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…

Brothers, shall we weep?

As Christian ministers we are vulnerable to the twin temptations of activism and stoicism, of deploying our energies or cutting our losses, of pursuing our goals with mere human fervour or accepting the state of things without hope of fundamental change. We can burn ourselves out in seeking to change things for ourselves, or quench…

Reverse engineering the logic of Scripture

I believe that the systematic expository preaching of Scripture is not the only means of teaching the gathered church, but that it is the best. There are few models which can match working book by book, verse by verse, in terms of the exposure gained to the texture of Scripture's concerns and expression, and the…

Why I am not theologically sound

We lay great emphasis on the soundness of preachers we listen to, and authors whom we read. For many of us an individual's fidelity or infidelity to the truth of Scripture will govern the time and weight we lend to what they have to say. We speak longingly, lovingly, or nostalgically of sound preachers and…