Make a house a home
Some thoughts on preaching which hits home
We are preparing to move house again soon (2 miles across the other side of Oxford). As we prepare for the process of transporting all our possessions from one house to another my thoughts turned to what makes a house a home? The bare structure and location of a property only becomes home when it feels lived in and starts to reflect the personality of its inhabitants.
The same could be said to be true of preaching. Many sermons which I listen to show evidence of structure, design and effort. But they often don’t feel lived in. They lack the warmth and personality which only comes when the preacher has inhabited the text for themselves and taken it home.
What are some of the errors which sermons make? You can probably think of more, but these few thoughts came to mind.
When you first move into your new house boxes get emptied and mounds of clothing, books etc. await proper ‘filing away’. Should someone come to visit the chances are their coat will need to be draped over a chair or put on the bed. Hopefully, in time, pegs will appear upon which you may hang your coat.
In a similar way, many sermons which I hear offer nowhere to ‘hang your hat’ so to speak. There is content, but it lacks pegs. Without this attention to structure, the hearer can struggle to navigate their way through the sermon. Without pegs it is unlikely that hearers will be able remember salient points of the sermon for the week ahead.
Rhetoric gets a bad name today. But the later Greek sophists (Isocrates. Cicero etc.) believed Rhetoric to be the ability to speak with such clarity that the audience would be persuaded. Philosophers think clearly. Rhetoricians think clearly out loud. Preachers should be doing the same. This will in part be reflected by careful attention to the structure and form of the sermon.
It takes time for a house to become a home. Over time the inhabitants will begin to stamp their own personality on their property – hanging curtains, arranging flowers, decorating to taste etc.
Many sermons I hear lack personality. Phillip Brooks’ now famous comment that preaching is “communication of truth through personality” is exactly right. Obviously we don’t want the sermon to be littered with personal anecdotes and stories. It is not supposed to be a talk about them. However, congregations listen when they can see that for the preacher the message has hit home personally.
They have been moved by the message they are preaching. They have made the connections as to how it applies to their own life.
Sermons which hit home are those which apply pertinently and pointedly to today’s world. They are illustrated in real life.
Too many sermons I hear leave me only in the world of the text. Now, of course, this is not the worst problem, there are equally many messages that never take me to the world of the text and only start in the world of today. I guess the former may be the weakness of evangelical expository preaching; the latter is the weakness of liberal preaching.
John Stott has regularly repeated the need to engage in “double listening” – Hearing the voice of the text; hearing the voice of the world.
When you move into a new house you are inclined to think: however did they live with that wallpaper? How come they didn’t modernise the bathroom suite etc. But of course, it is very difficult to see your environment and culture from the fresh perspective of an outsider.
As preachers we need to retain the fresh “eyes” of an outsider, someone who has not spent the whole week labouring over the text, and who can see the difficult punchy questions which might need addressing.
At home in the sermon
By this expression I don’t at all mean that preaching should be psychologically therapeutic, only comforting and devotional. What I think I mean is that I expect preaching to give me pegs (to help me recall and apply the bible to my life in the week ahead); personality (so I feel that the preacher has met with God in his preparation); punch (I see the issue with a freshness and pertinence for the week ahead).
I was preaching on Matthew 5:27-30 today and used an extended illustration of the health of the lawn being analogous to the health of the human heart.
I know it is hard to imagine this at the moment but try to think back to the hot summer months in sultry heat (!), enjoying the lushness of the garden, with a gentle hum of electric fly mowers in the background.
It can be quite irritating to have the peace and quiet of summer shattered by lawn mowers, but I suspect that many people mow their lawn frequently as a fairly fool proof way of making the garden look nice and well tended.
At the heart of the growing season, if you leave your lawn for little more than a week tell-tale signs of its true nature will be revealed. This is certainly true in my case. If I fail to mow regularly, the apparently lush, well tended lawn shows its true nature – dandelions begin to sprout yellow and eventually shower umbrella seed replicating themselves all over the lawn. Big green dock leaves shade the delicate grass. Untendered weeds spoil what initially appeared to be a lush lawn.
