contemporary worship hits about the sacrament, and I think in most places among evangelicals and Pentecostals, in this country at least, we seem to have forgotten most of our old Communion hymns. And at the same time, the Lord's Supper seems to have been largely eclipsed in our practice, our thought, and our devotion. Could the demise of the Communion hymn be linked to our confusion about and de-emphasis of the Supper?

But, the thing is this: it's not all that easy to recover the hymns we've lost. Finding a suitable tune to sing them to which will work in a congregation today isn't always easy if you don't know about how hymn tunes and metres work. So, with that in mind, here's a bit of help…

Top 10 Theological Books I read in 2013

Yes, 2013 - I was about to post about my favourite books of 2014 when I discovered this sitting in my drafts which I had never posted, and as the point of these lists is to tell people about good books, I thought I'd go ahead and post it before I get to the books of 2014. (By the way, 2014's version will look quite different.)

So, here goes...

I know it’s a bit late for top 10 book lists. I wasn’t going to write one, but then realised how many great books I’d read last year, so wanted the chance to at least mention a few of them. They weren’t all written in 2013 – that just happens to be when I read them. Any list of favourties is, of course, utterly subjective, so each of the books here is on the list for entirely different reasons. And no, of course I don’t agree with them all (lest anyone be perturbed by the fantastic, yet less than conservative evangelical, theologian who makes it quite high on my list).