Hypocrisy - a Sermon on Matthew 23


We try to look good in the presence of judgement => hypocrisy. The gospel means looking bad in the presence of love =>

Genesis 1 and Science


It's difficult to think of any piece of literature as supportive of the modern scientific enterprise as Genesis 1. All the necessary foundations are in place: 1. Laws Up Above The ancient Chinese had incredible technology

Tweet nothings


'Love is blind.' - Grace pic.twitter.com/lJdtb3ZdYM— Glen Scrivener ن (@glenscrivener) July 5, 2015 "Atheism isn't a belief, it's the absence of belief." Really? And I suppose anarchism is the absence of

While My iPhone Gently Tweets


Brilliant! You kill the leader and nip the whole movement in the bud. pic.twitter.com/nwEDIn07w5— Glen Scrivener ن (@glenscrivener) June 23, 2015 “Is it not wonderful news to believe that salvation lies outside

Preaching Judgement: Three Thoughts


Raising hell is either terrific fun (of the throwing-televisions-out-of-hotel-windows kind) or terrifically sobering. This is the sobering kind. Here are three thoughts on speaking about judgement. These aren't the three most

#QuickAnswers


Here are 16 Quick Answers to questions of faith which I recently tweeted: "Atheism isn't a belief, it's the absence of belief." Really? And I suppose anarchism is the absence of political convictions? "If God made the world,

"The Kingdom of Heaven Is Like..." (Matthew 22 Sermon)


SCRIPT DOWNLOAD http://www.allsoulseastbourne.com/resources/sermons/?show&file_name=2015-06-28%2010.30%20Matthew%2022.1-14%20%28Glen%20Scrivener%29.mp3

David and Goliath - The Victory of Your Champion


  A previous video for The Sermon   All YouTube Sermons All Vimeo Sermons  

Hypocrisy – a Sermon on Matthew 23

Posted on by Glen in gospel, sermons | Leave a comment

h-is-for-hypocrisyWe try to look good in the presence of judgement => hypocrisy.

The gospel means looking bad in the presence of love => healing.

AUDIO


SCRIPT

 

Genesis 1 and Science

Posted on by Glen in apologetics, creation, culture, evangelism, science | 3 Comments

Genesis-7It’s difficult to think of any piece of literature as supportive of the modern scientific enterprise as Genesis 1. All the necessary foundations are in place:

1. Laws Up Above

The ancient Chinese had incredible technology but not science as we know it. Why? Because however great their minds were, they didn’t conceive of the world operating similarly according to a Great Mind. They didn’t think there were ever-present, always-applicable laws of nature that governed the universe. They went out into the world and tamed it through technology but they didn’t seek to press into the deeper laws of the universe.

That’s because they didn’t have Genesis 1. They didn’t believe that “In the beginning God” and that through his word an ordered cosmos is created which shows all the hallmarks of dependable regularities – seasons and spheres with boundaries and signs in the heavens, all going round and round – evening and morning, evening and morning.The God of Genesis 1 is a God prior to nature and beyond nature, therefore He gives us every reason to expect laws of nature. This is absolutely vital if you want to do science.

It’s not uncommon to find scientists today expressing their doubts that a “Grand Unified Theory” of everything may be found. That’s quite consistent. To believe in a grand unified theory sounds remarkably like Genesis 1, and who believes that anymore? But actually it’s belief in the God of Genesis 1 that will engage you further with the scientific enterprise. Disbelief will make you give up the investigation prematurely.

2. A World Out There

The ancient Greeks were smart cookies. All philosophy is footnotes to Plato and all that. Philosophy, mathematics, art and literature were all spheres of excellence for the Greeks. Science? Not so much. Because science requires you to believe in a stable and predictable world out there that is open to investigation. Science occurs when you make repeatable observations and check your theories against the cold hard facts. But Greeks didn’t believe in cold, hard facts. They believed in minds and reason and laws but not in empirical investigation. To study something for the Greeks meant a journey within the mind – not a venture out into the field. And so, no science.

