Minister's Blog

An honourable man and his beautiful wife

In the last couple of weeks we've been working through the first section of 1 Peter 3, with its focus on the respective responsibilities and callings of men and women. The text focuses specifically on marriage, but is clearly relevant also to other relationships between men and women. Taken together, the two parts of the passage provide a very helpful refresher regarding many of the res...

Adorned for the Lord

1 Peter 3:1-7 causes confusion and perplexity for all sorts of reasons, many of which have to do with the shameless resistance of our culture to biblical teaching about marriage, male and female sexual identity, and a host of related topics. But even for Christians who are seeking to understand what the text actually teaches (as opposed to those who are actually seeking to explain it aw...

Help with your Hebrew, step 2

OK, so let's imagine that you've moved past the first-year level of Hebrew, so that 100 Hebrew Translation Exercises aren't going to be much help any longer You're at the weak verb stage, which means you're at the you've-got-to-be-kidding-...

Salvation by allegiance alone

There's an interesting introduction here to Matthew W. Bates' book Salvation by Allegiance Alone. It's a podcast interview between the author and Scot McKnight. Worth a listen....

Help with your Hebrew, step 1

It's the time of year when theological students have finished their exams and have a few months to forget everything they've learned since September. And the first thing to disappear from the mind of the average student is the large stack of Hebrew vocabulary and grammar that they've spent the last nine months stuffing into their aching brain. Actually, let's be honest, it never really ...

Calls to worship

I was reading through Robert I. Vasholz's excellent book Calls to Worship, which prompted me to look again at the liturgical responses we use at the start of our services at Emmanuel. With the help of Vasholz, we now have a set of ten call-and-response elements which feature as part (not all) of ...

What is the Call to Worship?

The “Call to Worship” is the first formal element of our service of worship at Emmanuel. But what does it mean? And what is it for? There's a great deal of very helpful reflection on this question in a little book by Robert I. Vasholz entitled Calls to Worship (Christian Focus, 2008). Among the highlights is the Foreword b...

The commissioning of the Chelashaw family

Yesterday we had the tremendous privilege of commissioning Kip' and Rachel Chelashaw and their children Elijah, Ezra, Susanna and Bethany, as they prepare to leave the UK at the end of August to plant a church in Nairobi, Kenya. Kip' is a native of Kenya, and Rachel was born to missionary parents, and therefore has considerable experience of ministry overseas. As a former member at Emma...

What's the hottest thing in the contemporary church?

This article from Tim Challies made me smile. Here are a few extracts: According to a new study by Gallup, the hottest thing at church today is not the worship and not the pastor. It’s not the smoke and lights and it’s not the hip and relevant youth programs. It’s not even the...