Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Tuesday Teaching| Jude (2)

Here is the second sermon in a two part series in the book of Jude with Dick Lucas. It is a while since I posted the first, so I have included the links to both sermons. Enjoy.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Jesus' 'Wife'?

Did Jesus have a wife? Over the last few days the story has been breaking of the discovery of an ancient text which makes reference to Jesus having a wife. This new manuscript (or more correctly, a fragment of a manuscript), now called The Gospel of Jesus' Wife, is supposed to include the words '...Jesus said to them, "My wife...'.

What are we to make of this discovery? The media, loving a sensational conspiracy, has billed it as proof that Jesus was in fact married, and that this casts doubt on the reliabiblity of the New Testament. However, the reality is that the discovery is far less sensational than the media would have us believe. The authenticity of this manuscript is still in question. Even if it was proved to be genuine it does not prove that Jesus was married, nor throw doubt on the Gospels, because it would have been written much later than the New Testament. It does not provide us with reliable historical information. In short, this discovery does not change much. All it tells us is that possibly some people at a much later stage claimed that Jesus was married. Lots of people have claimed all sorts of false things about Jesus down through the centuries. The fact that people have held to things that the Bible does not teach, does not lead to the Bible being proved unreliable.

A couple of helpful, and much more trustworthy, reports on the story have been written by Simon Gathercole at Tyndale House, and by Michael J. Kruger at the Gospel Coalition. You can read them by clicking on the links below.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

A Praying Church?

Sinclair Ferguson was interviewed about what concerns him about churches today. What concerned him most was the lack of prayer and corporate prayer in the church. He says this:
Again there is the lack of prayer and of the Church praying. This is to me the most alarming, for this reason: we have built apparently strong, large, successful, active churches. But many of our churches never meet as a congregation for prayer. I mean never! What does that indicate we are saying about the life of the Church as a fellowship? By contrast, the mark of a truly apostolic spirit in the church is that that we give ourselves to prayer and the Word together (Acts 6:4). No wonder “the Word of God continued to increase and the number of the disciples multiplied” (Acts 6:7). If this is so, it should not surprise us that while many churches see growth, it is often simply reconfiguration of numbers, not of conversion. I greatly wish that our churches would learn to keep the main things central, that we would learn to be true Churches, vibrant fellowships of prayer, Gospel ministry and teaching, genuine mutual love. At the end of the day, such a Church simply needs to “be” for visitors who come to sense that this is a new order of reality altogether and are drawn to Christ.
 You can read the whole article here.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

How do I decide what to read?

 The author of Ecclesiastes reminds us that "Of making many books there is no end.." (Ecclesiastes 12:12). Therefore, we need to be both discerning and selective about what we read. How then do we decide what to read? Here are some thoughts from John Piper on how he decides what to read. You can listen to the short interview, or read a transcript by clicking here.