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Light of the World

25 Feb

Golau sydd yn y byd

Andy’s View of John Lewis

8 Dec

It’s starting to become something of a Christmas tradition, the John Lewis advert and inevitable tears that follow…for some. In fact, as we get ready for our welsh language Christmas service on the evening of the 11th, the preacher has asked me to download the advert for him to kick things off. 

However a college friend of mine, Andy Cole, has doen some serious thinking about the message(s) behind big JL’s latest offering: Continue reading

An Outstanding Sermon (From the Mouth of JT)

9 Nov

Last Sunday Jonathan Thomas preached from James 1, with the title “Transformation, not just Information.”

I was away preaching at Glam CU HouseParty so had to catch it online. Boy am I glad I did. It’s not often that a sermon is equal portions challenge and encouragement…although they seem to be coming thick and fast at AEC at the moment.

The premise is that we are blind to our true spiritual state and that the only answer is to read and learn from God’s Word. Throughly worth 48:03 of your time:

PhraseBook #10 Transformation, not just Information James 1 Jonathan Thomas

Undertakers, Caretakers or Risk Takers?

21 Oct
Eifion Watkins at Ammanford Evangelical ChurchLast Sunday it was our joy in Ammanford Evangelical Church to welcome another local pastor into our pulpit. Eifion Watkins is a man who planted a church in his retirement. And they say church planting is a young mans game!
We were encouraged and challenged by his message (which you can get from the church website). Here’s my notes from his sermon:
Fundamentally there are 3 types of churches:
The Undertaker church. This church lives entirely in the past. You’ll often hear these churches speak of the ‘glory days’.What a shame. It’s wrong to spend too much time dwelling on what’s gone before or what’s worked before. Rather we should wake up and realise that we live in the today. Our message must remain the same as in those glory days, but it needs to be relevant to the days we
live in. I.e. it’s the same thing but in a new way. This is also true for individual Christians. We can’t live in our spiritual past, instead there is always new stuff to learn about God…for eternity. Ultimately it’s impossible to serve God yesterday. Rather we serve God in the present and plan to serve Him in the future. Continue reading
Aside

Membership as testimony

4 Aug
“Membership in a local church is intended as a testimony to our membership in the universal church.” – Dever, 9Marks [the book] p152.

Keller on Art (via LOTR)

5 May Smeagol - Part Beagle....part Captain Hook's first mate, Sme

LOTR is a great demonstration of the difference between Christian art and propaganda. Many believe “art that does not evangelize, praise, or exhort has no place in the kingdom of God or, at best, has an inferior status to confessional works.”

Read the rest of the article to see that Keller (along with Tolkein) disagrees. HERE.

Smeagol - Part Beagle....part Captain Hook's first mate, Sme

Smeagol - Part Beagle....part Captain Hook's first mate, Sme

Only Reaching the City – Is that sensible? Is that fair?

3 May London cityscape at night

London cityscape at nightYou hear a lot about the ‘theology of the city’ nowadays. How we need to ‘win the city to win the nation’ and ‘transform the city, transform the culture.’

As a country bumpkin this has always troubled me, especially when I stopped and thought about the implications for Wales as a whole, a country with barely 1 city (in the sense that theology of the city people use the word). Does this mean we should all pack up and move to London? Even worse, Paris?

Well, apparently I’m reading too much into the encouragements to love the city and transform the city. Keller has posted (some time ago) a short blog on why he isn’t advocating exclusively for the city, but rather more for the city:

Are You Saying That All Christians Should Make Cities a Priority?

Some people hear me speak about the importance of city ministry and think I’m saying that all Christians (at least all those missions-minded) should move into cities. But I’m not saying that. I’m saying that many more mission agencies and many more Christians ought to minister in cities than are currently doing so. Why? Because of the sheer masses of people who live there and because of how influential cities are on their respective societies and cultures.

It is, then, a matter of emphasis — as in, the church doesn’t emphasize city ministry enough. Even mathematically, it is obvious that cities are woefully underserved by the church. For example, Georgia and South Carolina, combined, have an estimated population of 15 million, while the New York City metro area has a population of 18-19 million. Ask nearly any evangelical denomination — do you have as many churches in the NYC area as you do in Georgia and South Carolina all together? Then ask for the numbers. Then ask why two states with a smaller population would have (in most cases) many times more churches than New York. Is that fair?

When I studied the book of Proverbs, I came to see that a proverb is not the same as a command or a promise. Proverbs say things like, “In general, if you work hard, you won’t find yourself lacking the basics, but there are plenty of exceptions. So work hard, but don’t be shocked if something goes wrong.” That’s not an iron-clad promise (that everyone who works hard will be well off) nor a command. It is a statement about a wise course of action. When I say that we need to put more emphasis on city ministry, I’m speaking ‘proverbially.’ The Bible and history shows us how important cities are as centers for ministry, yet the amount of effort the church puts into cities is not proportionate to the need or opportunity.

So my point is — that far more churches, far more Christians, and far more missions should be dedicated to reaching the great cities of the world. That is not the same as saying ‘anyone who is really sold out for Jesus’ mission will go to cities.’

Tim Keller – March 2010 via Redeemer City to City blog

Actually I vented my previous frustrations about this city theology when I interviewed Steve Timmis back in 2010. Here’s the clip of that particular question: