Church 

The disruptive church

As a small boy I once went to church with my new cowboy hat and gun and all was fine until during a prayer or a reading or something, stood up on my chair and shouted ‘bang.’ Cue frowns and a quick pull down from my embarrassed mother. Apparently it’s not good for the pastor’s son to be disruptive. Churches, at least the churches I grew up in, were known for their love of order. Sunday best, quiet in church, somber, respectful, ordered. These churches voted conservative, were conservative; honouring…

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Articles 

Is Stockholm burning?

It’s world news that Stockholm has been troubled by five nights of unrest. It’s also mostly taken place, if you’ll excuse the phrase, within a stone’s throw of where we live. As I began to write this post I could see from my study window, in the near distance the smoke from another burning car. It’s not happening somewhere else, it’s happening here. Last night I joined a group of parents and residents who spent their night hanging out around the local nurseries and schools, doing their bit to ensure…

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Gender 

Celebrating difference

We had an interesting discussion at church on Sunday, seated round our kitchen table, sparked off by Colossians 3:18-4:1. One of the women related how, on the child minding course she is studying, she received lower marks for not agreeing to the idea that boys and girls are the same and by this they mean no different at all. In order, it is thought, to have true equality you cannot say there are differences. It’s a peculiarly Swedish approach. The instinctive reaction around the table, from men and women from…

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Articles 

Walking on thin ice?

Despite being one of the most secular countries on earth, cultural religion still has a significant role in Swedish society not least in their national holidays. Today the nation is busy having a day off courtesy of the ascension of the saviour of the world. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of preaching on the ascension at Barnabas Community Church in Shrewsbury, UK. Yet the ascension has often been a slightly odd event, this apparent levitation of Jesus into the sky. As I reflected on this, the following…

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This kind of love doesn't exist, does it?

My Dad sent me a newsletter recently and I was struck by an illustration he used so thought I’d reshare it here (apparently it was from the March issue of Evangelicals Now but I couldn’t find the online article there but found the full story here at Wycliffe). “Wycliffe translator Lee Bramlett was confident that God had left His mark on the Hdi culture somewhere, but though he searched, he could not find it. Then one night in a dream, God prompted Lee to look again at the Hdi word…

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Praying for a church plant

What is the role of prayer in building and a growing a new church plant? It can be something of a truism that the church planter affirms the place and power of prayer but plans according to his own strength. It’s a lesson I’ve learned by experience and questioned whether the first church I planted could really be said to be ‘devoted to prayer’. It was a disturbing moment to realise the answer might actually be ‘no.’ Our determination this time was to plan around prayer. We’ve established a rhythm…

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