Twee-fest


If Nicea fought to prevent an added "I", the Reformation fought to remove an extra "S" pic.twitter.com/aJVpkOqal8— Glen Scrivener ن (@glenscrivener) October 7, 2014 Today u COULD build yr

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"Hallelujah" is playing on the cafe radio. Reminded from @mike_reeves that 'halal' means shine. "Let the LORD shine!" http://t.co/fgc0GIZrAc— Glen Scrivener ن (@glenscrivener) October 3,

Podcast: How should we think about apologetics?


http://revivalmedia.org/medias/audio/TEP073.mp3 DOWNLOAD SUBSCRIBE Barry, Nate and I talk apologetics. How do we co-ordinate faith and reason - revelation and philosophy? Our answers are vital if we are going to be

Sermons: John 11 and Matthew 17


John 11: God and Suffering http://www.christthetruth.org.uk/John11B.mp3   Matthew 17: Glory and Suffering http://www.christthetruth.org.uk/Matthew17.mp3

Podcast: Being Above Board In Our Evangelism


2 Corinthians 4 speaks of renouncing secret and shameful ways in our evangelism. How should we preach Jesus in a way that is above board? I talk with Barry Cooper and Nate Morgan-Locke from Christianity Explored - who

Thingamy-Jiggery-Pokery


We're always making a thing out of things that aren't things. There's a technical term for this but I'm just going to call it thingification. The name's not important. What is important is that it's ruining your Christian

On Preaching And Not Getting In The Way


After Ed Milliband went note-less and forgot the main points of his Labour Party conference address, some preachers have been quick to point out a cautionary tale for preachers. Use Notes! I'm not convinced that this is the

"Baptism Saves You" and "Mary, the Mother of God" - Two Sermons


It was a great privilege to preach at Worthing Tabernacle last Sunday. They love Jesus and love His word. And they graciously allowed an Anglican to preach to them on how "baptism saves you" (1 Peter 3:8-22) and on "Mary, the

Twee-fest

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Today u COULD build yr flesh-powered CV or u cd be freed by knowing the surpassing greatness of Christ-yr-righteousness #Phil3 #EnjoyYourDay

As u wait 4 the mercy of Jesus…God is able 2 keep u from falling & 2 present u b4 His presence w/o fault & w great joy #Jude #EnjoyYourDay

3 ways to account for the problem of evil: Karma, Chaos or Christ. Only Christ lets u face the depths of the problem and hope for a solution

The first step in dealing with the problem of evil is making sure it’s a *problem*.

“You’re so vain… You probably think this Psalm is about you.”

How does God feel about u? Indifferent? Fed up? “The LORD *longs* 2b gracious 2u. He rises up 2 show u compassion.” Is30:18 #EnjoyYourDay

The LORD keeps no record of your sins! In Him is all your forgiveness so u can reverently serve Him (Ps130) #pardon #purpose #EnjoyYourDay

We’re so keen to prove to atheists that we are *also* people of evidence. It’s more fruitful to show that they are *also* people of faith

We feel misunderstood but we don’t even know ourselves or what’s best 4 us. Yet “whoever loves God is known by God.” 1Cor8:3 #Enjoyyourday

In Luke22, it’s not Peter’s faith that “faileth not”, it’s Jesus’ prayer! In the sifting we fall, in His lifting we’re carried #EnjoyYourDay

#Luke22: By Satan we’re sifted, ruthlessly, mechanically. By Jesus we’re lifted, personally, prayerfully. Jesus is stronger. #EnjoyYourDay

For Paul in Athens, “the Unknown God” was the very opposite of a “point of contact”. It was a point of utter confusion.

Paul’s opening at the Areopagus: The one thing you guys know about God… you don’t know God.

Jesus and Joshua walk into a bar. Barman says “Sorry Jesus, we don’t serve your type in here.”

Because Jesus is LORD, this day is not ruled by fate, chaos, karma or death. It’s ruled by love. #EnjoyYourDay

“My friend knows that the world is sinking sand but she won’t come to Jesus, the Rock.” No she doesn’t. If she really knew, she’d come.

