Sermon Series of Note – Joseph & the Gospel of Many Colours

Going through the story of Joseph (of the Musical fame, not the musical Fame) in the book of beginnings – Genesis, a whole range of questions arise.

What is going on here? What kind of family does Joseph come from? Why does he bear no ill to those who caused him so much ill to bear? What was God up to in this most bizarre of stories?

I had heard of a series of sermons (which led to a book) that counters the many conclusions of what might be considered a traditional teaching of the Joseph story. Joseph the hero. The one who prospered at the hands of Egypt’s Pharaoh. God’s man – who found favour in enemy territory. What he did, perhaps we can do too (within reason). So I tracked it down.

Well it is a good series, very worthwhile and illuminating. warmly delivered by a big man. It has helped me understand the importance of trajectory identification when reading the books, lives, events of the Old Testament. As a former Roman Catholic, I was not schooled much in Old Testament characters – their lives, loves and losses. So while there is relatively little to unlearn, there are still so many things to learn about how to read the Old Testament.

So I commend this series to all and especially to the brethren and sistren (is that a word?) working through Joseph in Genesis at church at the mo.

The first sermon ‘How to read the story’ is particularly strong and similarly the second. Three and four are heavy on application and that is no bad thing. All can be found by clicking the correct question mark. See if you can guess which one!





Holy Week – Day 2 – Monday

More reblogging of day 2 of Easter week – Holy Week – from Justin Taylor.

Justin Taylor Between Two Worlds

Monday, March 30, AD 33.

The following video, filmed in conjunction with our book The Final Days of Jesus, features short explanations from and interviews with New Testament professors Nicholas Perrin (of Wheaton College) and Grant Osborne (of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School), focusing in particular on the cursing of the fig tree, the cleansing of the temple, and the role of the temple in the theology and practice of Jesus. We will be releasing a new video each day this week.


Humble Donkey & Easter Week

Just reblogging the fine work of Justin Taylor, my favourite theology resource blog. Bought his book, coauthored with scholar Andreas Köstenberger, last week. Good & useful – apologetically (in defense of faith).

All this next bit & video is their work – I comend it to you to guide you this week. If this is not your sort of thing then I commend it to you even more – as a exercise in spiritual adventuring.

Justin Taylor Between Two Worlds

Holy Week – Day 1: Psalm Sunday

The following video, filmed in conjunction with our book The Final Days of Jesus, features short explanations from and interviews with New Testament professors Doug Moo (of Wheaton College Graduate School) and Andreas Köstenberger (of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary). We will be releasing a new video each day this week.




Is humble donkey a one trick pony?

Well yes kinda!

One of my passions in life is to see people become safe in God, from God and for God.

Safe in God – finding oneself eternally secure and without the gaze of the righteous judge looking at us – that is not a good thing. Being in God is the only safe place to escape this.

Oh! It is God himself who is the righteous judge. We need a rescue from his judgement. Otherwise what hope have we?

God for his own glory – that’s for the enjoyment and demonstration of his free flowing mercy and grace – provides that safety.

Get your head around that. You may have questions. Ask them. Ask and keep asking. Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living. Nice one Socrates.

So this passion is for people to encounter and enter into this safety through the Gospel of Jesus – the story of the eternal Father’s offering of the eternal Son so that whoever would believe on him and his sacrifice would not perish but have eternal life [John 3:16].

Most people who have grown up around some kind of church – Protestant or Roman Catholic have just enough knowledge of this to be innoculated against the wild crazy wonderful truth of it all. Our backgrounds domesticated, tamed and froze what God has done, is doing and will do. It becomes like so much music – playing somewhere in the background of life. Muzak. Church and faith as an add-on. An accessory. A cultural appendage. I remember when growing up, a rite of passage was the ease achieved in disrespecting the Lord’s name – Jesus this & Jesus that. An expletive. A stop gap of expression while saying something ‘more important’ (as if) or to use as a ramp to provide an ascent in exclamation of an amazing or awful story – used liberally by speaker and hearer. Maturity. And yet we had somehow taken the given name of the one who flung stars into space and accommodated it to our own ugly flinging of words and thoughts into thin air.

Think about it. Let’s say we loved a great Prime Minister or President – or even that we knew he had provided greatly for us. And then we began to take his name and use it in a way that paid little or no respect to him and often used it as an exclamative, even for expletive value and intent.  That’s what we have done to Jesus, his precious name which literally means God saves.

God saves us from God and for God.

So that’s my passion in life – to point – direct toward the one who flung stars into space and whisper into the inclined ear “did you see his wrists – weird weren’t they – had holes in them and also see his side – wounded. He looks like one who was crucified and is now risen.”

Why? Where? Who cares? And so the exploration begins or not. God is not tame. At our mercy or disposal. Is not a cultural appendage. Will not always be as merciful as he is at present. This is the era of the exploration. Get to it. Wake up. More importantly – pray to be awoken.

The past is the present is the future

The past is the now – the future is the now. Is there an end to the cycle?

This CS Lewis audio is rich in thought, prophetic in application and that’s actually one of the zinger points of it. Truth is self fulfilling. It is the thing it is. It cannot not fulfil.

Change the words atomic bomb to weather, cancer, global warming, terrorism, over population, asteroids, solar storms – it’s still the same story.

