Articles 

Immigration & Asylum: reading & resources

Two major issues are beginning to frame the political landscape – inequality and immigration. The overlap is obvious, but there seems little question that these two issues are exerting great pressure. They are also two issues on which, I would argue, the church has a unique opportunity to speak into. However to avoid, naive or simplistic analysis or solutions, some homework is required. Here are some recent good articles on immigration and some further resources drawn from a couple of books I have on the subject.

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Articles 

The refugee crisis & Christian hope: A response

Recently Reformation 21 posted an article by Alistair Roberts on the refugee crisis and while it contained many good things, there were a few things that I thought needed further discussion. In a similar vein, a recent post by Ian Paul also expressed unease about the general naive response of the general public. This is in some sense a response to both posts but primarily to Alistair’s article. Areas of disagreement. I should begin with taking issue with the title of Alistair’s article and of course the general approach in the media which calls…

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Articles 

Lessons on sharing Jesus with Muslims

Yesterday I reviewed David Garrison’s A wind in the house of Islam and today I want to share some of the insights into both church planting and Islam that I gained from the book. All page references are from the book. The first really helpful lesson was how in Bangladesh converts are sharing their faith with other Muslims. They had four basic negative rules and I’ve added a fifth based on what they did do. Strategy Don’t attack or speak bad of Muhammed. (p.119) Never speak against the Qur’an Never speak against…

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Book Review: A wind in the house of Islam

The freedom to convert religion is a touchy subject, it always feel like a betrayal. Conversion also has another name – apostasy – and in Islam that is a crime punishable by death. Conversion, then, from Islam to Christianity is always a decision of great courage, the costs and risks are significant irrespective of where the convert lives. This violent shadow is perhaps one of the reasons why up until recently, Christianity has seen remarkably few conversions amongst Muslims. That was the first of several surprising insights I gained from reading…

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Articles 

Abortion: re-engaging with the issue

Growing up in a Christian family and having spent the majority of my life in the church, it has not been hard for me to accept that abortion is wrong. However, the numbers of moments when I have ever taken a stand against and actually done something about it could be counted on the fingers of one hand. Because, in the UK, the opportunities to win ground and fight this cause were few and far between I was rarely if ever called upon to stand up and be counted on this issue.…

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Christian Living 

Money: 4 questions, 4 principles & 5 lessons

There are few more powerful forces in the world than money, the wanting it, the having it, the losing it, the using it causes great upheaval in the hearts of men and women all over the world. As Ian Paul notes, It is Jesus who characterises Mammon as a rival to God in Matt 6.24 (‘You cannot serve both God and Mammon’) as well as Luke 16.9, 11 and 13. It is the ‘deceitfulness of wealth’ which is one of the three causes of the unfruitfulness of the seed in…

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Articles 

Same-sex marriage: where now?

Proof, if any were needed, that progressive politics has triumphed in the court of public opinion throughout the West came when a different court delivered its verdict on same-sex marriage. The US Supreme Court’s recent 5-4 decision extending marriage to couples in same-sex relationships is, arguably, the most important decision to date given the enormous cultural influence of the US. The speed of change has been remarkable, yet one that is, so far, almost entirely confined to ‘western’ nations (South Africa perhaps the most notable exception). It will be the subject of…

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Church 

Leadership in the early church

I’m of the school of church leadership that, while wanting to learn from the whole of church history, places more weight on the forms and patterns of the first century church. I believe, for a variety of reasons, that close approximation to the patterns, habits and practices of the New Testament church is most helpful for church and mission today. One crucial area, is in the area of church government and leadership. So what did the early church do and how did it work? According to Michael Kruger, we know that ‘by…

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