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Churches, Give People a Message of Hope

Tom Holland is the Spiderman of historians. His latest conversation with Glen Scrivener is well worth the listen for it includes more than a few intriguing thoughts in the web of ideas. I really appreciate his thoughtfulness and honesty. It was this reflection by Holland that especially struck a chord with me. He said, “I felt that over the course of this year the churches have been a letdown. I think that the experience of pandemic, it sets you to asking why is this happening … it raises profound issues of theodicy.” He mentions one moment that stood out to him,...

World Alzheimer’s Day: A Dose of Gospel Medicine

Psalm 103:14 says, ‘For He knows our frame; He is mindful that we are dust’. There’s nothing quite like dementia to remind us of our ‘dustiness’. Today is World Alzheimer’s Day. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, a degenerative disease of the brain which mostly affects people over the age of 65. God is mindful that we are dust. He knows the frailty and frustration of ageing. In that frailty and frustration, the gospel is very, very good news. Perhaps, World Alzheimer’s Day is personal for you. This disease has impacted you or someone you love. Or, maybe...

Rejoice in the Lord!

I have been feasting on Philippians in recent months, meditating on Paul’s command to, ‘rejoice in the Lord’, found in 3:1—and then intensified in 4:4: ‘rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again. Rejoice!’ Here are six reflections. God wants us, to actually engage in the physical activity of rejoicing. We may tend to think that it is the internal attitude which counts: but there is no Biblical reason for doing so. The command to ‘rejoice’ does not only refer to a merely internal mental attitude, sense of obligation, or feeling. I think Paul wants the Philippians, and...

Should a Dual Audience Church Share in the Lord’s Supper?

Six months ago as the Coronavirus forced churches into lockdown, many pastors were asking: should we share in the Lord’s Supper online? The Gospel Coalition published perspectives both in favour and against; for a variety of reasons, our church decided to abstain from taking the Supper online—just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. But as we slowly emerge from lockdown, churches are realising that we won’t be able to fully regather for quite some time. In a recent episode of The Pastor’s Heart, Dominic Steele advises that pastors should lead not for recovery but endurance. And that means providing concurrent online and physical...

Patience and Pandemic

I live in Melbourne. The city once proudly boasted that it was the most livable city in the world. Not surprisingly, the boasts have ceased. I suspect that right now we rival Mogadishu as the city people least want to visit (but at least you can enter and leave Mogadishu). As we submit to our governing authorities and endure weeks of curfews and closed borders, what virtue or fruit of the Spirit is most needed by Christians? And not just Christians living in Victoria. If we were to listen to our brothers and sisters from the early church they would...

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