Category: The Briefing

  • Speech and salvation 4: Saved by the mouth

    From The Briefing: This is the fourth post in a series about gospel speech. Read parts 1, 2, and 3. “I’m not really a ‘speaking’ Christian.” Maybe you think that you’re not the kind of person to speak the gospel to others because you’re not really the kind of Christian who talks about the gospel. […]

  • Creatures of habit

    From The Briefing: “I really should be more disciplined…” How often do you experience that gaping chasm between ‘should be’ and ‘is’ in your regular daily habits? Most of us can think of good habits we’d really like to develop, but somehow have never got around to it. If you’re a Christian, some of those […]

  • Speech and salvation 3: God puts the words right in your mouth

    From The Briefing: This is the third post in a series about gospel speech. Read parts 1 and 2. “I’m not gifted enough!” Maybe you think that you’re not qualified to speak the gospel to people because you’re not gifted enough. But if you’re a Christian, you already have the greatest gift in the world. It’s a […]

  • Speech and salvation 2: Shut your mouth

    From The Briefing: This is the second post in a series about gospel speech. Read part 1 here. “I’m not good enough!” Maybe you think that you’re not qualified to speak the gospel to people because you’re not godly enough. If you feel this way, then you’re absolutely right and you’re absolutely wrong at the same […]

  • Speech and salvation 1: Are all Christians commanded to evangelise?

    From The Briefing: Does God command every individual Christian to evangelise? Or is evangelism just a job for specially gifted individuals? If you’ve been a Christian for a while, it’s likely that these questions have popped into your head from time to time. You might remember an initial burst of enthusiasm for Jesus at some time in […]

  • “Jesus did not die on cross, says scholar”?

    From The Briefing: This headline, or something like it, appeared around the globe on news sites last year (e.g. The Telegraph, CNN’s religion blog, and others). The story was also picked up (and embellished) by various blogs. Before you check out the links, let me ask you: What’s your gut reaction when you read a headline like that? Are you […]

  • The faithfulness that matters

    From The Briefing: “In ministry, what matters is faithfulness, rather than results.” If you’re involved in any kind of gospel ministry, you’ve probably heard this kind of sentiment expressed by others; perhaps you’ve even uttered it yourself. I actually agree with the statement wholeheartedly. However, I think it’s very important to clarify exactly what we […]

  • Pet food, pornography, and the law

    From The Briefing: One lazy afternoon in 1999, travel writer Bill Bryson discovered a shop that sold pet supplies and pornography.1 It was at the far end of the main street of an unassuming Australian country town called Young. The front of the shop contained rather mundane supplies of flea powder, fish flakes, and other […]

  • Jedi masters and the body of Christ

    From The Briefing: I’m about to use Yoda as a model for Christian love. If you haven’t seen the Star Wars movies, you’ll probably be mystified by what I’m about to say. This is not the article you’re looking for. Our home group recently spent a few weeks discussing Christian love. We were focusing on […]

  • In praise of holiness

    From The Briefing: I’ve just read an article that I agree with, but can’t relate to. The article, by Carl Trueman, is about the problems with hagiographies (a hagiography is a ‘saint-biography’: an account of somebody’s life that treats them as a hero of holiness and leaves out the naughty bits).1 He argues that hagiographies […]

  • A new site for the Briefing (and for my posts on Christian life and ministry)

    What’s changed: From now on my regular posts on Christian life and ministry will appear on the new Briefing site. The Sola Panel is now dead. What hasn’t changed: I’ll continue to use this site (Forget the Channel) to post about more technical biblical and theological topics. Check out the shiny new Briefing site; it’s […]

  • Pet food, pornography, and the law

    From The Briefing: One lazy afternoon in 1999, travel writer Bill Bryson discovered a shop that sold pet supplies and pornography.1 It was at the far end of the main street of an unassuming Australian country town called Young. The front of the shop contained rather mundane supplies of flea powder, fish flakes, and other […]

