Author: Simon van Bruchem

A terrible judgement awaits the enemies of God

A terrible judgement awaits the enemies of God

The confrontation between Elijah and the prophets of Baal atop Mt Carmel ended with drama: the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the wet sacrifice. It was clear who the true God was. Elijah was a true prophet, and the prophets of Baal were false prophets. So what should be done with the false …

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Having confidence in prayer

Having confidence in prayer

James holds the prophet Elijah to be an example of the power of prayer in James 5:17-18. Of course, this is true: Elijah prayed, and the rain stopped. He prayed again, and the rain restarted. The message to take from that, according to James, is not that Elijah is a special person whom God listens …

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God’s grace in substitution

God’s grace in substitution

The top of Mt Carmel in the Kingdom of Israel was a tense place to be in 1 Kings 18. A challenge had been set up between the 450 prophets of Baal on one hand and Elijah the prophet of the LORD on the other. The citizens of Israel gathered around to watch. We are …

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Obadiah: faithful work in an ungodly place

Obadiah: faithful work in an ungodly place

Obadiah is a little-known figure from the Old Testament, but he gives us a useful template for serving God in ungodly times. We meet Obadiah in 1 Kings 18, when the prophet Elijah returned from three years away from the kingdom of Israel. We are told that Obadiah was “over the household” of Ahab (v3), …

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Book review: “Live not by Lies” by Rod Dreher

Book review: “Live not by Lies” by Rod Dreher

Rod Dreher has noticed a connection between what is happening in our cultures today and what has happened in the past. In his latest book, “Live not by lies”, Dreher compares the rise of “soft totalitarianism” and identity politics to the situation Christians found themselves in under the communist regimes of the 20th century.   …

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The thinking behind starting a second church service

The thinking behind starting a second church service

All Nations Presbyterian Church, the local church that I serve, is starting a second church service this coming Sunday. After having one service for many years, we have decided to start up an afternoon service. This is an intentional move that will stretch us but which we believe will be good for the spread of …

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The importance of reading widely and deeply

The importance of reading widely and deeply

In my last blog post here, I made the point that we need to read books and extended pieces of writing. We get accustomed to skimming and staying in the shallows and not thinking deeply about anything. Over time we lose the ability to concentrate; social media and internet browsing change the way our minds …

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When did you last read a book?

When did you last read a book?

Are you a reader? I don’t mean ‘can you read’; the vast majority of people can read. I mean, do you read books? I find that so many people never read books at all. The Buggles once famously sang that “video killed the radio star”, but the popularity of video has also meant that many …

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