“My friend sees Jesus as the Son of God but he won’t ‘bow the knee’.” No he doesn’t. If he saw Jesus truly he wouldn’t be able 2 stop bowing

God is certainly determined to be glorious. All He does displays His glory. But His glory is not self-focused, it’s an outgoing radiance

Didnt dare use the pulpit today. Spoke from a lectern beneath while it quietly judged me: “That’s no preaching laddie. That’s barely a chat”

Jesus will transform our lowly bodies to be like His glorious body. In the meantime, we eagerly wait Phil3:20f #EnjoyYourDay

Whether it’s the power of His resurrection or the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, today is 4 knowing Christ Phil3:10 #EnjoyYourDay

I’m so much more ‘new media’ that you all. How so? I’m going to the Christian New Media Awards as Emma’s +1 #cnmac14

Romans5-8: Jesus rose to a life beyond death/sin/law/judgement into peace/righteousness/freedom/hope. This is your life now. #EnjoyYourDay..

Without God, you can feel proud for the good things in life, or lucky. But you can’t feel blessed or thankful. Not really

Jesus is God’s eternal “LIKE” coming down from heaven. So be free from every other need for affirmation and #Enjoyyourday

God’s love is not shallow or distant. He’s entered the depth of our humanity & brought us 2 the height of His divinity #EnjoyYourDay..

If you are a Christian your very element is now light and love, freedom and forgiveness. Col1:12-14 #EnjoyYourDay

“U were washed, u were sanctified, u were justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ & by the Spirit of our God” 1Cor6:11 #EnjoyYourDay

Faith is not the condition of the gospel, it’s the fruit of the gospel.

Therefore preaching a free gospel does not negate faith, it creates it.

Jesus joined the transgressors (Isaiah 53:12) so you could join the Trinity (Galatians 4:6). #EnjoyYourDay

- You’ve lived 30 years on Loch Ness and never discussed the monster?
– It never came up.

At tonight’s antenatal class we learnt that the baby is rotated at the point of delivery. Must remember: righty-tighty, lefty-loosey

Mount Snowden: sneaky peak

Over-worked toilet cleaners get time off in loo.

One of the most audacious surgeries is to pluck the cheek nerve. It’s second only to castration. That really takes balls.

Every Welsh town loves its sheep, but none more than Lambpetter.

They’re friendly *and* the most multi-talented of insects: the pally moth

Wait, is reification a thing now?

You want More demonstrative pronouns? You’re persistent, I’ll give you That

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“I hate myself, I’m ugly” usually means “I think I deserve to look better than I do.” If u really hated yourself, u’d be Glad you were ugly

The LORD is compassionate & gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love which stretches from everlasting to everlasting. #Ps103 #EnjoyYourDay

A perfect description of how the flesh and the Spirit interact: “My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word!” Ps119:25

Feeling lost? Don’t try to find yourself. Finding a lost person aint much of a find! The good news is someone from Home has come to find you

In all yr suffering, know the LORD Jesus wooing u from the jaws of distress to a spacious place of freedom&feasting. Job36:16 #EnjoyYourDaY

Psalms 14-16 are a powerful law-gospel presentation. ‘No-one seeks God’; only ‘clean hands’ will do; then at last a Man conquering sin&death

Jesus knows out worst and loves us anyway. Therefore we have nothing to lose, nothing to fear, nothing to hide and nothing to prove #freedom

In the pub, if u give me an empty glass it’s a demand (my round! I must pay). If u push a full glass it’s an offer to be received & enjoyed…

…Jesus gives us a law filled full with his perfect obedience and gracious presence (Matt5:17). It’s an offer to be received and enjoyed.

If Jesus’ cross was worth it ‘for the joy set before him’, how much more will our little crosses be worth it. #futuresbright #EnjoyYourDay

“You need to Get your identity in Jesus” is not the gospel. The gospel is “Jesus has purchased u, body & soul, at the cross… He’s Got you”

Behold He comes, riding on the clouds, shining like the sun, at the trumpet call. #MaybeToday #EnjoyYourDay

Why does the *resurrection* prove that Jesus is Lord? Because apart from Christ, death is Lord.

We all want to take charge without taking responsibility.
The cross is Jesus taking charge *by* taking responsibility.

< Since this is so, there is no way to give responsibility for our sins to Jesus without giving Him charge of our lives. It's the same thing

Everything heads for the grave but one man came back. He’s worth investigating. Check out church tomorrow. Ask me for suggestions near you.

