Tweet Harvest


Eat Christmas John Lewis. THIS is an ad http://t.co/t3j79WBcLI — Glen Scrivener ن (@glenscrivener) November 12, 2014 I disagree w the backlash vs Sainsburys ad. They have an advertising budget, they could have spent it on

You want to share your faith, why?


True Story: I once did some evangelism training where I asked participants to list all the things they loved about being a Christian. I put the participants into discussion groups. The one nearest to the front sat there in

Everyone Knows: It's the Cross or Hell


The adultery bomb goes off in a marriage. What next? It's the cross or hell. Either there is the giving up of rights - in repentance and forgiveness - or there is the standing on rights, and it's hell. Nation wars against

Some Recent Talks and Resources


A new paper for Union Theology: Intimacy With God. My other resources for Union Theology . Some 2 minute answers to questions about

The Tweetorium


Great spoken word from @twitwitandgrit - John 11:35 https://t.co/qBPLjcaw52 — Glen Scrivener ن (@glenscrivener) October 28, 2014 When Brian Cox attempts to address metaphysics I get the exact same feeling as when my PC

Remembrance Video


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StuOWU4b1to Share. Share. Share. And feel free to use in your Remembrance Sunday services etc.

Podcast: Interview with Andrew Wilson


Andrew Wilson speaks about his new book Unbreakable as well as writing, devotions, evangelism and the life of the local church. http://revivalmedia.org/medias/audio/TEP075.mp3 DOWNLOAD SUBSCRIBE As mentioned, you

Halloween - Mocking the Devil - Preaching the Word


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyfXTBdegQM When 10 of those asked me to do an evangelistic video for Halloween, I knew the dangers. Immediately I predicted a range of reactions reflecting the range of views on the

Tweet Harvest

Posted on by Glen in tweets | Leave a comment

I disagree w the backlash vs Sainsburys ad. They have an advertising budget, they could have spent it on chintz. They told a valuable story

The story was of *peace* not war & they are partnering with a charity *not* selling the associated merchandise 4 profit like John Lewis

Every filmmaker (in advertising or not) is looking to turn a profit. Sains have gone out of their way to turn the profits to a charity.

One more thing: If Christians share the execrable #WestJetChristmas consumerist orgies but not the Sainsburys ad, something is very wrong

Whatever valley you walk through, the Good Shepherd is ahead while ‘goodness and love’ pursue you. (Psalm 23) #EnjoyYourDay

From the overflow of the Father’s heart His Word is revealed. His Word is Life, Joy and Forgiveness (Matt12:34; 1John1) #EnjoyYourDay

The threefold Name be upon you: Blessing/Keeping; Shining/Gracing; Giving Presence/Peace (Num6:22-27) #EnjoyYourDay

Preachers worry about whether to address Christians or non-Christians. The problem is solved if we preach to *sinners*.

The Judge of all is your Advocate! #CantLose #EnjoyYourDay

Discernment is not about figuring out what words and actions will elicit the response you want. That’s called fear of man / manipulation

Discernment is figuring out what is from the flesh and what is from the Spirit. If from the Spirit: do/say it and trust God for the results

Often our desire for “guidance” is a desire for a crystal ball to protect us from hardship. Real guidance might lead us into hardship

BTW what is from the Spirit will be biblical, Christ-exalting and cross-shaped. Otherwise it’s just the flesh in a husky voice

There is a God who reigns from the cross, turning deicide into divine glory. He will redeem you from *all* evil. (Gen 48:16) #EnjoyYourDay

If you’re evangelistically bold but church-shy you’re basically saying “My personality and methods are more compelling than Christ’s body.”

Our hearts go out, but not like His: “When the Lord saw her His heart went out to her. He said ‘Don’t cry'” Lk7:13 #EnjoyYourDay

The true Lord of this world is not death, decay, power, money, fate or some uncaring god. It’s Jesus and He’s for you #EnjoyYourDay

Whatever it holds, today is another day closer to seeing His face. #EnjoyYourDay

“Church is so alien to non-Christians” complains an evangelist. Exactly! And evangelism is an extended invitation to this strange new world

My mum told me I was born in Canberra. Because I trust her I don’t constantly assert the authenticity of my birth certificate.

