Friday, February 22, 2008

Peace talk

I've been thrown in at the deep end and am giving my first ever talk on Sunday morning... at All Souls. Thankfully I'm only speaking for 5 minutes rather than 30 but it's a daunting challenge preparing to speak God's word. The passage I've been given is Romans 5:1-11, which begins "since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Great passage. Hopefully I can do it some sort of justice:

• Everyone’s looking for peace, humans are designed for it and struggle without it
• Peace with family, friends, between nations
True peace
• Our greatest need is peace with God
• Because we’re sinful, we’re under his wrath (Ephesians 2:3)
• We can only be at peace if God turns away his wrath from us – v9
Peace with God through Jesus’ death
• Jesus’ death demonstrated God’s great love for us, v8
• Jesus’ death achieved reconciliation for us, v10
• “Therefore since we have been justified… peace with God”, v1
Peace of God through Jesus’ life
• Inner peace and a certain hope for our future, we’re his children
• God loves you and has forgiven you, no matter what you’ve done
• He will upset your plans and your life to change you for good
Rejoicing always
• v3, we rejoice in our sufferings etc.
• We should always be joyful (Philippians 4:4)
• Joyful doesn’t always mean happy
• If God is blessing you, then rejoice
• Perseverance produces Christ-like character, so rejoice in sufferings
Future hope
• v10, how much more shall we be saved!
• More than peace with God because of Jesus’ death, we have peace about our future because of Jesus’ resurrection
• God raised Jesus in glory and power and he’s waiting for us as his people
• God loves us very dearly
• We have peace with God and the peace of God
• We have a certain future

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

On being evangelised

The global Christian missionary movement has begun to turn on its head in the last 20 years. Whereas Britain was the first modern missionary nation (thanks to the 18th century revival, the vision of William Carey et al., and of course our cultural hegemony), we now send many fewer missionaries abroad than some other countries.

This is, I must remember, a Good Thing. The more international mission-sending becomes, the more mission reflects the church, especially her final reality - when we will be gathered from every tribe, language and nation.

The shift also means that the West's missions have been successful, to an extent. Nigeria has the world's largest Christian student community, from a much smaller university population. There are 50 times more Christians in China than in the UK. Of the five countries with the most Christians, none are in Europe - I believe they are China, the USA, Brazil, Nigeria and Korea.

Today, despite the fact that our nation is leading the charge towards post-Christian society where the mass religion is atheism, my national/cultural/religious pride is challenged when, for example, a group of Canadian students spend $thousands and fly across the ocean to help student evangelism here. What's wrong with the CUs' mission weeks? Can we possibly have anything to learn from foreigners!?

The answer is clearly YES. Thanks for your dedication to mission. Thanks for coming over here. Please keep praying for our nation and your own.

Monday, February 18, 2008


I bought a new world map for my room on Saturday. 48 hours later, Kosovo has finally declared independence, after 9 years of UN administration. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for them and all... but I wonder how long I can hold out before replacing my map!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Internet addiction

UCL computer rooms

Not having an internet connection at home yet makes for one less distraction while I'm there. "Great", I thought. "I'll spend less time online!" I'm coming into university most days to use the internet for an hour or two, which is hardly skimping. Using a public computer also means I can't watch videos, play games... or look at 'unhelpful' websites.

Clearly the internet is a useful medium: it's where I get most of my news, and it's great for keeping in contact with people - especially those I can't easily see or speak to. There are also great resources for Christians on the web that should be promoted, like the new Theology Network (great wallpaper!).

Other sites exist to alleviate boredom. The vacuosity of Facebook really becomes obvious when you log on for the first time in 3 days and see that nothing remotely important has happened.

The truth is that I spend an unhealthy amount of time online, flicking from one site or forum to the next, always with an eye on my inbox: I've turned it from a tool into an idol. Even this blog (not that I spend vast amounts of time writing for it!) has probably outlived its usefulness by about 18 months. I won't be deleting it but perhaps I need to spend more time with real people and be deliberate about spending time online for a defined purpose.

Time to go home and read a book. Or, more likely, play on the Wii!

Friday, February 01, 2008


It's been a pretty busy week what with moving across London and making our "furnished flat" into somewhere to live... highlights include:
  • spending £400 at IKEA with the inevitable flurry of flat-pack construction that follows
  • hassling our new landlord to replace beds that are just a pile of springs inside a cover
  • persuading BT that we do indeed have a phone line (which we're calling them on) and no, we don't want to pay £125 to "activate" it.
Nevertheless, there's light at the end of the tunnel! The TV/Wii combo is set up, and once we get Sky installed it'll be le bachelor pad par excellence.

I changed the name of the blog (again) in honour of its new location.