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Showing posts from December, 2006

2006 Blog

January (44)
The year began with a review of Awesome God, the kids CD from Sovereign Grace Ministries. Outstanding. Then we reported an interview by Adrian Warnock with Maurice McCracken. Match Point was the first film review of the year. Books reviewed included The Deliberate Church and Dig Deeper. The big event of the month was retro-liveblogging UCCF Staff and Relay conferences. Meanwhile Rosemary was campaigning for The Reformation of Christian Bookshops - quite right...

February (36)
I began a series on 1 Corinthians 12-14 that would rumble on for quite sometime, occasionally interacting with Adrian Warnock. Also resumed work on my series on Percy Bysshe Shelley's The necessity of Atheism and began a new series in Esther that would resurface later in the year. February also marked the beginning of The Coffee Bible Club, first off - talking about worship. A conversation reaching from Wales to New Zealand, Germany to Cornwall...

March (33)
March took us into Acts at Surrey Universit…

The Genesis of false Gospels

Mark Driscoll - The Genesis of False Gospels (mp3). An examination of false gospels to combat the human sin problem in the book of Genesis. A helpful challenge as the year ends. False gospels deliver nothing ultimate - only the true gospel will deal with our sin. Also enjoying Mark Driscoll on Jonah 3 and Jonah 4. Passionate and provocative preaching of Jesus Christ. (Notes here: Jonah 1, Jonah 3, Jonah 4.)

2 Corinthians 3:17-18

A little book on two of my favourite verses in the Bible... something to read this weekend!

Glorious Freedom
Richard Sibbes
"Description: The original title of this study was "The Excellency of the Gospel Above the Law", being a comparison of the greater and full revelation of God in the New Covenant. Sibbes joyfully shows us how the Spirit of God produces likeness to Christ and consequent great liberty in those who are members of it. One of few Puritan treatises with much to say about the doctrine of adoption. A renowned Puritan shows the transforming liberty which comes from seeing Christ in the gospel. An exposition of 2 Corinthians 3:17-18. This is a book full of affection that will warm your heart and enrich your walk with Jesus Christ."
Also about to start Thomas Pynchon: The Crying of Lot 49. Happiness, good books to read.

Eleven Reasons to Reread Revelation

"Revelation is not a puzzle or a horoscope. Above all, Revelation, thoughout, is the 'revelation of Jesus Christ' (1:1). We learn much about Jesus from the Gospels, as we watch his life, his actions and teaching, and above all his death and resurrection on earth. But we also need to absorb the supernatural vision that Revelation 1:12ff gives us, that makes John fall at his feet as though dead (v17). We don't need to understand every detail, but we do need to let that dazzling holy purity soak deep into our imaginations. Those eyes like blazing fire, that we encounter either in surrender or in judgement; those feet burning as he walks the earth, amid his churchs; that sword from his mouth that is the piercing Word of God.... Here is an overwhelming force of life that leaves the Apostle (who lent back so easily against this same Christ's shoulder at the Last Supper) devastated on the ground. Our Christianity is incomplete if we have never understood why. And then th…

2006 Books (fiction)

I never seem to read enough fiction but here's a few highlights from this year, in order of reading...

Carlos Ruiz Zafon -
The Shadow of the Wind

Cracking mystery story set in Barcelona. Having visited the city in 2005 it was fun to read a story set there.
Ian McEwan -
Saturday

Probably my favourite read of the year. McEwan is brilliant and this is a great story, set in London amongst a series of wierd events. I love the way that McEwan describes scenes and situations. Previously enjoyed Atonement and Enduring Love.
Audrey Niffenegger -
The Time Traveller's wife

Actually haven't finished this since Em nicked it off me at the airport on the way to Cork in June. It's a bit of a strange story of love and time-travel. Looking forward to finishing this sometime.

Douglas Coupland -
jPod

A story or just a concept? Thanks Mum & Dad for the Special Edition! It's Microserfs 2, but with a different twist. If your life was file-dumped into a Douglas Coupland novel would it be mo…

What the Bible says, God says

Gateways to God: Seeking Spiritual Depth in a Postmodern world (Christian Focus)
A terrible cover has kept this really good book from selling. A great help to get into the Bible. It's worth it for the footnotes and 70 pages interlude on 21st Century Spirituality (a defence of evangelicalism). The main content that takes us pioneering into Ephesians, 2 Corinthians, Revelation etc is pretty good too!

Pete is one of the pastors of Wycliffe Baptist Church in Reading.
Preparing a couple of talks on The Bible - one on The Authority of Scripture, and the other on Applying the Bible in the 21st Century... I picked up two very helpful book from my bookcase. “True spirituality isn't a passive consumption of stimulants. It sets out actively to interact with God: to discern the fuel for today's worship in what God has spoken, then to express a response worthy of him – being sure that, somewhere along the line, God himself will warm our hearts”
Pete Lowman, Gateways to God

“As Wayne Grudem…

2006 Books (Christian)

TOP CHRISTIAN BOOKS 2006

I normally do a top ten, this year I appear to have read a lot of good books so I've changed the format slightly and collected books by type.... that leads to a top eight...


