What Christians can learn from the Romans

This last Monday I was in Pompeii, the Roman town whose occupants were famously wiped out by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD. There are countless interesting things in this well-preserved ancient town, but something that struck me on reflection was the recognition of the gods in pretty much everything. The main forum (town centre…

Worship is not an Emotional High

There are some Bible verses that are ambiguous however you read them, and others that say something when taken on their own that they clearly don’t mean when taken in context. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 is not one of those verses: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for…

Discovering Liturgy

We get the word ‘liturgy’ from the Greek word leitourgia. “It meant an action by which a group of people become something corporately which they had not been as a mere collection of individuals – a whole greater than the sum of its parts. It meant also a function or ‘ministry’ of a man or…

Worship is more than singing

I have a problem. The vast majority of Christian services and events that I go to have at least half an hour of worshipping God through song. But, for years – maybe always – I have struggled with being distracted in these times. It’s not every time the music plays in church, but it’s a…

Christian Music, Authenticity & Worship

This post isn’t intended to be a real drilling down into one area so much as it’s something aimed more broadly at a number of interconnected issues. I was listening to the Bad Christian podcast the other day, which is basically a show where three American guys (one’s a pastor, the other two are involved…

Religion or Relationship?

This post is something that I’ve been thinking about for a little while, but haven’t really had in my mind enough to feel the need to write down until today. The trigger was this excellent article highlighting the positive side of traditionally ‘religious’ practices. Fr. Stewart, who wrote the article, acknowledged the need for a…

Explode Your Expectations

Before I get into this post, I just want to quickly apologise for my lack of activity lately. With university and student stuff at church getting back into full swing for my final year, it’s been a manic fortnight! It has, however, been a fortnight where I’ve seen God move in surprising and powerful ways….

Choosing to Worship

I would be lying if I said that every time I go to church or a Christian event I actually want to be there and engage. Don’t get me wrong, I love both my churches here in Nottingham and back home, but I just don’t always feel up to it. I’ll be distracted, sometimes for…

Some More Christian Music

As many of you may know if you’ve seen other posts I’ve written or if you know me personally, I made a decision a few years ago to only listen to Christian music. I’ve posted blogs before on my reasons for this (Why I Only Listen to Christian Music) and relating to the subject, including…

Can a Help Become a Hindrance?

As part of my Christian faith, I believe that it’s not what you do that enables you to be saved, it’s what you believe. The catch is that what you do will reflect what you believe. As the New Testament writer James says, ‘faith by itself, if not accompanied by action, is dead’ (James 2:17)….

The Most Important Thing…

Most Christians (and probably non-Christians) are familiar with the Biblical teaching not to worship other gods. This instruction appears in the Ten Commandments and is a constant stumbling block for the Israelites throughout the Old Testament. In the New Testament, Jesus urges his followers to give themselves completely to God. The flipside of this is…