Archives for January 2006

That’s my King! (S M Lockridge) – free video

If you’re not already familiar with S M Lockridge’s My King – then you should be! He simply speaks for seven minutes about Jesus Christ, but it’s impossible not to listen without responding in heartfelt praise.

Last summer I put together a video: a combination of Lockeridge’s words, with some images that I hope will add to the power of his message. I’ve been encouraged to share the video – so have uploaded it here. If you’re looking for a video to inspire you in your Christian faith, or a video to show before the sermon in a Sunday service in church, or just something to remind you how God is worthy of our praise, then this might be just the thing.

If you want to play the video offline, you can download it from Vimeo.

Please note that there are about eight seconds of blank video at the beginning and end. If you’re showing the video to a large group, it helps you make sure everything is ready before it actually starts.

A note about copyright: I’ve tried to establish the copyright status of the audio, but have been unable to trace the original copyright holder. Bearing that in mind, I am happy for anyone to freely distribute the video itself, though you may not make a charge for it. I will of course honour the original copyright holder’s wishes should they contact me.

Should women work?

I’m sorry, that was a deliberately provocative title. Of course they should. The real question is how should women work?

A few years ago I was asked to address this question with the ladies from my church. I asked each of them to write down on a piece of paper what they felt the most valuable thing they had ever done. I never collected the papers in, so I don’t actually know what they said! But I then passed each lady a second slip of paper. This time I asked them to write down how much they were paid for this ‘most valuable thing’. This time I did collect the papers in.

I read them out: “Nothing; nothing; nothing; nothing; nothing…” and so it went on – all eighteen women wrote exactly the same thing – apart from one who wrote ‘a box of chocolates!’

Their responses forcefully made the point I had been hoping would become clear: What work should a woman do? A woman should do the most valuable work that God equips her for and gives her opportunity to do.
[Read more…]

Wedding day glory (Song of Songs #3)

It’s been nearly a week since my last Song of Songs post. In the introduction I explained how the Song was not an allegory, but a poem describing six scenes in the lives of two lovers (Solomon and the Shulammite woman). Scene one (the longest scene, 1:1-3:5) was their courtship (part a, part b). We’re now ready to move onto the second scene: Wedding day glory (3:6-11).

Wedding Day Glory

As you go through this section, we read a little bit about Solomons ‘best men’ (vv7-8), a little bit about the wedding car (vv9-10), a little bit about Solomon himself (v11), and that’s it! We’ve had two and a bit chapters on their courtship. We’ve got four chapters ahead of us on their wedded life. And just six verses on their wedding.

There’s a lesson here isn’t there? Important though weddings are, marriage is much more so. If you spend more time planning your wedding that you do preparing for marriage, then you’ve got your priorities wrong.
[Read more…]

Response to “To be continued?” #3

This is my third post in a response to Sam Waldron’s new book on cessationism called “To be continued?” (see part 1, part 2). The earlier posts dealt with my difficulties with Waldron’s basic premise, and particularly with his assertion that apostleship was a spiritual gift.

Waldron’s next section deals with prophets (over three chapters), and there are shorter sections on toungue-speakers and miracle-workers. I’ll deal with Waldron’s first chapter on Old Testament prophets here, and leave his thoughts on their continuation or cessation until a later time.

Old Testament Prophets

In dealing with the New Testament gift of prophecy, Waldron rightly emphasises that we must start with a proper understanding of prophecy in the Old Testament, and he suspects that most continuationists have a “superficial view of prophecy” (pp 48-9).

In defining Old Testament prophecy he looks to Exodus 4:10-17 and 7:1-2, and “together these passages teach us that a prophet was the mouth of spokesman of God”. He says from Deuteronomy 13:1-5 and 18:15-22 that there were two tests of a prophet. 1) whether “he led the people away from the revelation of the true God that had been given to them by Moses” (ie orthodoxy). 2) “if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken.” Waldron is clear that the latter two must be applied, though he seems to be less sure what we should do with the “signs and wonders” test from Deuteronomy 13. I found this particularly surprising given his insistence that New Testament miraculous gifts were signs affirming apostles, but I guess his difficulty stems from the fact that false prophets could pass this test.
[Read more…]

Articles in this series:

  1. Response to “To be continued?” #1
  2. Response to “To be continued?” #2
  3. Response to “To be continued?” #3 <-- This article

Spiritual health

After a number of minor health problems over the last few months, I have finally got a diagnosis. Apparently I spend too much time at a computer, exercise too little, eat too many unhealthy foods, and drink too little water. All this has caused quite severe pain in my shoulders and neck. At one point in my assessment I was asked to use some muscles to push downwards. It was a bit like being asked to wiggle my ears. I just didn’t know I had muscles there, never mind how to put them into action!

The ‘cure’, apparently is some physiotherapy, some physician-led exercise three times a week – and a new diet! Quite where I’m going to find an extra six hours a week to do all this, I’m not really sure, but I know I must.

It’s a simple application from the physical to the spiritual, isn’t it? Many of us are spiritually weak, perhaps even having forgotten we are supposed to have some spiritual muscles, it being so long since we have used them. Is it any wonder we’re often so vulnerable to temptation?
[Read more…]

How to get the law changed

Like many Christians I’ve signed petitions, written to my MP and members of the House of Lords, and spoken to my local councillor. All this to try and ensure that new, anti-Christian laws do not get onto the statute book. Sometimes we’ve been succcessful, sometimes not. Often it feels a little like King Canute against the tide.

But there is another way. The way the world gets the law changed. The strategy goes something like this.

  1. Get the government to see that there is a problem: drink, drugs, prositution, gambling. Whatever you have an interest in.
  2. Convince them that the best way to tackle the problem is to encourage it.

Sounds crazy? It seems to be accepted UK government policy. Yesterday, the government announced it was considering legalising brothels. Why would they want to do that? The home office minister tells us “we have got to have strong mechanisms to reduce prostitution“.
[Read more…]

Why I am not a cessationist or a charismatic

Nathan Busenitz over at Faith & Practice recently posted Why I’m Not a Charismatic. Nathan’s post is a helpful, gracious defense of his theological position. It’s moderate but firm, and thoughtful without being ponderous. It’s well worth a read. It’s a summary of his position, so he promises detailed exegesis will come later. He rightly emphasises that experience is not the authority, only the Bible is, to which of course I agree.

I suppose I ought to start by following his excellent example and confession that many of my favourite preachers are cessationists. If you don’t believe me, I’ll show you my sermon tape collection – you’ll find over 150 McArthur tapes there. So why am I not a cessationist?
[Read more…]