In Christ, today’s sins will be forgiven, mistakes redeemed, sorrows soothed but yr labours 4 the Lord will endure (1Cor15) #EnjoyYourDay

Don’t you wish you could be new? Free from the slavery of sin? In Jesus it’s happened. #Rom6 #EnjoyYourNewIdentity #EnjoyYourDay

Let’s re-purpose a Luther quote…

Preaching happens far above the preacher in Christ’s own communicative grace, and far beneath the preacher in an evident love 4 the hearers

<< Preaching doesn't really happen on the preacher's level. It's not a polished performance in the hands of 'a communicator.'

Preaching requires an effusive love of Jesus and an evident love for people, but beware of a substitute love: a mere love of *preaching*

#Rom8 Here’s what belongs to you: Creation, The Spirit, Christ, All Providence and the eternal, unloseable love of God #EnjoyYourDay

ALL your sin laid on Christ. ALL His righteousness given to you. #EnjoyYourDay

The top reason for a preacher to use non-Christiany language is to reach *Christians* with the gospel. We need to hear the good news afresh

Don’t feel like u ‘deserve’ 2b forgiven? U don’t! That’s why it’s *forgiveness*. But “thru Jesus forgiveness is proclaimed to u” Acts13:38

Jesus is able 2 save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. #Heb7 #EnjoyYourDay

The three Persons are not triplets. There is a shape to God’s life. From Father through Son by Spirit and, so… OUT…

“Preachers: Is *Jesus* the prize you hold out in the gospel? Or is He merely the ticket you get to something else?” (@mike_reeves)

I will bring u out, free u, redeem u, take u as my own. I will b yr God & bring u2 the promised land, I will give it 2u. Ex6 #EnjoyYourDay

“That moment you realise you shoulda listened to God and now you’re naked in public!” #FirstWorldProblem

If you seek your life you end losing it. You become less of a self – merely selfISH

Hey @KendalChristianBookshop, can I get an RT, Kendal?

We all know that dropping a church piano down a quarry gives you A flat minor. Not many realise that Gsus provides a major lift. #1PUN

Looks to me like English coastal towns are just copying French beaches… #Plagiarism

I find breathing techniques inspirational #1PUN

No-one can be sure who invented the omelette au poulet. It’s a chicken and egg thing #1PUN

Lost my job as a cowboy. I had 99.7 head of cattle but just couldn’t round them up.

Don’t follow links to http://timex.com . It’s just clock-bait

Usually introverts love my video games but they hate my new bespoke update: Personal Space Invaders #1PUN

I’d love to join your miniature Hindustani band tonight. Unfortunately I can’t get a baby sitar #1PUN

If you think I’m going to remake an 80s horror B-movie you’ve got another thing coming #1PUN

I’m a career fisherman. Always angling for a promotion

Life coaches eh? First it’s “Reach for the sky” but then “Don’t be a hero.” You complain and they stab you & take your wallet. #LifeCoaches

To lose one MP may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose both looks #Reckless.

Podcast: How should we think about apologetics?

Posted on by Glen in apologetics, evangelism, podcast | 6 Comments


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Barry, Nate and I talk apologetics. How do we co-ordinate faith and reason – revelation and philosophy? Our answers are vital if we are going to be faithful to the gospel.

Do get in touch if you have any comments, queries or objections. We’d love to hear from you.

And here’s the hilarious Harry Hill take down of Brian Cox. Enjoy…


Sermons: John 11 and Matthew 17

Posted on by Glen in sermons | 2 Comments

luther-preaching

John 11: God and Suffering

 

Matthew 17: Glory and Suffering


Podcast: Being Above Board In Our Evangelism

Posted on by Glen in evangelism, podcast | Leave a comment

tep-podcastcover-1024x10242 Corinthians 4 speaks of renouncing secret and shameful ways in our evangelism. How should we preach Jesus in a way that is above board?

I talk with Barry Cooper and Nate Morgan-Locke from Christianity Explored – who created this hilarious video….

We also announce the winner of our book giveaway…. listen in!

 

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Thingamy-Jiggery-Pokery

Posted on by Glen in faith, grace, pastoral theology, prayer, preaching | 15 Comments

the-thing-movie-poster

We’re always making a thing out of things that aren’t things. There’s a technical term for this but I’m just going to call it thingification. The name’s not important. What is important is that it’s ruining your Christian life. Let me show you how with reference to 5 things that are commonly thingified.

