Devotionals

  • The Great and the Good

    By Josh Moody

    When John Stott’s memorial service in America took place, I was fascinated to hear the influence of British evangelicalism. Person after person who spoke talked about how some of the luminaries known to readers of this paper* — John Stott, Dick Lucas, and others — have had an outsized influence on developing a thinking person’s approach to biblical Christianity. The work of The Simeon Trust generates similar conferences to that of The Proclamation Trust and frequently quotes Dick Lucas aphorisms. Sharpened appreciation I suspect I always knew that being bused from my school to hear preaching of this kind of quality as a teenager was a privilege, but the years (and the distance) have sharpened that sense of appreciation. There are, of course, many great preachers here, and (again) readers of this paper could list their names as well as I can, not forgetting Tim Keller who spoke at the memorial service. And yet…

    Continue Reading >

    Tebowing!

    By Josh Moody

    One of the strange delights of living in a country where you did not grow up is the joy of exploring a whole different sporting culture. For instance, take basketball. Well, when I went to school, basketball was played as distinctly second-rate also-ran game. For an Englishman I was not that bad. But I remember an American we had with us who was on our team and seemed to spend the whole time running up and down putting the thing in the appropriate basket. I could catch, pass, but throwing the ball through the rim was a whole different ‘ball game’. I find that games which I played growing up can engross me when I watch them, if I have a moment to spare, even on TV. But if I did not play it myself, it’s all I can do to stop myself from yawning. But watching games ‘live’ is…

    Continue Reading >

    Preaching Revelation

    By Josh Moody

    I recently taught a class at Wheaton College on the subject of preaching apocalyptic literature, and we looked at two particular types, Zechariah and Revelation. As I begin a sermon series Sunday on Revelation 2-3, I thought I would share with you what I discussed with the class. Yesterday I wrote in Part I about preaching apocalyptic literature, and today’s post, Part II, is about preaching specifically on Revelation. PART II: When considering whether to preach Revelation in a congregation, you have to bear in mind the passionate feelings that some have towards certain interpretations of the millennium as well as the overall scheme of the book. There are many aspects of the book of Revelation about which frontline scholars disagree too, “Does Revelation expect the nations to be won from satanic deception and converted to the worship of God, or does it expect them to persist under rebellion until they perish under God’s final…

    Continue Reading >

    Preaching Apocalyptic Literature

    By Josh Moody

    I recently taught a class at Wheaton College on the subject of preaching apocalyptic literature, and we looked at two particular types, Zechariah and Revelation. As I begin a sermon series Sunday on Revelation 2-3, I thought I would share with you what I discussed with the class. I will do this in two parts today and tomorrow, first by looking at preaching apocalyptic literature, then by looking specifically at Revelation. PART I: First, what is preaching? JI Packer said that the Bible is God preaching. If that is the case then the task of the preacher is to ‘re-preach it.’ This approach is sometimes called expository preaching, expositional preaching, or explicatory preaching. Expository preaching is understood in terms of content, not method (expository preaching does not = ‘going verse by verse’, or ‘three points and a poem’). The aim of the preacher is to let God speak through His Word and address us…

    Continue Reading >

    Occupied?

    By Josh Moody

    Watching St Paul’s, London, from a distance has been an interesting experience recently. I was then intrigued to discover that this Christian street preacher in Calgary was comparing his treatment with that of “Occupy Calgary.” Artur Pawlowski comments that, “I have stood over 70 times in the courts. We have been charged over 100 times. Eight arrests,” he says. “Just because I believe in Jesus Christ, I’m treated differently.” Apparently his treatment is in contrast to the more familiar and understanding attitude that the Occupy protesters receive. There may be many reasons for this beyond the scope of the theological, perhaps, and beyond the scope of this article. But it raises an important question for Mr. Pawlowski and for us: what sort of ‘counter-culture’ campaign is the church allowed to launch these days? What kind of marching would be permissible? When was the last time anyone threw any money lenders out of any temples? If the Guardian’s statistics are correct (‘grauniad’ anyone?),  the…

    Continue Reading >

    Heaven’s Compound Interest

    By Josh Moody

    As we come to the end of 2011, I write to tell you a story. It is a story of “Heaven’s Compound Interest.” During World War 2 many little girls and boys became homeless. My great-grandmother and great-grandfather helped one such little child. After the war had finished, a daughter of one refugee in London came to the attention of my great-grandparents. She worked hard and showed unusual intelligence. Unfortunately, her father didn’t have the means to send her to university. My great grandparents decided to do it for her. The text from the Bible that came to their mind was from Ecclesiastes — you may remember we studied it this year at College Church — “Cast your bread upon the waters.” They had no particular hope that their investment in this one little child would make much difference. But they felt it was the right thing to do, so they “cast…

    Continue Reading >

    Time to Play

    By Josh Moody

    With economic activity indicators all around us, and earnest disciplined parents driving their children to succeed, it is easier to feel that life is about working hard and forget the adage that ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.’ I came across this quotation from C.S. Lewis recently: “It is only in our ‘hours-off’, only in our moments of permitted festivity, that we find an analogy. Dance and game are frivolous, unimportant down here; for ‘down here’ is not their natural place. Here, they are a moment’s rest from the life we are placed here to live. But in this world everything is upside down. That which, if it could be prolonged here, would be a truancy, is likest that which in a better country is the End of ends. Joy is the serious business of heaven.”[1] How our earnest world needs to hear that! Perhaps, in addition, not only is ‘play’ the “serious…

    Continue Reading >

    An Evening with Atheists

    By Josh Moody

    As we continue in our sermon series “God’s Answer to Atheism” at College Church, guest blogger Drew Dyck, managing editor of Leadership Journal,  shares with us his experience attending an atheist gathering in his neighborhood: Christians love talking about atheists. Generally, however, we’re less excited about talking to them. Well, one night last winter I set out to change that, at least in my own life. I attended an atheist gathering in my neighborhood. But first I had to go online and join their “meet-up” group. I remember my hand freezing on my computer mouse, unable to click the “join us” invitation. For a moment the cursor hovered over the button. Did I really want to do this? I had already interviewed dozens of atheists for the book project I was working on, but most of my interviews had been conducted over the phone or via email. Somehow the prospect of sitting face to face with them was…

    Continue Reading >

    9/11 Anniversary Lessons

    By Josh Moody

    Evangelicals Now published this month a recent article I wrote on the 10-year anniversary of 9/11: To even attempt to broach such a demanding topic in a few hundred words is to rush in where angels fear to tread. So first a preliminary word: this will not be exhaustive. It will not be ‘exhausting’ either, for which you may breathe a sigh of relief, because of its appropriate brevity. But the temptation in such a piece as this, on such a topic as that, is to attempt to provide ‘bullet points’ on all the major aspects that should be addressed (for instance, suffering, providence, war, religion, martyrdom, death, bravery, rescue missions, firefighters, security, to name but a few, and not to mention the massive secondary ‘literature’ about the event ranging from the popular urban legends to the more diatribe like, probably academic too). Instead, I will simply attempt the topic of “hermeneutics.” Yes, I know,…

    Continue Reading >

    Justifying Justification

    By Josh Moody

    Christianity.com has published an article on justification that I wrote as a follow up to Jonathan Edwards and Justification. You can read the article here.

    Continue Reading >