But in Genesis 1 you have a genuinely concrete, genuinely real world. It’s not this second-class excretion from the gods, it’s positively willed by God, different to God (contingent not necessary) yet at the same time declared very good. It’s the kind of place you can move out into and have dominion over. It is open to us. In fact we are told to fill it, order it, develop it. Science is not just enabled by Genesis 1, it’s virtually commanded.

3. Minds In Here

If human minds are the product of mindless operations which only honour survival, not intelligence (the two are not at all synonymous), then why should we trust our minds to understand the laws up above and the world out there. If we are a part of the cosmos thrown up by the cosmos with no higher calling than to pass on our genes then why trust a brain that whirs away according to its own survival imperative?

If you really want to have confidence in scientific endeavour then turn to Genesis 1 where humanity are specially created in certain relationships with the Orderer above and the world out there. The image of God is on us and the command of God is to rule and fill the world. More than this, if humanity is created in God’s image it is because we are destined in Christ (the Image) for face-to-face fellowship with God. If that is so then we can have every confidence that the human mind is indeed capable of grasping those things above, even as we are sent into the world out there.

Genesis 1 is very far from being anti-science. It gives us these three building blocks and every reason to believe that they will triangulate to yield fresh insights. If we turn from the Bible, what right do we have to expect rational order to the cosmos? What right do we have to expect a comprehensible universe? What right do we have to privilege the processes of these 3 pound blobs of grey matter between our ears? Actually, to turn from the Scriptures is to weaken science, not strengthen it.

The realities spoken of in Genesis 1 provide the scientific enterprise with its firmest possible foundations.

Tweet nothings

Posted on by Glen in tweets | Leave a comment

“Atheism isn’t a belief, it’s the absence of belief.” Really? And I suppose anarchism is the absence of political convictions?

“If God made the world, who made God?” That’s like asking “If the sun enlightens the earth, what enlightens the sun?”

“I don’t believe in God.” I probably don’t believe in the god you’re imagining either. Let’s talk about Jesus…

“I could never be religious.” Many say ‘I could never be married’ but then they meet The One. That’s who Jesus is to me…

“How can u believe in the virgin birth of Jesus?” How can u believe in the virgin birth of the cosmos? Talk about miraculous

“Theres no need for God, science explains it all.” I can explain that sentence. No need for you?

“If you grew up in 12th century Nepal you wouldn’t be a Christian.” If you grew up there you wouldn’t be a sceptic.

“U believe we’re born sick & commanded 2b well.” No we’re born hungry & offered Bread. As with the physical so the spiritual.

“Suffering rules out God.” Which God? To be sure many gods are incompatible with suffering but what about the crucified God?

“To say Jesus is The One Way is narrow.” But u insist on One Way to consider religions. That’s narrow. The cosmic Christ isn’t

“To say sex/marriage is for 1 man and 1 woman is homophobic.” Think of a Buddhist. Is their vegetarianism carnivore-phobic?

“Religions cause all wars.” Nope, about 7%. LINK God isn’t the common denominator in war. Humanity is.

“Why doesn’t God just forgive?” Ever tried it? It hurts! It means self-sacrifice cos forgiving a debt means absorbing the cost

“Christians are hypocrites.” Christians are SINNERS so we must drop All masks including the worst one: the No-Hypocrisy-Mask

“I wish I had your faith.” If I recommend my doctor, u don’t need my faith in her, u need HER. U don’t need faith but Jesus.

“If God knew there’d be suffering, why create?” Every parent knows their children will suffer, they give life nonetheless.

Good news, you don’t need to “find your identity in Jesus”! Christ IS your life. #Col3 #EnjoyYourDay

If everyone has a god then “divine sovereignty” might turn out to be a particularly empty tautology. The question is Which God reigns?

