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March 2015

Re: Do Baptist churches need leaders?
A very helpful article and some good points. Thank you!

Re: Hunting the light
Chris, I sympathise with what you are saying, but get your scriptures right. The teaching in Matthew 5 was NOT addressed to "the crowds". It says "when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside [ie to get away from them] and sat down [the standard pose for a rabbi teaching disciples, not suitable for preaching to a crowd]. His DISCIPLES came to him and he began to teach THEM saying ..."
Bob Allaway

Re: What should preaching be for? 
I have recently come across (from Steve Holmes' website) the outline of Eugene Lowry's "homiletical plot" which he applies to narrative preaching. In this he conceives the sermon beginning by upsetting the status quo as it introduces a conflict, tension or problem thrown up by the passage. The next stage is to analyse this conflict, which may well be the discrepancy between what the Scripture appears to be saying and how life really is. And then, having set up this tension, the preacher must then suggest ways of resolving it. 
That's not the whole story by any means; it won't work for all Bible passages and I'm reluctant to squeeze preaching into any strait-jacket of "technique". But it is at least interesting.
Andrew Kleissner

I find it interesting that Colin Sedgwick used the analogy of "boiling" something down to a residue of three points. The preaching I long to hear is not boiled down but fired up. Paul says in 1 Corinthians "My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power." (2: 4 AV) This is preaching where the words grown wings and find a lodging place in people's hearts. May God raise up such preachers for our present time.  
Derek G Hills

Re: Churches welcome call for benefit sanctions review 
Yes it is the most vulnerable who suffer from sanctions often for something so very minor, people and children are suffering all over the UK because of this, and the stress it causes must be unbearable, the politicians need to step up and put this right, these people on benefits only want a roof over their heads and food in their children's stomachs not two kitchens like Cameron and yachts and luxury homes like most politicians. How these so called rulers of our nation sleep at night is beyond me.
Annette Stocker

Well, yes. But.....
When we give those who govern us a hard time on these matters, we need to remember that it is NOT their money they are spending, but the taxpayer's. And as things currently stand, it is not even just the CURRENT taxpayer's money that is being spent, but that of our children and grandchildren (because that is exactly what borrowing mega-billions of pounds means). So before we get all grandstanding self-righteous, we need to question whether we have actually ASKED our children and grandchildren whether they mind us using their future money in this way? Unless we can do this, then lavishing borrowed money around is no better than outright theft.
How is it morally righteous to be taking and using someone else's money to salve our own consciences? It really doesn't matter how good the cause might be, if you're taking someone else's money to make it happen then it is still theft.
I'm sure Annette, you mean well by your input - just as I'm sure the churches' joint issues team mean well in their pronouncements. But the idea that we can simply steal from our children in order that we can live well today sticks in my craw.
Personally, I think that before the churches' make any further high-handed 'moralistic' demands on how generous government should be with other people's money, they themselves should come up with specific suggestions as to exactly where that money should come from. Otherwise, it is all just empty posturing. Surely we can all see the rank hypocrisy of that.
Keith Jowett

Re: Home Mission Appeal: transforming lives
It is a great encouragement and testimony to all that despite the difficult financial times for many, our churches continue to give so generously to the work of home mission. May the Lord continue to bless us, and may our churches continue to bless the communities they are a part of.

This is a really great result and should be reflected in more grants to our struggling churches to continue to bring mission opportunities to our people. GBY.
Ray r nba

Re: New life at Mount Carmel Baptist Church 
What a great blessing! Father is faithful to those who rune the race in His strength alone!!!
Howard & Linda Jones are a blessing to many lives!
Steve Price

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State matters
Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022)
Fresh Streams leadership statement following summer theology school
Response to Pension Scheme news; Following the Zeitgeist; A Theology of Unity in Diversity
Annual review; walking club; Rwanda
The Queen; does Jesus heal today?; Child Q
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