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Showing posts from April, 2016

Conservative Evangelicals and Homosexuality - The Bible's Message on Holiness (Part 4)

The Bible is quite counter-cultural, in that it tells us not to follow our heart, or pursue our dreams or live for the moment, but to pursue holiness, righteousness and godliness. We find the command in both the Old and the New Testaments (e.g Leviticus 11:44-45; Leviticus 19:2; 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:22; 1 Peter 1:15-16).

In previous posts in this series I've outlined that Christians believe in the authority of God over us and that evangelicals (perhaps especially conservative evangelicals) understand God to express his will for us in the Bible - his word. Now there are all sorts of things that Bible teaches us, but one of the consistent themes is that God wants his people to be holy, key to which is moral purity (see for example the context of Leviticus 19:2 in the holiness code and the contrasts being drawn in 1 Peter 1).
It's important to note that this is a theme, not primarily for everyone in the world, but for God's redeemed people. So, the law in Leviticus com…

The Lord of the Kings

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This is my May magazine article. Enjoy!

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The king said to Daniel, "Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery." (Daniel 2:47 NIV)

Are you ever nervous or overwhelmed about the great and powerful groups that are ranged against Christians and Christian groups. As we read about the persecution of Christians by groups like ISIS and Boko Haram, we feel helpless – what could we say to Christians in that situation? In our own country, Christians increasingly feel a minority, and the prevalence, power and impressiveness of other religions and worldviews can make it feel that our faith is insignificant, our God is either weak or absent and that Christianity is a faith of the past.

It must have felt like that for Daniel and his friends. Judah, God's people, had been defeated and they had been taken into exile by the great power of the time – Babylon – ruled by the military genius King Nebuchadnez…

Book Review: Women and Men in Scripture and the Church

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If you want a book to unintentionally persuade you that the arguments for women to be elders and bishops are incredibly weak, then I suspect this might be the book. It is one of the worst I have read.

I'm doing some presentations on the issues of women's ministry in a couple of months and, whilst being a fairly convinced complementarian, I recognise good, faithful, Bible-believing Christians come to a different viewpoint to me. In practice that gives me a tendency to read outside my viewpoint for the best of their arguments.

The editors tells us "The aim of this book is to help individual Christians, small groups and even whole churches to look again honestly and carefully at what the Bible says about women and men in family life, in ministry and in society." (p. ix) They do then go on to admit that all the authors are egalitarian, but the book could still be even-handed. In particular it was compiled (too hastily I might suggest) to speak into the situation after t…