Psalm 88 Sermon

Can despair be praise? It can when it's prayed. TEXT

Mission in Isaiah - God's Outgoing Glory, Worship and Holiness

MISSION IN ISAIAH (audio) Mission in the life of the church is often thought of as a balancing act. On the one hand, church exists to glorify God. On the other hand, we exist to reach out to the world. On the one hand, we

Scrivolity in 100 Puns

I've written a pun a day over at my Scrivolity tumblr. Tonight I hit 365. So to celebrate here are 100 of the less terrible ones... My brother sequenced his whole genome and put it in a spreadsheet. I said, Bill, you’ve

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I wonder how sales are doing? — Glen Scrivener ن (@glenscrivener) August 2, 2015 On the cross, the Father offered Christ to the world. In the word, the Spirit offers Christ to me. Poor?

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Today I've had a couple of conversations about @TimFarron - Being Christian and Being Liberal (@PeterOuld) — Glen Scrivener ن (@glenscrivener) July 18, 2015 “You had me at hell…” Jerry

How to win the world

Yesterday I led a seminar on equipping Christians for evangelism. I opened up with a quiz to figure out where people were coming from. This is the quiz: Here are four pairs of statements. Both sentences in each pair make

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

Psalm 88 Sermon

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

Can despair be praise? It can when it’s prayed.


Mission in Isaiah – God’s Outgoing Glory, Worship and Holiness

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

Isaiah Future- William_Strutt_Peace_1896MISSION IN ISAIAH (audio)

Mission in the life of the church is often thought of as a balancing act.

On the one hand, church exists to glorify God. On the other hand, we exist to reach out to the world.
On the one hand, we worship God. On the other hand, we evangelise.
On the one hand we seek holiness. On the other hand we sully ourselves by going out into the world to make disciples.

Mission is considered a counter-balance to the other activities which we know to be important. And maybe we think it’s a major counter-balance. Maybe we think it’s incredibly important and the mission side of things dominates how we shape church life. At that stage the glory / worship / holiness people say “You’ve forgotten our core business in the church!” And the evangelistic people say “You’ve forgotten the lost!” And probably both sides will make excellent points as they debate each other. But they’re both wrong if they think that theologically there’s a trade-off. Theologically there’s no trade off.

Here’s my central contention for this morning: The glory of God, the worship of God, the holiness of God are thoroughly missional. Such that you cannot have the glory / worship / holiness stuff without the outreaching / evangelistic / missionary stuff. And if you think you can have holiness without outreach, you haven’t just lost outreach – you’ve lost both. Because these things come together. It’s a job lot.

This morning we’re going to look at Isaiah and see that Glory and Worship and Holiness are thoroughly outgoing things because God is fundamentally an outgoing God. If that’s true, what does it mean for our churches?…






Scrivolity in 100 Puns

Posted on by Glen in comedy | Leave a comment

I’ve written a pun a day over at my Scrivolity tumblr. Tonight I hit 365. So to celebrate here are 100 of the less terrible ones…