CHURCH/MINISTRY:
Instruments in the Redeemers Hands (Paul David Tripp).
A great book from the CCEF on applying the gospel to peoples lives. Also: The Transforming Community (Mark Lauterbach), Confessions of a Reformission Rev (Mark Driscoll), The Deliberate Church (Mark Dever), The Cross and Christian Ministry (Don Carson), The God-centred Life (Josh Moody), The Tide is Turning (Terry Virgo)



CHRSITIAN LIFE:
Glory Days (Julian Hardyman)
This practically shows us how to live all of life for Jesus and demolishes the traditional secular-sacred divide. Similar to this was The Busy Christians guide to Busyness (Tim Chester).


EVANGELISM:
Why Good Arguments Often Fail (James Sire)
A great new book on talking sense in apologetics, warm and thorough challenge that maintains the vital importance of the…

Into the mess

2006 Films

So, the rules are... films I saw this year and thought were good. Feel free to post your own top 10 in the comments. I'm well aware that I may have missed the best films of the year (note: A History of Violence listed here rather than in 2005...). I'd like to think I have decent taste in films but that's not guarenteed!

=1. Stranger than fiction
The Story of Harold Crick and his wristwatch.... Will Ferrell plays it relatively straight in a quirky story about the comedy and tragedy of life part I ♥ huckabees part Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. With Maggie Gyllenhaal, Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman.

=1. Little Miss Sunshine,
A real loser is someone so afraid of not winning he doesn't even try... Rather strange story of a disfunctional American family on a road trip across America to get their daughter into a child-beauty pagent. With Greg Kinnear and Toni Collette and Steve Carell. (the stars of Anchorman thus featuring in my favourite two films of the year...)


3. A…

Joy to the world!

Christmas Joy from FunkyPancake! Happy Christmas blogreader! Hope you're having a good Christmas day. We've had lots of fun with our church family, young and old, this morning, and then a delicious roast dinner before the Queen's speech. In which she said: "It remains a time when I try to put aside the anxieties of the moment and remember that Christ was born to bring peace and tolerance to a troubled world."
The QueenNot exactly, Ma'am... Jesus came to bring peace with God, because we were at war with him... and announce the end of God's tolerance of our rebellion. For that purpose he came to die. A friend mentioned yesterday a plot to give out Easter eggs next Christmas... that'd be quite helpful to draw our attention to the shadow of Calvary that is cast over the birth of Jesus.

And to what end? To bring us fullness of joy... not by playing down the differences between religions but by filling our hearts and minds with a massive vision of Jesus the Ch…

The End of the Week

Link of the Day

Adrian Reynolds
posts on
The Cure of Souls


2 Chronicles 35v20-36v21

The Chronicler has told his story from Adam to David, and from David down to Josiah. For around 420 years kings have ruled but now the curtain is falling. If longevity is a mark of faithfulness for a Jewish king then this story doesn't end well. There is no blaze of glory, but rather a damp squib - like a football club changing managers every few weeks as it sinks into relegation. David had reigned for 18 chapter, a glorious story. Solomon for nine... now we'll see four in the space of one chapter, four kings in 23 years.

But, we begin with Josiah. Josiah is like Hezekiah - a good king in so many ways. He was a reformer. And he found the Book of the Law in the House of God. He rediscovered God's word to his people. And yet, as so often the story ends badly. Josiah charges into a battle that wasn't his to fight and then fails to hear the word of God. No-one is neutral to God's word - if w…

Seven Days

News of the Week:

Turkmenbashi dies


Link of the Week:
What would be
if Jesus had not been?
Sam Crabtree,
DesiringGod



Gospel-Centred MP3s:

Once more with feeling...



MP3s from Mark Lauterbachat CrossWay Fellowship

The Gospel for the Lost
Gospel Centrality 1
Gospel Centrality 2
Gospel Centrality 3
Gospel Centrality 4



Plus:
Josh Harris on
The Incarnation
(Matthew 1)




1. FriendsThis week has been all about friends, hanging out with Rich & Nicky, with Piers & Carolyn last Sunday. Richard and Patricia on Wednesday and Thursday.Big meal with Jo, with Tom & Caroline on Thursday. Particularly good to see Jo home from Spain, and Tom from California. Good friends for many years.Saturday - Ginny. Nice barn in rural foggy wiltshire. Road trip. Pain-au-chocolat!2. Team
Team Days are always a highlight. This time particularly Stephen Dray on the authority of the Bible and Lyn Penson on Creeds and Confessions (Church History II).Loving to get into church history more and more. Stephen's stuff was as al…

Response to rumours..

Response to unsubstantiated rumours about UCCF: The Christian Unions (issued 21st Dec).
Republished here:

There seems to be a number of wild and unsubstantiated rumours regarding Christian Unions and Students Unions. The following is an attempt to address some of these. Please e-mail the office at email@uccf.org.uk should you have any questions at all relating to the following.