God speaks in the Bible. Constantly asserting documentary evidence tends to undermine our stated belief that the Bible is God’s word.

So much ‘evangelical scholarship’ simply uses a bottom-up, liberal methodology but happens to come to conservative conclusions.

In Adam – tho u’d done Nothing – u were caught up in curse. In Christ – tho u’ve done Nothing – ur heir of all blessings #EnjoyYourDay

Church is meant to be understandable AND overwhelming to the outsider (1 Cor. 14:22-25). We tend to be one or the other.

Our Saviour sent Kindness to justify you and poured out Cleansing to renew you. (Titus3:4-7) #Trinity #Salvation #EnjoyYourDay

Been driving to Scotland today, but what’s been most exhausting has been listening to memorialist preacher after memorialist preacher.

Memorialist Preacher: You need to keep bringing to mind that you belong to Jesus
Real Presence Preacher: You belong to Jesus.
#BigDifference

Teaching Colossians this weekend. My four talks: God is in Christ… We are in Christ… Buried and Raised in Christ… Walking in Christ

There’s a God who has loved you to hell and back, and He has the scars to prove it (John20:24-31) #EnjoyYourDay

If u invite unbelievers to Christ’s body as u invite them to Christ, u’ll be preaching the right kind of repentance / ‘cost of discipleship’

If church is not an integral part of your gospel invitation, then all your talk of ‘repentance’ will only create flash-in-the-pan moralists

< Which is why ‘repent and be baptised’ is so apt. The flipside of the old life is church life.

Feeling down? We have a lowly God who is with and for the downcast: Is57:15; Dan4:17; Zech9:9; Matt11:29 #EnjoyYourDay

Beauty goes skin deep – John 1:14

Ground down? The Lord’s speciality is breathing life into our dust. Gen2:7 #EnjoyYourDay

Christian theology follows Christ – infuriating *both* Sadducees *and* Pharisees.

The Trinity acc. 2 Rev7:17: A God who wipes away all tears, A Shepherd who dies 4 His sheep, A Spirit who slakes every thirst. #EnjoyYourDay

Heb7:24-25 If you spot Jesus being frog-marched out of heaven, worry. Otherwise #Enjoyyourday

I’m considering a ministry to Sufis. The whirled is my parish.

Camus was a tricky philosopher to get your header round.

Shout Out to all the scapegoats

Of course his music depresses. If you nick drake, it’s going to get you down.

My favourite Welsh tourist attraction is Abercus Castle. It’s the fort that counts.

Morgan Freeman needs archive material for his documentary about opera. He keeps saying: “Get Bizet living or get Bizet dying.”

If you want to reboot “PC: The Musical” the key is to delete the contralto

Mohammed Ali’s self-assessment: “persona none greater”

I’ll take my bandage off when it’s goo’d and reddy

Aladdin’s cave was the Mecca of holy grails

You found the definition of beneficial. Good for you

The Church of England has spread globally despite the fact its rites are reserved.

- Those are killer shoes!
– Not really, they’re moccassassins

You want to share your faith, why?

Posted on by Glen in evangelism | 6 Comments

evangelism

True Story: I once did some evangelism training where I asked participants to list all the things they loved about being a Christian. I put the participants into discussion groups. The one nearest to the front sat there in stunned silence. No-one seemed able to share anything they enjoyed about their Christianity.

At the end of the session, a member of that group came up to me very perturbed. “This is not what I was expecting! People need to be able to turn conversations to spiritual matters. How are you training us to do that?” She mentioned some elderly friends of hers who have failing health. “How do we turn a conversation about a dodgy knee into a gospel conversation?”

