Two Poems from my Youth

It's National Poetry Day apparently, so here are a couple from my teenage years. The first was written just after arriving in the UK from Australia (aged 14) Yoh-ghurt, Vite-amins, Sconns (to be performed) Yoh-ghurt,

Three All Age Songs and a Talk for Harvest   Notes for a Harvest Supper talk given recently How many

Tweety Pies

Would assisted dying encourage the hastening of relatives' deaths? Spurgeon saw the danger in the 19th century. — Glen Scrivener ن (@glenscrivener) August 9, 2015 CH Spurgeon on Psalm 88: The

The Nature of God - Triune from the Beginning

I've been listening to a lot of Muslim - Christian debates. Here are three that have interested me recently - each of them with Dr Shabir Ally. Firstly there's James White vs Shabir Ally on whether the earliest witnesses to

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

Tweet'll D

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?

Two Poems from my Youth

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

It’s National Poetry Day apparently, so here are a couple from my teenage years. The first was written just after arriving in the UK from Australia (aged 14)

Yoh-ghurt, Vite-amins, Sconns (to be performed)

Yoh-ghurt, Vite-amins, Sconns,
Yoh-ghurt, Vite-amins, Sconns,
The ways of saying these words are obeying
Rules of expanding your cultural standing.
You’re making a case for social debase,
By cruelly denouncing the ways of pronouncing,
Yoggurt, Vittamins, Scoanes.


Big Issue

Big Issue, Big Issue,
A tool to accrue street cred,
As I tread down the no-through lane,
Diplayin’ my copy for all the world,
My lips smugly curled at the end,
As I pretend to have read it.
I haven’t.
Instead it’s there to combat the stare
of the next vendor as I pass,
Upholding the farce of my middle-class trauma.
“No thanks!” says I, “Already read it.” I lie,
And sell mine on round the corner.

Three All Age Songs and a Talk for Harvest

Posted on by Glen in sermons | Leave a comment




Notes for a Harvest Supper talk given recently

How many people grow their own food? (What do you grow? How much of what you eat is grown on your own land?)

By and large the way I get food is to buy it. I go to the supermarket, I pay a certain amount of money and I get what I pay for. My sustenance comes from commercial relationships. Tit for tat.

It is interesting that atheism is overwhelmingly found in urbanized, industrialized, technologized settings. We might think it’s the norm but of course atheism is shrinking globally. And the only places it clings on really are urbanized, industrialized, technologized cultures – places that are far removed from the harvest.

But as soon as you start thinking of harvest you are taken away from those kinds of thoughts. Because harvest is something near magical isn’t it? Scattering seed into soil – what on earth?! How is that going to do anything? And yet, a few months later, up it sprouts – this bountiful harvest – so much more than you ever invested just bursts out of the ground to feed us.  Atheism might be for city dwellers but those who live around harvests are much less atheistic.

Christians say that Harvest tells us about the nature of God. He’s an overflowing God of generosity. He’s not a mercantile force of “tit-for-tat.” He’s a Niagara Falls of blessing.

1 John 4:8 God is love.

He doesn’t dole out blessings with a teaspoon but has always been overflowing.

Christians say “Grace” because they recognise that everything is undeserved mercy. Life is about gratitude.

We recognise this when it comes to children – for urbanised people the maternity wing of the hospital is about our only  contact with the bounty of creation. And it completely takes us off guard. But this is what reality is like according to the Bible. A near magical reality of new life bursting forth – seemingly from nowhere. And the whole thing speaks to us of God’s nature. Think about it…

Kids come into the world needy and we shower them with blessings. And when they get to age 18, do we open up the books and demand repayment for two decades of food, shelter, clothing and taxi service? No. But hopefully they then stand on their own two feet and pass it on to the next generation. Grace flows downhill.

Here’s how it works spiritually…

Verse 9-10:

 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Jesus gives us His life and takes from us our death. This is what love does – it pays the cost to draw near. This is how God’s love flows to us. And now…

Verse 11: Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

 We pass it on. Grace runs downhill. No wonder at harvest we seek to share our bounty with those less fortunate. The whole thing reflects the very character of God.

Harvest puts us in touch with a deep reality. God is a God of bounty, a God of love. He has overflowed to us in Jesus and life is about gratefully receiving Jesus and flowing out to the world, to bless those who are without.

This church is a great place to explore these truths more. Please join us…



Tweety Pies

Posted on by Glen in humourous, tweets | Leave a comment

CH Spurgeon on Psalm 88: The mind can descend far lower than the body, for it there are bottomless pits… …The flesh can bear only a certain number of wounds and no more, but the soul can bleed in ten thousand ways and die over and over again each hour… Under the influence of certain disorders everything will wear a sombre aspect and the heart will dive into the profoundest deeps of misery… It’s all very well for those in robust health and full of spirits 2 blame those whose lives are sicklied over with the pale cast of melancholy… but the evil is as real as a gaping wound, and all the more hard to bear because it lies so much in the region of the soul… Reader, never ridicule the [depressed], their pain is real. Though much of the evil lies in the imagination, it is not imaginary.”