Atheist, agnostic, scientist, believer (these categories are not all mutually excluding, though some obviously are) – there is something here for us all to chew on. Doodler guy – very nice skills.

The Gospel – within The Big Picture

Must see – must hear – must ingest – must meditate – must believe

This could save your life

Favourite moment is at 1.55 to 2.00. Its like that moment in a movie that you know a magnificent shift has happened. Rescue is coming, good will triumph – a great and beautiful end is glimpsed just beginning to come into sight.

The Gospel Project is a Christ-centered curriculum that examines the grand narrative of Scripture and how the gospel transforms the lives of those it touches.

Go to

Christian Philosopher & Professor Doug Groothuis owns a supermarket chain in Ireland! Read All About It!

On a recent visit to the beautiful land in Western Europe closest to the USA east coast, Ireland; I frequently came across an ad for a european supermarket which caused me continual double takes each time I saw it. The ad, among a series of ads, for ‘Love Ireland Like Aldi’ (and why wouldn’t you? – Love Ireland – that is) feature more than a passing resemblance to the jacket of a book I have been slowly making my way through.


on arrival in Dublin’s fair city ……..

It’s the well written and helpful big book by Christian Professor and Philosopher Douglas Groothuis (pronounced grote-hyce apparently). I bought the book mid way through 2013 and have got through almost half of it. It’s good. Very good. Let me just say I am no academic by any stretch of the imagination but as time goes by, I am beginning to know exactly what I don’t know. Previously I knew I knew next to nothing but increasingly I know what the nothing, I know nothing about, is. I could have written that more simply but I enjoyed the ‘word-mess’ too much. For those still reeling, here’s what I mean. In the past, I didn’t know enough of anything and didn’t even know what kind of things I didn’t know but with increasing knowledge I now have a better sense of all the areas that can be known but that I do not know. That’s much simpler I am sure you will agree (perhaps not). I’m in a bit of a silly mood today. Recovering from a bug – maybe still slightly feverish.

All the jumble about knowing and not knowing above is simply to say that when I say a book is good or very good I am usually saying it is helpful to me. Books that I read and consider helpfully good tend to do a number of things. They stretch me with new knowledge, give my current level of knowledge a work out, and confirm my knowledge as being fairly on track with another body of knowledge. Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith is all of these things for me at this stage. It’s enlightening me, improving the rigour of my current thoughts and generally encouraging me with the warm glow of shared orthodoxy. That’s a warm glow not a pompous glow. There is a difference. More on pomposity in another blog post.

It is a delight to see a christian take his not inconsiderable brain and apply it to the work of looking at the philosophical ‘legs’ which support the christian faith and in fact demand faith in it, and do it all so reasonably. Groothuis brings an overarching sense of reasonableness to the whole affair and that spoke to me.

Doug Groothius 1

It also highlights how important and adventurous it can be to engage with other perspectives who approach their task of (counter) apologetic (defense) or even polemic (attack) in a reasonable manner.

I will, I’m sure, revisit you with some further thoughts from the book but suffice it to say it is a ‘good read and keep’ reference book as part of your library. (You are building a little library I hope? Let’s talk again about this.) The book is available from Amazon UK, Amazon Us or the Book Depository – shipping free from the UK all around the world. I got it at the bargain price of 15 english pounds. Cheap for a hardback reference book by an academic weighing in at 752 pages. I love a bargain. Oh dear just feeling hungry.  Maybe I should head down to Doug’s supermarket and get some bread and treats in. Well done brother and thanks you for your labours. Doug blogs intermittently, relative to some others I frequent, over at The Constructive Curmudgeon. He is straight talking, you may not always agree with him, he is experienced and therefore has a perspective that is not soaked with naivety. He is political with a big P. He loves Jazz and is quite spiritual about it. But most of all he is a fellow labourer in the fields of the Lord. Hope his next book jacket gets hijacked by another supermarket. Look forward to seeing it while driving by – anywhere in the world.

I’m a bit lost without LOST


I’m a bit lost without LOST (drumbeat …. word ‘LOST’ moves slowly – swirling diagonally across the screen). Had the opportunity and joy of discovering a number of new friends from overseas had watched Lost (the greatest TV show ever – no arguments please). I was happy and intrigued. Some had wacthed all of it (further intrigue and excitement). Just one loved the whole thing (joy of joys! – for the love of it – not the just one-ness). Time was in short supply and only allowed a few grabbed quick fire chats about the epic that is the John Locke journey towards a kind of enlightenment (which John? I hear the initiated ask); the Kate and Jack epic love story; the Jack and Christian (his Dad) relationship with all its brokenness and healing; the Sawyer defeating his personal demons and finding love with the (hate her, hate her, hate her oh actually we now love her) Juliet story. And so much more. For sci-fi, drama, love story, big story, philosophy, religion, action, mystery, compelling back stories, time travel (past, future and sideways – yes sideways) – there has never been anything like it.

You’ve guessed it – I am a major fan and it was lovely to meet another major fan. My favourite character was and is John Locke. He was just amazing. His journey was truely awesome. His vulnerability and dogged faith were inspirational. His character was so well written. So well acted. And no one can smirk, wear stubble or throw a knife like our John.

Ok. I am going to stop now. I am getting quite carried away.

the pain, the despair, the searching, the intrigue, the hope

the pain, the despair, the searching, the intrigue, the hope