God’s Word is Powerful – Psalm 61

Bible 101, Life, Sola Panel

The birth of your first child is always momentous. For me, it was also scary. We were expecting twins, and the labour did not proceed well. Karyn was wheeled off for an emergency caesarean, with me running alongside. I was then left standing at the thick red line by the nurses’ station. And the door closed. (more…)

The man I thought was dead


I once saw a man who I thought was dead. It was a little unnerving to see him walk over to a microphone and start singing although it was on screen. I presumed that it must have been an old film but it was a live broadcast. (more…)

Are the Atheists Right about Christmas?


This Christmas the American Atheists have posted a large billboard in Times Square New York. It has two pictures: one of Santa Claus and the other of Jesus on the cross. The captions under the pictures are “Keep the Merry” and “Dump the Myth”. Apart from having the captions under the wrong pictures, the sentiment is one I agree with. (more…)

The role of singing in the life of the church


Now there are all sorts of reasons why Christianity is a singing faith; for the practice of making melody to the Lord, and of hymn singing in particular, has many purposes. My intention in this article is to focus specifically on congregational singing and to open up its three principal purposes. (more…)

Did the baby Jesus cry?


In the middle of the classic Christmas hymn ‘Away in a Manger’, there is this one line that doesn’t quite ring true. The second stanza tells us, “The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes / But little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes”. Did baby Jesus really not cry? The hymn author was likely thinking that Jesus did not cry because he was perfect and divine. But does a crying baby Jesus detract from his divinity? I think not, but a non-crying baby Jesus detracts from his humanity. (more…)

TWIST Reaction 3

Everyday Ministry, Life, Sola Panel

So was it important that the excellent things that Bob Kauflin was saying at the TWIST pastor’s conference were being said by a ‘Reformed charismatic’? (more…)

TWIST Reaction 2

Everyday Ministry, Sola Panel

From all that he said, from what others have told me, and from my brief personal conversation with him, Bob Kauflin seems like a thoughtful, humble, godly man, who loves Jesus and the gospel, and is conservative and Calvinist in his theological convictions. My second reaction to the TWIST pastor’s conference was simply one of appreciation: the material that Bob Kauflin presented was insightful, well-delivered, and stimulating. (more…)

An unexpected TWIST

Life, Sola Panel

If you had told me 10 years ago when I was on the Board of Emu Music that in 2011 we’d be putting on a TWIST music conference for pastors and inviting the ‘Director of Worship Development’ from a major charismatic US church to be the keynote speaker… well I’d have been a little surprised, to say the least. (more…)

Why we don’t sing

Life, Sola Panel


Sandy, I am delighted of course that you are with me on so many things. And I hope you will also be pleased to know that I am with you completely on the goodness and value of singing. (In fact, the only thing I wouldn’t be with you on is the need for that ‘but’ at the beginning of your second paragraph. But let’s not quibble.)

As for why we don’t sing more or better, and in particular why your men aren’t singing, I think the Bible also points us to the answer.


When they won’t smile or even sing

Life, Sola Panel

Okay, Tony, I’m with you on not calling our singing the ‘worship time’. I’m with you on not even calling our church gathering the ‘worship service’. I’m with you on wanting to avoid mere emotionalism. In fact, I also know you believe the emotions (or better, the affections) matter.

But I believe singing is important.

I believe the Bible says it’s important.