Books – Some Pastors and Teachers – Sinclair Ferguson – 8/10
This is a long and wonderful book from my colleague, Sinclair. It is really a collection of essays on subjects which are particularly relevant to those of us who are pastors. In fact I would regard it as essential for any minister to have. If yours doesn’t then buy it for him. Sinclair begins with the three Johns – Calvin, Owen and Murray. Part two looks at John Calvin- Pastor-Teacher. Part three: Puritans – Pastors/Teachers. Part 4: The Pastor and Teaching. Part 5: The Pastor and Preaching. It is a lengthy read – almost 800 pages long – and the chapters are somewhat uneven – they are not all of equal value – but that is not a criticism. The chapters vary from good to brilliant. I was especially taken by the last section on preaching. This is a book that any minister worth his salt will return to again and again.
“The scribes and teachers of the law spoke about the Bible in a manner removed from daily experience. Jesus, in stark contrast, seemed to speak from inside the Bible in a way that addressed their hearts”
TV – Leaving Neverland – 5/10
I didn’t want to watch this programme – but because I was asked about it, I did. Or at least I watched the first 75% of part one – but that was enough. It was tough going. As with all these things there will be people on either side of the argument who are passionately convinced that those who don’t agree with them are part of a conspiracy. For me what I saw was enough to indicate something was deeply wrong. The whole story rang true – and it is an all too familiar story – the rich and powerful are able to use their power, money and fame to exploit the weak and vulnerable.
Podcast – Albert Mohler – The Briefing 7/10
https://albertmohler.com/the-briefing is an excellent daily podcast (I usually get to listen once or twice a week). It lasts around 30 minutes and the full text is usually put up on his webpage. Al comments with insight and depth on current political issues – usually in the US but also from a wider perspective. I have no idea how he does it but he is a continual source of biblical common sense applied to contemporary issues. Recommended.
Album – The Dark Side of the Moon
I remember the time my son, aged 14, came downstairs and told me about this wonderful new album he had heard. I was so delighted that he had discovered Pink Floyd that I didn’t tell him I had had the album for years. This is one of the most successful albums of all time – with one of the most recognisable covers. It has been on the charts for over 900 weeks! It’s a concept album which deals with issues like time, death, mental illness and greed. It is still an astonishing and fresh work. Lots of questions to which ultimately there is only one answer – Christ. Certainly not drugs – which sadly have become associated with this album. Listen to this beauriful song – us and them.
Restaurant – Ting Saboteur -7/10
This is delicious Vietnamese food – just along the street from Ting Thai. It is a similar simple format – delicious food, crowded tables, lots of water, cheerful service – and all at a great price. Loved our first visit here.