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Grace is not a thing.

“Grace, Grace, Grace” we sing. And I think “She sounds awesome, I wish I could meet her.” But I can’t meet her because there’s no such person. There’s only Jesus who is given to me by the Father apart from any desert of my own. That’s grace. But grace is not a thing. Grace is the gift of a Person and if I want to know more grace I need to train my eyes on Jesus. Then I’ll see how freely He’s given. At that point I have an experience of grace, but my experience won’t be of a thing but of a Him. (For more see here).

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Faith is not a thing.

“We’ve got to have more faith” we cry. And so we check the little perspex window on our heart to see if the faith pilot-light is flickering strong. Oops, looks like it’s going out. Quick, turn the faith tap to maximum. But  how? What is faith? Again, it’s not a thing. Faith is to recognise and receive Jesus (John 1:12-13). He has been graciously given, therefore we trustingly receive Him. But faith is not something we dredge up out of our inner spiritual life. If you want “more faith”, don’t look for faith – look to Jesus. That’s how faith comes. (For more see here).

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Prayer is not a thing.

“I need to work on my prayer life” we say. And we mean it. But so often what we mean is “I need to improve at this spiritual discipline because my lack of proficiency reflects badly on my stature as a Christian.” Or maybe we want to improve because we want to “improve our relationship with God.” In some ways this motivation is even worse because it pictures “my prayer life” as the thing that connects me to God, rather than Christ. Then it becomes very important to focus on “my prayer life” but as something quite separate from focusing on Christ our Mediator. So we force ourselves to go to the prayer meeting and hear someone pray: “Please may God bless this work…” And we think, “Huh? I thought we were praying to God? Are we? Or are we performing a thing called prayer in front of one another?” Perhaps the pray-er does manage to address God but then mixes up the Persons. At that point you have to ask: Has prayer become a thing that we do. Should it not be an enjoyment of our adoption before the Father through union with the Son in the joy of the Spirit? But so often, don’t we find that prayer becomes a thing we must get right. And a thing that stands between ourselves and communion with God? (For more see here).

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Bible Reading is not a thing.

“I must read my Bible” we vow, “every day, come rain, hail or shine.” Well alright but why? Another spiritual discipline to master? A duty to tick off the list? If we manage it, is there not a sense of “Phew, job done!” But what if “Bible Reading” isn’t a thing in the Christian life. What if Bible Reading is simply how the Father speaks His word to us in Christ and by the Spirit. What if Bible Reading is not a thing we need to get right but a word in our ear from our gracious God? (For more see here).

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The Sermon is not a thing.

“What did you make of The Sermon” we ask each other after the service. Suddenly The Sermon is a thing - a thing in between the preacher and the congregation. It’s a production that we then pass comment on. And from the preacher’s point of view the same thingification can happen: “we prepare and deliver a sermon” rather than “herald God’s word to a congregation.” Unfortunately this thing arises in between preacher and people – a thing that will be dissected and focused upon by both sides. But really there is no such thing. There’s only God’s word coming down through the preacher’s lips. There’s only a congregation hearing the voice of the living Christ. The Sermon is an artifice. It is not a proper object of our attention – only the Christ which it proclaims. (For more see here).

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Discipleship is not a thing. (Updated)

“The church has woefully neglected discipleship” they lament. We all give a hearty ‘Amen’ then we look in our Bibles for the word “discipleship” and, shock horror, it’s not there. The word “disciple” is certainly there, but discipleship? No, the Bible is not interested in disciple-craft. Jesus does not want us to be good at the art of following Him. He just wants us to follow Him. Yet, might it be that discipleship is one more concept that takes us away from Jesus Himself and makes us dwell on a thing in abstraction from Christ? It’s worth considering. (For more see here).

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What do you think? And are there other aspects of the Christian life we thingify?

On Preaching And Not Getting In The Way

Posted on by Glen in preaching | 6 Comments

luther-preachingAfter Ed Milliband went note-less and forgot the main points of his Labour Party conference address, some preachers have been quick to point out a cautionary tale for preachers. Use Notes! I’m not convinced that this is the lesson. After all, Emma Watson’s recent speech – completely note-less – connected powerfully across the globe.

