Resident Aliens

Resident Aliens

Mark Johnston
Democracy is a wonderful thing; but it has a major Achilles’ Heel: the voters of which it is comprised. When the majority of the Demos wants something that is inherently wrong, nothing can stop them getting what it desires. Plato, writing in the cradle of democracy knew this – warning that ordinary...
‘New Perspective’ has become something of a red flag in many Christian circles because of its associations with the so-called ‘New Perspective on Paul’. But if we allow one dubious doctrine linked to contaminate a phrase – however bad the guilt by association may be – we end up consigning a...
In its definition of ‘Saving Faith’ the Westminster Confession of Faith enters a very significant caveat that is all too often overlooked. Namely, ‘This faith is different in degrees, weak or strong; may be often and many ways assailed, and weakened, but gets the victory: growing up in many to the...
What does it mean to be ‘Reformed’? Different things for different people, to be sure! For Arminian Dispensationalists it is an anathema. For some secular observers, it is the religious equivalent of being to the right of Genghis Khan. But even for those who call themselves ‘Reformed’ there is...
We belong to a generation that is obsessed with its perceived ‘entitlements’. From human rights to civil rights, gay rights to children’s rights, the list is seemingly endless as to the permutations of personal fiefdoms people want to protect by law. In one sense we can understand this obsession,...
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,...

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