What you really need when it feels like the World is against you

There is only so much that one person can take.  Some people have a higher threshold than others, for sure.  But no wonder that David would have felt the pressure as he was eing hunted from place to place, even while he still defended towns from Philistine assault. Then, sneaking out from the camp of David's enemy comes the one man who can help him, Jonathan.  The man who's love for David is the stuff of legends. The man who was content to advance his political rival's cause.  The man who had lea … [Read more...]

How David transformed a ragtag group into a strong army

One of the marks of Saul's leadership was that he attached himself to the strong. David, now an outlaw seems to have a very different approach. In 1 Samuel 21 and 22 we see him make good his escape and establish for himself a base in a cave. In some ways this former darling of the royal court makes a pitiful sight.  He is described as "alone" as the small group of people with him in 1 Samuel 21 seems that way compared to his usual traveling companions.  When established in the cave, a small g … [Read more...]

David and Saul: No good deed goes unpunished

Now, where were we? Before the recent controversy intervened, I was ambling my way through 1 Samuel in a series looking at leadership lessons in the life of David and Saul. New readers may want to go back and look at some of those as we pick up where I left off in 1 Samuel 19 and 20.What is striking in these chapters is the extraordinary injustice of Saul's reaction to David. He was once like David himself. A young champion of war, a darling of the people, one whom The Lord was clearly with. … [Read more...]

The Bible TV series: a brilliant retelling of the greatest story ever told

The human race excels at storytelling. It is how we transmit our values, it is how we make sense of who we are.  Westerners sometimes like to pretend we are too sophisticated for stories. We say, "just give us the facts!" But our constant diet of movies, and TV entertainment demonstrates this is far from the truth. It is concerns me how we passively allow ourselves to be shaped by the stories unbelievers tell us.Meanwhile the greatest library of stories the world has ever seen sits on a s … [Read more...]

The Bible TV series hits UK screens TONIGHT

At 9pm on Channel 5 the series that rocked America will hit our screens. This is not the time to nitpick at the inevitable artistic liberties that will have been taken. It is the time to celebrate the appearance on our screens of this series. I for one will be watching.There are also some useful resources for churches and Christians to take advantage of this.Once again lets surprise the media executives with just how much interest there still is in this book written over centuries and … [Read more...]

Galatians to Revelation on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

I conclude my list of verses on the charismatic issue by sharing some verses from the rest of the New Testament. On Monday I will be blogging about something very different, God willing. If I have missed any important verses please do let me know. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8)Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are … [Read more...]

What the Corinthian letters have to say about the charismatic gifts

Of course for many charismatics 1 and 2 Corinthians are among their favorite books of the Bible. If I may be allowed to make one comment as I introduce these verses, it would be instead to ask two questions. If these verses do not apply to us today, why are they in the Bible?  And, on what basis can we determine which other verses also do not apply to us?  I have already posted verses that speak to this matter from Acts, the Gospels, and the OT. I give thanks to my God always for you because of … [Read more...]

What do Acts and Romans say about the charismatic discussion?

In these few posts I am wanting to simply draw our attention to what the Scriptures say on the debate that has been raging recently. I am trying not to pass comment on these verses but allowing them to speak for themselves. It is worth pointing out one key difference in the way that charismatics approach Acts in particular, however. For us, this book is broadly speaking intended to be a normative model of what the Church can be like at best. For more of that follow the link, but here are the … [Read more...]

The Charismatic gifts debate: verses from the Gospels

In the last post I shared some OT verses which speak to the charismatic debate. Today, I continue with some passages from the Gospels. Read these, and try to allow the Bible to shape your viewpoint, not your traditions, whichever side of the fence you have come down on so far. Please also share any key verses I may have missed in the comment section. “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind recei … [Read more...]

John Stott on non-authoritative NT prophecy

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As far as I know John Stott was a cessationist through and through.  This makes his attached statement about  New Testament prophecy all the more credible and significant. It is worthy of our consideration because what is happening here is that a good biblical scholar is allowing the Bible to take him in the direction of something that could potentially undermine his position.  We all do well to approach the Bible with a similar reverence.Of course there are degrees of charismaticism and ce … [Read more...]


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