I’m not that interested in debates about whether to use notes or not in preaching. It seems to me that those kind of “how to” questions lie on the far side of a much more urgent discussion about the “what” and the “who” of preaching. Preachers everywhere have an opinion about the “how to” but I find that far fewer of them have done much serious thinking about what preaching actually is.

For what it’s worth, here is an introduction to my theology of preaching (which is heavily indebted to Luther’s threefold theology of the Word.) For me, preaching is Christ Himself heralded through human lips to needy sinners.

Jim Packer put it like this: “The proper aim of preaching is to mediate meetings with God.” Martin Lloyd-Jones said, “What is the chief end of preaching?  To give men and women a sense of God and his presence.” If this is true about the “what” and the “who” let’s make a tentative foray into the realm of “how to”…

Since preaching is mediating meetings with God, it seems pretty important that preaching have the quality of immediacy – that we are in the immediate presence of the living Christ whose word is being spoken as a divine summons. Would we agree?

I think most people would agree. But at that point some preachers want to say: “Exactly, therefore the preacher needs to get out of the way in the preaching process. They should put as little personality into their preaching as possible and simply let the Bible speak for itself.” Here they advocate for careful preparation in the study and a fairly full script for the pulpit. I sympathise greatly with the intentions here, but there may also be a mistaken view of revelation lurking somewhere. You see it is a good thing that preaching comes through human lips because God’s word is meant to meet us where we are. Human personality is not a barrier to the Word coming across – it wasn’t for Jesus, it isn’t for the Bible and it shouldn’t be for preaching. We should never bemoan the fact that preaching is a human event. We must never try to de-personalize preaching in order to get out of the way of some pure, non-human word – there’s no such thing. The humanity of the preacher is great – it’s a bridge not a barrier.

But the impulse to clear away obstacles in preaching is right. We must do that. But here’s a hunch, see what you think – it may just be that the school of preaching that says “let’s strip things back and just give a well-prepared Bible talk” is the most guilty of erecting a barrier. You see it’s possible to make the sermon itself a third thing in between the preacher and the congregation rather than it being the personal and immediate address of the preacher to the congregation. The sermon then is something the preacher brings to the service and uses on the congregation rather than being what the preacher is saying this very moment in the midst of the congregation. I remember – half a life time ago to be precise – being introduced to university lectures by a man who said “Lecturing is the process whereby facts from the lecturers notebook transfer to the student’s notebook without passing through the minds of either.”

Is it possible that preaching can end up like that? Preachers bring a pre-prepared sermon and ensure that it is delivered safely into the possession of the congregation – but it’s possible for it to go through the minds and hearts of neither. On this understanding, the sermon is a thing passed from preacher to congregation, not the very event in which the preacher addresses the congregation with living power. Am I imagining that distinction? I don’t think I am. I’m pretty sure you can sense it when the sermon is an artifice and when it is an address. I think we should do whatever it takes to make our sermons the latter and not the former.

Let me say straight away I am not advocating for preachers to make up their sermons on the spot. I do not think a “spontaneous” word is in any way more spiritual (and it’s in many ways more dangerous) than a word you’ve laboured over for hours in the study. Work hard in the study. BUT… there are ways of communicating a carefully prepared sermon where the congregation feels addressed in the moment, and there are ways of doing it where the congregation feels like the preacher is behind double-glazing. “Notes or no-notes” is not the centre of that discussion – but it is part of it. It seems to me that moving towards greater freedom from notes is a move towards a greater sense of immediacy in preaching and therefore a move towards better preaching.

Of course “freedom from notes” doesn’t mean you won’t carefully craft a full sermon script nor does it mean you won’t bring that to the pulpit – not necessarily. I’m not ruling out reading such a sermon word for word. My first 200 sermons were delivered in just this way. But it’s interesting that I would be happy when people afterwards said they didn’t notice I was reading a script. I worked very hard on making it look like I wasn’t doing what I was doing. And often that effort took me out of the moment and fixed my attention on the mechanics of the preaching rather than the word being preached.

Anyway, I need to get back to my sermons for tomorrow. (See? I believe in preparation!) Let me conclude: Preacher, as you address a congregation, it matters little how full the script is in front of you – so long as you’ve prepared accordingly. What really does matter is that the congregation is in front of you and that you preach as though they are your focus, not some artifice called “The Sermon”. Your sermon is not a tool you use to reach the congregation. Your sermon is God’s word to the congregation coming through your own lips. It is the living word of God to your brothers and sisters in the here and now. Whatever you do about notes, make sure your preaching is that.

