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

Waiting for Him

Dear Friends, It would make an interesting and rewarding study to go through the New Testament, noting all the different ways in which Christian believers are described. In fact, here are two already: “Christian” and “believer”. And there are more than single word descriptions. Here is one I found while preparing for last Sunday: Christians […]

A royal wedding

Dear Friends, Could anyone have missed the announcement this week that Prince William is engaged to Kate Middleton, and there will be a royal wedding next year? One newspaper had sixteen pages of coverage! Who would not want to wish them well, especially when he is likely to be king one day, and when we […]

Do you have the Spirit?

Dear Friends, Having the Spirit of God in our lives is not an optional extra for some Christians, a deluxe version of Christianity for those who want it. Being a Christian is more than believing the right things and living a good life; it means being changed by God himself, having his Spirit. That becomes […]

On the level

Dear Friends, Grace is a great leveller. God’s grace means that we all come to him on exactly the same terms, on our knees, as sinners asking for mercy. There are no short-cuts, no VIP lounges, no fast tracks, no inside circles, no special passes, no exemptions, no byes. Naaman the Syrian had to learn […]

One hundred million sins

Dear Friends, Tate Modern has an intriguing exhibition at present. Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has displayed more than one hundred million ‘sunflower seeds’ made of porcelain. They are an impressive sight, covering 1,000 square metres of the Turbine Hall. Handmade, no two seeds are exactly the same. I heard about this exhibit at the same […]

Something to swallow

Dear Friends, The good news story of the week, perhaps even of the decade, has been the amazing rescue of 33 miners trapped underground for 69 days in Chile. Is is true that, once the miners were discovered alive, their rescue was fairly secure. But, before that, there were 17 days when they didn’t know […]

Praise the Lord

Dear Friends, As a staff, we pray together twice a week, on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and we have taken to reading one or more psalms before we pray. On Thursday it was Psalms 149 and 150. They both begin and end by telling us to ‘Praise the Lord’. In fact, the last five psalms […]

The pope’s visit

Dear Friends, I’ve found myself surprised by the amount of coverage the pope’s visit is getting. It is a really big event! I probably shouldn’t be surprised, given that is is the first state visit by a pope to Britain. Given the coverage, it is almost bound to be a topic of conversation among people […]

Radical dependence

Dear Friends, One of the most thought-provoking chapters in John Stott’s The Radical Disciple, which I wrote about last week, is titled ‘Dependence’. He points out that humanity’s desire and search for independence is disastrous: The truth is that we are sinners who are dependent on God for his mercy and for his continuing grace. […]

The radical disciple

Dear Friends, Any book from John Stott’s pen is worth reading, and his latest work (and probably his final one, given that he is now in his eighties) certainly does not disappoint. In The Radical Disciple, he focuses on “eight characteristics of Christian discipleship which are often neglected yet deserve to be taken seriously”. As […]

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