I suggested that one of the things we might enjoy about being a Christian was that, when ill health strikes, we have a God who knows what it’s like to be weak. We also have a promise that everything happens for a good purpose, etc, etc. I encouraged her to share times when her Christianity has helped her through bad health.

The penny dropped. It was almost as though she had never considered evangelism as a matter of sharing something personal and attractive. I’m guessing, but it sounded to me like she thought of evangelism as responding to arguments and switching conversational tracks to a set of truths. If that’s the mentality then discussing what you like about being a Christian is one thing, evangelism is something else. Unfortunately such a view is all too common.

Recently I spoke with a friend about online ministry. Why do we create evangelistic content for online dissemination? I think it boils down to the question: Do we think the gospel is shareable? When we phrase it like that, the social media connotations become very helpful. Something shareable is something we like. And what we really like we share. What is evangelism? Surely it’s sharing some eminently shareable news. And if we’re not sharing it, maybe we need to stop, look and listen once again. Perhaps if we want to share it we should refresh ourselves with what we like about it.

Everyone Knows: It’s the Cross or Hell

Posted on by Glen in Cross, evangelism, gospel | Leave a comment

Broken BreadThe adultery bomb goes off in a marriage. What next? It’s the cross or hell. Either there is the giving up of rights – in repentance and forgiveness – or there is the standing on rights, and it’s hell.

Nation wars against nation. What next? Either there’s surrender / reconciliation or a never-ending cycle of violence. It’s the cross or hell.

An argument starts: harsh words stir up anger. What next? Either a gentle word turns away wrath or the wrath spirals on. Proverbs 15:1.

It’s the cross or hell.

This is not a feature of certain conservative theologies – it’s a fact of everyday existence. In every walk of life the making of peace involves a swallowing of pride – a wrath-bearing sacrifice if you will. Without this “cross”, it’s “hell”. If we are at all aware of a sin problem, we become aware of the desperate need for costly atonement.

Some Christians shy away from the language of hell, wrath and sacrifice. Who believes in such things these days? Well, sinners do. People who understand the world and who understand their hearts – they get the need for blood and fire. If we ditch those concepts we become less able to reach the culture, not more.

Some Recent Talks and Resources

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

A new paper for Union Theology: Intimacy With God.

My other resources for Union Theology

.

Some 2 minute answers to questions about evangelism

.

A longer seminar about Gospel-Shaped Gospelling

.

Two evangelistic talks for St Nick’s Sevenoaks

John 1:1-18

John 10:11

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My talk on John 1:1-18 for students in the South East starts around the 10 minute mark…


The Tweetorium

Posted on by Glen in tweets | Leave a comment

When Brian Cox attempts to address metaphysics I get the exact same feeling as when my PC tells me “Windows is checking for a solution”

When they came with their requests, Jesus was never heartless or helpless, never hurried or harried. HE reigns on high. #EnjoyYourDay

The answer to bad preaching is not ‘a more dialogical form’, it’s better preaching.

There’s truth to the saying: “Gospel ministers are called to faithfulness not necessarily fruitfulness.” But it could mask a deeper problem

To be “faithful” one might imagine plodding obedience. To be “fruitful” one must abide in Christ. In this sense we should aim for the latter

Jesus knows your worst yet He loves you best. #EnjoyYourDay

Today is one episode. Whatever happens, the whole boxed set is a winner. #EnjoyYourDay

Sick of hearing a “gospel” that makes the Christian life sound like the second most miserable existence excepting hell

Crucified between two thieves with arms outstretched to the world, He prays Father forgive. Do you reckon He’s for you? #EnjoyYourDay

In Acts 17 Paul does not give evidence for the resurrection. He heralds the resurrection as *proof* of his gospel.

Christ *appearing* is prominent in Paul’s gospel (1Cor15:1-9) b/c the pinnacle of our hope is face2face (1Cor13) #ComingSoon #EnjoyYourDay

Thank God you never have to deal with tomorrow. (Matt 6:34) #EnjoyYourDay.

