Christian Living 

In the valley of shadows

Not all of us have experience of walking through the valley of the shadow of death but we’re getting it now. There are numbers in my church who have been refugees and have fled war, violence and extreme poverty. They have lived their whole lives in this shadow. Death has been a near-constant companion in their lives. For those from richer nations (and we are a demographically young church), their experience of death or even the fear of death is almost nothing. Yet now they found themselves in a period…

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Christian Living 

Why Do We Read Scripture?

It’s a good question and Andrew Wilson has a good answer. The question I was thinking about recently was this: Why do we read Scripture? What is it that we are trying to achieve as we do? What are the marks of reading it successfully (a horrible word in the context, but you know what I mean)? Here is one wrong answer, and five right ones. We do not read it to earn, instead we read it to learn, discern, turn, burn and yearn!

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Christian Living Featured Posts 

Busy, exhausted, burnt out

That’s not a description of me by the way, although I am looking forward to a few days rest over the Christmas season. No, it seems to be a description of an increasing number of people in our modern always-on societies. It’s very prevalent in Sweden. Everyone knows someone in Stockholm who is ‘utmattad‘ (exhausted or burnt out). While not all workers are afforded such luxuries, figures suggest less than 1% of Swedes work 50 hours a week or more, and citizens are guaranteed at least five weeks’ holiday. There’s…

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Christian Living 

Consumerism remains a deadly enemy to faith

I started this blog sometime last century because I wanted to write about the dangers of consumerism and the woeful response of the church. The goal was to think about ‘ways we could live well as Christians in a consumer age’. Somewhere along the way, that focus has been diluted as I’ve thought about ‘ways we could live well in a social media age’ or ‘ways we could live well in a sexually confused age’ and so on. But despite all that, I remain convinced that consumerism is an enemy…

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Christian Living 

Walking with God pleases God

We’re working through the list of heroes in Hebrews 11 and last Sunday we looked at Enoch. There were a few eyebrows raised when people realised he would be the subject for our all-age service but in fact he’s an excellent choice as we explored what it means to walk with God. Key texts: Hebrews 11:5-6; Genesis 5:21-24; Jude 14-15 Enoch walked with God. Walking with God = talking, laughing, listening, crying with God, like with a best friend. When walking with someone you love and trust: sometimes you chat…

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Christian Living 

The Fellowship of the Ashamed

Longer ago than I care to think, while at university, I (and several others) were stirred by a piece called The Fellowship of the Unashamed. It’s of somewhat uncertain provenance with several varying origin stories floating around on the internet. But it was the sort of stuff that got the blood pumping amongst young people who were tired and fed up with middling mediocrity and passion-less Christianity. It was a rallying call to be anything other than lukewarm for Christ. It was a call to embrace world-changing commitment to Christ…

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Christian Living 

A Conversation with Ronald J. Sider

Ronald Sider through his writings and particularly Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger has been one of the most formative authors for me. I think, that after the Bible, that’s the one book I’ve given away almost more than any other. Reading Sider and Jim Wallis (although Wallis has moved further on some scriptural issues since then) convinced me that caring for the poor was an integral part of what it meant to be an evangelical Christian. It was integral because of the high commitment to follow Jesus and…

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