Resident Aliens

Resident Aliens

The first Letter of John, filed among the ‘General Letters’ section near the end of the New Testament is an enigmatic, but hugely significant part of the Bible. At first glance its message seems very straightforward; but on closer inspection (as I discovered recently to my chagrin when I started...
Yesterday I was with some fellow-ministers for our monthly fraternal. Our current focus for discussion is Tim Keller’s book on preaching [1] and we were looking at his chapter on ‘Preaching the Word’. Its key thought is our need as preachers to grasp that the power and authority of God himself are...
It is the unavoidable certainty in life; but also the great taboo. In the midst of life it is never far away; but many are afraid to contemplate it. Yet we find it in Scripture: a dark thread running all the way through its message. From the first warning about it in Eden (Ge 2.17) to the final...
Thursday, October 21st was apparently ‘Back to the Future’ day – the day to which the characters played by Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd were propelled forward in time in Back to the Future II exactly 30 years ago. The occasion was marked in the UK with their legendary De Lorean sports car...
‘What are the marks of a true church?’ is a question that has quite rightly occupied the minds of theologians through the centuries, because the history of the church is littered with many bodies that have claimed to be churches, but have so drifted from their moorings in Scripture that they are no...
There are passages in Scripture we know only too well, but which we understand alarmingly badly. Paul’s words about love to the church in Corinth rank high among them. Far from being designed with wedding services and marriage enrichment weekends in mind, they were first spoken with a sting in the...
The steady flow of articles on theology posted on this website in recent months has been enormously helpful. As I have found myself encouraged and challenged by much of what has been said, I thought I might be able to add one further reflection to the mix of what has already been written. It has to...
Europe is in the grip of the most serious displaced persons crisis since the Second World War. Pope Francis, on his recent visit to the US, has raised the issue with the President as well as in his address to Congress. But what should we as Christians make of it in light of the Bible’s teaching? I...
If we were to ask the question, ‘Which is the most significant prayer found in the Bible?’ the answer would almost certainly be, ‘the Lord’s Prayer’ and understandably so. This was the prayer Jesus taught his disciples in response to their request, ‘Lord, teach us to pray’ and it has become the...
There is a subterranean dimension to being a preacher that those who are not preachers often do not see and those who are often try to keep buried. It’s the fact there is a dark side to ministering God’s word and it has a profound impact on those whose calling it is to do so. A preacher friend of...