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Showing posts from July, 2018

Praying Always (Part 5): Tozer on Continual Communion in Prayer

A.W. Tozer’s name is well-known by Evangelicals around the world today. Yet, Tozer wasn’t a celebrity pastor, constantly making the rounds of the conference circuit. First and foremost, Tozer was a man who loved to spend time with God in prayer and meditation. And he was a man who believed strongly in the importance of unceasing prayer.

Tozer explained what it means to pray without ceasing by drawing on definition from Dr Max Reich: ‘Praying without ceasing [is] a continual, humble communion with God, day and night, under all circumstances, the pouring out of my heart to God in continual unbroken fellowship.’ (from Tozer’s article ‘The Church is on a Stormy Sea’, in Faith Beyond Reason).

But, if we’re to know this continual communion with God in prayer, then we need to be aware of, and deal with, the problem of distraction:

Whatever excites the curiosity, scatters the thoughts, disquiets the heart, absorbs the interests or shifts our life focus from the kingdom of God within us to …

Infinite, the Trinity's Loving: 2 Pentecostal Songs on the Trinity, the Eternal Purpose, and the Covenant of Redemption (by D.P. Williams)

There aren't all that many contemporary worship songs about the Trinity, the Eternal Purpose, or the Covenant of Redemption. To be honest, there aren't many older choruses either, and most people would be surprised to discover they were incredibly important themes in the early Pentecostal worship of the Welsh-speaking Apostolics. So, here are two Trinitarian hymns that take in these themes which I've translated from the Welsh of D.P. Williams. I've made rough recordings and attached PDFs of the lyrics and chords as well, so that if anyone wants to they can get an idea of the tune. (For one I've used the tune suggested in Molwch Dduw, our Welsh hymnbook, but I couldn't find the suggested tune for the other one, or one that seemed appropriate or usable today in the right metre, so I came up with one myself.)

Infinite the Depths is one of my favourites of D.P. Williams' hymns, taking in the wonder of Christ's atoning work, God's free justification of s…

Praying Always (Part 4): What Martin Luther had to say

Luther said that none of us could say we don't have time to pray without ceasing. Here's how he explained it:

There is no Christian who does not have time to pray without ceasing. But I mean the spiritual praying, that is: no one is so heavily burdened with his labor, but that if he will he can, while working, speak with God in his heart, lay before Him his need and that of other men, ask for help, make petition, and in all this exercise and strengthen his faith.

This is what the Lord means, Luke xviii, when He says, "Men ought always to pray, and never cease," although in Matthew vi. He forbids the use of much speaking and long prayers, because of which He rebukes the hypocrites; not because the lengthy prayer of the lips is evil, but because it is not that true prayer which can be made at all times, and without the inner prayer of faith is nothing. For we must also practise the outward prayer in its proper time, especially in the [Lord's Supper], as this Command…

A Pentecostal goes to some theological conferences: Tyndale Fellowship and EPTA 2018

This last fortnight has been conference time for me, first with the Tyndale Fellowship Conference Christian Doctrine Group in Cambridge, and then the European Pentecostal Theological Association (EPTA) at Continental Theological Seminary (my old institution) in Brussels. This was my first trip to the Tyndale Fellowship Conference and my second to EPTA, and I recommend them both highly. So, I thought I’d tell you a bit about them. (I also gave papers at both conferences this year, so I’ll tell you a bit about that too.)


What did they have in common?

The most obvious commonality is that both are academic conferences. Yet, both are also academic conferences hosted by confessional associations, and so they’re largely (though not exclusively) evangelical affairs. Most attendees are practicing Christians, and so both conferences include daily prayers as well as the academic papers. Both also attract people working in academia as well as those working in church settings, and so, it’s a time …