Category: Culture

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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Easter is about Jesus

Easter is about Jesus

It is Easter week. Churches all around the world will be gathering to worship, probably on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. This catches the attention of the media in many places who ask local church leaders what they will be preaching about at Easter time. Unfortunately, many of the church leaders in my city give …

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The startling evidence of a changed life

The startling evidence of a changed life

At the end of Matthew 15, we come across a few short verses that summarise Jesus’ ministry in a mainly non-Jewish area of northern Israel. We read this: 29 Jesus went on from there and walked beside the Sea of Galilee. And he went up on the mountain and sat down there. 30 And great …

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A plea for clear Bible teaching

A plea for clear Bible teaching

Good Bible teaching has to be clear and easy to understand. That’s always true, whoever the teaching is for. You need to be clear when explaining something to small children, and you need to be clear when teaching theological students. Yet, too often, I come across Bible teaching that is unnecessarily complicated! A little thought …

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An introduction to honour and shame

An introduction to honour and shame

If you’ve grown up in the West, honour and shame are probably not things that impact you very much. Westerners are not known for feeling shame deeply. If you do something embarrassing, that’s unfortunate but not that bad. If it’s funny, it may well end up on YouTube! Those who have grown up in the …

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