Preacher: the Bible is not a reservoir to bring us back to, it’s a river already flowing. Preaching is part of the Bible’s dynamic movement.

Faith is never described in the Bible as a response to evidence per se. It’s a response to the word /the gospel /preaching /Christ crucified

“God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.” Martin Luther

“Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance. It is laying hold of His willingness.” Luther

Israel was chosen in light of the Seed and for the sake of the nations. God’s people are those who are “in Christ” and “for the world”.

What is the Bible? The users manual? Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth? No. Most fundamentally it’s the Spirit’s testimony to the Son.

What is Bible reading? Your pious offering to God? No, His personal offering to you: “Behold my Son!”

“You are designed to be a burden to me and I… to you. [Our life] should be one of ‘mutual burdensomeness.'” John Stott

What did you expect? This is the Lamb’s world.

Some thoughts for preachers: “The preacher’s movement does not consist so much in going towards the congregation as in coming from Christ.”

“Preaching is `God’s own Word’, that is to say, through the activity of preaching, God himself speaks.” (Barth, Prayer & Preaching)

[More Barth] Preaching is “announcement” more than “description” (P&P). This is because the Bible is already “proclamation in writing” (I/1

The purpose of Judgement Day is not to inject uncertainty into our future.
Judgement is God’s way of securing our future from all evil.

“I will give my life” – the pig-sty’d prodigal.
“I will find my boy” – the running father.
One resolve intends slavery, the other: sonship

Eastbourne has many gleaming saints who’ve learnt the secret of contentment and many grumbling souls who have not. *Old age* does not mature

Athanasius (on Psalms): “He suffered for us and bore in Himself the wrath that was the penalty of our transgression.” Early Church PSA.

How did Jesus go about “breathing on His disciples” in John 20:22? Dunno, but He’s given us the Bible so He can keep doing it (2Tim3:16)

The Lamb unlocks the scroll.

The median date for the folios is 4 yrs b4 Muhammed received his revelations. The latest is 5 yrs b4 the Quran was supposedly written down. Imagine finding a copy of the sermon on the mount dating to Jesus’ infancy. That’s the problem 4 this ‘oldest Quran’ (LINK)

“Wherever you are, be all there.” Jim Elliot. (I think it was Jim Elliot, I heard it on a podcast while doing admin).

“Be the place the violence ends”. <- Francis Spufford's excellent summary of "turn the other cheek".

We’re through the worst of it. (Romans 13:12)

Earth’s heaven is heaven’s hell.
Heaven’s heaven is earth’s hell.

Virtue signalling: the essence of Pharisaism (Matthew 6); the engine of social media.

If you’re struggling it’s very likely that friends will “say the wrong thing”. But it’s also very likely that you will hear the wrong thing.

“Now that I have washed your feet, you should wash mine”? No grace runs downhill.

“God does not need your good works, but your neighbor does.” Martin Luther

Just had a Great chat w a Muslim using Jay Smith’s conversation starter: “I think Jesus is God & the Bible is God’s word do u have an opinion?”

It’s not just that God condescends to reveal Himself. Incredibly His condescension reveals *Himself*

Whatever else is said about Pharaoh’s hardening, understand that he is not a random individual but the head of the house of the wicked.

The “exclusivity of Christ” is the good news that God is *none other* than the One who died for the world.

What is ultimate reality?
The one: monotone.
The many: cacophony.
The Three: harmony.

Salvation is not a taxi, it’s a free bus.You neither drive nor pay. You find yourself with others on the bumpy road to a sure destination.

Trinity is not a problem to solve, it’s the answer.

It’s a unitarian god who really makes no sense. How can an eternal monad ever break free from the prison of their own transcendence?

The Bible doesn’t tell us to *reach* Israel so much as to *be* Israel in reaching the world.

Forgiveness does not abolish the need for good behaviour. Forgiveness assumes those ethical expectations and then establishes them truly

Just used the self-checkout or “mirror” as I call it

Babies smell incredibly good considering they spend their days marinating in urine.

Well done England. You have won the Worst Ashes Ever.

Well done bowlers. You’ve thrashed the batsmen 5-0 in this #Ashes #bbccricket

Well done Australia – you outgunned England with both bat and ball – AUS: 2565/80 versus ENG: 2365/81

This hasn’t been a great game for the neutrals #ENGvSWI

At the Chick Pea Speedway, we get pulses racing.

Try my inflatable crystal ball. It’s clearbuoyant

I hated being School Superintendant. I should have quit while I was a head

Don’t be taken in by conspiracy theories. They’re all just government plots to discredit their enemies.

I’m allergic to placebos but thankfully my doctor says she’s got just the sugar pill to cure me.

