Resident Aliens

Resident Aliens

I came across one of those stories recently that are funny, but true. It was in a church on the island of Lewis in the Scottish Hebrides – probably the last place in the British Isles that still feels the lingering afterglow of a spiritual awakening that took place over half a century ago. Some who...
What makes for sermons that are well delivered and readily received? In some ways it is easier to answer that in the negative. There are may examples of Reformed and evangelical preaching that look good on paper and are beyond reproach in content, but have little or no impact on those who listen...
‘Diversity’ has become one of the buzzwords in evangelical Christianity in recent times. At one level, this is a good thing, but at another its trendy inclusion may come at an unwelcome price. Just as a perfectly good adjective like ‘missional’ became a cover for some less than good theology, we...
The devil made the headlines in Britain earlier this month. On February 13 th the General Synod of the Church of England genteelly voted him into retirement. In one sense it came as no surprise. The reference in its baptismal liturgy to fighting ‘manfully against the world, the flesh and the devil...
There has been a long-running debate in Christian circles generally and Reformed Christian circles in particular as to whether or not using images of Jesus in children’s Bible story books, or for illustrations in children’s talks, is a breach of the second commandment. It is a genuine debate, and,...
For some reason – possibly Superbowl Sunday – the past few weeks have seen a flurry of articles relating to the Sabbath being published online. As pastors across the US braced themselves for a major drop in attendance at their evening service [if they actually had one] it again raised the question...
The temptations of Christ are recorded in three out of the four Gospels, so clearly they are meant to highlight a significant component of Jesus’ mission to save. But, despite their prominence in the Gospels, they have been subjected to a range of interpretations – some of which tend towards...
The last of the four challenges I believe the church is facing in this century takes us to the very heart of what it means to be a Christian and what differentiates authentic Christianity from that which is mere imitation. Although the other three challenges mentioned in my previous posts may be...
Over a year has passed since my family and I were forced to leave the US and return to Britain under rather unusual circumstances. We had moved to America in 2010 in response to a call from Proclamation Presbyterian Church in Bryn Mawr, PA for me to become its next Senior Pastor. Given that we had...
It may seem more than a little strange to include this issue as one of the major challenges facing the church in the 21 st Century, but the sad reality is that it is. The glaring evidence for this can be seen in the way the church in many parts of the world has allowed itself to be backed into a...