You see the problem with only cutting the grass is that it deals superficially with the weeds. It doesn’t deal with root causes. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount tells me that I must not live the Christian life at the level of superficial appearances. I can fool other people most of the time; I can fool myself some of the time; but I can never fool God
There are two more fundamental care issues related to my lawn which need attending to if I am going to have a healthy lawn – they involve feeding the soil and weeding out the roots of the intruder!
Feeding your spiritual lawn means tending your heart. Psalm 119:9-11 this:
How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. (NIV)
Tending to the state of the heart needs to happen in order for the Christian to be healthy and pure and not controlled by lust.
Weeding your spiritual lawn requires pulling out sin at its source
Behind adultery lies lust (And behind murder lies anger). In order to deal with lust radical action is required – metaphorically gouging out eyes and chopping of wayward hands. Controlling what we watch and controlling what we do with our hands is necessary for a godly Christian life. If I make myself blind, deaf, mute and paraplegic, yet retain my soul then I am of greater value than if I have a beautiful body and prefect facilities yet corrupt my soul…
As ever, Jesus’ words challenge and provoke. But a godly life is a healthy life and, moreover is the only way to avoid hell!
See www.simonvibert.com for full sermon.
Apparently no one can bend it like Beckham, except, I guess a bendy bus with a message of false comfort sponsored by atheists: THERE’S PROBABLY NO GOD. NOW STOP WORRYING AND ENJOY YOUR LIFE.
In The Independent (25th October) Howard Jacobson points out the false comfort which such an advert offers:
“As for the rest of the bendy bus message, it makes not a grain of sense. THERE’S PROBABLY NO GOD STOP WORRYING? That’s a non sequitur. Why should the non-existence of a God stop us worrying? Who ever claimed it was belief in God that caused us to worry? Some of the least worried people I know are unworried precisely because they believe in a benign creator who takes individual care of them. We might think of them as deluded crackpots – we might be driven crazy ourselves by their baseless blitheness and serenity – but if not worrying is to be the measure of happiness then, like it or not, they’ve found happiness in spades. Ivan Karamazov on the other hand, is misery incarnate, unable to enjoy a moment of mental peace because he cannot see how, if God does not exist, anything can be deemed unlawful. SINCE THERE’S PROBABLY NO GOD it would say on the bendy bus Ivan hires to drive around St Petersburg, START WORRYING BECAUSE EVERYTHING IS PERMITTED”.
For my money, though, the pursuit of happiness seems inextricably intertwined with the pursuit of God. For sure, for some, this has ended up in craziness and a fog of despair. But when you consider that the God of the universe came in pursuit of us – “seeking and saving the lost”, as Jesus put it – we find that “holiness and happiness” are not that far apart.
Blaise Pascal wrote:
“All men seek happiness. There are no exceptions. However different the means they may employ, they all strive towards this goal… The will never takes the least step except to that end. This is the motive of every act of every man…
“Yet for very many years no one without faith has ever reached the goal at which everyone is continually aiming. All men complain: princes, subjects, nobles, commoners, old, young, strong, weak, learned, ignorant, healthy, sick, in every country, at every time, of all ages, and all conditions.
“A test which has gone on so long, without pause or change, really ought to convince us that we are incapable of attaining the good by our own efforts. But example teaches us very little. No two examples are so exactly alike that there is not some subtle difference, and that is what makes us expect that our expectations will not be disappointed this time as they were last time. So, while the present never satisfies us, experience deceives us, and leads us on from one misfortune to another until death comes as the ultimate and eternal climax.
“What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself.
“God alone is man’s true good, and since man abandoned him it is a strange fact that nothing in nature has been found to take his place…” (#428)
Just spent 5 days in Atlanta on Wycliffe business along with Richard Turnbull.
The main purpose was to renew friendships with Episcopalians and Presbyterians over here. We had a good morning with Ravi Zacharias whose RZIM partners with our Wycliffe Apologetics school (www.rzim.org)
We spent an interseting day with Bob Luckman who is a businessman who has coordinated major projects to revive urban areas in Atlanta. He persuades businesses to invest in a layered housing scheme in an attempt to regenerate the city centres with a socially and economically diverse group of people living alongside each other. In addition to regenerating Urban centres he has encouraged Churches to give money and plant in these areas, employ community chaplains and build businesses. It is a great model and very encouraging to see.
