Resident Aliens

Resident Aliens

Mark Johnston
Reformation Day is drawing near. It provides an annual opportunity for Protestant churches worldwide to fulfil the exhortation of the letter to the Hebrews: ‘Remember your leaders’ (He 13.7). It reminds us that, without in any way falling into the sin of venerating mere men, it is good for us to...
The much-loved hymn, ‘I greet thee who my sure Redeemer art’ – included in the Strasbourg Psalter of 1545 and attributed to John Calvin – contains the lines, Thou hast the true and perfect gentleness, No harshness hast Thou, and no bitterness These words have often drawn comment, or been quoted...
How little we appreciate the privilege and blessing of prayer. That we, sinful mortals as we are, should have access to God beggars belief. That he should even consider us, let alone countenance our requests is astounding. Yet he calls us to pray, he has opened the way of access in Christ for us to...
Back in 1959 a short book appeared under the title The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner . It was the fictional account of a troubled teenager who took up running to deal with his inner troubles and it was later turned into a movie under the same title. I have often wondered if there might be...
Church was never intended to be the spiritual equivalent of a spectator sport. Yet, somehow, this is how it has come to be treated, not only by many Christians; but by their pastors as well. Those who serve as ministers of Christ can easily approach their calling as though it is their job to please...
The book of Ezra is notoriously difficult to read, let alone preach; but it is there in the canon of Holy Scripture to edify and equip the saints (2Ti 3.16). Whereas, at one level, it provides a crucial link in the chain of God’s redemptive dealings with Israel, it is ultimately vital to our...
How easy it is for us to become frustrated over our carelessness in prayer and, indeed, the way it all too often ends up with prayerlessness and damages our walk with God. Like Jesus’ disciples, again and again we need to say, ‘Lord, teach us to pray!’ That is, not merely that we need to learn...
There are more than a few places in the Bible – frequently in the Old Testament, but also in the New – where we find long lists of names, sometimes bound up with numbers. And, when we find ourselves in such territory, we often wonder why they are in the sacred record and what are we supposed to...
As Easter approaches, many churches will mark its beginning with a Palm Sunday service. This is more than just a nod to the tradition of the church; it is an acknowledgement that each detail of the gospel record has vital place in our understanding of the redemption Christ secured. So, with the...
It is hard to overstate the impact the late Francis Schaeffer has had through his writings, ministry and work of L’Abri , the study centre he and his wife established in Switzerland. He was a man for his times who provided a Christian response to the cultural mega shift that began in the Sixties...