Dismantling the roadblocks to faith

Posted by Steve Ridgeway on Monday, August 11, 2014

When someone becomes a Christian a miracle takes place. The Bible describes this conversion experience as crossing over from death to life (Ephesians 2:1,2), being born again (John 3:3,8), and becoming a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). For this reason it's unsurprising that the Bible says that only the power of God can convert a person to Christ (Matthew 19:25,26). Human wisdom, decision making, and ingenuity are never enough to produce this kind of spiritual phenomena in someone’s life....


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In the Darkness of the Valley

Posted by Steve Ridgeway on Friday, July 5, 2013

1 In the darkness of the valley,

when our hearts are filled with fear;

knowing this should give us comfort:

Christ our Lord is standing near.

He will be our powerful helper,

ever-present sovereign guide.

Nothing in this life will tear us,

from His presence or His side.

2 God has promised not to leave us,

and has made this promise sure;

in the cross of His Son Jesus,

all He says is made secure.

3 With the blood of our Lord Jesus,

God re...


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Are you converted?

Posted by Steve Ridgeway on Tuesday, January 8, 2013

As we enter a new year there are lots of questions we may be asking ourselves. How will my health be in the months ahead? Will I still have a job by 2014? These are just two examples of the questions people may ask at the start of 2013. Yet, while these questions are not insignificant, for the Christian at least, these questions are far less important than the ultimate question of our spiritual condition: ‘Am I converted to God?’ This question is of more than academic interest because how...


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Loving the imperfect church - Part II

Posted by Steve Ridgeway on Wednesday, December 19, 2012

In the first part of this article we were introduced to Sal, a fictional character whose recent experiences led to her becoming deeply disaffected with the local church. We also saw how many Christians have shared her pain and at times wondered whether it might be easier to leave rather than love the imperfect Church. We went on to suggest a few things it would be useful for people like Sal to hear as they come to terms with life in the imperfect church. Amongst other things we saw that the l...


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Loving the imperfect church - Part I

Posted by Steve Ridgeway on Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Attending the local evangelical church had been a revelation to Sal. Brought up in a one-parent home with an agnostic mother, and brothers who were self-confessed atheists, it had been a new world to her. What struck her first - before anything the preacher said - was the people's warmth. Unlike other people she'd known, these Christians were unconditionally kind and accepting. At first this made her suspicious: what were they after? Eventually she realised their love was sincere and then she...


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What's so good about Christmas?

Posted by Steve Ridgeway on Wednesday, December 19, 2012

How do you picture the birth of Jesus? Would you have wanted to be there? Do you imagine it was a serene occasion full of uninterrupted delight and laughter? Most of us would probably like to think so. But the author of Luke’s gospel tells us otherwise. He records that, for one of the key characters in the original Christmas story, the events surrounding the birth of Jesus were deeply traumatic! 

 

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, be...


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Single Minded

Posted by Steve Ridgeway on Monday, December 17, 2012

Not that long ago someone asked me what Christians can do in order to integrate single people into the life of the local church more easily. But, after thinking about this matter for a while, I came to see that the basic thrust of this question is unhelpful. This is because, in its initial form, it assumes that making singles feel included in Christ's body is naturally hard. Yet as I study the Bible I am convinced that this shouldn't be the case. However, I do believe we can make it needlessl...


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Do we need doctrine?

Posted by Stephen Ridgeway on Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Evangelism without dogma?

Picture the scene: it's 1993 and a fresh faced art student sits on the floor of his painting studio next to a cross-legged Buddhist. For the last half-hour they've been talking 'God'. To the outside listener the conversation seems an incoherent ramble. Yet the student knows better. There's method in his glibness. Unknown to his 'enlightened' subject he's carefully preparing the ground for an evangelistic piéce de resistance.

Then, like a spiritual Stealth Bombe...


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