I wrote a few months back about our preoccupation with the need to be extraordinary. It’s, particularly for my generation, a problem in ministry. It can play havoc with leadership, undermine the ordinary means of grace, and mean that we miss what we’re aiming for. To take preaching as an example, I am convinced that… Continue reading Ministry with an Extraordinary God
At Jesus’ last supper he ate the Passover with his disciples, lamb, wine, bread, bitter herbs—the whole kit and caboodle. Which might seem like an obvious statement but is important for our understanding of how Jesus was inhabiting and renewing the Old Covenant Feast. Before we get into the details it might be worth noticing… Continue reading The Lamb at the Supper
Israel is given seven feasts. We can read about them in Leviticus 23, Numbers 28-29 and Deuteronomy 16. They come as a set, a week of feasts to pattern the year with, each mapping onto the days of the creation week. They mark the harvests and they operate liturgically: they tell the people of God… Continue reading The Supper in Israel’s Feasts
The world is infused with wonder, and the presence of God reveals truth that was previously unseen. When seen with the eyes of faith, every tree is a song that sings of life, of wisdom, of death that flowers with the scent of unknown spices. Every rock is the Rock and hides honey and gushing… Continue reading God has changed every table
Adam and Eve lived in a garden in the centre of the land of Eden. In the middle were two trees, perhaps forming the apex of this Temple—for it was a Temple. This was the most holy place (Genesis 2). They had one simple rule, which we are largely familiar with: eat whatever you like,… Continue reading In Between Two Trees
We live in an age of expressive individualism. This is a bad thing. While any sort of individualism is a product of Christianity, the form of individualism we currently have that places my desires squarely at the top of the hierarchy of goods is deeply destructive to society, to individuals, and to the church. Once… Continue reading 5 Antidotes to individualism
We live in an age of individuals. Which doesn’t sound like it’s saying very much because we can’t imagine anything else. For all the philosophers and critics say we are 'expressive individualists', we might not believe it fully. You’re not so self-centred that you only act for yourself, after all? But we’re so inculcated by… Continue reading Individualism goes deep
The traditional Protestant answer to the question “what makes a church” is the preaching of the Word and the Sacraments. Most Protestant denominations have adhered to it to some extent or other, though you would be hard-pressed to see this in action in my low-church charismatic circles. We disregard the sacraments. The reformers and their… Continue reading What makes a church?