We met Michael Yousef, leader of a large independent Anglican Church in Atlanta (www.leadingtheway.org) He trained at Moore Theological College in Sydney, having been brought up in the Middle East. He is clearly having an effective ministry in Atlanta and beyond with a particular passion to reach those from a Muslim background.
We had a dinner on the 25th floor of a private club in Atlanta overlooking the rather splendid skyline. The main purpose of these occassions is to gain some friends across Episcopal and a broader evangelical spectrum, and perhaps in due course to encourage some of those friends to give money to our capital project at Wycliffe.
This morning I attended two Christchurches Independent Anglican (under the oversight of Archbishop Greg Venables http://christchurchatl.org/; and PCA (led by Paul Gardner founder of FWS (www.fows.org and friend from England http://christchurchatlanta.org).
A bit of a whirlwind tour, but well worth it. As the world seems to get smaller, the friendships across the water become all the more valuable!
I have just got back from 4 days teaching at a Homiletical week in Uppsala in Sweden, 45 minutes north of Stockholm. The Johannelund bible school has 80+ students many of whom are training for ministry in the Lutheran, Church of Sweden.
The staff made me feel very welcome and seemed appreciative of my 4 lectures on Preaching from Old Testament narrative, 1 Samuel. The students were also engaged and asked some good questions. Many of them are quite young; lots of them do 5 years study and end up with a Masters Degree.
The Lutheran Church seems fairly ‘mixed’; whilst some of them would have a strong preaching, evangelical ministry, the state Church is also quiet ‘high’ with some of them seeing themselves in a sacerdotal ministry. The denomination is also struggling with many of the same issues with respects to homosexuality, pluralism and interfaith issues as the Church of England. I guess one factor which plays out quite differently for them is the taxation system in which those who register as Church members are required to pay into central funding, so despite falling Church attendance there seems to be plenty of money around.
We had an interesting discussion about the use of the liturgy. Unwittingly I put my foot in it! I was asked by one of the students about preaching from the lectionary (i.e. the set readings for each Sunday) and responded by saying that whenever I could I didn’t and have always preached through books (or part of the book) of the bible over several weeks. This is because I feel that the agenda is set by the Scripture rather than by the lectionary or by the preacher. Also, it enables the congregation to begin to get a feel for what the Bible message is. My concern with Lectionary preaching is also that preachers spend their time trying to locate the ‘golden thread’ that runs through all three lectionary readings to find a uniting theme rather than do justice to 3 or even 1 of the passages listed.
Apparently one of the previous speakers had used a very similar illustration to my ‘golden thread’ line commending the lectionary and, moreover, there is a high expectation that preachers keep with the lectionary. Oops! To which the best answer is that they should be encouraged to expound one of the three readings set for the day rather than try to speak on all three.
However, the sessions seemed to be well received and I noted quite an appetite among students and staff, and, after all they had invited me to speak on Expository Preaching!
I had a very nice day in Stockholm, enjoying the wide tree lined promenades, eating Swedish meatballs and drinking strong black coffee in a street cafe overlooking the lovely waterfront. It was cold mind you, feeling quite autumnal by comparison with Portugal or even Oxford!
Finally, I visited the famous Vasamuseet. It houses a ship that sank on its maiden voyage in 1628, built as the pride of King Gustov Aldoph. I commented on the great self-deprecating nature of the Swedes in building such a monument to a huge failure! The great interest is the fact that in the 1960′s the boat was raised and rebuild in the museum giving a great example of a 17th Century warship.
So, I had a tiring but profitable trip. It would seem that there is a great need to continue modelling and encouraging faithful expository ministry and I feel privileged to be involved in some of this ministry.