You say ‘divine sovereignty’, I prefer ‘fatherly providence.’ Or how about ‘JESUS is Lord.’

Human religion: Humanity justifying itself before a watching God.
The gospel: God justifying God before a watching humanity.

To be in the Word of the Father IS to be in the book of life.

It’s not just your sins – *you* have been transferred to Christ. Now you inhabit the realm of the Beloved Son. Col1:13f #EnjoyYourDay

Jesus is not a means to other ends: salvation, heaven, forgiveness, assurance, etc.
He IS those things.

When Jesus came to the Jordan He didn’t Judge the failures, He joined them: entering our filth to bring us 2 His Family #Matt3 #EnjoyYourDay

Are you a Christian? Jesus is yours and you are His. Song of Songs 6:3 #EnjoyYourDay

Weeping then joy, anger then favour, mourning then dancing, the pit then the heights Ps30 One morning soon will be The Morning #EnjoyYourDay

Jesus was not serenely euthanised for our sins. He died in loneliness, ugliness, tumult & agony. A real Saviour for real sinners.

Gal2:20 Your “I” (active subject) has been crucified & no longer lives. Your “me” (passive object) is loved and laid hold of. #EnjoyYourDay

#5LeviticalOfferings: Old life condemned, New offered to God, Guilt cleansed, Recompense made, Peace secured. #ChristHasDoneIt #EnjoyYourDay

“Jesus the Name high over all, in hell or earth or sky. Angels and men before it fall, and devils fear and fly.” #EnjoyYourDay

God’s YES resounds from heaven at Christ. His AMEN booms back on our behalf&the Spirit seals us into the circle of trust 2Cor1 #EnjoyYourDay

Saw my MP in London this week. She said she was off to respond to emails, the 1st of which ended “When will I get justice for me & my cat??”

As Word of God Jesus doesn’t just keep God’s promises, He *is* God’s promise to you, earthed forever into your humanity. #EnjoyYourDay

When life feels beyond u remember it always is. “But this happened that we might not rely on self but God who raises the dead” #EnjoyYourDay

Feeling lonely and afflicted? The LORD Jesus guards u, rescues u, frees u, confides in u & forgives all your sins. #Psalm25 #EnjoyYourDay

According to “nature, red in tooth and claw”: Death is the engine.
According to Jesus: Death is the enemy.

The gospel is the opposite of “nature” – the survival of the feeblest through the sacrifice of the Fittest

We’ve angels as our servants, saints as our companions, Christ as our Brother, God as our Father & a crown of immortality as our reward. CHS

He’s King on high, the Seed to come, ‘God with u’, yr Sanctuary, heaven’s gift, yr Counsellor, God, Father & Prince Isaiah6-9 #EnjoyYourDay

“If u could go back in time would u kill baby Hitler?” It’s bizarre that this hypothetical assumes the best way to stop evil is by killing.

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is burned as a witch.

“But if you wash your kids, you’ve gotta feed em too.” Yeah, I say wash and feed em. Gets messy otherwise.

He’s plunged down into our death & burst through into His life. His very being is an offer: to take our death & give His life. #EnjoyYourDay

“Thou shalt not steal” does not mean so much “This is mine so u can’t have it.” It means “This is genuinely mine so I can genuinely Give it”

Losing your life to find it is FIRST a truth about Trinity. The Son abandons Himself to the Father and receives back His life in the Spirit.

Losing your life to find it is SECONDLY a truth about Easter. Christ surrenders all to God and is then raised up by the Spirit.

Losing your life to find it is LASTLY a truth about us. If *God* is all about trusting self-abandonment, clinging on to self is anti-reality

And is that Chianti she’s drinking as she sells off their livers?

If selling the organs of the unborn outrages you, how much worse is killing them in the first place?

To be outraged only by the organ harvesting is like telling Hannibal Lecter “Dude, u’ve finally crossed a line with that whole liver thing”

By definition following Christ makes you Christian.
By design following Christ makes you human.

