But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

Apologetic Report - Exiled Preacher
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Brazos Press, 2016, 269pp 
As promised, we continue with this review series by considering what Vanhoozer has to say on the relationship between sola fide and biblical authority. At the Diet of Worms Martin Luther is famously reputed to have said, 
Unless I am convinced by the...

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Brazos Press, 2016, 269pp 
With 2017 marking the 500th anniversary of beginning the Protestant Reformation now is a good time to reflect on that disruptive event in church history. Many view the Reformation as nothing less than a tragedy that rent Christendom asunder, leading to the...

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Monday, 06 March 2017 00:20

Affinity Theological Study Conference 2017

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imageThe 'Magnificent Seven' speakers'  panel
 
The theme of this year's conference was, 'The Christian Church: Its Mission in a Post-Christian Culture'.Timely, what with the church in the UK struggling to adjust its mission to a more secular climate. 
As is the practice with these events, the...

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Sunday, 26 February 2017 16:00

Like?

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Some communities try to cut themselves off from the modern world. They prefer horse drawn carriages to cars, candles to light bulbs and opt for good old buttons in place of newfangled zips. Fair enough. Takes all sorts. The modern world can be a bewildering place. But we can't choose our times...

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Tuesday, 31 January 2017 06:25

Hacksaw Ridge

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"I can't hear you" prays Desmond Doss. The last time Andrew Garfield payed a character struggling with God's silence, the heavens remained silent. But now God's voice is heard. "What do you want me to do?" persisted Doss. The heavens answered in the form of a wounded soldier crying for help....

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The Christian Church: 
Its Mission in a Post-Christian Culture 
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Looking forward to this. A hugely relevant theme. The conference format includes opportunities for in-depth discussion of papers that are circulated beforehand. See here for full conference details and booking information. ...

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Monday, 16 January 2017 14:26

La La Land

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Think that was a chick flick. Boy meets girl. Singing and dancing. Be true to yourself. Pursue your dreams. No especially theological thoughts generated. One line hit home though, 'People love what other people are passionate about.' Can use that somehow. Are we passionate about the gospel? ...

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Friday, 13 January 2017 08:37

Christ and the Decree by Richard A. Muller

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Baker Academic, 2008, 240pp 
Why should a busy pastor give time to studying a work of historical theology like this? Surely we'd be better off reading a how-to manual on sermon illustrations, counselling, leadership, or what have you. If we must read theology, let it be an entry level work,...

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Wednesday, 11 January 2017 09:47

Silence

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Silence. The silence of God. How do you cope with that? Jesuit priests, Sebastião Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Francisco Garupe (Adam Driver) set out for Japan on search of their lost mentor, Father Cristóvão Ferreira (Liam Neeson). The last...

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Thursday, 05 January 2017 05:10

Effective School Governance by Mark A'Bear

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Very few people know exactly what they are letting themselves in for when they join a school governing board. I certainly didn't. 
Whatever your preconceptions may be, you'll find that it isn't quite as you imagined. Your admirable desire to 'make...

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Sunday, 01 January 2017 00:00

A Brand New Start for 2017

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Amongst my Christmas presents were tickets for my wife and I to see Paul Weller perform at one of the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts at the Royal Albert Hall. Roll on March. I’ve been a Weller fan ever since his days with The Jam, when I was a teenage mod. One of his songs, Brand New Start...

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Thursday, 29 December 2016 03:56

2016: A year in music

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2016 may go down as a year of political upsets and celebrity deaths, but closer to home it was a year of celebration. Not all the time, of course. But we did have a couple of biggies to celebrate. July marked our 25th wedding anniversary and August my 50th birthday. 
imageSarah and I enjoyed...

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Saturday, 24 December 2016 07:20

David Sky: The Gov-Father (A Christmas Special)

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I know, it's been some time since I updated you on what's become of my old friend,  David Sky. People have been asking (really), but 'least said, soonest mended' and all that. 
Fact is, I hadn't seen him for ages. Then I unexpectedly bumped into him at a school governor training...

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Wednesday, 21 December 2016 00:00

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

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Took my girls to see this on Saturday. Many of the familiar features of the Star Wars universe are in the film. The Empire's Death Star super weapon, snazzy space ships, stormtroopers clad in white plastic armour, laser guns going 'whoosh, whoosh, whoosh', and so on. But none of the 'goody'...

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10Publishing, 2016, p. 130
For bright young things contemplating a call to pastoral ministry church planting is where it's at. Or at least service in an already large and thriving work. Why bother trying to turn around a dying church when you can start a new one? After all, isn't the gospel all...

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Tuesday, 13 December 2016 04:03

Sully

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They gave it away said the film critics. How clunky to reveal up front that Sully, the eponymous pilot hero managed to land his A320 on the Hudson river, saving the lives of all 155 souls aboard.
I thought the film makers were respecting the intelligence of their audience. The emergency landing...

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Monday, 12 December 2016 11:02

Christmas Disruption

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Well, 2016 was an eventful year. What with Brexit, Trump and what have you. After those shocks to the geopolitical system isn’t it nice to be able to anticipate the warm, familiar glow of Christmas? It comes but once a year, bringing with it fond memories of Christmases past. Family...

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Controversy has been raging on the other side of the Pond over whether we may rightly speak of the eternal submission of the Son to the Father. See here for my thoughts on the matter. But I've had some second thoughts. Kind of. For one, would it not be better to speak of the submission of the Son...

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Been tying to make an assault on some as yet unread books on my shelves. I've not bought anything new for a while, no books to review and no lectures to prepare for. At least for a bit. I got hold of this one must have been a couple of years ago. When I was thinking about election in Christ in the...

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Tuesday, 15 November 2016 11:59

We do not lose heart

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A little while back someone asked me how I managed to stick it out, serving two small churches. I didn't really know what to say. It was like being asked how I managed to stick it out being married to my wife (although in fairness she's probably had to do more 'sticking it out' than me). I ummed...

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Thursday, 03 November 2016 06:37

Inventing the Universe by Alister McGrath

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Hodder & Stoughton, 2016, 247pp
Many people believe that science has disproved the Christian faith, or at least that science and Christianity are in conflict, with science the hands-down winner. As a teenage atheist the author of this book would have pretty much agreed with that scenario. But...

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Thursday, 27 October 2016 00:00

What are you seeking?

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imageThe other day I was standing around watching cows eating grass. As you do. They seemed contented enough, munching away on the green stuff. What more could a herd of cows want? I mean, so far as we can tell, cows don’t bother their heads with questions like, ‘why do we exist?’ or...

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Tuesday, 18 October 2016 03:00

John Owen and D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones on Unity

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2016 marks the 400th anniversary of the birth of John Owen in 1616 and the 50th anniversary of D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones' address on Evangelical Unity on 18th October 1966. Both men gave attention to the matter unity between Christians. Lloyd-Jones was a student of Owen and drew upon his work on...

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Monday, 17 October 2016 03:33

John Owen and D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones on Schism

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2016 marks the 400th anniversary of the birth of John Owen in 1616 and the 50th anniversary of D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones' address on Evangelical Unity in 1966. Both men gave attention to the matter of schism or divisions between Christians. Lloyd-Jones was a student of Owen and drew upon his work on...

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Christian Focus, 2016, 133pp
There has been a lot of emphasis on church planting in recent years, and rightly so. Where villages, towns, or areas of cities are without a gospel church, planting one there is a vital means of discipling believers in the locality and reaching the community for Christ.
Bu...

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