  1. My brother sequenced his whole genome and put it in a spreadsheet. I said, Bill, you’ve excelled yourself.
  2. What is “vicarious research”? Asking for a friend
  3. – Those are killer shoes!
    – Not really, they’re moccassassins
  4. I tried to invent a single-digit number system but it proved untenable.
  5. An A-Team fancy dress party? Not sure I can’t face it.
  6. “And now to round 3 of our genetic engineering quiz: Fingers on buzzards…”
  7. When I solved the anagram “COUNT A SNAIL GROT”, I thought: congratulations are in order.
  8. Remorse code: the language of hopes dashed
  9. I’m working on a basic introduction to Americanisms. It’s called “’Pacifiers’ for ‘Dummies’”
  10. I hear your canal boat sank. My gondolances
  11. I like the M6 but Spaghetti Junction’s a major turnoff.
  12. Every time I hear a hypochondria gag I wonder if I’ve got it.
  13. I’d like to open a massive clothing store called “Big Ts” and then refuse to sell any T-shirts.
  14. My general knowledge is appalling. My sergeant knowledge is little better. I’m a rank amateur
  15. What? Redoing a Steven King horror as a Pixar adventure story? You couldn’t make It Up.
  16. I once owned a cheese-eating insect. Briefly
  17. Yul Brynner isn’t competitive about musical roles. He knows it’s all about the Thai king part
  18. My boss hates over-familiar greetings so if I catch myself saying “Hiya”, I always follow up with a devastating karate chop.
  19. If you still don’t know why Jesus died, I’ve got two words for you.
  20. – You’ve lived 30 years on Loch Ness and never discussed the monster?
    – It never came up.
  21. I could tell he went to public school. He had that harrowed look.
  22. I’d love to join your miniature Hindustani band tonight. Unfortunately I can’t get a baby sitar
  23. If you think I’m going to remake an 80s B-movie you’ve got another Thing coming.
  24. – Can you recite any of the Nazirite vows?
    – Not off the top of my head.
  25. I will pass your English exam, you mark my words
  26. The filthiest radiographer was “X-ray Ted”
  27. I don’t think the Scarecrow was stupid, I just think he made a lot of straw man arguments.
  28. Psychic extremists need to find a happy medium.
  29. I can never properly calculate my Body Mass Index. I’m a bit dense sometimes
  30. Camus was a tricky philosopher to get your header round.
  31. Shout Out to all the scapegoats
  32. I can confirm now that I’m a bishop
  33. “There was Damon Albarn, Alex James, and, to be honest the rest is a bit of a blur.”
  34. Trojan Horse: one trick pony
  35. * France’s greatest prosecutor was Jack Hughes
    * Italy’s worst lawyer was Mia Culpa
    * Israel’s greatest legal expert was the Jewess Prudence
  36. I’m not saying John Williams is a drug addict, just that he’s always making arrangements to score.
  37. The calmest lizard was the camemileon
  38. The first salvaging contract for the Titanic has been awarded. Well done guys, take a bow.
  39. I get an obscene amount of money for each stanza of poetry I write. It’s perverse.
  40. – Those Japanese poems are genius.
    – Meh, I’d call them High IQ.
  41. Every time I ask my wife for specifics she says “Wocka, Wocka, Wocka.” She’s fozzie on the details
  42. I know tasseography and oceanography sound like fun but you’ve got to read the teas and seas
  43. My beautician is draining excess fluids from my body. I’m pretty pumped
  44. At the Flatliners World Championships they always play sudden death
  45. You want to add your fancy “wearable technology” to my trusty Casio? Not on my watch.
  46. If you like building personalised lighthouses that’s your own lookout.
  47. Cuba’s big problem has been finding a successor to Castro but no one wants to play second Fidel
  48. If it’s all the same to you I’ll call you a monist
  49. - Ready for our orthopaedics exam?
    – Yes I’ve really boned up. Have u studied the narcotics directory?
    – Think I’m up to speed
  50. Is it just me or does the word synaesthesia smell purple?
  51. - I can’t stand all you cattle ranchers.
    – Why?
    – Cowboys, the lot of you.
    – Cowboys??
    – You herd.
  52. Those who lose their faith go off the depend.
  53. - You say Standby
    – I say Hibernate
    – Standby
    – Hibernate
    – Standby
    – Hibernate
    – Let’s call the whole thing Off
  54. My mate’s IQ is very average. He’s a simple ton. (Sorry if that sounds mean)
  55. As the tribute band played Hoppipolla I thought “Close but no Sigur.”
  56. Phew! Survived Pamplona. Dodged a bullock there.
  57. I love collecting Hebrew words, can I get an Amen?
  58. Depict Europe’s tallest mountain? I’m drawing a blanc.
  59. I tried ordering from “Pistachios To You”. It’s driving me nuts.
  60. My boss has me ranking colas all day long. It’s soda grading.
  61. Knuckle sandwiches are fine. Just roll with the punches.
  62. The iCloud’s fine but Dropbox gets my backup
  63. Gangrene costs an almondy leg
  64. Wait a minute, did seahorses invent water polo?
  65. Unfortunately sauciers are often reduced to stock phrases. Jus saying.
  66. Are you depressed by continual commands to exercise? Chin up
  67. I know it’s a long shot but any chance of a yard of vodka? (Don’t be mean spirited now!)
  68. Don’t ask a nihilist to hoover. Nietzsche abhors a vacuum.
  69. Stoics want to correct my spelling. They have no affect.
  70. “Death by Sunburn” was never a form of capital punishment in Britain. That’s a summery execution.
  71. Hang on, aren’t we all hoarse whisperers?
  72. Is bad spelling getting you down? Their their.
  73. If telemarketers cold call me I usually throw the phone across the room. It’s just one of my hangups.
  74. Thanks for your manicuring advice, I’ll file it away.
  75. My whole life’s a mistake. Even my blood’s a typo.
  76. – You said you’d work in my restaurant last night?
    – I said I can’t wait!
  77. Britain is so sceptical it defies belief.
  78. I just grew the perfect root vegetable. It’s a real turnip for the books.
  79. “A pox on both your houses” was a rash pronouncement.
  80. Agnosticism could be wrong, you never know.
  81. You think I’m obsessed with Bob Holness? O please!
  82. I’d like to breed racing deers. I hear you can make a fast buck.
  83. I couldn’t bare it if they outlawed nudism.
  84. My stripper name is Mobius. I NEVER show my backside.
  85. – I’m totes soz for making fun of your hearing aids…
    – Really?
    – Yeah, deffo.
  86. Just entered a yodelling competition. I’m in with a shout
  87. – How come all roads only lead to Rome?
    – Cos there’s no two-ways about It.
  88. I’ve come up with a thousand separate arguments against scholasticism. They’re a bit a-Thomistic
  89. Colonel Sanders: Chick magnate
  90. The temple drummer refused to accompany the service but I had him bang to rites.
  91. Phwoar, binary code! That’s a noughty one
  92. I’ve invented an abbreviated form of morse code – for when you just want to dash something off.
  93. Unsure about artificial intelligence? One day it’ll be make your mind up time.
  94. “Yeah, it’s called a Weep-aphone. A WEEPAPHONE for crying out loud.”
  95. Ah, the Aztec priest, there’s a man after my own heart
  96. Is it just me or is solipsism nuts?
  97. 0K magazine leaves me absolutely cold.
  98. If you like Pop, you’ll LOVE Bublé Rap
  99. They don’t like you shrinking the Pyramid of Cheops. Small wonder.
  100. I’m competing in the World Anaesthetics Championships but I reckon I’m only there to make up the numbers.

