‘How would you feel if your church was full of new believers, people struggling to embrace their new identity in Christ and leave their old selves and sins? Saved spectacularly by grace from every walk of life and united together, but still bringing remnants of that old life into church with them on Sunday’s. Wouldn’t you love that! Walking with them, discipling them in the progress and the regress, the steps forward and the step backwards. That is real church. Is that how our churches look?’
‘It is a straightforward fact that those specialising in this period, regardless of religious affiliation or none, agree overwhelmingly that we know a fair bit about Jesus. The conclusion of Duke University’s E.P. Sanders in his classic book The Historical Figure of Jesus would be acceptable to most secular experts in the field today: “There are no substantial doubts about the general course of Jesus’ life: when and where he lived, approximately when and where he died, and the sort of thing that he did during his public activity.”‘
This one is really about the difference between the scientific method, the historical method and the limits of their epistemological scope. In other words, we can know some stuff through experimental science but it cannot tell us everything. We can be released from bowing to every so-called scientific claim by recognising one important point.
In a similar vein, I don’t usually link to twitter threads. But occasionally it is worth reading one. Here, George Heath-Whyte points out some of the basic errors Richard Dawkins makes in his latest book. These are not errors of interpretation, but established factual errors. Which makes it quite difficult to take at face value any facts presented by the man.
Graham Thomson offers some suggestions for how we might encourage our people to spend more time with unbelievers.
This satire makes a good (and funny) point.
‘We need not lose heart when our congregations can’t pithily summarise the main points of last week’s sermon nor reference them in respect to how it clearly led to their growth in Christlikeness. Just as my son isn’t going to point to the vegetables he ate weeks ago and reflect on how fantastic they were for his overall wellbeing, our congregations aren’t going to be doing that every week regarding our preaching. The point is that despite whether they can remember it and precisely how it applied to them, at the end of the day, it did them good.’