The Truth About Why Jesus’ Death Matters

The nature of Jesus’ redemptive work is, of course, crucial to understanding its application. It has sometimes been described as the ‘at-one’-ment by which people are joined in relationship to God. The mechanism of this reconciliation, though, makes the Atonement more multi-faceted than the simplistic picture we gain from isolated theories put forward to explain it. Easter only makes sense when Jesus’ death does, and here’s why it matters more than just gaining a four-day weekend. Continue reading

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Millennials’ Attitudes Toward Faith-Sharing Revealed

U.S. sitcoms, Seinfeld and Friends, began to popularise the communal determination of morals in the 90s. Few could have imagined how the next generation of Christians would then relativise their own beliefs. The Barna research group now report some staggering findings that make one wonder what it is that shapes faith or even the reading of the Bible today. Continue reading

Why the Dating of Revelation Really Matters

The date of origin of the Bible’s last book has a significant bearing on its interpretation. If it partly prophesies the fall of Jerusalem, known to have occurred in A.D. 70, then it must have been written prior to that date. Support exists for A.D. 95-96, though, given a late second century Irenaeus comment about a 90s emperor: “For it was seen no very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian’s reign” (Against Heresies V.30.3).  But is this valid? Plenty of evidence points to the book being written in the mid-60s during the reign of Nero, making it potentially less futuristic than some would have us believe. Continue reading

Your Best Christmas Gift

The original Christmas story begins with the promise from an angel that Mary would become the earthly mother of Jesus. This is significant because Jesus was and is God’s gift to us, one needing to be unwrapped, and therefore appreciated, by every person. He is not just God’s gift to the world but to every individual. Here’s three reasons why He becomes everyone’s best Christmas gift. Continue reading

The Truth About Lasting Peace

Earlier this week, the world commemorated the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. The League of Nations’ short-lived attempt at enforcing global peace after 1918 was an example of the repeated failure of human attempts to bring lasting international harmony. The urgent quest for a truce during times of war will quickly give way to new priorities and expectations. This reveals a sad fact about our own internal drivers and how they typically conspire against attempts to find lasting peace. Continue reading

The Missing Gift?

The 1997 movie, The Apostle, was another of the many films that paint Christian ministry in a negative light. Today, the apostle is an important, but missing, gift in churches needing reinvigoration. Apostles are often misrepresented, though, as supposedly-superior leaders worthy of recruiting devotees beyond their local church. Self-designation becomes especially problematic when people gravitate to the charisma of leaders deemed to speak for God who have built little and assumed much. Given that the term is itself biblical, it is important to understand its significance to then understand its benefits. Continue reading

Three Marks of Churches that Grow

Goalposts mark out a footballer’s scoring territory. They help to define success. Coaches may speak of the ‘one percenters’ of contributing effort or praise a player’s execution of strategy, but it is the score on the board that measures the team’s all-important outcomes. How do we improve ‘the score’ in an era of church decline where the message is not tried and found wanting, but is often not tried at all? Continue reading