 

“Baptism Saves You” and “Mary, the Mother of God” – Two Sermons

Posted on by Glen in sermons | 2 Comments

It was a great privilege to preach at Worthing Tabernacle last Sunday. They love Jesus and love His word. And they graciously allowed an Anglican to preach to them on how “baptism saves you” (1 Peter 3:8-22) and on “Mary, the Mother of God” (Luke 1:39-56).

Those weren’t really my titles. In the morning I spoke about the “U-shaped” life – the life of cross and resurrection that we’ve been given in Christ. Then in the evening I spoke of the revolution in our views of God, grace and glory that Jesus brings.

The U-Shaped Life – 1 Peter 3:8-22

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The God, Grace and Glory of Jesus – Luke 1:39-56

 

 

I Did A Twee

Posted on by Glen in pastoral theology, tweets | 2 Comments

RU in Christ? Yr sin is crucified forever, yr righteousness is raised eternally & UR ascended to God’s right hand. 2Cor5:17-21 #EnjoyYourDay

“You’re so obsessed with the Christ, the Son of God, but what about the other members of the Trinity?” <- said far too often

NB: We do not honour each person of the Trinity by providing equal air time for the Three. There is a way to honour God – with a capital W

My editor keeps writing “OUTSTANDING” in the margin of my manuscript. So kind considering all the corrections I need to make but haven… oh

Nothing’s intractable. Nothing’s a lost cause. Jesus said “My Father is at work to this day, and I too am working.” Jn5:17 #EnjoyYourDay

The God of Easter is not into repair so much as resurrection. Therefore death is not a diversion, it’s the way.

I think Emma may be my favourite gospeller. Cant think of anyone else who uncovers our desperate need then offers Christ quite so powerfully

What holds the world together? Money? Power? The strong/weak nuclear force? No, the God-Man thru Peace-Making-Sacrifice #Col1 #EnjoyYourDay

Is it my imagination or are liturgical churches more able to hold diverse races/classes/personalities together – on a Sunday at least?

If so might it be that ditching liturgy doesn’t so much reach ‘the people’ as reach ‘the people like us’?

You are completely unnecessary but entirely loved. #EnjoyYourDay..

If Billy Graham had his time over he’d be an evangelical Anglican. But of course!

In Jesus, God is not on your back. He’s at your side (Ps 16:8) #EnjoyYourDay

Painting the nursery. I hear Muslim designers make 1 deliberate mistake cos only Allah is perfect. Well I believe in total depravity so…

You won’t find gold chasing rainbows. But there’s a Golden One who wears the rainbow – Ez1:28 – He’s come to find you #EnjoyYourDay

Oxford’s Professor of Church History says evangelicalism is all about “our choice for God.” Unfortunately he’s right

#ENGvSWI A Swiss goal here would please the neutrals

As the Father has loved Christ – eternally, paternally, unreservedly, unremittingly – so has Christ loved you. John15:9 #EnjoyYourDay

Faith = dependence. Therefore the “strongest” Christian is the one who feels their weakness the most.

Yr suffering is achieving what yr safety never cd: maturity (Rom5) in fellowship w Father (Heb12), Son (Phil3) &Spirit (Rom8) #EnjoyYourDay

Apologetics is like good works #wonderful
OTOH
Apologetics is like good works #dreadful

Sound reasoning is a wonderful fruit of the gospel
Sound reasoning is a dreadful root for the gospel

‘ALEXANDER ELLIOT ANDERSON SALMOND’ is an anagram of: ‘Eediot annexes land an’ – Lo! – Drams roll!’ And what have YOU done today?

In all your affliction He shares (Isaiah 63:9). With all His affection He cares (John 15:9). #EnjoyYourDay

Oscar Leonard Carl Pistorius is an anagram of S.A. CALL DOOR STORIES CRAP: I RUN!