The oneness of God according to John’s Gospel: The One and Only God is one with the Only True God (1:18; 10:30; 17:3). #WholeLottaOneness

If that’s not the oneness of God you’re thinking of, you’re not thinking of the Bible’s kind of oneness

We have a Shepherd for the darkest valley and a Lamb for the deepest pit. #EnjoyYourDay

22% of “evangelicals” believe the Father is more divine than Jesus. 51% think the Spirit is a force not a Person: LINK

The LORD is gracious. The LORD is good. The LORD is faithful. The LORD is righteous. The LORD is near. #Ps145 #EnjoyYourDay

Preacher: Does Jesus illustrate your point or does you point illustrate Jesus?

As surely as we’re mired in suffering and sin so surely will we be raised to life and righteousness. 1Cor15:49 #EnjoyYourDay

“What good can come from this?” asks the sufferer. “What good will come from this!” exclaims our Saviour. #EnjoyYourDay

From the Talmud: “All prophets prophesied only for the days of the Messiah” (Sanhedrin 99a. p. 670).

Also from the Talmud: “The world was created only for the Messiah.” (Sanhedrin 98b. p. 667).

“Christ alone” is an Old Testament doctrine.

In Jesus, God does not treat you like His child. You *are* His child. He *is* your Father. #EnjoyYourDay

#ScaryStoriesIn5Words The worst monsters are within

He was crushed for the crushed. He was lifted for the lowly. (Isaiah 53:5; 57:15). #EnjoyYourDay.

Those who set aside ‘good doctrine’ in favour of ‘good living’ are like farmers rejecting ‘good seed’ in favour of ‘good fruit’ (CF Walther)

Your emptiness is all you have. Christ’s fullness is all you need. #EnjoyYourDay

As the nights close in, sun-bathing seems a distant memory. But Jesus promises something better sun-radiating! (Matt 13:43) #EnjoyYourDay

Jesus signs all His letters “Yours forever”. Whatever else He gives- commands/promises/warnings- ultimately He gives Himself #EnjoyYourDay

Emma’s blog is read by Christians and non-Christians alike. I think it’s cos she writes for neither, she just writes for sinners.

666666666666666666: a recurring nightmare

Thank God the Good Shepherd is going to round up evil

- Can you recite any of the Nazirite vows?
– Not off the top of my head.

I tried to invent a single-digit number system but it proved untenable.

Top Efficiency Tip: It takes a whole village to raise a child but only one child to raze a village.

Musical Youth were a passing fad.

I can’t shed tears in public. It’s a crying shame

I will pass your English exam, you mark my words

The filthiest radiographer was “X-ray Ted”

- You’ve only written 1000 Arabian nights?
– Is that a problem?
– You do the myth

Remember: Spring forwards, Autumn’t you put your clocks back an hour?

Each time I go to bed
I find a horse’s head.
Just thought that I would share
My recurring night mare.

I don’t think the Scarecrow was stupid, I just think he made a lot of straw man arguments.

- Try this jumper, I’m guessing you’re a large?
– How did you know?
– I’m a medium

“D’you wanna be in my gang?” <-- clique bait.

In 1979 Uganda missed a trick. Having deposed their dictator they should’ve called their elections a Multiple Choice ExAminNation

I can’t do self-portraits so I’m just gonna lie down on card and trace my outline. It’s back to the drawing board for me

Today I’m getting into the festive spirit – knitting a glowing disc into my hair. Happy Halowee-eve everybody.

Tonight I’m dressing up like a spy. Spooky #Halloween

The exception proves the rule. Always.

I can never calculate my Body Mass Index right. I’m a bit dense sometimes

Remembrance Video

Posted on by Glen in creative, culture, My videos, poetry, videos | Leave a comment

Share. Share. Share.

And feel free to use in your Remembrance Sunday services etc.

Podcast: Interview with Andrew Wilson

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

Andrew Wilson speaks about his new book Unbreakable as well as writing, devotions, evangelism and the life of the local church.