And then, my favourite kind of pun – a tortuous spoonerism – at 101.

My father quit his job cleaning Tube tracks after they asked him to double as a late-night ghost-buster. He doesn’t fluffer ghouls sadly.

Not sorry.


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Posted on by Glen in tweets | Leave a comment

On the cross, the Father offered Christ to the world.
In the word, the Spirit offers Christ to me.

Poor? Brokenhearted? Mourning? Bound? Christ is good news, comfort, gladness, freedom, a robe of praise & righteousness #Is61 #EnjoyYourDay

Just been asked my sexuality on a form. NO idea how to answer. Going with: “Happily married to a woman, thanks for asking.”

How is God three & one? The First thing we say is “Differently. God is 1 *Being*, 3 *Persons*. Not 3 beings. Not 1 Person. No contradiction!

“Dear God, once again, I’m *really* sorry for that sin?” “What sin?” (Hebrews 10:17) #EnjoyYourDay

I Really like the English Standard Version. I just wish it used more standard English.

EG: “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy” (Phil 1:3-4)


We spend our lives trying to become wise, righteous, special, free. We have it all in Jesus: 1Cor1:30 #EnjoyYourDay

Your handsome, righteous Warrior King is God from God. He’s soaked with the Spirit of Joy and He LOVES His bride: Psalm 45 #EnjoyYourDay.