My therapist just doesn’t get my underlying motivation. Shame

I invited Usain Bolt to play the lead in my Robert Louis Stevenson play. Unfortunately he can run but he can’t Hyde

[Smiling actor turns to camera]
“Here at Spines For You…”
[Extreme close up}
“… We’ve got your back.”
[BAFTAS all round]

I’m sorry I called you emotionally stunted. No hard feelings?

The Nature of God – Triune from the Beginning

Posted on by Glen in apologetics, covenant continuity, evangelism, pastoral theology | 1 Comment

I’ve been listening to a lot of Muslim – Christian debates. Here are three that have interested me recently – each of them with Dr Shabir Ally.

Firstly there’s James White vs Shabir Ally on whether the earliest witnesses to Jesus confessed His deity:

White argues that the earliest sources unashamedly confess the deity of Christ – the “Carmen Christi” of Philippians 2, the “NT Shema” of 1 Corinthians 8 and Mark’s Gospel speak of Jesus as Yahweh. Fascinatingly Shabir seems to concede as much, at least over the Philippians 2 material, but then claims that this must be a corruption of the earliest beliefs. Why? Because we know that the Jews were monotheists (which Shabir conflates time and again with “unitarians”).

Shabir wriggles off the hook because he claims that the Old Testament is unitarian. If this is so then NT trinitarianism must be a corruption and the Quran must be correct in saying that the Christians have changed their book. His wriggling is very unconvincing, obviously, because the evidence James brings is without question the earliest. All Shabir can do is to claim that beneath the Scriptures there must lie an original unitarian faith in Jesus that gets developed in trinitarian ways over time. It’s all a “just so story” but he gets away with it because he asserts that the OT is unitarian.

The second debate I watched recently was Jay Smith versus Shabir Ally. Watch Jay’s 35 minute opening statement from 17:55 where he brings devastating critiques of the historicity of the Quran and its transmission:

Shabir responds with numerological hocus pocus from 53:45. As Dr Ally waxes lyrical about the number 19 in the Quran your jaw will hit the floor (but not in the way Dr Ally hopes). It’s astonishing that this would be put forward in a serious debate and take up so much of Dr Ally’s argument. Jay’s historical critique of the Quran remains completely unanswered.

But still Shabir wriggles off the hook because, well, we all know that the NT must be corrupt? Why? Because it changes the doctrine of God from the OT.

Ok then, step forward Nabeel Qureshi. I loved this debate. Just listen to Nabeel’s opening statement from 8:15.

Here Nabeel is hitting where it hurts. I love that he questions whether Tawhid (Islam’s unitarianism) is the simple doctrine of God that Muslims claim. Actually Tawhid involves Muslims in all sorts of difficulties. If Allah is alone, how can he break free from the prison of his own transcendence to communicate with creatures. Some Muslims speak of the word of Allah existing with him in eternity which is really the only way you could have true revelation from Allah. Only if the Quran is an eternal communication could it communicate the eternal God. But of course as soon as you say that you are threatening Tawhid because you have something alongside Allah.

In Christian theology the eternal Word who is God from God is not a problem. He’s the solution. Without Him God must be mute and we must be left in the dark. Nabeel was right to press Shabir on the question of the Quran’s eternality, it goes to the heart of the Islamic doctrine of God and forces the Muslim to the horns of a dilemma. Either God does not have an eternal word and thus we cannot know that Allah is transcendent or he does have an eternal word and Tawhid is completely compromised.

More fundamentally though Nabeel establishes that the OT, in its own context and on its own terms, is not unitarian at all and could not be read unitarianly. This is where I have found evangelism to Muslims gaining most traction. When you show that Yahweh is face to face with Abraham and then rains down judgement from the-LORD-out-of-the-heavens (Genesis 18:1; 19:24) you show that Moses’ doctrine of God is nothing like Mohammed’s.

Have a watch and enjoy Nabeel’s arguments. And if you want another couple dozen more OT Scriptures – see these 24 verses that cannot be read unitarianly in the Hebrew Bible. We simply do not see a progression from unitarianism to trinitarianism in the Bible or history. What we see in the Scriptures is a compound unity to God with three Persons who may take divine titles. We see this from Genesis 1 onwards. Unitarianism is not the pure origin, it is the much later corruption. This corruption began with the Rabbis reacting against the early Christians and continued with the heresy of Islam (much aided by pagan philosophy).

One thing I admire about Islam is its comprehensive view of history. For them Adam is a Muslim, so is Moses, so is Jesus – and they all taught Tawhid. The Christian view of history ought to be similarly consistent. Adam is a Christian, so is Moses, so are all true prophets – and they were all trinitarian. These are the arguments that truly fight fire with fire in Muslim-Christian debate and these are the truths that make sense of our Christian faith: triune from the beginning.

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.


Tweet’ll D

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

Tweet’ll Dumb

Posted on by Glen in tweets | Leave a comment

“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?