DOWNLOAD

SUBSCRIBE

As mentioned, you can also pre-order my upcoming book 321 – The Story of God the World, and You.

 

Halloween – Mocking the Devil – Preaching the Word

Posted on by Glen in apologetics, creative, culture, evangelism, My videos, videos | 2 Comments

When 10 of those asked me to do an evangelistic video for Halloween, I knew the dangers. Immediately I predicted a range of reactions reflecting the range of views on the subject.

When John Piper was asked about Halloween he summarized these varying approaches…

How to write something that satisfied all such groups?

Well, you can’t. So I decided to write something for the friends of Christians – friends who would have little understanding of Halloween’s origins or the gospel. That’s the target audience. Therefore I’m not trying to convert Christians to ‘trick or treating’. I am trying to engage trick-or-treaters (and their Facebooking parents) with the gospel.

Originally the video was going to be an animation with silhouetted figures playing the part of trick-or-treaters. We ran out of time for that and so decided to film it. On the day, I told the parents to bring children in whatever costumes they were comfortable with – a pirate or a spiderman would be perfect. I also brought some spare pumpkin costumes just in case. As it happened, the parents did a wonderful job on wardrobe and make-up as you can see.  And my videographer and soundtrack artist were incredibly good at evoking the mock-horror.

What we ended up with was a really quite scary first minute of film that went beyond what I’d imagined with words and a basic animation. But I’m glad for how the film has turned out. I think that initial impact grabs folks and hopefully pulls them into the gospel material. Remember – this is for non-Christians. Non-Christians.

So I want to make clear, my intention is not to open the doors for Christians to go trick-or-treating. I want to open the doors for trick-or-treaters to come to Christ!

Interestingly I’ve had complaints in the other direction too. One person so far has thought I’m too hard on paganism. I think they made some good points. They asked Why do we “mock” these spiritual beliefs (witches, paganism, etc)? Is it really Christian to mock? Would we similarly ‘mock’ Muslims or Hindus?  That complaint led to a really fruitful conversation. But I mention it just to say that the video is not at all trying to compromise with spiritual darkness but to unmask it.

Here’s the bottom line for me: if you’re not sold on the whole “mocking the darkness” angle (which I think is the true meaning of Halloween… see links below) then please don’t get involved in Halloween just because we made a pretty video. I’m persuaded that Halloween can be engaged with positively, but if you’re not persuaded then don’t practice.

Romans 14:14 is the verse here:

I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean.

Just cos I made it rhyme, doesn’t mean I’m right. If you’re a Christian wondering what your approach to Halloween will be this year, our video hasn’t solved anything for you. You can’t short-cut the reading, thinking and praying part.

If you want some pointers in the direction of Christian engagement with Halloween, James Jordan is my top tip on a starting place. Peter Dray has also written a great paper (delivered first as an evangelistic talk). The Oxford Concise Dictionary of the Christian Church has good entries on “All Saints Eve” and “All Saints Day” (which deny that ancient Christians simply adopted pagan practices). CS Lewis’s introduction to the Screwtape Letters gives sound advice on neither thinking too highly nor too little of evil powers and gives a great defence of holy mockery. He quotes Luther:

“The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn.” (Martin Luther)

Alan Rudnick writes from an American perspective and Steve Utley from a British one. Michael Spencer and Anderson Rearick might be a step too far for some, but they’re fascinating for showing how attitudes have changed on this issue.

If you’re after a video for how Christians should engage Halloween, then check out Ed Drew’s video. Our video is designed to reach non-Christians. And to that end I ask that you get busy sharing it this week. If we really want to oppose Satan then, as Luther says “Christians should face the devil with the Word of God.”

 

Faith, Good and Evil

Posted on by Glen in 321, atheism | 14 Comments

from-camille-flammarions-latmosphc3a8re-1888In The Atlantic, Crispin Sartwell writes refreshingly about his atheism as a faith position.

