Christianity and history

I had a discussion with a friend recently, and our discussion veered towards how many Nigerian schools were not teaching history. We reflected on the little instruction in history we both received as young pupils compared to the apparently worse state the subject is in today. Our brief conversation later got me thinking about how crucial…

Christ in Greek society

The coming of Christ turned the world upside down. As the fourth-century Christian bishop and writer Athanasius (296 – 373AD) points out, the impact of Christ upon early Greek society showed clearly that this was no ordinary person. “When did people begin to abandon the worship of idols, unless it were since the very Word…

The Lord’s Song

“By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. On the willows there we hung up our lyres. For there our captors required of us songs, and our tormentors, mirth, saying, ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion!’ How shall we sing the LORD’S song in a foreign…

The King who rode on a Donkey

“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Luke 19:38) I wrote in an earlier post about how Jesus turned the world upside-down, especially in relation to power. And there are few incidents in his earthly ministry which portray this like his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Here was the King of the…

The Secret Christian

  I find it interesting that the two men (Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus) who are on record as being so helpful with the burial of Jesus were ‘secret’ disciples (John 19:38-42). They followed Jesus and believed he was the messiah, albeit secretly because they feared the Jews. They didn’t want to be accused of…

We need another Reformation

Several centuries ago, on this date, an unknown monk, professor and preacher posted a document on the door of the castle church in the town of Wittenberg in modern day Germany. It was a simple call for discussion and debate of some important topics and issues. Unknown to him, the material would be taken by…

A Play in Six Acts: The Message of the Bible

This outline is adapted from a paper presented by Michael W. Goheen, Theological Director at the Missional Training Centre in Phoenix, Arizona (USA). It is a very brief overview of the biblical story presented as a play in six acts. So when next you pick the Bible to read, ask yourself what act of the play you…

Christians in History: Irenaeus (130 – 202)

Irenaeus was born around 130 AD in the city of Smyrna (present day Izmir in Turkey). He was raised as a Christian and was a student of Polycarp, an early Christian leader who had been a disciple of John the apostle. On account of persecution by the Roman emperor, he relocated to Rome and then…

Christians in History: Charles Colson (1931-2012)

The life of Charles Colson is one that illustrates what God can accomplish through one who has been transformed by the Holy Spirit. His transformation was as profound as his change was real. And as the writer of Hebrews said of Abel many years ago, we can testify of him that though he is dead…

Why the Apostles’ Creed Matters

We live in an anti-creedal age. Many churches do not have a body of jointly held beliefs. Where these are present, they often have little or no bearing on the life of the community.  Sermons consist of sound bites, anecdotes and motivational remarks. If the Church is to be a force for change in the…