Last Sunday I preached a sermon in Cragg Baptist church in Horsforth about Roman soldiers living and dying for Christ. Here is that story.
Yesterday I delivered my Celebrity Culture and Human Trafficking conference to about 100 sixth formers in a school in Doncaster. I was delighted with how it went. I had a great conversation with a teacher who taught Classical Civilisation. I told her some rat stories, the Glenn Hoddle routine and we had a very enjoyable chat about the difference between Hindu teaching and the biblical hope in the resurrection of the body. She told me that she would really enjoy hearing my talk but she had to go and teach a class.
Summary of James Bond and the Great Commission: Creative Ways of Talking about Faith by Mark Roques, Thinking Faith Network, 2017
Why is it so easy to talk about James Bond but so hard to talk about God and Jesus? Is it possible to introduce the Christian faith to our friends and work colleagues in ways that aren’t cringeworthy and emotionally harrowing? Can we find a fresh, more imaginative and less embarrassing way of talking about the gospel? Can we rediscover boldness and confidence in our God-talk?
Anne and I had a wonderful time in Morocco over the Christmas break. The hotels were excellent and Casablanca didn't disappoint although Humphrey Bogart did not show up and mumble - "Play it again Sam."
Nico Rosberg, the current Formula 1 World Champion was educated in an international school in Monaco and it was here that he was indoctrinated into the insidious, dark and brooding materialism that pervades our culture. Life boils down to matter in motion.
'I was always thinking in school, "What the hell am I doing this physics for?",' Rosberg confessed to a journalist. 'But now I know the answer because I benefit from it every single day in my job. Everything relates to physics and maths: what is the car doing and how do we change it?'
I had a fantastic time talking to a young Muslim man about the gospel last week. It was very natural, relaxing and enjoyable for both of us!
I explained to him that Glenn Hoddle had managed the England football team back in the 90's and he was sacked for believing in karma!
The young Muslim man found this fascinating.
Have you heard about Ivan the Terrible? He was a delightful Russian king. Did you know that he secretly worshipped Cronus aka Saturn - the god who ate his own children? Ivan shows us clearly that you become like the god you follow. Ivan tortured and murdered thousands of his own people. His life was drenched in innocent blood. Can you imagine what would have happened if Ivan had followed Jesus instead of Cronus?
So you don't believe in God (Psalm 14:1)? Does that mean you are a materialist then? I used to believe that malarkey but it made me so miserable and grumpy. I thought about it and realised that if everything I do is programmed by hidden physical stuff then murdering my wife and kids is not my fault and even plotting to kill them is not my fault. Both my thoughts and my actions are beyond my control. What a nightmare for my family!
There are people on the island of Tanna in the South Pacific Ocean who worship Prince Philip, the gaffe-prone husband of Queen Elizabeth as a god. The duke once shocked a student during a visit to China by saying: "If you stay here much longer, you will go home with slitty eyes." Tragically many of the islanders living on Tanna used to worship Jesus but they have exchanged the Prince of Peace for Phil the Greek. Do you think that the Duke of Edinburgh can forgive your sins, grant you eternal life and save you from the perils of hell. It's worth thinking about.
We've all heard it! We need a bit of yin and a bit of yang. We need harmony between polar opposites. You have to have balance. Good needs evil and evil needs good. Hitler has his place just like Mother Teresa.