making and maturing disciples of Jesus Christ in Birmingham and for the world

This is a short article attempting to address current issues from a Christian perspective, or to shed light on specific Bible passages or Christian truths. It is usually written by Chris Hobbs, the Senior Minister (Vicar), and appears in the weekly notice sheet.

Photo by Richard Shephard

What a mess we’re in

Dear Friends, I was dismayed when I read the latest GAFCON Quarterly.  It spoke of the chaos surrounding the 2020 Lambeth Conference for bishops in the Anglican Communion.  It turns out that the ‘spouses’ of three bishops who are in same-sex unions will not be invited because this is felt not to be “appropriate”.  However, […]

What the resurrection proves

Dear Friends, “Alleluia, Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed, Alleluia!”  This Easter churches around the world will resound with that magnificent declaration, as they have for many centuries.  It is a glorious truth, the very centre of our faith.  But what does it prove that Christ is risen from the dead? It proves many […]

It’s a disgrace

Dear Friends, I was reading the Bible with someone this week when we came to these words: “Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore” (Hebrews 13:13) – where “him” is Jesus and “outside the camp” refers to him being crucified outside the city. It’s a call to be […]

Remain or Leave?

Dear Friends, You may have thought this was yet another article about Brexit; you’re probably relieved to hear that it isn’t.  It is indeed about whether to leave or to remain, but it concerns the Church of England rather than the European Union.  That’s the question that many conservative evangelicals are asking as they see […]

Choose Jesus

Dear Friends, A week ago I heard two talks on youth culture (yes, really!), and one thought in particular has stayed with me.  The speaker was talking about the importance of encouraging young people to ‘Choose Jesus.’  Following Jesus, now more than ever, is a deliberate choice.  No-one is simply going to drift into following […]

Love your Muslim neighbour

Dear Friends, Mosques in Birmingham are on heightened alert after five were attacked in the early hours of Thursday morning.  The five mosques are in the Aston area and at least one attack involved using a sledgehammer to break windows.  We can imagine how we would feel if we found our church buildings attacked.  Adil […]

Esther

Dear Friends, Esther was a teenager when Boko Haram militants attacked her village in Nigeria’s Borno state.  She spent three years in captivity.  Offered the choice between marriage and slavery, she chose to be a slave.  She was still married off to a man who already had three wives.  Intimidation and sexual abuse followed.  She […]

A man ablaze

Dear Friends, You may have heard the news that Michael Green died peacefully on Wednesday 6th February following a brief illness.  Many of us will remember Michael with great fondness and enormous gratitude as a persuasive evangelist, distinguished theologian and engaging author.  Even at St Stephen’s we have reason to thank God for him: he […]

Providence

Dear Friends, Do you believe that God has every detail of your life in his hands?  The places, the events and the times?  That’s what the Bible says!  In our evening services, we have been seeing God’s providence in the story of Joseph, in which his brothers clearly intended to harm him yet wonderfully “God intended it for […]

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