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Do you know about Union Theology? It's a very exciting development offering theological resources and, soon, theological education too. Here's Mike Reeves explaining the rationale.

On their new website there are some wonderful resources, have a look around. I've also sneaked on with a paper about intimacy with God. Here are the headings and questions for consideration to give you a feel for the paper:

The God of Intimacy:

Do you see God as enjoyable; as worth knowing?

Does it help to know God as a Father pouring infinite Spiritual blessings onto his Son?


The Way of Intimacy

Is intimacy something you’re trying to achieve or receive?

How would your pursuit of intimacy change to know it’s a gift that is yours in Christ?


The Basis of Intimacy

Meditate on the various portraits of one-ness listed above – which speak to you most strongly?

Is it possible you’ve ever sought “intimacy” instead of Christ? What’s the difference?


The Purchase of Intimacy

Is Christ’s blood atonement at the heart of your idea of divine intimacy?

How is your approach to God changed, knowing that it comes through the death of Jesus?


The Shape of Intimacy

Have you known “fellowship in suffering”?

What might the God of intimacy be up to in the midst of your current sins, suffering and service?


The High Priest of our Intimacy

If you knew Christ was praying for you in the next room, how would it change your experience of intimacy?

What difference does it make to know that, in heaven, Jesus prays for you now?


The Experience of Intimacy

What place does church have in your relationship with God?

How can you enjoy God and serve others in your local church family?


The Promise of Intimacy

What place does Christ's return have in your pursuit of intimacy?

How can you cultivate more of that future hope?




EvangelismOn Twitter and Facebook I asked for your favourite books to give away to non-Christians. Below are the responses. I should add that this doesn't necessarily imply endorsement - I'm familiar with only about half of these titles. But I've enjoyed checking out some of them in the last few days, perhaps you will too...

Ultimate Questions (Blanchard); Grace for You (MacArthur); A New Beginning (Cairns); All of Grace (Spurgeon); Roger Carswell's little hardback evangelistic books.

If God then what? (Wilson); What we talk about when we talk about God (Bell). Confident Christianity (Sinkinson)

A maroon coloured Gideon's NT... "Red on the outside, but rarely read on the inside."

Jim Packer's Knowing God, C.S.Lewis' Mere Christianity.

Gospels. Usually Luke or John.

Lewis: Mere Christianity, Keller: The Prodigal God, Dickson: If I were God I'd end all the pain.

 Stott's Basic Christianity

 "Longing for Paradise" (tract) and "Lives Jesus Changed" (book) by Simon Vibert

Grill a Christian by Roger Carswell

 'The Case for Christ' by Lee Strobel

Keller's 'Reason for God' for sceptics and 'Prodigal God' for seekers. If they're keen to encounter Jesus 'King's Cross'.

The Be Thinking booklets. John Chapman books (e.g. A Fresh Start)

Mere Christianity (Lewis)

 'A Fresh Start' (J. Chapman) and 'More Than a Carpenter' McDowell

If I could ask God one Question by Paul Williams and Barry Cooper

The Christianity Explored and Alpha books

Amy Orr-Ewing - Why trust the bible? But is it real?  J John's "The Life"

Keller's Counterfeit Gods


I give out Gospels - usually John, but I take the opportunity of explaining chapter 1 to them first:

"The Word is Jesus, meaning He explains God to us and the rest of the Gospel shows how wonderful it is that Jesus is the revelation of God."

I encourage them to pray as they read:

"If this is God's word then reading it is a spiritual thing. So I recommend shooting up a prayer and saying, 'God if you're there, show me Jesus.' If God isn't there, He won't answer, but if He is, then there's nothing more important than meeting His Son."

Sometimes I give Chappo's Fresh Start - maybe cos of sentimental reasons. It made a big impact on me when I was 14.


Any more you'd recommend?

And please pray for me as I'm currently trying to write one myself...


PrayerMateI use Prayer Mate for my morning prayer time and it's helped massively (see Tim Challies' very positive review here).

Don Carson talks about the problem of mental "drift" in prayer. My problem is mental "quantum leaps". My thoughts do not merely wander, they embark on Odyssian journeys from which few, if any, return.

Prayer Mate has helped anchor my thoughts (along with the practice of praying out loud - I have no idea how people can pray for any length of time silently. Does that actually work for anyone?) Prayer Mate has also helped me arrange my prayer points, ensured I don't miss stuff and introduced me (through its feeds) to other worthy ministries to pray for. I highly recommend it - if you have an iPod/Pad/Phone.

Until now, there's been no Android version, but this Kickstarter project is aimed at fixing that. Head over and see if you can help out - it will certainly help you.





Porterbrook courses teach Christians to live in the light of the bible story

at the heart level

in the context of community

on mission to the world.

