It is getting very close to the ten year anniversary of this blog (April this year!) I also realize that I have gathered a lot of new readers since moving to Patheos. January is also usually a quiet blogging month for me, and I will be taking a break from new posts for at least next week for our church prayer and fasting. So I thought that I would do a bit of archeology and help new readers grasp the story that is this blog. I have already posted about the best bits of 2012, so here is what stands out from my year of blogging in the previous year, 2011:
In January 2011 I shared the videos of our local 300 leaders meeting:
- Leadership and the Gospel – Lessons from Jubilee Church
- Multiculturalism – Can we build churches that display God’s multicolored glory?
- Q and A on church leadership with Tope Koleoso and David Pask
I also shared Top Five lessons from the life of Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones and spoke about my return to the other country.
In March following a 300 leaders with Jack Hayford I shared a video interviewwith him. I posted 15 principles to live by as a Christian in an increasingly hostile world and 10 Ways a Christian should respond to the earthquake in Japan.
April and May were dominated by a series of posts related to my radio debate with Rob Bell on hell. I used the extensive notes I had written in preparation as the basis for a long series of posts and shared video clips. That debate is well worth watching if you missed it at the time as I think it demonstrates clearly two very different approaches to the Bible. Judge for yourself which is fairer to the Scriptures.
July was taken over by my series of posts from the final Together On A Mission conferencein Brighton. This event has been the heart of our movement for many years, and would mark the last conference that Terry Virgo would host (though he will speak at hopefully many more elsewhere.) These posts will help you understand more about Newfrontiers. My pastor, Tope Koleoso also preached a great sermon on The reality of Hell which fitted well with the Full transcipt of the Warnock vs Rob Bell debate.
In August I took a break from blogging, but before I did I wrote about the riots that began in London and spread: 10 Point plan to alleviate the current riots across England, Responding to the Riots: My Pastor Tope Koleoso on Premier Gospel, More robust policing promised by Cameron and the Met,London quiet but looting in other cities overnight, Tope Koleoso on Sky News, Boris Johnson and a multicultural church, and Peace beginning to reign again in the UK.
I was clearly feeling reflective in September and wrote Check your motives (Philippians 2:3), Don’t Believe your own publicity (about avoiding pride), Growing old, a series of losses and exciting new opportunities and mused on the different between the way people approach risk, adventure, and opportunity vs safety, familiarity, and stability.
November was a month for highlightling resources from elsewhere, I linked to Amazon’s summary of quotes from Calvin’s Institutes, and said it basically said Get over yourself, and get impressed with God. I highlighted a 100-year old book still making waves today, Roland Allen’ Missionary Methods, ours or St Pauls? as well as a sermon by a man I nicknamed “the gentle prophet.” I also shared an old poem I wrote on the paradox of so-called “freedom.” Ed Stetzer reported his impresions of my New Frontiers USA brothers and sisters.
In December I reported on an interesting development whereby Muslims support Cameron’s idea of the UK as a Christian nation. On both sides of the Atlantic I do think it is vital we learn that on certain issues the Muslims will be a shared ally against the march of atheocractic secularism. Our greatest weapon is love, and a big part of that is our ability to show that we can be friends with people we profoundly disagree with. This is something that is very close to the heart of Bob Roberts, a man you should follow on Twitter if you don’t already. It was interesting to see me blogging about this subject a year ago, something that in a way prefigured much that I was going to say more recently. None of this in any way contradicts the urgency expressed in a post “How to help people realise they are in a burning building.” We must learn to be loving but very very clear about the gospel.
I also wrote “How Charismatic are YOU? A Spectrum of belief and practice,” one of several subjects over the years for which I have tried to outline the range of views different Christians hold. I stressed that in my opinion its not enough to be an “Aspirational Charismatic,” more on that in the post itself.