God gives us Everything (His Son) and then gives us the Appreciation of Everything (His Spirit) 1Cor2:12. All for free. #EnjoyYourDay

In human religion, we work while the gods wait.
With the Living God, He works, we wait. (Isaiah 64:4)

Judgement is not God’s dark side, it’s where the blazing light of God meets *our* darkness.

‘Everything that can be shaken will be removed’ but ‘underneath are the everlasting arms.’ #Perspective #EnjoyYourDay

When I solved the anagram “COUNT A SNAIL GROT”, I thought: congratulations are in order.

While the rest of my art class sketches nudes I study fruit bowls cos you’ve got to draw the lime somewhere.

Watch dogs have ticks

Chat roulette looks different in France.

The Greek debt crisis has been averted, all credit to the European Central Bank.

So we come to round 3 of our genetic engineering quiz: fingers on buzzards…

Hey, I just met you,
And this is crazy,
But here’s my rye smile,
So call me Maizie.

While My iPhone Gently Tweets

Posted on by Glen in tweets | Leave a comment

“Is it not wonderful news to believe that salvation lies outside ourselves?” Luther

Either God loves you to death or Jesus has been sending crazy mixed messages. #EnjoyYourDay

The alternative to following is wallowing. Wallowing is *much* harder.

God’s prescription for our ills: Take to aspirin’ and call Me in the mourning.

In the flesh we are but dust and ashes. By the Spirit-filled King we are crowned with beauty and the oil of gladness (Is61) #EnjoyYourDay

- mum&dad i declare that this house is not mine it’s yours…
– thanks son, ur welcome…
– …i give it all 2u…
– … you GIVE it 2 us??

If a “prayer of commitment” = the 1st statement by the child, cool. If it’s the 2nd, who do we think we are & what do we think we can offer?

Real conversion is not giving your life to God. It’s realising you’ve got nothing But gift.

You haven’t got “God on your side”, not in the Bob Dylan sense. You’ve got something better: You are at God’s side, hidden in Christ forever.

Today, remember you are loved at your very worst, by the very Best. Rom 5:8 #EnjoyYourDay

“At the root of every caricature of the cross there lies a distorted Christology.” John Stott, The Cross of Christ.

[God's Self-Substitution: We must affirm] that the love, holiness & will of the Father are identical to the love, holiness & will of the Son

Unless yr gospel presentation is explicitly trinitarian u cannot present atonement as God’s SELF-substitution. IOW u can’t preach the cross.

Some see #BruceJenner as a freak, some see #RachelDolezal as a fraud. How about we see them both as frail?

And let’s learn from this that personal identity involves more than a solitary will. It involves biological givens and whole communities too

God is yr Creator therefore… How do u finish that sentence? First implication: therefore God is Giver & we are freely loved into existence

We are SEATED with Christ, Eph1-3; WALK by Christ, Eph4-5 & STAND in Christ, Eph6. We Never climb. #OnTopOfTheWorld #EnjoyYourDay

“They say personal evangelism is a dying art. How preposterous! It’s a resurrecting art!” Said to me just now.

God works triumph thru deicide. The disasters of today do not catch Him off guard or knock Him off course. Crisis is His MO #EnjoyYourDay

Present suffering is to future glory as birth-pains are to the joy of new life. Horrifically painful. Totally worth it. #EnjoyYourDay

Through His life, death & resurrection, Christ has taken the wheel of this world, turned on the sat nav & pressed “Home” #EnjoyYourDay

Jesus sailed thru a hurricane to get to Legion (Mark5). He was hurled into the Abyss to rescue u. Same predicament, same love. #EnjoyYourDay

BAPTISM: You in Christ, once and for all.
COMMUNION: Christ in you, ongoingly.
BOTH: God’s gracious & effective word, coming down from above

I stand by my decision to call it a “meme.” A) memes should be *self*replicating and I’m the only one tweeting it. B) It’s all about me me.

