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Confessionalism and a Flourishing Church

Posted by on 3:35 pm in Blog, Church & Ministry | 0 comments

Confessionalism and a Flourishing Church

Some people are inclined to think that confessionalism has a stifling effect on the Church. They assume that adherence to Bible-based creeds and confessions inhibits vitality or freedom. To them the Church is more about relationship and are suspicious of things that are more formal and less subjective. Others want to be as flexible and inclusive as possible for attracting others and play down doctrine. Are these prejudices about confessionalism valid? Are they consistent with Scripture? It is remarkable in fact how often growth in faith is...

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Meditating Often on the Word

Posted by on 9:27 am in Articles | 0 comments

Meditating Often on the Word

Meditating on the Scriptures is something rarely emphasised today. What does it mean? Meditation is “a holy exercise of the mind whereby we bring the truths of God to remembrance, and do seriously ponder upon them and apply them to ourselves.” (Thomas Watson) It involves turning the truths of the Word over and over in our mind until we are spiritually benefited by them. In a busy, fast-paced world it may seem like a luxury but if we were to grasp its benefits we would be more inclined to see it as a necessity. Perhaps we don’t get so...

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What Do We Mean By God’s Presence?

Posted by on 9:39 am in Bible & Theology, Blog | 0 comments

What Do We Mean By God’s Presence?

It’s a phrase that’s used a lot. Yet when you stop to consider it, it’s rather difficult to define. Of course God is everywhere present but we usually mean a felt sense of His presence. Is that purely a subjective sense that borders on a mystical feeling or being emotionally charged? Sometimes it seems like people are speaking of a particular experience or atmosphere. Do we have to feel that God is there to know that He is there? Surely what we mean by “presence” is God exerting His influence in a way that we...

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The Scottish Covenanters (Book Review)

Posted by on 1:07 pm in Articles | 0 comments

The Scottish Covenanters (Book Review)

“If you only read one book on the Covenanters this should be the one. Not only does Vos provide an insightful, readable and enjoyable account but he sets it in proper context taking us from the Reformation in 1560 through the Revolution period”. This commendation on the back cover is not mere exaggerated advertising, this book is probably the most concise yet thorough and readable introduction to the history of the Scottish Covenanters. Without wasting words Vos covers the important personalities, events, and issues necessary for...

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6 Ways the Gospel Calls for Holiness

Posted by on 8:10 am in Blog, Christian Living | 0 comments

6 Ways the Gospel Calls for Holiness

If you are interested in the gospel, then you should be interested in holiness. But, you may ask, isn’t it “a holier than thou” attitude that turns people off the gospel? Perhaps, but real biblical holiness is all about the gospel. It is meant to be something that both attracts people to the gospel and is an expression of the reality of the gospel in our lives. If people notice the difference it may well make them uncomfortable but that is as Christ intended. Salt and light often have this effect (Matthew 5:13–14). But that...

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Abandoning Optimism for Real Hope

Posted by on 3:31 pm in Blog, Christian Living | 0 comments

Abandoning Optimism for Real Hope

Hope is essential. But hope is not a gut reaction, mere wishful thinking or putting a positive spin on events that seem negative. Hope and optimism are positive about the future but for different reasons. Abraham had a spiritual hope that was certain, when a hope that is of the flesh would have evaporated. Abraham “against hope believed in hope” based on God’s promise (Romans 4:18). The secular idea of hope involves people planning ways to achieve their chosen goal. But Abraham couldn’t do this. Optimism ignores...

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Why Do We Fear Missing Out?

Posted by on 3:08 pm in Blog, Christian Living | 0 comments

Why Do We Fear Missing Out?

It’s a modern fear apparently, fed by a constant awareness of what is happening in the lives of many others. It’s the anxiety that others elsewhere are having more rewarding experiences from which we are absent. It is often aroused by social media posts. So people may check their phones compulsively in case they miss what is going on. But there’s a deeper fear of missing out where people compare their boring lives to the carefully curated portraits they consume. They fear they are missing out on a better life altogether and...

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Looking Beyond this World’s Obsolescence

Posted by on 9:27 am in Blog, Christian Living | 0 comments

Looking Beyond this World’s Obsolescence

Many products we buy have been designed with planned obsolescence. They have an artificially limited useful life so that when it becomes obsolete you have to buy a new one. Such are the empty and lying promises of consumerism. It’s not just man-made products, all material creation is wearing out and passing away: including us (1 Corinthians 7:31). The things on which we spend so much time literally perish with the using (Colossians 2:22). While we value what God has given us richly to enjoy, we recognise that this points us beyond. The...

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The Complete Remedy for Human Miseries

Posted by on 4:30 pm in Blog, Current Issues | 0 comments

The Complete Remedy for Human Miseries

It’s common to make light of “first world problems”. These are the trivial frustrations that vex only those in wealthy countries: lack of wifi, battery charge or milk in the fridge.  A little perspective shows that they are nothing compared to the real human misery experienced across most of the planet. Yet those in the first world also experience the real miseries of this life: affliction, sickness and deep sorrow. But still we know nothing of the disease, war, displacement, oppression and general suffering of many nations....

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Is Uncertainty a Virtue?

Posted by on 7:07 am in Bible & Theology, Blog | 0 comments

Is Uncertainty a Virtue?

Increasingly, there is a subtle tendency to sidestep difficult and inconvenient issues by saying we cannot be certain about them. Of course, being non-dogmatic is thought to be a virtue in our culture. Yet it’s one thing to acknowledge a defect in our own understanding, it’s another thing to claim that for everyone else. Open questions and matters indifferent seem to have increased at the expense of the practical authority of Scripture. Sometimes muddying the waters means people feel free to take up a definite alternative position. For...

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