The Surprising Truth About The Differences Between The Temptation Narratives of Matthew and Luke and What They Teach Us About Overcoming Temptation

We are now well intoLent, one of the two great fasts in the Christian Calendar (along with Advent).

Lent is the time when we contemplate Christ’s sacrifice, along with Christ’s 40 days of temptation in the wilderness.

When we give up things for Lent we find ourselves tempted in similar, yet far less extreme, circumstances (Let’s be honest, who wants to hang out in the wilderness by themselves for 40 days and eat and drink nothing; I can barely handle giving up chocolate!).

Much writing during this time consists of looking at the temptations of Jesus, and how Jesus overcame them as a template for our own overcoming of temptations.

But in this post, I do not intend to look at the traditional views, but rather to look at the differences between how Matthew and Luke told the story of Christ’s temptation and what we can learn from these differences.

Let’s look at them now. Why Differences are OK We do not like to discuss differences in accounts of Christ’s life.

Many scholars…

Shame Resilience, Minimalism, and Saving the Environment – What I Learnt In February

If you have been looking for new resources to learn from – whether whole books or short articles or if you just fancy some bite-sized learning then this post is for you.

Here are some things that I have learnt this month.
I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t) – Brene Brown - Book* I highly recommend this book* – if you haven’t read it, then buy it or borrow it.
Brene Brown is a world-renowned researcher on shame. I was first exposed to her work through her amazing Ted Talks.
In this book, Brene introduces us to her research on shame and defines what shame is.
What is Shame She starts by differentiating between shame and similar emotions, such as guilt and embarrassment.

One of the most powerful parts of this book for me was the difference between shame and guilt.
Brene describes it like this:
Imagine that you have just cheated on a test, you leave the exam feeling guilty. Your internal dialogue runs like this: “cheating is wrong, I should not have cheated, I feel bad for having chea…

Why You Should Read The Early Church Fathers (And How To Do It) [interview]

The Early Church Fathers wrote lots of material to help guide the fledgeling Church in its infancy, something that modern christians overlook.

Whilst not equal to scripture, the writings of the early church can help to act as a compass, guiding us in what it means to be the Church today.

Luke Wilson’s new book “40 Days With The Fathers” hopes to fill this gap by presenting the works of the Early Church Fathers in an accessible way.

I caught up with Luke to look at his motivations for writing and what we can learn by studying the early church fathers.
Tell us a little bit about yourself Hi, I'm Luke; I studied theology and biblical studies at Mattersey Hall Bible College. I have a beautiful wife and one-year-old daughter and run my own software company with my dad. When I get time, I write blogs and books!
How did you become interested in the early church fathers? It first started a few years back when I felt a little disillusioned about the way church is done.

Every week becam…

Karl Barth, Biblical Greek, Money Management and 8 Traits More Important Than Intelligence - What I Learnt This Month

At the beginning of each month, I write a post about what I have learnt in the moth just gone. It helps me consolidate the information. And I hope that it also helps you to learn and find new resources. 😊

Here is what I learnt this month.
Book - Evangelical Theology: An Introduction - Karl Barth* This book has been my long overdue arrival into the world of Karl Barth – Arguably one of the greatest theologians of the 20th Century.

The work is based on a series of lectures that Barth gave at Princeton in 1962.

It is worth noting that both the translation from German and the historicity of the book means that the term “evangelical” meant something rather different then that it does now.

Now the term evangelical has come to mean a specific geographical/political Christian movement in America. Then it meant… well, let’s find out in the course of this post.

The lectures are around the study of theology and the work of the theologian.

I am not going to lie – this book was pretty heavy going.

11 Ways To Make Your Church More Environmentally Friendly [infographic]

As the intersection between faith and the environment continues to increase in importance, it becomes more and more important for the Church to take it's environmental responsibility seriously.

Church is not a building, and church is much more than a weekly service but the fact remains that most churches are inexplicably linked to a building and utilise services.

Much of what we experience and use when we gather as a community has a negative impact on our environment, including our money; and we can do better.

There is also much hope found within the church. This can include churches generating their own electricity, organising beach cleanups, or growing their own food.

This infographic provides 11 practical ways that a church can begin to model environmental care to the whole community.

I have created a short free e-book that goes into each of the principles in much more detail, with practical ways to implement them. Click here to get your copy.

As mentioned above, I have created …

What Proverbs and Ecclesiastes Have To Say About The Self Help Movement

Last year I really got into the self-help movement.

It came off the back of reading “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”* and realising all the good things that it said.
I read many of the greats: Dale Carnegie, James Allan, Chip & Dan Heath, Malcolm Gladwell, David Schwartz, Jen Sincero.* I took on board what they said.
2017 was going to be my year.
It was the year that I was going to be fitter, healthier, and more productive than any time previously.
I was going to get up early.
I was going to exercise every day and be healthy.
I was going to utilise every productivity hack available and build the life I dreamed of.
I started off really well.
I was doing all of the above.
Then in early spring, I got Tonsilitis.
Then after that, I got another sickness. And another.
Then after that, I started to develop a pain in my foot.
Then after that, I was moved from the job that I loved.
Then after that, I developed a terrible virus that wiped out my energy for months.
Then, due to …

Ancient Philosophy, The Case For Christ And What To Do With Your Ambition - What I Learnt This Month

Last month I started a new section on my blog called 'What I Learnt This Month'. 
It is a great place for me to catalogue what I have learnt. I hope that it is also a great place for you to find great new resources to aid in your learning.

This post covers what I learnt in December 2017.

*Please note that the book link in this post is an affiliate link. This means that I receive a small percentage of the book cost if you buy it through the link* Course - Ancient Philosophy: Aristotle and His Successors This course was created by Pennsylvania University and I completed it through Coursera. The type of course is called a MOOC (Massive Online Open Course). This means three things:

      1. A lot of people are taking it at any one time.
2. It is entirely online.
3. It is entirely free.

If you have never heard of a MOOC or never taken one then I highly recommend it. The main three MOOC providers areCoursera, Edx and Udemy.

The course is the second part of another course I took a while…