A life of faith, hope and love isn’t the price of salvation, it’s the prize: yours for free in Jesus (Col 1:3-6) #EnjoyYourDay

We call it freedom when we follow our natural desires.
Ephesians 2 calls it slavery.
If that sounds paradoxical, think Addiction

Three guidelines for biblical interpretation:
1) It’s the word of *Christ*;
2) It makes wise the *simple*;
3) It’s meant to be *preached*.

“Sorry, snowed under” “I’m not a miracle worker” “I wish u hadn’t told me that”: Things u won’t hear from Jesus. #TalkToHim #EnjoyYourDay

“Who are you in the story? *Jesus* is the Good Samaritan. I’m the guy by the side of the road.” #nwunited15

Who are you in the story? *Jesus* is Joseph, the Spirit-filled ruler. I’m the brother he forgives and blesses

Who are you in the story? *Jesus* is the bold Seeker and Finder. For some reason He pursues dormant lost me as His treasure (Matt13)

It’s extremely significant that Darwin and Dawkins are good writers. Storytelling changes the world

Just imagine it: the Father selecting a sacrificial Lamb “for your sake” – His precious, eternal, spotless Son. 1Peter1:17-20 #EnjoyYourDay

The Cast of Psalms
1. The LORD
2. The Blessed Man/Anointed King
3. The righteous in Him
4. The wicked
Every Psalm’s a combination of these 4

When the Lord acts for the sake of His own name He’s saying: “I’m not saving u cos of what you’re like, I’m saving u cos of what I’m like.”

God’s glory is expressed in His utter self-giving: in eternity, in creation, in salvation. But we don’t suck that grace out of Him, it flows

Sore, Snake-bitten, Sullen? The Son of Man was lifted up for you. Look and live. John3:14f #EnjoyYourDay

#Psalm22 Christ goes to the depths of the earth so He can reach to the ends of the earth.

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory. Just as there is no Son-less God, there is no Sun-less glory. God’s glory is eternal self-SHARING.

Therefore when God acts 4 His glory it’s the very opposite of self-centredness. He is determining always 2b the outgoing, radiant Self-Giver

Eph 1:18-23 – The power of His resurrection is in you, the purpose of His resurrection is for you #EnjoyYourDay

How do u picture the love that God *is*? (1Jn4:8) Not the warm fuzzies of a group hug – it’s the love that took Christ to the cross (v10)

“Whoops!” “Never thought of that!” “My hands are tied” “It’s beyond fixing” – phrases our Father never says #EnjoyYourDay

1 Peter has a verse about being prepared to speak. It has 105 verses about being prepared to suffer.

God’s love, which is completely yours in Jesus, is Forever, Fatherly and Forgiving: Psalm 103 #EnjoyYourDay

Some put their bios in the third person. Mine’s in the Second Person (Galatians 2:20)

“I’ve died and gone to heaven” – words describing a euphoric experience. Words describing every Christian. Col3:3 #EnjoyYourDay

Radical liturgists set the world to rites

I couldn’t bare it if they outlawed nudism.

Anti-nudists are so clothes-minded

The opposition to my nudism consists, largely, of vested interests.

I have an annoyingly brief argument for nudism so bare with me

My stripper name is Mobius. I NEVER show my backside.

- I’m totes soz for making fun of your hearing aids…
– Really?
– Yes, deffo.

The 9th circle of Dante’s inferno is shaped like a noose. I was puzzled, then I thought: Why the hell knot?

My wife’s family have no idea why she married me. Pity.

Probably the most helpful movie for your youth group to watch is “Dude, Where’s Micah?”

If you don’t mind I’ll call you a physicalist.