Sounds good to me!

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Here's the videowebsite and the Facebook page

The modules look great. Check it out!

bible-headphones-800-x-325Last week I was at UCCF's Forum. I loved catching up with students and staff and was especially blessed by Terry Virgo's talks on Romans.

Jo Larcombe and I did a track called "On Mission with the Good God" (it's basically 321 in 4.5 hours).

I hear great things about Angus Moyes and Hamish Sneddon's track: "On Mission with the Hearing God" (all about prayer). I look forward to listening to this very soon.

And, for old times sakes, here's Mike Reeves' and Angus Moyes' track from last year: "On Mission with the Saving God."




ImageGenPaul Blackham's Book by Book is Matthew Henry for the 21st century. It is genuinely that good.

Watch this sample programme to get a feel for the DVDs or these sample chapters to appreciate the study guide.

Time and again in sermon preparation I have waded my way through modern commentaries as though through tar (I was going to say treacle, but at least treacle is sweet). I pick up Paul's study guide and it cuts through to Jesus with clarity and with a stunning appreciation for the whole context of Scripture.

Don't be fooled by the physical size of the study guides. They're designed to fit into a DVD case or your pocket for the morning commute. The commentaries are regularly 40 000 words, some are 70 000! But as with Paul's preaching, they are devotional as well as doctrinal.

Right now there are special offers on:

Buy any 5 study guides for £15.99 or any 10 for £25.99 - that works out as £2.60 per study guide!

Buy any 5 DVD/study guide sets for £39.99 or 10 for £69.99 - that's like a whole year of Bible study material for £40!

Buy every study guide currently published (all 21 of them) for £44.99

Or, here's the daddy of all deals: get every Book by Book currently released (21 in all, on 29 DVDs) plus every study guide for £134.99 + P&P.

Do it!

Book by Book

liveinthestory2The guys at Together for Adoption have just launched a new initiative called Live in the Story. Already there are some great resources on the website and that will build over time.

They asked me to voice the introductory video, I think, because reedy nasal whining is very now. So in this video I attempt the word "Mommy" and MLK's "I have a dream" speech. Both were bold undertakings. I found "mommy" harder.



Union with Christ is "everywhere in Paul's letters but almost nowhere in our churches." Rory Shiner wants to fix that and "One Forever" is a terrific tool for the job.

In 77 - count em - 77 pages of crystal clear, garden fresh prose Shiner takes us from creation to new creation, demonstrating the centrality of union with Christ.

The material began life as a series of talks to students (see here **) and that origin shows in its relaxed tone and lively humour. He manages to quote from (among others)  Athanasius, Gregory of Nazianzus, Karl Barth and John Owen while maintaining a light touch and a simplicity of delivery.

The chapters are as follows:

1. Glory be to God for dappled things: creation
2. Into the far country: incarnation
3. In Christ you are a new creation: salvation
4. Before the throne of God above: justification
5. In which we face some playground bullies: union and sin
6. United to the body of Christ: church
7. Union with Christ, resurrection and the end of the world

Time and again Shiner returns to an illustration I'll be nicking forthwith - the airplane. See here:


At various points the plane illustration helps him explain salvation, assurance and justification in such helpful ways.

Think about salvation... when you're in - what happens to the plane, happens to you.
Think about assurance... if you're in the plane it doesn't matter how full of confidence or doubts you are, you're gonna get home.
Think about justification... we're not interested in some legal fiction of imputed 'air miles' -  if you're "in" you've actually arrived!

The book is rich and warm and my only criticism is it's over far too quickly. Please can we have more of such books that grapple with the core of our faith in fresh and engaging ways!

10ofthose are doing a special deal on One Forever until Sunday night (thanks Jonathan!). Get it NOW for the special price of £4.49: CLICK HERE.


** I know what every cricket fan will say... yes he does bear a striking resemblance to Ricky Ponting. But try to get over that, ok? Let's be grownups please.


Heard Jim Cymbala at Crossing London yesterday.

I was very attracted to his humility and simplicity. In the morning he spoke powerfully from 1 Thessalonians on Church, the hope of the world. And how to grow it? 1. Preach the gospel. 2. Depend on the Spirit. 3. Love your people.




Channing Nelson
Marcus (Channing) Nelson

Last week I heard Leon Sims' pure nard on Church: where heaven meets earth.


This Sunday I went to St Andrew's to hear the glory man Marcus (Channing) Nelson on Malachi 4.  An absolute corker on Christ's return - DOWNLOAD HERE.

Woody Nichols
Steve (Woody) Nichols



Later that day, Steve (Woody) Nichols preached on Galatians 4: A choice of religions. DOWNLOAD HERE.

Highly recommended.

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