Minister's Blog

Bring the children to the table

Bring the children to the table

At Emmanuel we welcome baptised children of any age from Christian families to eat the bread and drink the wine of the Lord's Supper, provided that their parents are happy for them to do so. Though this practice - sometimes known as paedocommunion - was nearly universal for the first eleven centuries of the church (I kid you not), and though it is still practiced among (almost?) all Eastern Orthodox churches as well as an increasing number of Anglican, Presbyterian, and other Reformed and evangelical churches, it is still not (yet) widespread among British and American Protestant churches.

So in Sunday's sermon and Forum (our interactive discussion after coffee following the service) I'm going to be talking about why we do what we do at Emmanuel, why it matters, what we can learn from the issues involved, and so on. The recordings will be available here early next week, Lord willing.

Science and Christianity

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of speaking at the Sussex Gospel Partnership on the subject of Science and Christianity. Many thanks to those there for the warm welcome. To listen in, click here....

The Pharisee, the Tax Collector, and the Self-righteous Evangelical

Once upon a time, in a church far, far away, a preacher preached on Luke 18:9-14, the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. He denounced the foolish pride of the Pharisee, who, like some people in the crowd (v. 9) "trusted in themselves, that they were righteous, and looked down on everyone else." He spoke movingly of the simple, humble faith of the Tax Collector, who, ...

A chiasm in 2 Kings 2

Peter Leithart (1-2 Kings, pp. 175-176) sketches a rough outline of the chiastic structure of 2 Kings 2. Here's a more detailed version (in green, orange and purple), with a few of the significant correspondences in bold. Notice also the embedded panel structu...

The broad tent of Reformed theology

I keep hearing people talking about "the Reformed view" on such-and-such a thing, normally to lend a (not-so-)subtle ad hominem weight to their own position. It's starting to get a little irritating. It should be perfectly obvious to anyone who's actually read anything from before 1800 that our Reformed forefathers differed considerably on a wide range of issue...

Glorious intricacy in Luke 18

The parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Luke 18:9-14) displays a remarkable combined chiastic / panel construction which highlights several intriguing features of the text. To mention just a few: (1) Notice the glaring difference between the two prayers. They sit in corresponding part of the structure, but they just don't match. This is fairly obvious on a cursory rea...
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