General Election 2017

On Thursday 8th June the country will be going to the polls to vote in the General Election 2017. The last General Election in 2017 ushered in a Conservative Government. What will 2017 produce? As Christians and as a church family we should, over the next few weeks, take time to prayerfully consider who to vote for, and actually go out and vote on the day!  Anyone aged 18 and over can be on the electoral roll (the list of registered voters).  Obviously parties big and small will be producing copies of their manifestos (a list of polices they would want to implement if they formed a government) in the run up to May. It can be difficult to know what policies we as Christians should be advocating and how these fit in with what the parties are putting on their election plate. Fortunately there are some very useful websites put together by various Christian organisations and agencies that will help. They highlight issues that should be of concern to us as God’s family, useful questions you could use to ask parliamentary candidates, and a summary of manifestos on offer from the parties. They won’t tell you who to vote for, that is your decision, but they will offer you help in how to think Christianly about the policies being proposed. If after reading this you are still thinking ‘I still don’t want to vote’, or ‘I can’t be bothered’ or ‘it won't change anything’ then can I gently challenge you that involvement in our society is not an optional extra but part of our God given mission. So do read up, do pray and do vote on 8th June to the glory of Jesus Christ.

Helpful websites:
A website produced by the Christian organisation CARE to promote active engagement in the General Election; it provides a range of resources to enable Christian thinking about important issues and voter participation.
The Christian Institute are an organisation aiming to be a Christian influence in a secular world. They will produce documents in the coming weeks specifically on the General Election.
A website to encourage Christian engagement in politics in the run up to June 2017 and beyond.

Run with endurance

For the next few Sunday mornings, we're reading a fresh book of the Bible, full of familiar imagery - a boat drifting away from its moorings, athletes running long distance, a stadium full of supporters, veterans who have themselves run the same race, and made it to the finishing line, and many more.

I will add further resources here, for anyone who wants to find out more about this great book, by watching or reading at home.

A great place to begin is by going over to the Bible Project and watching an introduction to the letter.

Honest Evangelism

Rico Tice writes, as he speaks, with endearing frankness. He is real about himself, and real about how it feels to want to talk to friends about Jesus, without really knowing how to do it, when we're always afraid of destroying precious friendships. and not usually keen to sound like a freak.

This is what it says on the cover - an honest book - spelling out the inevitable cost of speaking to friends about Jesus, as well as the cost to them if we remain silent. An honest account of mistakes made, and lessons learned.  Good for the heart. Truth for the head. Help for each one of us. You can obtain a copy from here.

Can we agree to disagree?

On some issues, clearly. So can we “agree to disagree” on sexuality and marriage?

In this piece, written a year ago, Trevin Wax asks a number of helpful questions in this area, for example: “Can believers simply “agree to disagree” on this contentious issue and allow various views to exist within what is commonly accepted as “orthodoxy”?”

This approach is increasingly pressed upon Christians by voices from within and outside the living church. But the teaching of the Bible and the evidence from the whole of Christian history is clear, and rules out that way of addressing the issue. Splits and divisions are always painful, but sometimes vital.

Trevn Wax writes well, thinks clearly and is well worth reading.

New songs for the car

A collection of fourteen tracks, mostly slower, some melancholy, all interesting, and worth hearing.

Try tracks five and ten for a start.

Christians in Science

This is a great place to look for answers to all kinds of questions about science and Christian faith. Christians in Science have collected a variety of pdfs, articles, audio resources, videos, as well as a collection of links to further information. They’ve worked hard. It’s an excellent collection. The materials are for Christians without a scientific background, explaining the relevant science and addressing any issues that it presents for a Christian.

Happy hunting!

Capturing God

A new book from Rico Tice, and perhaps his best book so far. Rico takes a single scene, a picture that captures the truth about God.

He writes for Christians of all ages and stages of life and faith, and in a style that is suitable for friends and family members, colleagues and neighbours, who are interested to know more. He writes simply and clearly, with refreshing honesty, often telling stories against himself, which are always winsome and worth hearing.  

Price: £2.69 from the Good Book Company