Resident Aliens

Resident Aliens

Mark Johnston
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...
In our first piece in this mini-series on challenges faced by the church in the 21 st Century we considered the challenge of getting the gospel out to those who need to hear it. The main thrust of this is, of course, the verbal and propositional communication of God’s message of redemption through...
Not long ago I was asked to speak to a group of postgraduate students in Cambridge, England, on the subject of ‘Challenges facing the 21 st Century Church’. Some of these men were training for the ministry, others were elders and deacons in their church, all of us wanted to get a better perspective...
The season of Advent is once more upon us and the church around the world will soon be celebrating the birth of our Lord. It is a season of the year that has an interesting and uneven pedigree, not to mention a few curiosities and anomalies. Perhaps the greatest of the latter being that the focus...
This post is the last in what the English satirist, Douglas Adams, would call ‘a trilogy in five parts’! These reflections on what it means for Christians to be ‘aliens and strangers’ on this earth were never meant to run beyond three parts, but they did and I’m not quite sure what the five-part...
I was talking recently with a dear friend who has been going through significant housing issues with all the mental, emotional and spiritual turmoil that have come with them, when she interjected, ‘But then I realised, Jesus didn’t have a home.’ And she was absolutely right. Our Lord himself summed...

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