Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Thursday, October 04, 2012
Monday, September 17, 2012
A Needed Cross
(sin, its nature & effects, hell)
An Ironic Cross
(theologia crucis – what the Cross reveals about how God works)
A Penal Cross
(the controversy & logic around Penal Substitution)
A Victorious Cross
(Christus Victor - the defeat of the devil & the death of death)
A Living Cross
(Christus Exemplar, Discipleship, Resurrection & new life)
A Sufficient Cross
(grace, works and ‘other gospels’)
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Friday, September 14, 2012
This morning (14th Sept 2012) NC was interviewing a spokesman from the Muslim Brotherhood over the violent reaction of many in the Arab World to a video that mocks the Prophet Mohammed. In doing so NC asked some very penetrating questions - all the more penetrating, I would suggest, because the premise of many of them was based on an essentially Christian world-view rather than on a liberal-secular one (e.g. doing good & loving others being at the heart of expressing true faith, and the issue of leaving judgement to God).
However, there was one assertion by NC that, as a Christian, I would want to challenge. It arose in response to the interviewee stating that The West was inconsistent in objecting to the Muslim reaction when some its governments imprison people for denying the Holocaust. In other words Western Governments are hypocritical in denying free speech when they feel offended while telling Muslims just to put up being offended elsewhere (a point many Christians will have some sympathy with).
In response NC stated that the difference was that 'religion was a matter of conjecture' while the Holocaust was a matter of 'historical fact'. That is, while the former is just subjective opinion the latter is objective truth.
It is a premise that underpins liberal-secular thinking (albeit there is the self-refuting irony of even talking about 'objective' right and wrong in a godless universe where any moral standard could never be more than just human opinion). But it's a premise that won't stand in the face of Christianity.
Why? Because Christianity is founded upon historical events. The New Testament is at pains to stress it's eyewitness sources and reliability (Luke 1:1-4). The life, claims and actions of Jesus are attested by historical documents written by those alive at the time. The authenticity of the New Testament accounts of Jesus stand up equally to that of any historical records of the period. Christians do not base their beliefs about Jesus on 'conjecture' but on historical evidence.
Now, the reason many reject that evidence is not because the records aren't historical but simply because they refuse to believe their contents. Holocaust-deniers refuse to accept documentary or eyewitness evidence about the Holocaust, not because the documents or witnesses don't exist, but because they simply refuse to believe what they say. Many refuse to believe that men went to the moon - not because evidence is lacking, but they just don't think it could have been possible and therefore the evidence, in their minds, can't be reliable.
The reason Christians don't (shouldn't) react with violence or hostility to their faith being ridiculed (as it is incessantly on the BBC and elsewhere), is not that their beliefs and sensibilities are inferior or less credible than those of liberal-secularists or other religions - but because Jesus taught His followers to 'turn the other cheek', do good to those that harm you, and leave judgement to God.
The problem with liberal-secularism is that it wants Christian behaviour while denying the basis on which it rests.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
There is something in the human psyche that responds to these occasions - moments of significance when the hairs on the back our necks stand up and we feel part of something great & significant.
Thus my own thoughts, while watching the Last Night of the Proms, turned to the great ceremony that will honour the King of Kings & celebrate God's Kingdom and achievements in all their fullness. The day Christians are given a preview of in Revelation ch.5 - and what a day! The day when God's people are finally gathered together as one. Not just the vast sea of bodies that filled the Mall, Hyde Park & the Olympic stadium - but a multitude beyond numbering: thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand (v11). Just imagine the scene as every Christian throughout the centuries is gathered together - who knows maybe in an incoming procession...
The Christians of ancient Rome, some who lived all their life in catacombs to escape the persecution above;
The medieval Christians who kept the faith alive in days of dark superstition when the Gospel seemed to be a barely flickering light;
The Reformers who rediscovered the power of the Gospel and proclaimed it in the face of fierce opposition;
The 19th Century Missionaries who left famiiy, homes, language, comforts and never came back;
The 20th Century Christians we never heard of who perished in gulags and concentration camps;
The Nigerian, Syrian, Iraqi, Egyptian, Indonesian & Indian Christians of the early 21st Century who were hounded, burnt out of their homes and churches because of their faith;
...in and in they come, men & women from every people group, language & nation. And all around that vast meeting place shakes as their voices joined by those of angels thunder God's praise. This is the Day of Salvation and Vindication - the end of sin and the beginning of endless peace & joy.