Christ is yr clothing (baptism), yr food & yr drink (communion). And He’s given while ur naked, famished & guilty as hell #EnjoyYourDay

Preacher’s Reality Check: Scripture’s most beautiful chapter on Christ and His cross begins with the line “Who has believed our message?”

“We live in an age in which everything is permitted and nothing is forgiven.” Rev Alan Jones

Culture Wars: Luke 15 without a father.

The Spirit raised Jesus from a “wicked” grave” (Is53:9). Thus the gospel is life from the dead AND vindication for *sinners* (Rom4:5).

It also means the powers of-the-Spirit/of-the-new-age are wrapped up with justification. The Spirit is abt new covenant reality (Gal3;2Cor3)

SALVATION: by grace alone, bearing fruit in many good works.
MISSION: by proclamation alone, bearing fruit in much social impact.

That worry is too big for you, the Father says ‘Let me take it’. #EnjoyYourDay

That job is too big for you, the Spirit says ‘Let me take it.’ #EnjoyYourDay

Jesus is LORD. This means the One poured out for you in love is God’s true expression, the world’s true King and your true Master. #GoodNews

Hebrews 11: God saves to the cloud.
Hebrews 12:1: Back up to the cloud then run.

Mission WHY: The Lord; the lost.
Mission WHO: Christ, church.
Mission WHAT: Declaring, discipling.
Mission HOW: Family, food.

Your success at ‘sin management’ does not define u. Christ does: “Holy”, “Without Blemish”, “Free From Accusation” Col1:22 #EnjoyYourDay

Men are like grain. Women like wine. Zechariah 9:17
Bland, raw, morning food versus sweet, refined, evening drink.

Sins cleansed, darkness conquered, creation liberated, bodies raised, tears wiped away and Jesus. Face to face, Forever. #EnjoyYourDay

In evangelism “I’m a staunch atheist” is the new “I’m a Christian.” It’s often a ready-made label that means little. Don’t let it put u off.

Born ever hungry
Hating our need
Despising dependence
Craving a feed.
Starving/Stuffing,
All or Nothing,
Since Adam & Eve we cannot receive.

At the British Museum see Babylonians, Persians, Greeks&Romans. At yr local church join the Son of Man’s eternal kingdom #Dan7 #EnjoyYourDay

Grace is God’s gift of Christ. Faith is our reception of Christ. Jesus is the centre, not some *thing* called “grace” or “faith”.

Is the Spirit about Ethics (fruit) or Experience (filling)? Both sides must learn He’s more deeply the Spirit of the Evangel & the Eschaton.

Whatever needs forgiving is forgiven. Whatever needs fixing will be fixed. Whatever needs facing, Christ faces with us. #EnjoyYourDay

I just grew the perfect root vegetable. It’s a real turnip for the books.

Gary Kasparov gives no interviews. No-one can answer that old chess nut.

- You said you were available to burp my kids?
– I said I was a wind up merchant.

Her will is strong. As is her won’t.

You want a new kind of pasta? Ok, durum roll…

Dad was always watering down my fortified wine. #spoilsport

I’m realising why Facebook has so gripped our species. TAG A CAT GAG is just written into our DNA.

I put our family motto onto a royal blue flag. Pretty standard really.

I refuse to be called “HEAD” teacher. It’s the principal.

An A-Team fancy dress party? Not sure I can’t face it.

They say a heatwave’s coming. I reckon it’s all a front.

Perhaps my favourite ‘moderately loud’ pop song is Prince’s “Sexy: metzo forte.”

As a classical pianist I make sure to read out all #FF tweets extra loud.

Yes, you *could* call me a dynamic punster, thank you.

“A pox on both your houses” was a rash pronouncement.

I just can’t fill out my bankruptcy application. I know, it’s poor form.


