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Today is the second anniversary of my brother Andrew's death. It is also the 49th anniversary of my reading the whole Bible for the first time on 22/8/1971. I have read the Bible daily ever since and now I spend several hours a day on my Bible commentary, making its teaching accessible to ordinary people, …

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A summary of the New Testament in the Christian Bible

I recently summarised examples of Jesus’ extraordinary conversation in the Gospel of John. I hope it will be helpful to have a brief summary of the New Testament. Background – language and layout The New Testament was written after the Lord Jesus Christ appeared on Earth. In contrast, the Old Testament was written before He …

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Christian excuses

You know the phenomenon – someone promises you that they will do something and they don't. After a while you realise that it will not be done, possibly after several enquiries and further promises. First, there are the lame excuses, and then there is the justification, which does not stand up to examination. It would …

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Biblical repentance

Roman Catholic doctrine continues to be seen in the presbyterian practice of repentance. Whereas presbyterians may preach biblical repentance, some presbyterian procedures involve Roman Catholic penance in practice. Whereas preaching may not be legalistic, practice can be. It reminds us of the Saviour's warning to do as authorised officialdom says, but not to do as …

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Gather up the fragments that remain

Jesus said to His disciples: "Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost."John 6:12 Jesus said this after feeding 5,000 people on the Galilean hillside. He was teaching His disciples about more than being tidy. In this same chapter Jesus taught "I am the Bread of Life" Jn 6:35,48,51 and gave extensive teaching …

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Learning basic Exegesis

There are some basics in exegesis that Christians can learn and develop to improve their personal Bible study and their discussion at collective Bible studies. Drawing out of (ex-egesis) Smcripture will feed the soul. Which is the most significant word in the following sentence? "The red car went down the hill." You may say that …

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What constitutes a ‘good’ minister?

Not so long ago I discussed the subjective nature of a 'good' sermon. A good minister is not so subjective to assess as a sermon because the apostle Paul discusses it in his letters and he gives advice about a good minister 1Tim 4:6 and evangelist 2Tim 4:5 when writing to Timothy. Ministers and preachers …

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What constitutes a ‘good’ sermon?

The answer to this question is subjective, although it ought to be objective. The difficulty in making it objective is that everyone has a different idea of 'good'. The preacher will have a different assessment from his hearers, and the hearers will differ according to their readiness to receive instruction from the preacher. Even Jesus …

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Pastors and teachers

Scripture makes a difference between pastors and teachers. "He gave ... apostles ... prophets ... evangelists ... pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints."Eph 4:11 The apostle Paul distinguishes pastors and teachers.  Pastors are shepherds and preachers are teachers. Some preachers call themselves pastor, such as Pastor Jack Glass, but a preacher teaches …

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View from the Pew

In the 1980s I edited View from Farr and in the 1990s Auldcastle View. The past two decades have given me another perspective and so I am beginning a new series in my blog called View from the Pew. It is specifically aimed at preachers, preaching and congregations. The reason for this is that whereas …

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