And the climax comes not in hosting a flag or lighting a flame but when all eyes look to the throne at the centre - and there they see a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain (v6). Jesus - the one in whom, and through whom and for whom all things were created (Col 1:15-20). The reason that they are there. A moment of joy that will last forever.
Eat your heart out Danny Boyle!
Monday, July 23, 2012
with Sandy & Gwen Purdie
£20 per couple
includes refreshments, lunch & book.
Open to all - church going or not.
A great day of expert lead seminars with time for discussion & reflection.
Contact the Church office to book (0141 636 1581)
check: GREENVIEW EC WEBSITE FOR FURTHER INFO
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Monday, June 18, 2012
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Friday, June 15, 2012
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Friday, June 08, 2012
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Thursday, May 17, 2012
- £2.25million of debt is being paid back or written off every month through CAP;
- Every 23mins - a new client (family, single parent, student...) is registering with CAP.
- 54 new CAP centres were opened in the UK in the past year - there are now 190 in total.
- The vision is to see 500 opened covering the whole country.
We heard of the amazing transformation in people's lives as they have come to faith in Christ through contact with CAP.
We even heard from Prince Charles (ok, it was a DVD) praising the wonderful work CAP is doing throughout the UK.
What a privilege to have a CAP Centre operating from Greenview and to be part of this amazing work of God.
If We Believe All the Same Things, Why Do Our Churches Seem So Different?
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Monday, April 02, 2012
GREENVIEW EC - NOTES FOR CHAIRMEN
Please take a few minutes to read this.
These points may seem very obvious – but experience has shown that they are not obvious to everyone. We all like to think our way of chairing is fine but the reality is we all have our ‘blind spots’ – so these points are designed not to straight-jacket but to help keep us all aware of areas we can sometimes slip-up in.
It is expected that chairmen will take the time to find out who the speaker is and what their subject will be – for outside speakers such info can usually be obtained from XXX. It is helpful to reflect on the planned subject/passage when choosing hymns (esp. closing ones).
The musicians are happy to give guidance & help regarding choice of songs.
The chairman should make it a priority to meet with the preacher for a few minutes before the service commences to pray and have a final check on the programme.
Once a service begins and others start participating it can be difficult to keep control over the timekeeping. However, Chairmen do have control of the start time and every effort should be made to adhere to this – don’t let late-comers put pressure on you to delay the start, put the pressure on them to be in on time!
As the service progresses have the awareness & confidence to adjust the programme to avoid excessive overrun – e.g. missing out a song/verses.
The service should ideally be handed over to the speaker no later than: Morning 12.00pm & Evening 7.15pm.
The trick with chairing is to make the service feel unhurried – i.e. to keep it moving without feeling rushed. This is 99% achieved by thoughtful preparation of the programme.
If the service (speaker!) overruns – avoid communicating to the congregation any sense of aggravation or disapproval you may feel. Unless exceptionally late it is usually worth taking the extra 2/3 minutes to finish with a song (perhaps with some verses omitted).
Chairmen should anounce the relevant book numbers when introducing hymns for the benefit of those who find the screen hard to read.
The Chairman’s job is to welcome the congregation and lead them through the service in a helpful and God-honouring way. While avoiding the temptation to ‘build-up your part’ - it is helpful to think about how you will introduce each item in a way that is informative for visitors and keeps a focus on the worship of God. At the end of the service it is helpful to to allow for & encourage a few moments silence for reflection.
Like preachers, chairmen should avoid using jargon and in-house references when speaking & praying. Don’t assume everyone knows the Greenview set-up, so avoid unexplained references to CIA, Moshi, The Hub etc – much more helpful to say ‘Moshi in
Again avoid referring to people (e.g. your wife) as if it will be obvious to everyone who you are talking about. In most cases one extra sentence is all that is required to clarify such things.
Jokes and comments about sectarian religion, party politics and football teams are generally not welcome.
Be aware that while an event may be of little interest to yourself is it important to others – so announce it clearly and with enthusiasm – reading the notices through beforehand will help ensure you spot any points needing clarification. Also don’t embellish notices with your own comments or assumptions: e.g. ‘I’m sure lunch will be provided’ – you’ll probably get it wrong!
Chairmen should be given good notice of extra items such as DVD clips, sketches, interviews etc – if these are ‘sprung on you’ at the last minute you are entitled to say ‘no’ if it would have a negative impact on the planned programme.
Having spoken to all participants in the course of a week, please email a timed Order of Service to everyone (including the AV Team) by the Friday evening.