Preaching Judgement: Three Thoughts

Posted on by Glen in apologetics, evangelism, hell, judgement, preaching | 2 Comments

writing on the wallRaising hell is either terrific fun (of the throwing-televisions-out-of-hotel-windows kind) or terrifically sobering. This is the sobering kind.

Here are three thoughts on speaking about judgement. These aren’t the three most important things to say but they are the three things I think we’re commonly getting wrong.

 

1) Our job is not to save God from the ‘not guilty’ verdict.

So often I hear talks that seem to aim at getting God off of our “guilty” verdict rather than getting us off of His. If you aim at trying to save your hearers you’ll present God righteously.  If you aim at justifying God, you’ll save neither.

 

2) We don’t bring hell to the world, hell is here. We bring reality and then hope.

According to Romans 1, the wrath of God is being revealed from heaven. All that sinful humanity chooses is already hell-bent. This means that earth’s vision of heaven is heaven’s vision of hell. As we herald heaven’s vision, we’re not saying ‘Ah, life is rosy now but the pit awaits.’ We say ‘Don’t you realise how life is the pits now? Don’t you realise we’ve already fallen? Don’t you see where this thing is already heading? Don’t you want a way out?’ In this way we don’t introduce hell to people who are otherwise living it up. We point to the hell in our hearts and the hell in our world and say “Hell is here and it needs nipping in the bud before it goes viral. But we know Someone who takes it seriously. Jesus can handle your hell and give you His heaven.”

 

3) The quintessence of hell is not sin’s recompense so much as mercy’s refusal.

It’s fairly common to do a ‘reverse Godwin’ when speaking of judgement. We begin with Hitler and the justice of judging him, then we work backwards towards less flagrant sinners… like ourselves. I wonder though if that frames everything in terms of degrees of just punishment, and while there’s a place for that I think leaning too heavily on this will come a cropper in the face of eternity. (You can tell people ‘temporal sins against an infinite God = eternal punishment, QED” but I’ve never seen it convince anyone.)

Luke 15 finishes with the bad boy in the feast and the good boy outside, with weeping and wailing and the angry gnashing of teeth. This is pretty much every way Jesus describes hell in Luke’s Gospel, but the question comes: Why is he there? Because he’s so bad? No, because he’s so good – too good for this mercy meal. Why is he shut out of the feast? Because his father is so cruel? No he’s so kind – too kind for this moralist who insists on justice.

In Luke 15 “justice forever” is the motto of hell’s inmate, not its Jailer. If we let shared concepts of “justice” do all the heavy lifting on this question it frames God’s ultimate posture towards the world in terms of law. But what of the “wrath of the Lamb“? The anger of the spurned Lover? Is there an evangelical (and not merely legal) preaching of hell? Or do we always come back to a law which the New Testament says has been fulfilled by Christ (the curse and all)?

Similarly I worry that an exclusive focus on the justice perspective obscures, not only the gospel character of God but also the mad mystery of human iniquity. As we hear of Matthew 25’s goats, certainly we’re meant to think that their punishment is fitting, right and even that there is a poetic justice to it all. But we’re also meant to think ‘That’s insane! Goats: hell is not for you! It’s for the devil and his angels. Why are you following him!? Why won’t you turn and live, for who can take any pleasure in your perishing?!’ God certainly doesn’t (Ezekiel 18:30-32).

Our preaching of hell should lead to a gospel appeal from the depths of God’s own heart, not an ‘all-sewed-up’ accounting for sin’s recompense. That’s what I mean by an evangelical (and not merely legal) account of hell.

If you want a terrific example of preaching hell, check out Steve Levy:

 

DOWNLOAD


#QuickAnswers

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

Here are 16 Quick Answers to questions of faith which I recently tweeted:

“Atheism isn’t a belief, it’s the absence of belief.” Really? And I suppose anarchism is the absence of political convictions?

“If God made the world, who made God?” That’s like asking “If the sun enlightens the earth, what enlightens the sun?”

