Book Review: A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jesus

The quest for the historical Jesus is littered with boring books; not so this one. Professor Bruce Fisk has combined the fictional story of Norm, a post-grad student exploring Israel in a personal quest to discover the ‘real’ Jesus with a textbook to all the historical and theological issues that arise from reading the Gospels to brilliant effect. Here are a few reasons why; firstly, the storyteller is Norm, and the first person narrative makes this easy to read and not a laborious academic exercise. It gives the book pace…

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Church 

The battle for healing in Britain

The battle for faith in the public square currently has an interesting twist to it in the UK. It’s not just about who can (or can’t) be married. There is a contest for the freedom of Christians to practice their faith in regard to healing. Now admittedly there are significant differences within the Christian church about this, but there remains a significant proportion (myself included) who think it is perfectly reasonable to believe that God heals today. Anyway, this area has been given fresh prominence by three British MPs writing…

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Pay attention to the parody

I don’t know enough about the ministry of Hillsongs to know whether this parody hits the mark or not. I don’t know how focused on money they are or how generous to the poor they are. In some ways that’s not really the point. They have clearly built a reputation and a perception that they are essentially after your money and have made the gospel a commodity item. That worship and buying CDs are a natural fit on a Sunday morning. That might be the wrong perception but usually these…

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The natural outcome to the prosperity message

This report about the World’s largest Christian TV channel ‘funding owners’ exorbitant lifestyle’ is an obvious example (if any were needed) of the logical outcome of preaching a prosperity message (gospel is not a word to be used in this connection as it is not good news). It seems clear to me, once again, that Jesus was right, you cannot serve both God and Mammon and the prosperity message serves Mammon. It focuses on your material needs, it appeals to your material desires and promises you treasure on earth. So…

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Children and the church

I was privileged to serve a church for ten years that highly valued children. Our second paid staff member was a gifted children’s worker. Many of our key investments of time and energy went into children and young people. A Kids Club that gathered (at its peak) around 60 children every week from the surrounding estate, youth clubs that gathered 15-30 more, significant subsidising of summer camps like Newday and a twice yearly social action weekend. Some of our most lengthy, protracted and challenging conversations in the team was around…

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Support this!

My friend Simon Guillebaud is currently 1800+ miles into cycling coast to coast across America. He’s hoping to raise vast sums of money for the incredibly poor and neglected Batwa (pygmy) tribe of Burundi. If you were looking for a fresh chance to be practice the grace of giving and grow in generosity then this is a good cause to support. You can follow the adventure by reading Simon’s blog, give to them here and get a feel for this adventure by watching this

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Does working together make you a denomination?

Recently I read two different posts on the issue of denominations and I thought I’d repost them here. First I read Andrew Wilson’s what’s wrong with denominations? which articulates some of the conversations I’ve had with friends in the past. I’ve passionately argued that Newfrontiers is not a denomination and yet the differences haven’t been all that convincing although I think some of those differences are more significant than Andrew suggests. A day or so later I read on John Stevens blog his update on the progress of FIEC. FIEC…

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Weekend links

Just doing a bit of catching up and hopefully clearing the decks again for some more regular blogging (I know I’ve said that a lot recently!), but here are some links to entertain, inform and provoke. Hope you all have a good weekend. There are some amazing photos in this collection about the world’s most precious resource: water. Some are graphic in showing what happens when there isn’t enough. Jeremy has an intereting piece on the return of the garden city Mint tackles the thorny issue of allowances for children…

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