On trial, he claimed he had two personas: Oscar Nestorius 

 

Jer33:15-21 If, this morning, the sun sinks back down into blackness then Christ’s love can fail you. Otherwise… #Enjoyyourday

Jesus is the true expression of humanity. It’s second nature to Him

Every blessing that belongs to Christ is yours. Every curse that belongs to you is His. #EnjoyYourDay

A spinal injuries nurse just told me: quadriplegics often cope far better than those with more minor injuries. They’re grateful to be alive

Which story do we fit our own suffering into? “I was on the up until this setback…”? Or “I was headed for the pit until God…”?

Does yr listlessness, lovelessness or laziness disqualify u? No “Blessed are the poor in spirit 4 the kingdom belongs 2 them.” #EnjoyYourDay

No matter what u’ve been called in the past, u have a new name in Jesus: Hephzibah. It means “My delight is in her” (Is62:1-4) #EnjoyYourDay

It’s important for someone to sit Wales down and say: “Scotland and England both love you very much. NONE of this is your fault.” #indyref

 John11: Martha got truth, Mary got tears, Lazarus got triumph. Jesus knows how to meet your needs #EnjoyYourDay

God’s power + wisdom = a bleeding Sacrifice. Does that add up for you? Then you’re being saved. 1Cor1 #EnjoyYourDay

In Jesus, your past cannot destroy you & your future cannot derail you. #EnjoyYouDay

God’s love isn’t a warm fuzzy, it’s a blood sacrifice made 4u in all yr wickedness. So BE a sinner loved by Christ & #Enjoyyourday

Your Father warned you there’d be days like this. He also promised a Future Glory that far outweighs every ounce of suffering #EnjoyYouDay..

The Essence of Evangelism: “What do you make of Jesus? …I know but what do you make of *Jesus*? …Totally but what do you make of JESUS?”

A couple of paraphrases of 1 Peter 3:15 coming up… One is more faithful to the original than the other…

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason you’re so darned cool, clever, credible AND Christian!”

“Always be prepared to tell people it’s JESUS who got you through the hard times. Cos if u suffer well, clinging to Christ, people will ask”

Every tear wiped away. Death, mourning, crying & pain abolished. All creation renewed. Jesus face to face. #ComingSoon #Rev21 #EnjoyYourDay

Preached on “baptism saves you” this morning at Worthing Tab (1Pet3). Just preparing “Mary the mother of God” (Luke1) for tonight. #baplican

Very glad communion is the preacher’s great safety net – proclaiming Jesus’ death far better than we ever could.

Exaggeration is the deadliest of all sins. #NoExaggeration

As far as musical roles go, Yul Brynner isn’t competitive. He knows it’s all about the Thai king part

“lift our eyes to your Son
enthroned on Calvary;
and as we behold his meekness,
shatter our earthly pride;
for he is Lord for ever & ever.”
— Common Worship refrain after Psalm 2

In Christ you have peace, in the world you have trouble, but take heart: Christ has overcome the world. (Jn16:33) #EnjoyYourDay

#HeForShe rightly makes gender equality a male issue too. It rightly says stereotypes can enslave. But what Positively do our genders mean?

#HeForShe works when #He stands up for #She not when #He abandons #He-ness and #She abandons #She-ness.

- “Guevara was easy. Name another one.”
– “Given”
– “Ah, Two Che”

I always wanted to manage Slade but someone else got the Nod.

I could get used to this Man Pampering. It sure saves on bathroom breaks.

Everywhere I go I see automated crazy people. Maybe it’s psychos’o-matic

My boss hates over-familiar greetings so f I catch myself saying an absent-minded “Hiya”, I always follow up with a devastating karate chop

Beelzebeadworker: crafty devil!

I envy clocks. They have time on their hands

I hate milkmaids and all their kind. Sorry: dairy intolerant

If you like Pop, you’ll LOVE Bublé Rap.

Some modes of execution are so lame and inefficient. I recommend old style stonings: only bolder.

Of COURSE it’s called ‘nominative determinism’, what else could it be?

“Do unto others…” Just saying.

- HEY ‘I.S.’ – JUST REPEATING YOUR INITIALS MAKES YOU LOOK RIDICULOUS.
– THIS IS ISISISM!
– SEE?

Am I dominated by negativity? I’m thinking No

Coeliacs: there’s gluten for punishment

I’ve started copying out the newspaper on my body. People say I have too much Times on my hand

My dad keeps remarrying faster than my mum. Always one step ahead.