  • Jedi masters and the body of Christ

    From The Briefing: I’m about to use Yoda as a model for Christian love. If you haven’t seen the Star Wars movies, you’ll probably be mystified by what I’m about to say. This is not the article you’re looking for. Our home group recently spent a few weeks discussing Christian love. We were focusing on […]

  • In praise of holiness

    From The Briefing: I’ve just read an article that I agree with, but can’t relate to. The article, by Carl Trueman, is about the problems with hagiographies (a hagiography is a ‘saint-biography’: an account of somebody’s life that treats them as a hero of holiness and leaves out the naughty bits).1 He argues that hagiographies […]

  • I’m sayin’ something

    On the Sola Panel I’m with Tony. When it comes to telling you what to do in response to the issue of climate change, I’m sayin’ nuttin’. But I’m also with Carl Henry as quoted by Tony. So here’s some biblical truths that I am willing to say. Maybe they’ll help you to think more […]

  • Keeping the Solas Together

    From the Sola Panel One of the aims of the Sola Panel is to go back to basics, to remind ourselves of the importance of the ‘solas’ (i.e. scripture alone, faith alone, Christ alone, grace alone, glory to God alone). This post will look at one way in which these solas all fit together. I’m […]

  • On being boring

    From the Sola Panel: According to a computer analysis, one particular Sunday in the 1950s (the 11 April 1954, to be exact) was the most boring day in the twentieth century. The most interesting things that happened on that day were a Belgian election (yawn) and the birth of a Turkish physicist specializing in atomic […]

  • Word and Action

    On the Sola Panel: How do you react when you notice that you or your church has a dull, dry, inactive faith, even though you are committed to God’s word? Elvis, in his song, A Little Less Conversation, gives us a model for one way that we could try to solve the problem: A little […]

  • Suffering and decision-making

    On the Sola Panel: Is it better to choose a more difficult ministry, or an easy one? Is it more godly to choose suffering over comfort when we make decisions about life and ministry? After all, suffering makes us more like Jesus, and surely that’s good for us, isn’t it? From time to time, we […]

  • Loving what God Loves

    From the Sola Panel: The UK government has launched a review into occupational Health & Safety laws (OH&S). It seems to be a very popular move. Health is good. Safety is good. But the multiplication of rules purportedly designed to enforce it often leads to madness. Most of us are aware of safety rules that […]

  • The Greatest Expectations

    On the Sola Panel: Once I got to church on time, but God arrived 20 minutes late. On the other hand, occasionally I’ve been to church and God didn’t manage to turn up at all. At least, that’s the impression you’d form if you judged by expectations. The times I remember when nobody expected God […]

  • A prayer request from an Aussie living in the Mother Country

    From the Sola Panel I was listening the other day to a satirical comedy show on British Radio. The presenter was making a point about human relationships. The bulk of his satirical piece consisted of a reading from Genesis 2:18-25, in full, from the King James Version of the Bible (“And the Lord God said, […]

  • Improve your Biblical Word Power – the series

    I’ve put up a single page linking to all the articles in my “Improve your Biblical Word Power” series, originally published on the Sola Panel. Here are the posts in the series: Improve your biblical word power 1: Righteousness Improve your biblical word power 2: Forensic righteousness Improve your biblical word power 3: Justification Improve […]

  • God, the universe and all that: Part 5

    From the Sola Panel This is the fifth instalment of a five-part series (Read parts 1, 2, 3 and 4) We’ve been looking at Psalm 8 and Hebrews 2, and have discovered that Jesus provides the solution to the puzzle of Psalm 8. Where do we see Jesus? We see him in the Gospels, those […]

  • God, the universe and all that: Part 4

    From the Sola Panel This is the fourth instalment of a five-part series (Read parts 1, 2 and 3.) We’ve been looking at Psalm 8, and we’ve seen the puzzle it presents us with. On the one hand, we are nothing compared to the majestic God who created the universe. On the other hand, God […]