“Why do you seek the living among the dead?
He is not here, but has risen.”
Even for the women who had known Jesus well—who by now must have been accustomed to apparently tangential answers and statements from the lips of Jesus—I guess that on the scale of unexpected questions this would be about a nine. (more…)
“Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the LORD.”
Poor Ezekiel. I can’t think of a biblical character I feel more sorry for, more often. Charged with the unwelcome job of speaking God’s word to Israel—the nation who in God’s own estimation are a rebellious, stiff-necked people who do not listen—he gets some of the worst gigs in prophetic history. He’s required by God to not just tell people what they’ve done and what is about to happen, but show them as well (because if he simply told them, they wouldn’t listen). (more…)
[This article is an extract from an upcoming Matthias Media book on the resurrection. We’re excerpting it here as it’s an excellent stand-alone article on a reasonably under-appreciated aspect of the New Testament accounts of the resurrection: Rory investigates why the resurrection of Jesus was unexpected, even to a Jewish audience, why it nevertheless fits the narrative well, and why it leaves us with a significant choice to make.] (more…)
‘Ministry’ can be a very vague and unstructured idea. The joke that clergy work only one day a week is untrue, but it’s not immediately obvious what they do the rest of the time—are they some kind of spiritual social workers (as the confused mother of my best school friend asked when I quit university to become an Anglican minister)? It’s not really any clearer for those who attend church but are not in paid positions of leadership there. What does ‘ministry’ look like? Lots of coffee (preferably espresso)? Serving on endless rosters? Church politics? (more…)
This morning, I was doing Six Steps to Loving Your Church with my very small growth group (me and two church wardens). And the question asked: “What do you really love about your church at the moment?” And my answer? (more…)
It’s the central claim of Christianity: Jesus is alive.
Not just that his memory lives on in people’s hearts. Not that his teaching still inspires people today. But that Jesus rose from the dead—flesh and blood, in time and space. (more…)
For Christians, the Bible’s teaching on Jesus’ resurrection is often a bit like a mystery box. It’s central to our faith, but in our minds its value often depends on its mystery. In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul urges us to move beyond the surface, open the box and delight in its truths. (more…)
How important is it for us to think about what Jesus is doing now? Is it just something to merely satisfy our curiosity? After all, surely it is more important to concentrate on what Jesus did in the past—his incarnation, his life, his death, his resurrection—or to think about his future return from heaven. Right? (more…)
I recently asked a group of young Christians to write a brief summary of the Christian gospel in a sentence or two. I called it ‘the crashing airplane’ conversation: you’re on a plane, it’s about to crash, and your neighbour leans over and says, “I saw you reading your Bible earlier… help!” (more…)
Note: This is part 2 of a 3 part series on Jesus now—read part 1, ‘Who is Jesus now?’, or part 3, ‘What is Jesus doing now?‘. (more…)
Paul describes Christians as being ‘in Christ’, but what does that mean? Rory Shiner explores where we are, who we are, and why it matters where we are with now that we’re in Christ. (more…)
At the core of the Christian gospel lies some abject nonsense. But the real question is: what kind of nonsense is it? (more…)
Jesus is God, who came to earth as a man, left as a man… and has now set aside his humanity to return to being wholly God? Peter Orr explains why Jesus is still God and man today, and will be for eternity. (more…)
At the core of the Christian gospel lies some abject nonsense. But the real question is: what kind of nonsense is it?
The Christian message is not a matter of opinion (although it certainly has a bearing upon your opinions), nor is it a world view or a philosophy of life (although it certainly brings radical changes to your way of seeing the world and living life). Instead, it is the declaration of certain events that took place in human history; events that reveal God’s purposes for his world, and to which certain promises from God are attached.
Apparently, one of the attractions of the zombie is absolute freedom. You can do anything you want. Nobody will argue.
For many, being one of the undead might be too high a price to pay for such absolute freedom. For the rising number of zombie fans, however, so what if your personal appearance takes a little bit of a dive, and you have to walk relentlessly forward with stiff limbs? Freedom is freedom.