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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Reviews 

Book Review: The Resurrection by Geza Vermes

The Resurrection by Géza Vermes My rating: 3 of 5 stars The late Geza Vermes was a hugely respected New Testament scholar and this is his short take on the key to the Christian faith, the resurrection of Jesus. Vermes surveys the evolving views on post-mortem existence in the Old Testament from a peaceful burial, to the shadows of Sheol and the developing idea of resurrection, final judgement and heaven. He clearly has a deep respect for the ‘healthy realism of the ancient Hebrews’ that the supreme goal was ‘to…

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Church 

The resurrection of Jesus (links)

There are several posts here all dealing with the historical evidence for the resurrection and inevitably they cover similar ground but also with slightly different contributions. But before I share all of that one extract stood out to me from Scot McKnight  I know all of that, I said. I know all of the alternative suggestions and reasons given by some why the resurrection couldn’t have happened. I know about the confusion of the gospel accounts. I know all of that and yet, I’ve come to the conclusion that Christ…

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Christian Living 

Learning from 1 Thessalonians 4

We’re working through 1 Thessalonians (1,2,3) and chapter 4 gives you a lot to think about. Here are just a few. A good life There is a way of living that pleases God (v.1) and wins the respect of outsiders (v.12) It’s not a check box way of living but something Paul urges the Christians to do ‘more & more’ (v.1-2) This way of life involves avoiding sexual immorality (v.3), impurity (v.7), and being driven by passionate lust (v.5) but controlling our desires (v.4). Rejecting this is rejecting God (v.8)…

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Christian Living 

Resurrection reflections

Don’t rush on from talking or thinking about the resurrection just because it’s not Easter Sunday, after all Jesus continued to make appearances over the course of the following 40 days. The resurrection remains the absolute bedrock of Christian belief – in other words it repays and rewards sustained reflection and attention! “If Christ is risen—then nothing else matters. And if Christ is not risen—then nothing else matters.” – Jaroslav Pelikan — Jared C. Wilson (@jaredcwilson) April 5, 2015   You may want to consider the resurrection from an aplogetics…

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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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Articles 

Not proof of heaven

You may have read recently of the latest account of a near-death experience. It is the latest in the long line of accounts from small boys going to heaven and others having visions of heaven or hell. These stories are all offered as proof of life after death. Frankly, I couldn’t care less. These tales have been phenomenally popular often topping best-seller lists and that at least is proof of something. Proof, perhaps, that despite the decline in commitment to creeds or church there are many people not yet willing to…

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