Posts from July 2021

Posts from July 2021

Two worlds – to which do you belong?

At the beginning, God placed man in Eden’s paradise. The original creatorial order was marked by harmony between the Creator and His creation under the rule of Adam, heaven’s vice-regent on earth. Satan then engineered a rebellion which resulted in Adam rejecting God’s authority. Adam shifted his allegiance from God to the arch enemy Satan, and since that time the whole world has lain in the lap of him who the Bible calls the “prince of this world” and the…

Charles Darwin and the origin of species

In the BBC series ‘Great Britons’ in 2002, Charles Darwin was listed as the 4th greatest Briton ever to have lived. In his contribution to the series, BBC correspondent and atheist Andrew Marr stated: “We have many local heroes; we have only one world changer. His name is Charles Darwin.” In a similar vein James Watson, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, stated, “Charles Darwin will eventually be seen as a far more influential figure in the history of human…

Three kinds of faith

The Lord Jesus constantly drew attention to the fact that it is quite possible to look, sound and act like a ‘Christian’ without ever actually being one. He spoke of two trees that looked very similar but ultimately one was seen, by its fruit, to be diseased. He spoke of two houses that outwardly appeared the same. No one could tell them apart until the storm came and revealed one had a faulty foundation. He drew attention to two crops growing…

Have you been truly converted?

To stress the imperative need of individual conversion, the Lord Jesus said: “Verily [assuredly] I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not [Lit: you will by no means] enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 18:3). Not many of the pronouncements of the Lord begin with the word ‘assuredly’. Fewer still contain the double negative ‘by no means’. Undoubtedly the Lord meant His hearers to understand this; conversion is absolutely vital. Have…

The Alpha Course examined

The hugely popular Alpha Course, written by ex-Barrister turned Anglican Curate Nicky Gumbel, styles itself as a friendly, fun and non-threatening ‘practical introduction to the Christian faith’. Summarised in Gumbel’s best-selling book Questions of Life, Alpha involves people attending fifteen 40 minute talks, spread over ten weeks. As of 2015, more than 18 million people have participated in The Alpha Course in 169 countries. Alpha has been translated into 112 languages. In line with Gumbel’s theology and church affiliation (Holy Trinity Church of England, Brompton), Alpha is fully ecumenical1…

Is the contemporary gospel another gospel?

Central to every genuine spiritual revival, has always been the public preaching of the gospel. Directly through this particular means1 the Holy Spirit has been pleased to awaken multitudes to a proper sense of the dreadfulness of their sin against God. They have been stripped of all self-righteousness, broken in repentance and have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who satisfied God’s demands against their sin through Christ’s once for all sacrifice on the cross. Sadly, in the evangelical scene today, such true…

The two ways – which one are you on?

You are travelling in one of two ways. Your own way, or God’s way. The way of lawlessness or the way of righteousness. The Bible says, “All we, like sheep, have gone astray, we have turned, every one, to his own way” (Isa 53:6). It all started in the Garden of Eden. Our first father Adam went astray from God in two aspects – first, as his supreme delight and, second, as his supreme authority. At the beginning, human beings,…

Christian music festivals – a warning

Lifest is an annual 4-day Christian music festival that takes place in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA, each July. It attracts around 20,000 attendees per day and features around 100 artists performing on 6 different stages. It is a member of The Christian Festival Association, a group representing all the major Christian music festivals held in the United States and Canada, which are attended by a combined annual total of over 1 million people. The music served up at these festivals is ‘Contemporary Christian Music’ –…

Contemporary song books examined

In 1874, as a result of Ira Sankey’s much loved choice of hymns at D.L. Moody’s evangelistic crusades in the UK, the Sacred Songs and Solos hymnbook was born. 110 years later, in preparation for the 1984 visit to England of Billy Graham, a new hymnbook called Mission Praise was born. It was understandably strikingly different to ‘Sankeys’, but also to the hymn book used during Billy Graham’s first visit to England, only 31 years earlier. Between 1953 and 1984 the charismatic…

Examining contemporary praise and worship

Assessing contemporary praise and worship (CPW) is a tricky task for two major reasons. Firstly, the phenomenon is less than 70 years old, and secondly, it is a varied and constantly changing field of study. Yet, for all its variety, CPW exhibits four enduring features, which distinguish it from all that went before it, during 1,900 years of church history, namely: 1. New Actions: singing in tongues, dancing in the spirit, clapping and hand waving. 2. New Appointments: ‘worship leaders’, ‘worship teams’,…

What makes a meeting an ‘assembly gathering’?

A survey of the Acts of the Apostles and the Pauline epistles reveals that churches in the first century assembled for a variety of regular meetings, among them; prayer meetings, Bible teaching meetings and, of course, the Lord’s Supper.1 On such occasions a whole local church would come together “into one place”.2   Paul the apostle described attending such meetings as being “in church”,3 an expression helpfully explained by Jack Hunter: “…‘in church’ with no article…refers to the assembled gathering. We always belong to the…