“I don’t believe in God.” I probably don’t believe in the god you’re imagining either. Let’s talk about Jesus…

“I could never be religious.” Many say ‘I could never be married’ but then they meet The One. That’s who Jesus is to me…

“How can u believe in the virgin birth of Jesus?” How can u believe in the virgin birth of the cosmos? Talk about miraculous

“Theres no need for God, science explains it all.” I can explain that sentence. No need for you?

“If you grew up in 12th century Nepal you wouldn’t be a Christian.” If you grew up there you wouldn’t be a sceptic.

“U believe we’re born sick & commanded 2b well.” No we’re born hungry & offered Bread. As with the physical so the spiritual.

“Suffering rules out God.” Which God? To be sure many gods are incompatible with suffering but what about the crucified God?

“To say Jesus is The One Way is narrow.” But u insist on One Way to consider religions. That’s narrow. The cosmic Christ isn’t

“To say sex/marriage is for 1 man and 1 woman is homophobic.” Think of a Buddhist. Is their vegetarianism carnivore-phobic?

“Religions cause all wars.” Nope, about 7%. LINK God isn’t the common denominator in war. Humanity is.

“Why doesn’t God just forgive?” Ever tried it? It hurts! It means self-sacrifice cos forgiving a debt means absorbing the cost

“Christians are hypocrites.” Christians are SINNERS so we must drop All masks including the worst one: the No-Hypocrisy-Mask

“I wish I had your faith.” If I recommend my doctor, u don’t need my faith in her, u need HER. U don’t need faith but Jesus.

“If God knew there’d be suffering, why create?” Every parent knows their children will suffer, they give life nonetheless.

“The Kingdom of Heaven Is Like…” (Matthew 22 Sermon)

Posted on by Glen in sermons | Leave a comment

SCRIPT

DOWNLOAD


David and Goliath – The Victory of Your Champion

Posted on by Glen in My videos, sermons, videos | Leave a comment

 

A previous video for The Sermon

 

All YouTube Sermons

All Vimeo Sermons

 

The Evangelists Podcast

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

EvangelistsPodcast2

Do you subscribe to our podcast?

We’re about to hit 100 episodes so we’re highlighting a few different episodes from the past two years. Here’s a series I enjoyed from 2014:

 

THE DREADFUL DANGER OF BEING POLISHED

THE TERRIBLE TRAP OF TALKING ABOUT GOD

THE PITIFUL PRACTICE OF GAINING CONVERTS

THE WONDERFUL NEWS THAT WE’RE CONDEMNED ALREADY

THE LIBERATING TRUTH THAT YOU DON’T NEED TO EVANGELISE

 

SUBSCRIBE

How to Win Europe: By the Spirit, Herald to Hearts and Homes

Posted on by Glen in mission, preaching, sermons | Leave a comment

SERMON ON ACTS 16:6-15

DOWNLOAD AUDIO

In Acts chapter 1, Jesus said “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” What happened in the 2000 years since then?

Notice how a lot of the video centred on Europe. And then from Europe the gospel went, especially from the 19th century onwards – to Africa, Asia, South America. It’s very common for people to think of Christianity as a European religion. And yet for the first thousand years there were more Christians East of Jerusalem than West. And certainly today Europe is decidedly POST-Christian. In our own denomination, the Anglican Communion, the average Anglican is a Nigerian woman who lives on $2 a day. Christianity has never belonged to Europe. And yet, notice how on the map, Europe is marked as Christian.

This is the effect of Christendom. Ever since Constantine supposedly converted in 312AD, the Roman Empire became Christian. Now it’s a very big theological question whether an empire can be Christian. Certainly we want queens and kings, and presidents and prime ministers everywhere to become Christians. Certainly we want whole populations to trust Jesus. Certainly there is no better foundation for any set of laws than the word of God. But still, the question of whether an empire can be Christian is hotly disputed. And so Christendom – having a state religion imposed from above – has been, to put it mildly, a mixed blessing.

Read more