Atheism embodies a whole picture of the world, offering explanations about its most general organization to the character of individual events.

Ironically, this is similar to the totalizing worldview of religion—neither can be shown to be true or false by science, or indeed by any rational technique. Whether theistic or atheistic, they are all matters of faith, stances taken up by tiny creatures in an infinitely rich environment.

It seems to me that both atheists and Christians need to recognise this truth. The Dawkins-style New Atheists are such logical positivists that they shift the whole argument onto an extremely rationalistic footing. They decry “Faith Heads” as fleeing all rationality and define faith as “belief in the absence of evidence.”

In response, many Christians spend their time correcting this false view of faith (and it is false). But all of a sudden the Christian position becomes an insistence that faith is belief because of evidence. The trouble is, it’s not evidence in general that calls forth faith. In the Bible it is ‘the Word’, ‘the gospel’, ‘the grace of God’, ‘the preaching of the cross’ that causes faith. Faith comes by hearing the word of Christ. You can call that “evidence” if you like but I think both the Christian and the atheist have good reasons to dislike that equation!

Rather than insist that Christianity is also evidence-based, I think it’s much more fruitful to show that atheism is also a faith position. This article does a great job of that – do read it.

What fascinated me was Sartwell’s conclusion. He gives reasons for his ‘faith position’ – the suffering of the world:

Genuinely bad things have happened to me in my life: One of my brothers was murdered; another committed suicide. I’ve experienced addiction and mental illness. And I, like you, have watched horrors unfold all over the globe. I don’t—I can’t—believe this to be best of all possible worlds. I think there is genuinely unredeemed, pointless pain. Some of it is mine.

By not believing in God, I keep faith with the world’s indifference. I love its beauty. I hate its suffering. I think both are perfectly real, because I experience them both, all the time. I do not see any reason to suspend judgment: I’m here, and I commit. I’m perfectly sincere and definite in my belief that there is no God. I can see that there could be comfort in believing otherwise, believing that all the suffering and death makes sense, that everyone gets what they deserve, and that existence works out in the end.

But to believe that would be to betray my actual experiences, and even without the aid of reasoned arguments, that’s reason enough not to believe.

I’d love to chat with Crispin because it seems to me that belief in the evil of evil is a great reason to be a Christian. It’s the Christian who can love beauty, hate suffering and think of those things as “perfectly real.” It seems to me that the materialist account of the world does not see beauty and suffering as “perfectly real”. I write about this in my upcoming book 321 – check out the pre-order page here.

Why are we outraged by evil and suffering? We are outraged. We should be outraged. But why? This question is easy to answer for the Christian but difficult for the atheist. Remember what Dawkins said: ‘at bottom … [there is] no evil, no good.’ For him evil and good are surface-level experiences, not deeply connected to the way things actually are. The nastiness of this world might be unpleasant, painful, grotesque or maladapted to survival. But if, at bottom, there is no evil and no good, then for Dawkins those things are not wrong – not on the deepest level.

Yet when we experience the horrors of this world, we experience them as evil; we feel that they should not be; we cry out for a solution, for justice; and we grieve them as realities that don’t belong. Therefore, even as suffering strikes, the Christian view is not disproved but upheld. For the Christian, evil can never be ‘one of those things’. It is a profound violation of the way life ought to be.

When Christians say ‘God is love’, they don’t then conclude that ‘everything is lovely’. It’s not. But the God of love makes sense of our outrage at everything that is unlovely. He gives us the right to call a bad world ‘bad’. There is much more to be said about suffering in chapters 4 and 8, but for now the point is simply this: the God of Jesus helps us to understand our experience of both good and evil. This God allows us to make sense of the goodness of good and the evil of evil.

 

Check out Sartwell’s article here

Check out 3-2-1 here

Short Sermon on Matthew 3

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

The Sermon features 12 minute sermons from some wonderful preachers. Check it out.

They’ve also let me on. Here’s the first to be released: Jesus’ Baptism