I have been criss-crossing the country on Wycliffe business recently. As I was waiting for my train wandering around one of our fine cities the other day the “illiberality of a liberal nation” struck me forcefully! All over the city centre there was posted dire warnings of the penalties of dropping your cigarette butt on the ground, or failing to put your litter in the bin. Lined up outside every public building, in pouring rain I hasten to add, were clusters of smokers having a quick puff before they lurched back inside. On the train on the way back I read a couple of articles in a magazine which seemed to reinforce this: One concerned a campaign to ban smoking in the street; the other was from a columnist who appeared to agree with those who were banning children from Church weddings on the grounds that they might cause a disruption.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Smoking is a filthy habit and passive smoking is dangerous to asthmatics like me. And our filthy streets certainly need a clean up. And screaming children in the middle of a wedding service can be irritating. But at what point does a liberal society say to a litigious government and local council: “butt out”! Because as the government seems to stray further and further into the area of legislating against civil liberties, it at the same time is the most liberal in its attitudes towards church and family life. Yes, there is the civil partnership act. But this “liberal” attitude has chipped away at the bedrock of a healthy society by privileging anyone but married couples bringing up children in lifelong monogamy. And it seems to afford clergy of the Church of England little freedom to do their job in seeking to be the conscience of the nation.
It is a worrying trend that has repeated itself in degrading societies down the ages. The open minded-ness of liberal thinking knows that it has no real power to change people’s hearts and lives. The result is that a whole raft of rules and regulations are thrown at the society in a perverse attempt to allow the freedom which they claim. The street preacher is arrested and forbidden to preach in the town square. But the thief is no longer put in jail but is fined (not that I think that the latter is necessarily a bad way of dealing with this crime).
It is this cultural drift which has wafted into the Church of England. We want to exist in the nation; for the nation. But as DL Moody once pointed out: the place for the ship is in the sea, but woe-betide the ship into which the sea gets!
John Richardson makes a similar point in this regard in his recent blog about the Church of England (http://ugleyvicar.blogspot.com/2008/07/reasons-to-be-cheerful-maybe.html). He points out that the Clergy Discipline Measure has produced legislation which is hot on dealing with issues of straying over diocesan boundaries, operating without proper ecclesiastical authority etc. The result is a document which is giving registrars and diocesan bishops quite a headache up and down the land. Yet, the CDM never completed its task and produced a Clergy Discipline (Doctrine) Measure presumably because we live in a denomination (infected by the society) which is unable, and probably thinks it is unbecoming, to interfere in private and personal beliefs. One noticeable trend in recent years is that the General Synod Reports have been rather more robust in their theological thinking than 20 years ago (including Some Issues in Human Sexuality), but this has had little or no impact on what actually happens when it comes to the conduct of some clergy and some bishops on the ground.
John Stott warned (see later blog for this full text) that Conservatives have a tendency to be biblical but not relevant. Liberals have a tendency to be relevant but not biblical. The transformation of our culture will surely only happen if we are listening to the Word of God and allowing it to transform our thinking (Hence, Romans 12:1f metamorphe) and allow it to rigorously transform Church and Nation. The only way to stem the tide of illiberality in the Church and nation is not by increasing litigation, but rather by humbly sitting under God’s word and allowing the full implications to seep into Church and land.
Something has bothered me for a while. I have not quite been able to put my finger on it until now.
My unease started when I began my new job teaching preaching at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. There are a number of issues which I have been coming to terms with. For one, you really set yourself up when you are introduced to a congregation as the tutor in preaching. People expect you to be making comments or observations on another person’s sermon. And, of course, if you are about to preach, you are supposed to be something of an expert and will invariably disappoint! (Although my preferred definition of an expert is scientific: X is an unknown quantity, and a spurt is a gush of water!).
The second bit of unease is a degree of uncertainty as to whether a spiritual gift can really be taught by an academic institution. Can I teach someone to preach? At many levels the answer is ‘no’. And of course, coming into an adult education environment where many of the students already have higher level degrees, persuading them to submit to being taught – well anything! – is a challenge.
But I have finally realised what it is that has been nagging away in the back of my mind. I think it is this. If I was a perfect teacher I could fill my students’ heads with all sorts of information and understanding about the content of Scripture, the tools of exegesis, the craft of sermon construction, the ability to communicate engagingly and convincingly etc., but never have taught them to preach. In fact, it is possible that I could have made them worse preachers if they end up putting their confidence in the tools of the trade rather than in the thing that is most important about preaching.
Everything I am trying to teach them is focussed on filling up my student’s tool box in order to be able to prepare sermons throughout the rest of their ministry. I am sure that this remains the key priority of theological education.
