19 02 2009

It’s only February and already this year and I already know of 3 Christian couples that are separated and in the process of getting divorced. The latest one came via an email announcement this morning. Each time the news has stopped me dead in my tracks, and forced me to do some soul searching. What do you say to  someone who tells you that they’re getting divorced? In New Zealand the divorce rate is about 1 in every 3 marriages (according to Statistics NZ).
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Blogthru the NT – Part 2 (Luke)

4 02 2009

I’m going to continue posting some gleanings from my current bible reading programme. I’ve just finished reading Luke. I know that I havent posted on Mark yet. Maybe I will one day, but not today. Luke has very different emphasis to Matthew. While this may reflect the needs of the early church (as form and redaction critics might say) I doubt it is the sole reason for the differences. While I’m not keen to get into a discussion on the synoptic problem, I am aware that Luke was not writing history as a detached observer. Had his own intentions for writing. But this doesn’t mean he has written fiction. Ironically the more affected someone is by the events that have taken place the more they want the truth to be told. We have only to look to the Holocaust survivors to see that (see Blomberg 1997). Luke also needs to be analysed in terms of its other half: the book of Acts. Read the rest of this entry »

Reality Check

10 01 2009

My wife and I are quite different in our reading tastes. I only read non-fiction. She only reads novels. A few days ago my wife said to me that she wished she had the desire to read the Bible more, pray more, and “spend more time with God”. While I read a lot of theology, and am often reading the Bible, I too desire the same thing as her. Her desire wasn’t for the Bible or prayer. Like many Christians, what she wanted, was a connection. A relationship. We all want to experience the love of Jesus in our every day lives. We hunger for that authenticity, and reality in our relationship with Jesus that is just not there. We long to be fully human, we groan for it, as does creation.  
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The Road Ahead

1 01 2009

It’s normal at this time of year to start making resolutions. We want to lose weight, get a new job, make better friends and so forth.2007 and 2008 were two great years of discovery for me and I’ve learnt a great deal. I have grown in my understanding of the Bible like I never have before. As the year draws to a close I am a tired man. I have worked hard, and am ready for a rest. Some have said to me that if you’re not feeling stressed in life, then you’re not alive. There is some truth in that, but if all of life is stress that makes for a very poor existence. I owe so much to my dear wife Joy. She has made my life a life worth living

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Foundations of Grace – Steven Lawson

9 12 2008

Ever since I first heard about Lawsons first book in the series I’ve wanted to get my hands on a copy. It sat on my amazon wishlist for some time. But I did the responsible thing and bought all my course texts first, and sadly I’ve had to leave this one till now. Thankfully Reformation Trust helped me out with a copy of this first in a projected five volume series. I’ve enjoyed Lawson’s style of writing (see my previous review) so tackling his (projected) magnum opus seemed a lot less daunting. The book opened with a wonderful 13 page forward by Dr John MacArthur on Divine Immutability and the Doctrines of Grace which as Lawsons says in his preface is “priceless”. How we view the Character of God is extremely important for understanding the actions of God. If God is perfect, just, righteous and does not change, then everything he does is right, true and just. Not only that, his actions are right because he does them. He is the ultimate standard by which we measure good. If  we call something God does as unfair, or unjust then we are calling God’s Character into question. Read the rest of this entry »

Polaroid World

2 10 2008

I’m tired of everything being so instant and I’m tired of trying to learn theology on the Internet.
Whatever happened to taking the time to read scripture carefully, reading commentaries and listening to the Sermon on Sunday? Today I think too many people (myself included) see the Internet as a mystical gateway. A way to have a surface understanding of just about every theological issue there is out there. The staggering amount of information out there truly does boggle the mind, but it is no substitute for hard work and good old fashioned learning. 
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The changing face of the Church

14 09 2008

The first people to follow Jesus after he was raised from the dead had a tough time doing so. They had none of the institutions we have today. They didn’t have their own buildings, PA systems, paid ministers, or even freedom of religious expression. Studying how they managed to change the society around them without appealing to any of the conventions we have today can be very helpful. Especially for those of us in New Zealand, and indeed anywhere the state has become secularised. We truly live in a post-Christian world.
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