Genesis: Snakes and Ladders
Psalms: Hide and Seek

Galatians: Noughts and Crosses
1Peter: Simon Says

Joshua: Conkers
Romans: More than Conkers

Leviticus: Pass the Pigs
Jonah: Keep Away

Joel: Cricket(s)
Revelation 8: Hurling

1 Samuel 4:18 – Snap!
Matthew 28:2 – Boulderdash

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“You had me at hell…” Jerry M’aiah (Lam 3:55)

Your Mediator lays one hand on you, one hand on God and He’s never letting go. #Job9 #EnjoyYourDay

‘Happy are those who have a faith?’ No. ‘Happy are those who believe in sovereignty?’ No. ‘Happy are those whose God is the LORD.’ Ps144:15

Imagine a Buddhist Lib Dem leadership candidate who Personally thinks meat is murder. If u say that disqualifies him, who’s being illiberal?

Fascinating. Reflections on extra-terrestrial intelligence or the lack thereof #FermiParadox LINK

We’ll enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy our crown. Gladness&joy will overtake us & sorrow&sighing will flee away. Is51 #EnjoyYourDay

For the Christian, yesterday’s forgiven, tomorrow’s forbidden, today is given. #EnjoyYourDay

This explains why the English think the Australians are arrogant and the Australians think the English are proud. Both are correct of course.

God>Devil; Christ>Adam; Spirit>Flesh; Church>World; Grace>Sin; New Creation>Old Creation; Glory>Suffering. #EnjoyYourDay

By the way, these are “greater than” symbols, not arrows. But I’m sure you can do the maths.

‘Our task is not to tell people that they must believe in Jesus, but so to tell them of Jesus that they must believe in Him.’ @SteveRHolmes

William Carey was a phenomenal saint. But he wasn’t “the father of modern missions.” The Father of mission is a role forever occupied.

Just got to use my favourite theological word. Equiprimordial. Let’s get it #trending #Equiprimordial

In Isaiah, 4 times we are ‘the work of God’s hands’. Twice Isaiah *describes* God’s hands: They are ‘held out to us’ & ‘cut’. #EnjoyYourDay

Think of Job’s suffering. Now think of ch42 where the LORD redeems it *all*. “He is full of compassion & mercy.” James5:11 #EnjoyYourDay

What drives us: Looking good in the presence of judgement. What delivers us: Looking bad in the presence of love.

“Let’s not go to church, let’s BE church.” Ok and “Let’s not spend time with our spouses let’s BE married.”

#Psalm32 Christ has our sins counted against Him so that we can have His unfailing love surrounding us.

In despair we have Forgiveness for yesterday and a Future tomorrow but most precious of all, right now we have a Friend. Job 16:19-20

He’s God’s Son, the Spirit’s Anointed and a Man for all men: Jesus, the Mediator, holds *everything* together. 1Tim2:5-6 #EnjoyYourDay

Spirituality 101: We come to God as unspiritual, thirsty, hungry and cold-hearted. (Isaiah 55:1-3). If we don’t begin there we don’t begin.

So much God-talk = “talk about ‘Man’ in a loud voice.” (Feuerbach).
So much “missio Dei”-talk = “talk about ‘missio hominis’ in lofty tones”

God’s mission – His outgoing, sending love – is not a response to the world. God’s mission is the reason for the world.

“[God’s pleasure] is a pleasure in diffusing and communicating to, rather than in receiving from, the creature.” Jonathan Edwards.

God has no need of galaxies, gorillas, guavas or you. It’s all a sheer gift. We say “You shouldn’t have.” He says “I wanted to.”

You are not needed, you are wanted.

Jesus is your Brother. He is not ashamed of you. Heb 2:11 #EnjoyYourDay

(1) God gives us our lives so (2) He can give us His life. And since we still don’t grasp it (3) He gives us even the receiving of that gift

This is the doctrine of the Trinity. It’s another way of saying “God is Giver.”