But, in order to preach, the preacher’s confidence should be in the God who is keen to communicate with the people he made. The task of preaching is to let God do the speaking through His word. I think that might be what the apostle Paul meant when he wrote:
2 Corinthians 5:20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
1 Thessalonians 2:13 And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.
Should my students be confident in the tools of their trade? Well, they should be able to use them skillfully and creatively in the same way a craftsman or an artist uses his lathe or brush. But their confidence should be in God. He is a God who makes and keeps promises. Who reveals Himself through His Word. When a preacher is faithful to that word congregations don’t just hear preachers, they hear God speaking through His word.
Consequently a congregation will soon become aware whether the preacher has met with the Lord as they have prepared their sermon. They may be impressed when the preacher cuts and pastes a John Stott, Don Carson, John Piper (or whoever) sermon. But they will not meet with God if the preacher has not. The only way in which I can help mould and shape a new generation of preachers is by encouraging them to be deeply immersed in the Scriptures and ravenously seek the presence of God in the preparation and preaching.
In the context of an appeal not to harden their hearts towards the Word of the Lord, the writer to the Hebrews says: We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first (Hebrews 3:14). I am cautious when we are overly dependent on our wit, our gift of illustration, our clever alliteration, our ability to tell a story, our PowerPoint or use of video clips. A truly confident preacher is one who has confidence in God and allows Him to speak faithfully through his word. This is a confidence which arises out of time spent labouring over the Scripture in God’s presence. There are no tools for this task, only time and humility in God’s presence.
Secondly, later in the morning, I joined the St Ebbes joint congregations meeting in Oxford Town Hall. Combining together the seven congregations gave a congregation of 700-800 people. It was good to be among a large gathering of young adults who are enthusiastic for the Lord and Mission, many of whom will soon be in parishes around the country. It is also good to remember that the Gospel still is attractive and student churches which clearly proclaim the good news about Jesus buck the national trends and grow. Vaughan Roberts did a great job reminding people that the Lord’s Prayer invites us to pray. We need to know to whom we are speaking before we can have a meaningful conversation, and that God, is, unlike any in the world religions, one who we can call Father.
Finally, this evening, I went to hear another student preach in Merton College Chapel in Oxford. This was a very formal sung Evening Prayer. The choir was amazing. The acoustics in the Chapel are very good, and the Chapel is often used by the BBC to record. There were about 25 in the choir and maybe 40 in the congregation. It was enjoyable and the music was very high quality. Personally I enjoyed both the volume and informality of the drums, guitars and singers in the morning as well as the marvellous formal music tradition found in the Chapel tonight.
What are my conclusions about the experience of three very different corporate worship services today? They are very tentative. I actually enjoyed all three services and I think that there is a place for the diversity of church which I have been in today. However I also think I feel that the age profile and numerical attendance at the St Ebbes service does speak volumes as to what young adults need to hear today. However, I feel challenged that the growing churches seem to be located in University Towns or suburbia in the South East of England with largely ‘yuppie’ congregations.
I think that the vision of the Church of England is sound. But we do need faithfully to reach the diverse communities and localities in which it is located … which requires us to be outsider-friendly and mission minded up and down the land. There is a nation which needs to be won for the Gospel of Christ, and that should shape everything we do in the church and in the communities in which they are located.