Don’t you just wish that cheese would jump into your mouth? If only briefly

Misanthropes hate do-gooders and all their kind

If you still don’t know what vicarious means, I’ve got two words for you.

Sisterly agreement: sororarity #BadPortmanteaux

Veni Vidi Vici sounds best in Latin. Unless you’ve just won at conkers. 

#HeForShe and the Spectre of Spectrums

Posted on by Glen in apologetics, culture, gender, pastoral theology | 15 Comments

Emma Watson and #HeForShe are still trending strongly after her speech at the UN

TRANSCRIPT OF SPEECH

The essence of #HeForShe seems entirely praiseworthy. Gender equality is everyone’s issue. It has to be.

I subscribe to @EverydaySexism on Twitter and am constantly shocked by the abuse that women are routinely forced to endure at the hands of men. It disgusts me and it makes me triply resolved to teach men what real manhood is – not degrading or objectifying women, but honouring them. It seems obvious to me that a woman’s greatest hope of liberation and flourishing is for the men in her life to learn self-control – especially sexual self-control – and for those men to empower and bless the women in their lives. In other words it seems obvious to me that the cause of gender equality is advanced precisely where men are taught to be what men are supposed to be – sacrificial, Christ-like servants who will die for their women. Call me naive but I think a return to the Bible is a woman’s best hope for equality.

For this reason I take #HeForShe to be a well-intentioned move in the right direction. Of course it’s easy to be cynical about the zeitgeistiness of it all – a young, 20-something celebrity calling us to click on the latest website – but we can forgive it that. I think the goal is noble.

But then those goals become completely undermined by a couple of other commitments evident in the speech. At one point she says: ““It is time that we all see gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals.” Hang on a minute. I’m all for opposing gender stereotypes – which Watson does well in the speech – but let’s not oppose the distinctness of gender itself.

Emma WatsonThe irony is that undercutting “he”-ness and “she”-ness with a single spectrum will not turn out well for the cause of women’s liberation. If I am positioned on a spectrum according to my personality type, my preferences and my actions, then who will protect “an end of the spectrum” and on what basis? Spectrums get dominated – they always do – and they get dominated by the strong over the weak. Do women really want to abandon the particular protection of a given identity – one which they can proudly claim as “born that way” – and adopt a spot on a sliding scale?

As an example – you could make an argument for abolishing a men’s and women’s draw at Wimbledon. Why have these ‘opposing ideals’ – it’s a spectrum after all? You could spin this as an argument for equality, couldn’t you? “Let every tennis player identify simply as a tennis player and let their tennis speak for itself?” What would happen at Wimbledon? Men would win and women would be utterly squeezed out. The spectrum does not favour those who are weaker physically nor those who have historically been oppressed. The spectrum will only exacerbate inequalities and force the weak to fight a losing battle to be honoured.

The greatest example of this in the speech came at 4:52

I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body

It prompted the first and loudest bout of applause. It was chilling to me to see a talk on equality garnering such enthusiastic support for the oppression of the weak. What a travesty for women to applaud the ‘rights’ of the strong to eliminate all those little girls, simply because the strong can. 

I hope though that we can see how this pro-choice slogan fits perfectly with a ‘spectrum’ mentality. Richard Dawkins identified the chief problem with the pro-life position as ‘The Tyranny of the Discontinuous Mind‘. Dawkins insists that we not think in binary catergories – life or non-life – it’s all on a spectrum. The status of the child in the womb is not on an on-off switch but on a dimmer. We must be pragmatic about when we accord the child the right to protection.

In other words, it’s a spectrum. With this spectrum it’s very obvious that there is a strong end and a weak end but, crucially, it’s down to those at the weak end to prove themselves worthy of honour and protection. This is where it heads when we don’t have God-given categories like ‘life’, like ‘man’, like ‘woman.’ Without these givens (and hear the word grace in the word ‘given’) we must earn and prove everything.

“He For She” is a great idea. But it’s completely undercut if you make “He” abandon his “He”-ness and “She” abandon her “She”-ness. These have been given to us, not as ‘opposing ideals’ but as a complementary pairing. We are called, in all our distinctives, to a one-ness of love and mutual respect. #HeForShe works. #SHEEEHEEEESH does not. The spectrum is a spectre – it’s the tyranny of the continuous mind.