Is the Church a Family?

An obvious yes, right? Except, where does it say that? You’re about to have a harder time than you expected. You might point to the use of genos in 1 Peter 2, though that’s usually translated ‘race’ and if we translated it family we would mean in the very broad sense that I and all… Continue reading Is the Church a Family?

The Quest for Community

Everybody loves community, or they say they do at least. We live in a land that is parched of the life-giving water of friendship and stripped bare of many of the settings that used to make this easy for people. Robert Nisbet in his book The Quest for Community argues that what he calls a… Continue reading The Quest for Community

A Charismatic Doctrine of Preaching

God is a speaking God. It’s how he acts, how he creates, how he reveals himself. Throughout the Bible, God reveals truth and creates by speaking truth. As Glen Scrivener says, God is an external processor, he is never without his Word. At the very start of all things, God spoke the Universe into being.… Continue reading A Charismatic Doctrine of Preaching

My Hundred Homes

In Mark chapter 10 we encounter a famous story about a rich young ruler who thinks he keeps the commandments but find Jesus’ demand that he leave behind his wealth to follow him burdensome. Hidden away at the very end of the story are these strange promises from Jesus: Peter began to say to him,… Continue reading My Hundred Homes

Water is Thicker than Blood

I’ve argued elsewhere that the Sunday gathering is for worship, but as the priests gather in the Temple they find that the Lord comes to them. The occasion is worship, but we encounter God as he comes to us. As one of the four ‘events’ when God meets us as we worship him, Baptism is… Continue reading Water is Thicker than Blood

Church is for the Lonely

Have you ever noticed how often secular advice on, for example, wellbeing coheres with what the church would say? It veers wildly away at points as well, but I don’t feel like we do a lot of noticing of when it’s the same. Not to pat ourselves on the back though—I see a bit of… Continue reading Church is for the Lonely

The Church’s Story

What’s the story of the church? How do we fit into God’s grand plan? It runs something like this: God created the world with the aim of making his name great by demonstrating the worth, glory and character of God the Son. It was his good pleasure to do so by making lesser beings and… Continue reading The Church’s Story

Renovating the Church

The Bible often compares churches to buildings (e.g. 1 Peter 2). Which can sometimes sound a little odd on ears brought up on the resounding cry that the “church is the people not the building.” I appreciate that we probably needed the refrain, I live in a country dotted with beautiful relics of ancient churches.… Continue reading Renovating the Church

Feasting at Christmastime

This is a time full of feasting. Everywhere you go it seems you’re offered a plate of mince pies or piece of stollen, perhaps with a glass of mulled wine. You can’t escape it—biscuits and coffee at church become wine and cake week after week. Or at least that’s normal in the UK, I’m told… Continue reading Feasting at Christmastime