When we distributed a draft version of our ‘Gospel Convictions’ statement in our 21st birthday issue (in April this year), we hoped that our sharp-eyed, Bible-tuned Briefing community would help us improve the statement with their feedback. We haven’t been disappointed! Our sincere thanks to all who took the time and trouble to respond. (We’ve published all the responses on our website if you’re interested in wading through them 1) (more…)
I was part of a group recently when a wonderful, faithful, godly older pastor told us about something that had happened in his church. During an important public meeting, a man had risen to his feet and started shouting abuse at him. It was a tirade full of invective and malice and hatred. How would you have responded? (more…)
Over the years in ministry, I have found it incredibly important pastorally (especially in ministry to the frail and aged) to help people see that when they pray, they are really making a difference. The Holy Spirit uses our prayers powerfully in the unfolding of God’s plans. Paul makes this point repeatedly: “I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me” (Rom 15:30 NIV); “[Y]ou help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” (2 Cor 1:11 NIV); “I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.” (Phil 1:19 NIV). (more…)
David Cook, Principal of Sydney Missionary and Bible College (SMBC) in Croydon, NSW, Australia, recently authored an excellent guide for those wanting to preach through the book of Acts: Teaching Acts (Christian Focus, 2007). Peter Hastie speaks to him about preaching, mission and what the book of Acts has to say about church growth.
Peter Hastie: The book of Acts is said to be a ‘tonic for the soul’. What are some of the things that Luke says are crucial for our spiritual strength and vitality? (more…)
It is said that the proper study of mankind is man, but is the proper study of spirituality the spirit? Well, yes and no. How can you study a spirit? Eastern mysticism tells us to start the enquiry inside ourselves, whereas western materialism warns us to abandon the quest. But Luke’s writings show us that we needn’t seek a path to spiritual enlightenment; the proper study of mankind and the spirit-filled man is Jesus.
There is something of a crisis among many Christians today over the question of ‘experience’. If not a crisis, there is at least much confusion and uncertainty—a fascination and a longing—perhaps even a vacuum. This goes back some time.