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Friday, August 21, 2015

General Booth - I Salute You!

Come with me on a journey. A journey outside the box.

This year is a year of significant anniversaries. For The Salvation Army the most significant was celebrated last month in London at the Boundless Congress; our 150th anniversary. There is another one coming, though, that I think is worthy of note. October 4 this year will be 125 years since the death of Catherine Booth.
When choosing your career: think outside the box

Friday, March 27, 2015

Thriving not just Surviving

Today is a day I’ve been looking forward to for a number of months. On this day, fifteen years ago, I was lying in a bed in the emergency ward of a Balinese hospital in a desperate state when a doctor whispered in my ear “We think you might have diabetes” (read the full story here) A lot has happened since then. Somewhere in the vicinity of 13,000 needles, 25,000 finger pricks, and 1,000 infusion set changes for my insulin pump. But my life is much more than numbers, needles and insulin. Type 1 Diabetes is a diagnosis but it does not define who I am.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sermon: Who wants to be Left Behind?

This was a sermon I preached on Sunday 9 November, 2014 at Gosford Salvation Army. We follow the Revised Common Lectionary. One of the passages for that day was 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, a passage which is frequently suggested to make reference to the so-called "Rapture". This is a very pervasive, and I think incorrect, theology that many people take for granted and so I decided to challenge it.
I've had more conversations about this sermon than any other I've preached before.  I apologise for the very low volume in the videos. I've included the full text underneath so you can read it if listening becomes too difficult. I'd welcome your comments on this one.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Sacraments and the Handbook of Doctrine

I recently sent this to the President and Vice-President of the International Doctrine Council. I have received a response (which I won't publish because it's not my place to). Rather, I publish my letter here to continue the discussion with others who may be interested.


The issue of the sacraments and sacramentality in The Salvation Army is one that has interested me for a number of years. When given the opportunity to choose a topic for my honours dissertation in 2007 it was a relatively easy choice to make. At the time I wanted to consider the often asked question “Why don’t we practise that?” alongside its rarely asked correlate “But why do we practise this?”  The conclusion of my research was that we are indeed a sacramental people, something that was affirmed well in Salvation Story,[1] but our expression of this sacramentality was new in terms of church history. I used the term “neosacramentality” to describe this.[2] Whilst I would suggest we employ new sacraments of our own creation, the question of the validity of such a decision remains unanswered.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Questions 3 - Who Do You Say I Am?"

1      Introduction

One day Jesus and his disciples were entering Caesarea Philippi. Jesus asks his disciples a question; “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”  They answer “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” The variety and uncertainty (“some say”) may suggest that it is the disciples themselves who are still unsure of how to answer, not so much what the people are saying. The first question sets the scene, though, for the next, more personal and very direct question. In fact, this is arguably the most important question of all time.

“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

Simon Peter jumps in with confidence;

“You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

As we read this passage we too are confronted with this same question, and it is the topic for our discussion today. “Who do you say I am?”