Pharisees figure prominently in the New Testament and Jesus hardly had a good word for them. He called them a brood of snakes, blind guides, hypocrites; he accused them of honouring their traditions more than God’s commandments; he said their worship was a farce; he accused them of giving alms just to be noticed; he … Continue reading What about the Pharisees?
planned to go to Bible College; I’d passed the interview and been offered a place. However, I didn’t go, which was the right outcome, because my plan to become a pastor was an ambition rather than a calling. The year was 1961, I still wanted to serve God in a special way, but I took a job in an insurance office in the City of London. It wasn’t what I expected, but it all made sense when a friend had the idea to form a rock group and invited me to join.
Communion is an enigmatic ceremony that can be misinterpreted as semi-magical. It's not. But it is a vital reminder of the core message and purpose of Jesus.
Melt-down Elijah was one of the greatest prophets in the Bible. He dared to oppose tyrants. He even faced up to Jezebel (presumed to have been the most wicked woman in the Bible). His prophecies came true, and he performed many remarkable miracles. But he was constantly plagued with loneliness and discouragement and, following his … Continue reading Prophecy in Today’s Church
Electric guitars, drums, and music with a beat are commonplace elements of modern Christian worship, but such things were unknown just a generation ago. How and why did it change? The ‘why’ question is easy to answer. We’ve moved on a generation or two, and tastes in music, whether religious or secular, have changed. The … Continue reading When the music changed
Fashionable “I’m spiritual, but not religious.” This claim became fashionable in the second half of the 20th Century and remains so, but how valid is it? Words change their meaning over time, but this isn’t just about words – it’s about values. When we use the word “spirituality” in opposition to religion we are separating … Continue reading Spirituality that works
After each incident of ‘Islamic terrorism’ someone is likely to remind us that ‘Islam is a religion of peace’. Christianity is founded on a message of “peace on earth and goodwill to all men” but has to face disturbing facts about times when the church acted in ways that didn’t match that ideal. Even Jews, … Continue reading Small Gods
To declare that Jesus wasn’t a Christian is not just a familiar truism – Christ couldn’t be a follower of Christ. But I want to challenge another oft-repeated truism. People say, with apparent wisdom, that Jesus didn’t found the church. I disagree – and Bethany is part of my reasoning. Most Christians believe that the … Continue reading A church like Bethany
A car slows to join the back of a line of traffic as the column speeds up, slows again, then begins merging with other vehicles at a junction. The junction clears, and the driver accelerates. Crash! He assumed that the car in front would keep moving, but... A commonplace accident like that usually results in … Continue reading Life on a pinhead