Amazing Grace on a Wedding Day

Almost twelve years ago we finished our wedding service with the hymn, "Amazing Grace." It is probably the best hymn ever written in my humble opinion — not least because it calls us "wretches"!We sang the hymn accompanied only by the same bagpipes that had welcomed Andrée in to the tune, "My Bonnie is a NutBrown Maiden." I never found out whether it was deliberate or not, but the piper stopped playing at the end of the penultimate verse. As we sang "When we've been there ... " with no in … [Read more...]

A Pastoral Response to Online Dating (Josh Harris)

A Pastoral Response to Online Dating (Josh Harris). The balanced wisdom of the guys from Covenant Life Church is a real blessing. I commend this article written for members of their own church for all struggling with the issue of singleness and whether online dating is the answer. The last time I wrote about online dating, I speculated that blogging might lead to relationships that arose in a more natural way. Not sure if anyone out there would care to share any stories of love found in a … [Read more...]

Relating Together for the Gospel

The guys at Together for the Gospel are modeling something VITAL:"Something that is meant to be different about the T4G conference, and what it may inspire in your own ministry, is that it is built on, and attempts to model and provoke relational networks for encouragement and accountability. So inviting Thabiti was no mere decision of the 4 of us to send him a letter. First, we had to work at building in relationships, and introducing Thabiti to the brothers who didn't know him. So the delay in … [Read more...]

Loving God – A Guide for Beginners

Today we draw to a close our series on the attributes of God—which has been inspired by the T4G Statement—by publishing an article which, in an abridged form, has already been published in the online Comment magazine.The article addresses the nature of God, but focuses on the fact that we need to learn to love this God—which is surely a good way for us to round off this series.For more posts on the T4G Statement, Articles 1-4 see Ten Conclusions About Expository Preaching, and for more on Art … [Read more...]

Hard Lessons in the School of Ministry

Mark Dever at Together for the Gospel announces he is starting a 9Marks Blog and shares two critical lessons learnt from a difficult period:"Lesson Number One: no accountability relationships will work if there is not a commitment to honesty on the part of the person in question.Lesson Number Two: the public success of your ministry is no indication of the true state of your relationship with God." … [Read more...]

INTERVIEW – Wayne Grudem, Part Four – Ethical Trajectories, Feminism, and Homosexuality

This interview is being serialised over several days. So far I have published part one, which focused on personal issues, and part two, in which we discussed Systematic Theology. In part three, we explored Grudem's charge that feminism inevitably leads to a denial of Scripture's authority. Today we hone in on the "trajectory" arguments used on both sides of this debate. The interview is summarised in my post Dr Wayne Grudem Interview - Highlights and Reflections. Adrian One of the other … [Read more...]

PROVERBS – Thoughts and a Sermon on Anger

Last Sunday I had the pleasure of listening to my favourite preacher preach on anger from the book of Proverbs. I would urge you to listen to it, but I thought I would share a few thoughts I had and quotes I found on anger.The first place I want to start is actually the American Psychology Association who asked, "Is It Good To Let it All Hang Out?" — this is in light of the old notion that it is important to "lance the boil" of anger and let it all out. You might be surprised to read what this s … [Read more...]

PIPER FRIDAY – Let's Learn from Others

Today's Piper Friday comes from a sermon The Lips of Knowledge Are a Precious Jewel:"First of all, "the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel" to me when I find them in another person, and so I seek to listen as much as I can. C.S. Lewis had the "lips of knowledge" and still speaks through his books. I have read almost all of his theological and fiction works, I think. And if you offered me ten million dollars right now in exchange for what I learned from C.S. Lewis, I wouldn't consider the … [Read more...]

Needy People Need God – 1 Samuel 1

The audio from Sunday's sermon is available to listen online or via the podcast. God helped me, and there was a good response to a call for prayer. One young guy made a public declaration of the faith he had come to over the last few weeks in private. There is great joy in heaven over one sinner who repents! Here are my notes, although they are perhaps less complete than usual.IntroductionWelcome to the family. Want you to share in our joy. We unashamedly love kids here!Joy of new birth only … [Read more...]

UK Churchgoers are Happier than Non-Churchgoers

A survey (n=2000) commissioned by the Evangelical Alliance and Premier Christian Radio found that 75 per cent of churchgoers and of those who read their Bibles at least once a month said they were happy with life compared to 54 per cent of people who never attend a service. Joel Edwards, General Director of the Evangelical Alliance said, "There's no doubt that happiness is a sought after commodity in our culture. This survey makes it clear that Christian values and the community of faith … [Read more...]