1. That disputes between Students’ Unions (SUs) and Christian Unions (CUs) have a long history which spans decades.

Traditionally, CUs have always enjoyed good relationships with Students Unions. This has been (and continues to be) the normative state of affairs. However, there are some rogue SUs causing problems at the moment, but on the whole, CUs enjoy, and have enjoyed, good healthy relationships with SUs. There have been disagreements in the past, but this has not been “the norm”.

2. That a considerable number of mainstream Christians would have a problem agreeing with/ signing up to the Christian Union declara…

A riff on friendship at the foot of the cross

As of today I have 196 friends. Must be true cos facebook says so! What is friendship? A list of names on a webpage? The number of hits thebluefish.blogspot.com gets on Technorati? Can a click of a mouse create a friendship? Friendship takes time and depth. I do know most of those 196 people to some extent but could we call it friendship? Is it the kind of relationship where they know how I tick, and vice-versa? Do they know my struggles and weakness? In how many of those 196 cases do we know what God is doing in one another's lives? In how many is there depth of trust and deep love for one another... If I'm honest, many of my closest friends aren't on facebook at all!

Out in the slightly more real world we see thousands audition for X-Factor and the like... I can't sing at all, and neither can most of these people. The difference is that I have a measure of self-awareness, and friends and family who will tell me the truth. Too many of these people must be hated by the…

Christmas Update at BeginningWithMoses.org

Finally caught up on all the articles that didn't get released because we were offline.

New Articles
THE VIRGIN WILL CONCEIVE
(JAMES HAMILTON)
SONG OF SONGS: A BIBLICAL THEOLOGY
(ROS CLARKE)
HAVE YOU GOT THE WHOLE STORY?
(MIKE CAIN)


New Books

Three new NSBT's Adopted into his family, A clear and present word and Shepherds after his own heart:


And three others... our new top recommendation - Graeme Goldsworthy's Gospel-Centred Hermeneutics, plus Experiencing the Spirit and Signs and Wonders.

www.beginningwithmoses.org - the biblical theology briefings

Seven Days

Link of the Day:Chris Poteet's Imperishable Inheritance

YouTube of the week:

Chuck Palahniuk's Lecture(HT: Phil Brooks)MP3s of the Week:I recommended these last weekend - but they're so good that I'm going to plug them again!

MP3s from Mark Lauterbachat CrossWay Fellowship

The Gospel for the Lost
Gospel Centrality 1
Gospel Centrality 2
Gospel Centrality 3
Gospel Centrality 4


1. BeginningWithMoses.orgForty days in the wilderness ends with the return of Moses. Phew! Now I have to catch up on the backlog of articles (which I could have done while we were offline... was a bit busy trying to get it back... )2. "I'll take you home..."My train home from Guildford got cancelled. Ruth innocently said the above phrase... then everyone erupted in laughter, and Ruth in embarrassment. But, many thanks to Ruth and Cat for helping me get home earlier than 12.40am which was the time the next train would have got me there. That evening, see also: Jon Hobb's preaching on the re…

Church of England?

Interesting development, I wonder where this might go:A small group met with the Archbishop of Canterbury on Tuesday December 12 and presented A Covenant for the Church of England on behalf of a wide group of Evangelical and Charismatic members of the Church of England with the support of a number of Anglo-Catholic leaders.

The Covenant is the fruit of an ongoing process reacting not to a few local or immediate difficulties but responding to widespread concerns in the national and global church.

The group were listened to carefully and as a result of the meeting it was agreed that there would be further discussion of the issues raised in the Covenant to find a way to maintain the unity in truth of the Church of England.

Rev Paul Perkin
Canon Dr Chris Sugden

The Covenant was drafted by a group under the following leadership:

Rev David Banting, Chair of Reform
Rev John Coles, Director of New Wine Networks
Rev Paul Perkin, Member of General Synod
Rev David Phillips, Director of Church Society
Rev …

He is there, and He is listening

2 Chronicles Series:
Overview: Orthodoxy
Uzziah: If the whole body were an eye...
Jehoshaphat & Ahab: Mark my wordsFrom Solomon, to Jehoshaphat, to Uzziah and now to Hezekiah... Hezekiah was one of the shining lights among the Kings of Judah. Not spotless, but when he sinned he humbled himself. Early on he starts to reopen The Temple and reestablish worship there. But I'm going to home in on two incidents. Firstly, as he calls Israel back together for Passover. Secondly, as he faces the mockery of Sennacherib. Above all, we see:


The LORD who hears from heaven.... 1. The LORD who hears from heaven....
to accept the intercession of his King
2 Chronicles 30v1-27

Hezekiah makes a broadcast to the nation, calling them to come and celebrate The Passover. The festival that remembered God's rescue of his people from Egypt. They're invited to come and remember their salvation together. It's not just Hezekiah's idea - the King and the assembly agree that this is a good plan.

S…

Why not bin the Bible?

Spoke today at Reading CU's event: Contradictory, Unreliable and Irrelevant: Why not bin the Bible? . I had 20 minutes and Q&A so this isn't a complete answer and I'm sure my arguments aren't entirely water tight. I'm very happy to interact on the subject, areas to improve, other approaches etc.

Now this is the way to read the Bible (from WorshipGod06):