Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier

Fri, 24/05/2013 - 10:47 -- James Oakley

Sometimes, during our evening services, there is plenty of time for discussion. Recently, we were having a session looking at the name of God, and I was asked a question. I answered it as best I could, but I've been thinking about it some more since. I think I could have done a little better. In case this is helpful, I'll put it here.

The question was whether we could call God our creator, redeemer and sanctifier.

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The world will never end

Fri, 21/12/2012 - 09:26 -- James Oakley

I'm not sure anyone has taken the (alleged) implication Mayan prediction that the world will end on 21st December 2012 totally seriously. Actually, what the Mayans and others really thought about this is somewhat more complex, although unsurprisingly the media aren't terribly interested in nuance.

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Meet Marcion

Fri, 22/06/2012 - 12:40 -- James Oakley

I've been re-acquainting myself with the second century heretic, Marcion.

In the Lion Handbook: The History of the Christian Church, there is a very helpful short article by H Dermot McDonald that summarises Marcion and his teaching. (You need the 1990 edition of the Lion Handbook - there is a 2009 edition out which I've never seen, but it seems it is a brand new book so won't have this exact portion in).

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Who strikes the Shepherd?

Wed, 20/06/2012 - 12:26 -- James Oakley

In our Christianity Explored group last week, we were discussing Jesus' predictions of Peter's denials, and of his own suffering, death and resurrection, as a prelude to a very good session on Jesus' resurrection.

One of the members of the group asked a question about a detail that I had never noticed before in Mark's text:

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The Priesthood of all Believers

Tue, 17/01/2012 - 15:56 -- James Oakley

It's easy to trot off the tongue that we believe in a doctrine called "the priesthood of all believers".

It's harder to explain what we mean by that, and what we don't mean.

It's harder still to articulate the cash-value: What impact does this doctrine make to the lives of Christians and churches on a daily basis?

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The Spirit leads us into truth

Wed, 01/06/2011 - 09:20 -- James Oakley

I've been re-reading John 16:12-15 again. To remind you, here's what it says:

I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

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Avalanche of Scripture

Mon, 08/11/2010 - 16:11 -- James Oakley

I recently spent a very happy day with Dr Garry Williams at The John Owen Centre studying the doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture. (That's to say: Take the sentence "The Bible is the word of God"? How does that statement relate to other areas of theology - like what God is like, and the acts by which he makes himself known in history? What do we mean when we say "The Bible is the word of God"? What are we not saying when we say that? What biblical data would support that assertion?) A happy, and a very useful, day.

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Lord's Supper

Thu, 14/10/2010 - 09:44 -- James Oakley

The Lord's Supper is the world in miniature; it has cosmic significance. Within it we find clues to the meaning of all creation and all history, to the nature of God and the nature of man, to the mystery of the world, which is Christ. It is not confined to the first day, for its power fills seven. Though the table stands at the center, its effects stretch out to the four corners of the earth. (Leithart, Blessed are the Hungry, page 11)

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