Showing posts from August, 2013

Dangerous Calling

The magnificent, 'Dangerous Calling', by Paul David Tripp has made a timely intrusion to my summer reading plan. It is an uncomfortable mirror of a book, which frequently needs to be out down and considered with hones appraisal. For this reason it is a book to be read over a week or so rather than in a sitting.
At a time of personal transition, about to begin a new work in a new town, this paragraph on unhealthy expectations pulls no punches.
'It should be obvious that unhelpful assumptions made as the Pastor is coming to lead the church would be fruit in a whole set of unrealistic expectations. The biggest is that many churches simply don't expect their Pastor to struggle with sin. But he is not sin free! Since he is still being sanctified, sin still remains and is being progressively eradicated. They don't expect him to get discouraged in the middle of the war for the gospel. They don't expect him to be tempted towards bitterness or envy. They expect him to be…

What Muslims Believe

Today is Eid Mubarak, the end of the month of Ramadan. It is always a time when Muslim friends and neighbours are very open in discussing their faith.However, most Christians don't really know what Muslims believe. Obviously, within Islam there are huge differences much as you will find within the range of beliefs across the Christian church. Having said this, the basic tenants below will be generally accepted by mainstream Mulsims the world over.
They believe in the one true God (Allah), and his total rule over humanity, a day of judgement to come, and life after death. There is no sense of assurance about receiving mercy from Allah on the final day, and so a life lived in merit, in accordance with the five pillars Islam is necessary. Muslims believe that Jesus was a prophet, although God's ultimate revelation of himself was to Mohammad, through the Angel Gabriel, recorded word for word in Arabic in the Quran.
Here are the five pillars of Islam that Muslims must uphold:
1/ The …

'We must be prepared for the fact that we may be arrested' - A tribute to Samuel Lamb

When Mao Zedong came to power in China in 1949 he quickly expelled the foreign missionaries and began a long programme of persecution against Chinese believers with the purpose of wiping out Christianity in the atheistic Mao cult state.  After his death in 1976, it became apparent that the very opposite had happened, and a vibrant underground, authentically Chinese New Testament church was flourishing.
One of the best known hero Christian leaders, Pastor Samuel Lamb, who pioneered through this era died lat Saturday  in Guangzhou, aged 88.
Lamb was arrested during one of the first big waves of persecution in Mao’s 'Great Leap Forward', imprisoned from 1955 to 1957. At the time, the estimated number of believers in China was in the low millions.
The only way to stay out of prison for church planters at was to compromise and bring their churches under the control of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement, the state-regulated Protestant Church. Refusing to take this step, and as the leade…