In the final year of his life, the atheist novelist Somerset Maugham (1874 – 1965) became terrified of dying and the possibility of judgment by a just and holy God loomed alarmingly. He had led a sordid, decadent and intensely selfish life and he craved secular comfort and consolation. In this state of fevered anguish he summoned the famous atheist philosopher Alfred Ayer to his deathbed in the south of France and pleaded: "Freddie I have led a debauched and depraved life.
Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert attended séances as early as 1846. In 1861, the year when Prince Albert died, a thirteen-year-old medium, Robert Lees delivered a message from Albert to the Queen in which he called her by a pet name known only to her and her dead husband. Victoria was delighted and she sent her trusted servants to investigate the young medium. After impressing the royal officials with impossible-to-know details of Albert’s personal life, Lees was invited to visit the queen at Buckingham Palace.
Jodie Chesney, a young woman, aged 17, was knifed in the back near a playground in Harold Hill, Romford, on March 1, 2019. Police chiefs have recently warned that the scale of knife crime in the UK has become a national emergency.
Can I tell you a parable?
Here are fifty questions that I have crafted to help Christians in mission and discipleship. Can you think of any others?
1) How does the Bible begin and how does it end?
2) Can you summarise the biblical story in one sentence?
3) What is the cultural or creation mandate?
4) Did God want humans to build cities, invent helicopters and play football?
5) How did Adam and Eve's rebellion plunge the creation into ruin and futility?
6) What were the six relationships twisted by sin and idolatry?
Tudor History is a gold mine for evangelism. Porcine, flatulent Henry the 8th is on the throne. You are a prisoner in one of his foul-smelling dungeons and the vicious torturer is placing heavier and heavier stones on your chest. You are suffocating and the pain is unbearable. Suddenly Jesus comes into the prison, disarms the torturer and throws him against the wall. He takes off the heavy stones. He washes your rank, rancid body and He heals all your wounds and then He leads you out of the malodorous prison. You emerge into the warm summer's day.
Yesterday I delivered a short RealityBites presentation to about 50 international students and lecturers at the Emmanuel Centre, Leeds University. I delivered a ten minute talk on the Prince Philip movement. Here is the story in brief -
England were playing football against Colombia in 1995 when something incredible happened. It was a friendly match, trundling along without much excitement in front of a threadbare Wembley crowd of about 20,000 spectators.
Picture it. Your name is Vladimir and you are working in a Soviet chemical factory in the 1930's. Suddenly the workers stop working and they start to sing a hymn. Not to God but to ‘electricity’. They sing as follows:
Electricity can do anything. It can dispel darkness
and gloom. One push of a button and clickety-click
out comes a new man.
Very pleased that the Scripture Union magazine Encounter with God has published my article 'Transformation of Work'. Here is the article.
God is a worker and He calls us to work in His wonderful but broken world. Some find it surprising that God works but Jesus makes this clear in the gospel of John. "My father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” (John 5:17). So both God the Father and God the Son are workers.