Author: Simon van Bruchem

Is Christianity a cult?

Is Christianity a cult?

I often come across a complaint non-Christians have about the church: it brainwashes people. Many see the church as being the same as a cult, forcing people to believe things. For those who see themselves as enlightened and free thinkers, equating the church to a cult explains why so many people would hold to views …

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How much do you need to know to be a Christian?

How much do you need to know to be a Christian?

It can seem that becoming a Christian requires a great deal of knowledge. If you are interested in knowing about Jesus and the church, the new material can be a little overwhelming. Church is so strange culturally with singing and praying and listening to sermons. And the Bible is a very big book, much bigger …

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Book review: Cosmic Chemistry by John Lennox

Book review: Cosmic Chemistry by John Lennox

There are few more important questions that Christians face from their friends and colleagues than the relationship between science and Christianity. Many dismiss Christianity thinking that science has explained it away, especially when it comes to the issue of the origin of the universe. The standard theory of evolution is accepted as adequately explaining everything; …

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Pain distorts your perspective

Pain distorts your perspective

Have you ever slammed your finger in a door? If you have, just reading that last sentence might have made you flinch. The pain is immediate and terrible. You would likely scream for help. At the time, it dominated your thinking. You were unable to remember whatever it was you were thinking about before, and …

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The comfort of being elect exiles in this world

The comfort of being elect exiles in this world

We all want to belong somewhere. There is something comforting about being with the people we love in a place where we know we are welcome. There is something special about home. The apostle Peter wrote his first letter to Christians scattered through the world. Peter described his readers as “elect exiles”. To be elect …

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Learning from sickness

Learning from sickness

Like a significant number of people in my city and the world, I spent most of the past two weeks in isolation. My wife and I and two of our children contracted COVID. While the children recovered very quickly, it was a rougher few days for the adults of the house, worse than I expected. …

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The joy that congregational meetings can be

The joy that congregational meetings can be

I recently wrote some documents for our church annual general meeting. I know, that sounds boring, right? Most of us hate going to meetings, and we usually have a series of drawn-out unnecessary meetings in our past that have made us feel that way. Yet preparing these documents were a great reminder of God’s kindness …

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Jesus has time for everyone

Jesus has time for everyone

All of will wonder at some time or other if God might have more important things to do than to pay attention to us. There are always big problems in the world. Right now it might be COVID and the Ukraine; next year it will be something else. And who are we? Small people with …

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Preaching that shows confidence in the Bible

Preaching that shows confidence in the Bible

What makes a sermon a good sermon? Everyone will have a different personal opinion. Some like loud, enthusiastic preachers who call for ‘Amens’ and ‘Praise the Lords’ at regular intervals. Others like careful, logical, well-thought out dense sermons. Many have a favourite preacher. But how might we assess preaching in a Biblical way? The basic …

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Do something radical: come early to church

Do something radical: come early to church

The advertised time for the church service I am part of is 10am on Sundays. This is not a new time, but is the time our church has met for decades now. Yet, most Sundays, less than 50% of the people who will ultimately be present are there at 10am. Sometimes the service leader stands …

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