Putting Sin in its Place in Proclaiming the Gospel


Yesterday’s post, Why We Need Less Preaching on Sin and More on Possibility, generated some comment about where preaching sin does come in. Here are some thoughts; There are three realities about human beings: 1) we are amazing creatures made in the image of God, capable of heroic acts of love, service, culture making, and community building; 2) we are fractured creatures,  capable of despicable...

Why We Need to Preach Less on Sin and More on Possibility


A number of years back a group of women from my church started attending the Colour conference run by Hillsong. Every year most of them come back with a bigger vision of who God created them to be and a determination to be those women. While those of us outside Hillsong often stand back and take potshots at its theological and ecclesiological weaknesses – and like every church there are many – we...

After Hellfire & Brimstone What? Regaining Confidence in the Gospel


I grew up with a gospel built on the pillars of love, sin, fear and certainty. I was overwhelmed by the knowledge that God loved me so much he sent Jesus to die for my sins; fearful of going to hell and anxious that my friends avoid that fate; assured that people were morally decrepit and deserving of hell and; absolutely certain about what I believed. This was a potent mix that left me with a...

The Heart of the Gospel


In 1971 the Sydney Anglicans produced a report that revolutionised my understanding of the gospel. Now out of print, Move in for Action, a report of the Commission on Evangelism, contained a chapter by Paul Barnett that examined the preaching of the gospel by Paul and Peter as recorded in the book of Acts. He showed that not once do Paul or Peter focus their “evangelistic” preaching...

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