It isn’t very political correct to say it, but, I am glad that Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali has had the guts to do so: Islam isn’t good for our nation (see the Sunday telegraph article 6th January 2008 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=D3UJIJJSXW5KJQFIQMFSFFWAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2008/01/06/nislam106.xml). Admittedly he was writing about the impact of Muslim-extremism making some parts of the UK “no-go areas” in our country. For my part, the “terror threat” to our country is not primarily suicide bombers, but rather a philosophy and ideology which does not have Christian ethics and world-view at root. It comes as a surprise to many people that a Christian world-view is, in fact, very tolerant of alternative views, and a loss of that world-view is quite terrifying. The foundation of Christian Tolerance is found is passages such as these:
1 Peter 3:15-17 - ”But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behaviour in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.“
Christian believers are absolutely committed to persuading others to becoming followers of Jesus Christ. However this is not through the imposition of law (despite the fact that some aspects of Christianity’s history have not been that commendable). Rather the power of persuasion, Peter asserts, comes through an apologia for the faith backed up by godly, Christlike lifestyle. That is the reason for this blogs title: metamorphe. It is a word based upon Paul’s commendation for transformation in Romans 12:1-2 – that we should be “transformed” (“Metamorphosed”, if you will) by the renewing of our minds…
Moreover, Jesus assumed, Christians are good for society because of the stance taken on issues of truth, mercy and justice, and the preserving factor of good models of Christian living: Matthew 5:13-1613 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
Such an outlook on life should lead to people praising God the Father as the one who is the source and ground of all goodness. Yes, Christians are – or at least should be – good for society, and I think that the Bishop of Rochester’s concerns about Shi’i law and no-go communities should be heeded.
St John’s Gospel is a Christmas favourite. The climax of the Carol Service readings is usually John 1:1-18. It is well said that John’s Gospel is “a pool where children may paddle and elephants may wade”. For some years now I have been wrestling with this marvellous Gospel. Is there a central theme, or key which unlocks the book? Clearly John’s own explanation is in John 20:30-31 – “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.“ Some have seen 7 signs and 7 discourses which John has collected in order to demonstrate that Jesus is the Son of God. I am sure that this makes a lot of sense of the first 12 chapters of the Gospel.
Many have also pointed out that John overlaps numerous themes – such as his demonstration that Jesus is greater than Jacob, Moses and Abraham; that he is the “I am”, everchanging eternal God; that he comes to fulfil the Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacle festivals. I am sure that John is “layered” in this way, often having more than one theme going on at a time.
However, I have also become convinced that John collects together stories of highly colourful individuals, and groups of people, who themselves have come to have life in the Son of God by believing in his name. We have Nicodemus in John 3 – a respected Jewish teacher; the Samaritan woman and outcast in John 4; the healing of a paralysed man in John 5; and the healing of a man born blind in John 9. In each of these encounters the individuals emerge (to a greater or lesser degree) from darkness to light as it dawns on them that Jesus is more than a prophet or a healer, and none other than the Son of God who is worthy of worship. John interwiews collective encounters with crowds of people who are largely fascinated by Jesus, but more as a celebrity than as Divine; and a hostile and plotting religious establishment.
But, for all the complexity of this Gospel, I commend it again as a series of testimonies to the true identity of Jesus, the Son of God. Yes, John is a record of Jesus’ words and deeds during his time as “Word Made Flesh” on earth. But I wonder whether sometimes we have overlooked the human drama played out in the lives Jesus changed, as they mirror back for us something of the true identity of Jesus. They invite us to examine him afresh so that we along with Thomas might say ”My Lord and My God” (see 20:28).
I wonder, is that your testimony? Have you come to worship the Son of God we meet in John, and have Him change your life for good?!
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- Existential Threats
- Some biblical wisdom on dealing with Stress and Worry
- The Hunger Games – Christian Review
- Wouldn’t you like to be a castaway?
- Lessons from the Long Distance Cycle Ride
- An Easter Word for Exhausted Preachers
- the agnostic, the atheist and the Christian
- Tim & Kathy Keller “The Meaning of Marriage”
- resources for training preachers in Osijek, Croatia
- with great thankfulness to John Stott
- a tall story
- back from the dead
- Bible by the Beach
- Big Ben
- Big Issue
- Bishop of Rochester
- Charlie Cleverly
- Christ Church Cathedral Oxford
- Christian Focus
- Christian Leaders
- Don Carson
- Egyptian Plagues
- Episcopal Church
- fellowship of word and spirit
- Fundraising Bike Ride
- General Synod
- John Piper
- John Stott
- John the Baptist
- John's Gospel
- Millennium Wheel
- New Testament
- Nigel Biggar
- no-go areas
- Oxford Church
- Professor Wotton
- reformed theological serminary
- Richard Turnbull
- Rowan Williams
- shi'i law
- Simon Vibert
- Son of God
- Song of God
- St Aldates Church
- St Paul's cathedral
- third millennium ministries
- wycliffe hall
- wycliffe hall students