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) Scripture 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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The biblical view about denominations

"I am the Vine.  You are the branches," said the Lord Jesus Christ.  John 15:5.So why are people trying to join different branches of Christ's church into one branch?  Whoever thought that a vine or a tree should have only one branch? Yet this has been the unwieldy vision of the ecumenical movement, which floundered …

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What should we expect from preachers?

Most people watch television, so public speakers including preachers should thereby learn some presentational skills. This being so, preachers who cannot read the Scripture clearly and intelligibly are without excuse.  It is sometimes evident from the wrong emphasis they use in their reading of Scripture that they do not understand what they are reading. What …

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