Filtering for Repentance

One of the many vulnerabilities of the contemporary evangelical church is a stubborn mistaking of quantity for quality. This can be true at a local and global church level where attendances (or more recently 'hits' and 'likes') can be the marker for how well things are progressing and how much interest is being shown. It…

Some implications of an empty pulpit

Whether your cup is half empty or half full in the current global crisis, whether you credit or descry online ministry, the fact cannot be avoided that the era of vacant church buildings and silent pulpits is a significant and sad chapter in the history of the church. We are in the midst of a…

A Certain Sound through Preaching

How are we to answer the exigencies and anxieties of the hour? What tone of voice and approach should we assume when the world is crying out for answers? What dangers lie in uncertain speech, in mumbled sounds, as men and women hunger and thirst to know true reality? During this week I have been…

An uncertain sound

There is a famous anecdote about a church producing some signage for the gable wall of their building, with the proud boast, 'God is the answer'. An overnight graffiti artist, with a strong instinct for philosophy and irony, corresponded with the statement by spraying the words 'What is the question?' This story, be it true…

Learning the deeper lessons

These are undoubtedly the strangest of days. We are in a state of upheaval and disruption, and we have no idea when or if normal service might resume. We are living in a cultural pause, an on-air silence which becomes more uncomfortable by the day, an interval which is quickly seeming to be longer than…

Before Philippi

In approaching the narrative sections of Scripture, there is always the danger of foreclosure, of assuming the conclusion, and missing the true nature of the issues at hand. The story is always easier when you can read the ending, the drama reduced when you know the outcome, but give a man or woman the middle…