The Provocation of Hope

‘Hope is never mere, even when it is meagre. When all other senses sleep, the eye of hope is first to awaken, last to shut.’ (Gil-Galad, The Rings of Power, Season 1, Episode 5) I’ve been thinking recently about the theme of hope, prompted by a few verses from the Epistles (and that quote from…

Rooted in Blessings

What does ‘blessing’ mean in the Bible? What relevance do the blessings and promises given to Abraham, Moses, David and others have for us today? And how do God’s promises strengthen and encourage us in the good seasons and the difficult seasons? These are a few of the questions I got to answer in a…

“A word in season.” In favour of cherry-picking Bible verses

I was once coaching a preacher, and together we were critiquing another person’s sermon, in an effort to learn more about our craft. My friend commented that the sermon simply consisted of ‘cherry-picking Bible verses, and smashing them together’ to which I replied, ‘sounds like a great recipe for cherry jam!’ I was being flippant,…

Five Cs to unlock the Psalms

I’ve often found the Psalms hard work. They can feel quite abstract, repetitive, and given their cultural context kinda hard to relate to. I know that is not everyone’s experience. For many, they are a favourite part of Scripture; a fuel for worship, and an aid to express emotions in prayer. And of course, they…

BIOY: Milestones or Millstones?

Today I reached the halfway point of my Bible in one year plan. I started it in January 2018. At this rate, I should finish it in seven years. And then I’m due a sabbatical from the Bible, right? I have tried and failed to complete a BIOY plan many times. This is the first…

The Rabshakeh Strategy

I’ve been reading through 1 and 2 Kings recently, and last week I reached the story of the Rabshakeh in 2 Kings 18. It struck me that it is something of a parable for our age. The story is set when Hezekiah is king of Judah. He is a rarity – a good king in…

God’s Story, Our Story

On Saturday I got to speak (online) at Worcester School of Theology, kicking off the second year of their programme. It was great fun to be with them, although I still have a lot to learn about adapting my teaching for online! We talked about the Bible: What kind of document is it? How should…

The Epic of Eden: Ordering your Dysfunctional Old Testament Closet.

Everyone has a dysfunctional closet somewhere in their lives. A closet where Jabba the Hut could be living, and no one would know it. The closet is crammed full of clothes slipping from their hangers, accessories dangling from the shelves, shoes piled in disarray on the floor. It is impossible to tell where one item…

The Kingdom of God

How does Jesus’ life, death and resurrection continue the grand theme of Scripture? And how should we understand the central theme of his ministry: The Kingdom of God? The Kingdom of God School of Theology – Kingdom and Synoptics

The Synoptic Gospels

What are the Synoptic Gospels? And how do Matthew, Mark and Luke choose to portray the story of Jesus, in order to emphasise the significance of his life, death and resurrection? The Synoptic Gospels School of Theology – Kingdom and Synoptics