Not all ‘Christians’ are Christian

The conviction of Richard Huckle last week (see here) brought an end to an unremittingly grim court case. As details emerged, there was a growing sense of horror at the scale of child abuse committed by this man. Now that the trial is over, questions remain for the authorities to answer both in this country and in Malaysia, where the victims cannot turn back the clock. It hardly needs to be said that one abused child, anywhere, is one too many. Weighty matters of protection, prevention, victim support, justice and the nature of evil all need to be addressed in … Continue reading Not all ‘Christians’ are Christian

‘I was there’

Who is best placed to tell us about Jesus Christ? The obvious answer is, an eyewitness. And that is what the apostle John claims to be. Almost certainly it was John who wrote the gospel named after him. Then towards the end of his life he wrote a letter to Christians who were anxious about what they believed. Other teachers were beginning to advance new ideas that claimed to be ‘the truth’. This led to doubts and divisions. John wrote to reassure them about the message they had heard and believed. In an age when there is a wide variety … Continue reading ‘I was there’

What is the essence of faith?

(Notes from Matthew 8:1-17.) Sounds like a question for a philosophy class, doesn’t it? But faith is a very practical issue. The Bible tells us faith makes a difference for ever – and here Jesus links faith with eternal happiness … or misery (see verses 10-12). But it also makes a difference for today. Jesus changed lives when he was here on earth. The leper, the paralysed servant and the sick woman all experienced this. Christians today claim that, through faith, Jesus is still changing lives in various different ways. So, is Jesus someone we can believe in? Matthew has already … Continue reading What is the essence of faith?

The End of the World is Nigh! (or is it?)

From time to time, news media report one Christian group or another predicting the end of the world. Yesterday (October 6) it was The Guardian, among others, in an article you can find here. And, as today is supposed to be the day, I only have a few hours to finish this post on the subject. Then again … I find these reports deeply frustrating. They are a cheap shot, really. The effective subtext is usually ‘aren’t Christians stupid?’ when what is being ridiculed is not authentic Christian belief. If I’m going to be laughed at as a Christian, I’d much … Continue reading The End of the World is Nigh! (or is it?)