If ur in on Jesus, ur in on Everything. ‘The Father himself loves u b/c u’ve loved me & believe that I came from God.’ Jn16 #EnjoyYourDay

How’s your relationship with God? As good as your Priest’s – Heb 5:1-9 #EnjoyYourDay

Thru wilderness trials the Father promises: “My Presence (Christ!) will go with you and I will give you rest.” Ex33 #EnjoyYourDay

Wesley once said “The world is my parish.” Wonderfully, through immigration we can say: “The world is *in* my parish.” Timothy Tennent

The Son of David has a great “largeness of heart” (1 Kings 4:29). There’s plenty of room for you. #EnjoyYourDay

“Now, about Thesis 1: I can only apologise.” — Martin Luther.

Breaking News: SpecSavers Shuts Down After Bible Study in Matthew 7. An internal audit will be carried out by PlankPluckers.

They’ve all tried, but no-one has really figured out why Emma married me. Pity.

Agnosticism could be wrong, you never know.

You think I’m obsessed with Bob Holness? O please!

I’d like to breed racing deers. I hear it’s a great way to make a fast buck.

Every time I hear a hypochondria gag I wonder if I’ve got it.

I’m an all-or-nothing sculptor. For me it’s full statue or bust.

I thought I was being triply penitent but no one appreciated my sorry excuse for an apology.

I’d like to open a massive clothing store called “Big Ts” and then refuse to sell any T-shirts.

How to win the world

Posted on by Glen in apologetics, culture, evangelism, gospel | 8 Comments

Jesus_washing_Peter's_feetYesterday I led a seminar on equipping Christians for evangelism. I opened up with a quiz to figure out where people were coming from. This is the quiz:

Here are four pairs of statements. Both sentences in each pair make good and honourable points, but if you had to choose, which would you lean towards…

A. Evangelism is about finding connections with what the world already believes.
B. Evangelism is about telling a very different story

A. Evangelism is more like leading people along stepping stones.
B. Evangelism is more like inviting people into an unfamiliar world

A. People’s stated objections to faith should be answered as asked with careful consideration.
B. We assume that, most often, questions are excuses because the questioner doesn’t want to believe?

A. Our goal is cultural transformation and being taken seriously by the powers that be.
B. We are content to be an unimpressive church of nobodies.

I lean towards B in each of these pairs. I hear the concerns of A but I think we give the world better than they ever dared believe when we first tell a different story. We lead people on in the faith by proclaiming the strange new world of the Bible. We address questioners best when we see beneath their questions. And we transform culture by being a cross-shaped community, unconcerned for worldly power.

Both A and B reflect good and honourable truths, so in one sense it’s a false dichotomy to get people to choose. On the other hand we do need to choose the way we pursue these things. And I say we take the hit by leading with B, all the while trusting that this is God’s path towards A. In other words I think the way to get the glory which everyone wants is through suffering. The way to resurrection is through the cross.

Here’s something that interested me. On three of these questions the room was split between A and B. I think A probably won each of the rounds but on one question A got 99% of the room and B got a couple of sheepish hold-outs. Which question? Number 4 – about cultural transformation. Everyone wants to shape culture and be taken seriously by the powers that be. No-one wants to be an unimpressive church of nobodies.

It seems to me, though, that God’s power and wisdom are vindicated precisely in a weak and foolish looking cross and a weak and foolish looking church (1 Corinthians 1:17-31). This cruciformity does indeed carry God’s power and wisdom and so will have a truly spiritual, transformational impact. But there’s a shape to that transformation – down and then up. Are we prepared to go that path? Are we prepared to be unimportant? Are we prepared to look foolish – nuts even – before the world. I was surprised yesterday to see how few people were prepared to identify as unimpressive and how many preferred to be ‘culture shapers.’

Maybe though, as the last vestiges of cultural power are being stripped from us, there is an opportunity for fruitful evangelism. Maybe if we embrace the “weak and foolish” label which the world is giving us rather than insisting on our own wisdom and credibility, we can truly walk the way of the cross. Maybe we’ll actually reach the world when we stop trying to do so with our own impressiveness. Maybe we should stop demanding ‘a seat at the table’ and instead pick up a towel to serve.

“But people will think we’re stupid, inconsequential servants!”

Exactly! Genius isn’t it?

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.




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.

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“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

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“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.
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.