What makes a church effective?

What makes a church credible in the community? Good events? Or good works?

I kid you not:  Riverview Church staff went offsite today to discuss what the church is and what we are becoming. And that sign (above) was at the entrance of the room we used!

So, what do you think? Does the church best represent God with good events, or good works? Continue reading “What makes a church effective?”

Picturing new heavens/earth

How to you picture the new heavens and new earth? Here’s how Aussie artists responded to the challenge.

What do you imagine when you hear of God restoring his creation, as a new heavens and a new earth?

Mandorla Art Awards challenged Australian artists to realize that image. Here are some of the results, displayed at Turner Galleries (Perth) in June 2018. Continue reading “Picturing new heavens/earth”

Posting pause

Don’t expect many posts on this blog over the next few months. I’ll be seeking the kingdom for the rest of my life, but right now there’s a college to launch.

So, keep using the posts here as an online commentary. You’ll find them in the Scripture Index. There’s heaps on Genesis 1–37 and Matthew 1–14, and others like Psalm 23 and John 3:16 from a kingdom perspective. Continue reading “Posting pause”

Riverview College Info Night

Want to discover what Riverview College offers? Join us Tuesday evening, 29 May 2018.

Want the low-down on the new Riverview College? Join us for the Information Night at Riverview Burswood, 7 pm Tuesday 29 May 2018.

We’ll explain how you can gain a Diploma of Ministry (10574NAT), along with internship experience and leadership workshops.

We’ll explain the content, entry requirements, time commitment, fees, internship opportunities, dates and times. And we’ll take your questions.

Continue reading “Riverview College Info Night”

The Moses connection

Is Jesus “a new Moses”? Would that be a helpful way to describe him?

Should we describe Jesus as “a new Moses” in the Biblical story? In the Old Testament, Moses liberated God’s people and established them as his nation. In the New, Jesus liberated humanity and established us as God’s kingdom.

The similarities are clear, so hundreds of books draw the comparison. Yet the New Testament writers seem reticent to describe Jesus this way. Why?

A kingdom perspective provides the answer. Continue reading “The Moses connection”

A tale of two kings (Matthew 14:1-21)

How do we present Jesus as king, when he’s so different to the rulers appointed by this world?

Open Matthew 14:1-21.

Jesus’ regal authority can frighten people. We’ve all experienced power being abused. So how do we announce a king who cares for his people?

We’ll need to explain the contrast. Matthew shows us how by juxtaposing the stories of two kings. Continue reading “A tale of two kings (Matthew 14:1-21)”

Feeding the multitude (Matthew 14:13-21)

What are we to learn from unusual miracles like the feeding of the 5000?

Open Matthew 14:13-21.

Feeding the 5000, or walking on water. They’re favourites that capture our imagination, but why did Jesus do these things? If they were signs, what were they pointing to? Was he showing off? Was he telling the crowds he was God? What was Jesus doing? Continue reading “Feeding the multitude (Matthew 14:13-21)”

What power do the rulers of this world have over God’s people? (Matthew 14:1-12)

Are we safe from harm? Or can God’s people be hurt by the evil in the world?

Open Matthew 14:1-12.

As you read the Bible, do you notice how the stories fit together? Why would Matthew stop talking about Jesus and tell a story about Herod instead? What’s his point?

Continue reading “What power do the rulers of this world have over God’s people? (Matthew 14:1-12)”

How does justice come?

How can justice ever come to our communities? Did Jesus have anything ideas?

Imagine you’re in a class on Training and Assessment. Everyone makes a presentation, and you choose your topic. What’s your passion?

Students chose everything from surfing to swords. I wanted something related to the kingdom of God that could be relevant, appropriate for a non-religious setting, and doable in 15 minutes.

You can read what I said below, and I’d be interested in your feedback. The group responded well, and the experience helped me think through this issue further.

Clearly this isn’t the whole story. But is this an approach that could help us present the good news in a way Aussies see as relevant and important?

Here’s the script: Continue reading “How does justice come?”

Our Israel tour, 12 months ago

Recalling our tour of Israel and Jordan in May 2017.

It’s 12 months today since our group took off from Perth for Israel and Jordan.

You visualize the Bible narratives in fresh ways after you’ve been there.

Lambert recently shared his 40-minute video of the trip in the Israel 2017 Facebook group. Siew Ho shared his longer version on DVD.

If you’d like to relive it, here’s our summary of each day: Continue reading “Our Israel tour, 12 months ago”

How does Jesus become king? (Matthew 13:53-58)

How does Jesus receive the kingship if people don’t give it to him?

Open Matthew 13:53-58.

Jesus taught like an artist. His word pictures lift us above the human conflicts to a plateau where we can see what the earth was meant to be — a place of peace, responsive to heaven’s government.

This is future, yet it’s already here in the present. Jesus has re-sowed God’s world, and some seeds are heading toward harvest. Sure, there are weeds in God’s field, but there’s wheat as well. The mustard seed is growing. The leaven is permeating the dough. People trade other dreams for God’s reign. The net is in the water, and God will sort the good from the bad.

God’s reign is here. Only the good that God intended will last.

Jesus’ kingdom vision was inspiring, but was it credible? Compared to Herod or Caesar, what kind of king was Jesus of Nazareth?

Continue reading “How does Jesus become king? (Matthew 13:53-58)”