Christian Life

It really is time to choose

Wed, 15/02/2017 - 21:05 -- James Oakley

Yesterday, I wrote about the debate before the Church of England's General stood as to whether to take note of the House of Bishops' report into human sexuality.

I explained that the document, and the process that led to it, was all about "good disagreement" - how can traditionalists and progressives get along together without falling out.

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How far inland is Jerusalem

Tue, 13/12/2016 - 12:08 -- James Oakley

It turns out you shouldn't believe everything you read on the internet. Or at least, if the internet gives you some information, use a bit of common sense to check you've been given an answer that feels right, rather than just taking things uncritically and at face value.

I wanted to know how far it was from Jerusalem to the Mediterranean.

So I asked Google:

From Jerusalem to the Sea - take 1

You what? 1000 miles?

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With what rapture

Sun, 04/12/2016 - 15:26 -- James Oakley

It's Advent, which traditionally has two focii.

The season is about preparing for the coming of Christ. The more obvious half of that is preparing to celebrate Christmas. The other side to it is about the final return of Christ to this world, when he comes to judge the living and the dead, to usher in the new heavens and the new earth, and to free the cosmos from its bondage to decay. What we, slightly mistakenly, call the "second coming". We remind ourselves that it's coming, and we prepare ourselves for it.

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Peter Leithart on Paedocommunion

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 12:12 -- James Oakley

I'd taken a break from reading other people's blogs, but when I had a look to see what I'd been missing I found a superb 4-part essay by Peter Leithart on the subject of paedocommunion - the admission of baptised children to the Lord's Table.

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John 17 - A Rich Prayer

Fri, 28/10/2016 - 11:47 -- James Oakley

4 times a year, the three main congregations across our two churches meet together for a combined service. They're great times, with a full building, hearty singing, and the chance for fellowship across congregations who don't often get to worship all together.

We've finished a run through Paul's letter to the Philippians. With its themes of partnership in the gospel, grace, suffering, and God's life-transforming power, it gave us some good times as we gather all together.

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Not "Letters to the Seven Churches"

Tue, 18/10/2016 - 12:36 -- James Oakley

It's customary to refer to Revelation chapters 2 and 3 as the "Letters to the Seven Churches".

As I've studied, and we've preached, our way through these chapters, I'm not convinced that's the best heading to give them.

In fact, the whole of Revelation is a single letter. It's an epistle, like Philippians is. We get that from verse 4 that begins:

“John, to the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace …”

The whole of Revelation is a letter. It was written to seven churches in Asia Minor.

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I Stand at The Door and Knock

Tue, 11/10/2016 - 15:13 -- James Oakley

I've heard Revelation 3:20 used many times in an evangelistic talk: Jesus stands at the door of your life and knocks — will you let him in? Here's the verse:

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

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