What is Christianity? 2 – Where it all went wrong

If God made a good world, then why is there so much bad stuff in the world? Why are there wars, and pandemics, and break-ups, and death? Why is my life in such a mess? In the second part of the What is Christianity? course we look at where it all went wrong – the cause of every bad thing in the world. Here we explore Genesis chapter 3, which explains how evil entered into the world.

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What is Christianity? 1 – Creation (New Course)

What is Christianity all about? Join me on the start of this journey as we work our way through the Bible. In this session we look at what the Bible is and why it’s important. Then we start at the beginning – the creation of everything.

As I promised last week, this is the first episode of the updated What is Christianity? course. I’m planning to film a new video each week and upload it, starting with this course.

If you’d like to be notified of new episodes, then you can subscribe on YouTube (don’t forget to hit the bell icon if you want an email notification), or you can subscribe to the mailing list here.

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Why the Bible is best for mental health

Mental Health has got big over the last few years. A lot of people turn to techniques such as mindfulness. But I believe the Bible is better than any technique. Here’s why.

What the video covers

  • The problem with techniques such as mindfulness
  • Five reasons the Bible is best when it comes to mental health:
    1. The Bible is God’s word (Psalm 19:7-9)
    2. The words of the Bible are powerful (Hebrews 4:12)
    3. The Bible reveals the truth about us (James 1:23-24)
    4. The Bible brings us to God (John 6:63)
    5. The Bible brings us to others (John 13:34)

What to do next

If you’d like to see some examples of the Bible ‘in action’ when it comes to mental health, check out my regular Lockdown Mental Health sessions.

If you’d like to learn more about Christianity, you can subscribe on YouTube or check out one of the various courses on this website to learn about Christianity. You might be interested in the What is Christianity? course, which goes through a very brief overview of the Bible in six sessions.

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What does the Bible teach us? – Westminster Shorter Catechism #3

In the third part of the WSC we look at what the Bible actually teaches us. Why is it important to look at the Bible – don’t we just know it all already?

This is part of the weekly Thought for the Week series. This series is designed to give a short, 10-15 minute ‘thought’, including a Bible reading and a prayer. Currently I am working through the Westminster Shorter Catechism. You can see all videos on the catechism on this playlist.

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How do we know God’s will? – Westminster Shorter Catechism #2

In the second part of the WSC we think about how we can start to live out our purpose: how do we know what it means to glorify God and enjoy him forever?

This is part of the weekly Thought for the Week series. This series is designed to give a short, 10-15 minute ‘thought’, including a Bible reading and a prayer. Currently I am working through the Westminster Shorter Catechism. You can see all videos on the catechism on this playlist.

Do subscribe to the mailing list if you want to get these delivered by email, or subscribe directly on YouTube if you want to see them there.

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How can we know the Bible is true?

One of the questions people often have is, how can we know the Bible is true? The Bible contains so much which seems strange to us. For one, it’s full of miracles. And the very centre of the story is based on Jesus – a man who performed many miracles and rose up from the grave. Can we trust that this is true, or is it more like one of Aesop’s fables?

This is a huge question and obviously in a short video we don’t have time to look at all the answers. In this video I focus on the gospels, drawing on Peter Williams’ brilliant book Can we Trust the Gospels?

Summary of the video

  • The Bible centres on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus – so if we can trust the gospels, we can almost certainly trust the rest of the Bible.
  • Peter Williams’ book is the best book on the reliability of the gospels that I’ve ever read.
  • He talks about a number of reasons why we can trust in the gospel as historically reliable. Here are just a couple:
    1. Geography. The gospels talk about a lot of places. All four gospels have unique place names which no other gospel mentions. Those place names range from large, common cities to local, relatively uncommon names. For someone to make this up, it would require research beyond anything we’ve ever seen from this time period!
    2. Undesigned coincidences. This is when a fact in one gospel is confirmed almost “accidentally” by another gospel. So, for example, Mark describes James and John as the ‘sons of thunder’. Luke doesn’t call them that, but he does record them wanting to call down fire on a village.
  • He says that if it wasn’t for the miracles of Jesus, no serious historian would consider the gospels unreliable. So can we trust that the miracles are true?
    1. The miracles are not random – they occur within a whole picture which fits together. It would take a huge leap of faith to believe everything was fiction or happened by coincidence.
    2. The resurrection turns the disciples around. Through the gospels, the disciples are portrayed as misunderstanding lots of things, rarely getting anything right. What turned them into the group of men who evangelised the world? They would not have suffered and died as they did unless they knew it was true.
    3. The first witness of the resurrection was a woman. In those days, the testimony of a woman was inadmissible in court. No-one wanting to make up the story of the resurrection would make a woman be the first witness of the resurrection. It wouldn’t help the case at all.
  • As Sherlock Holmes famously said: “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth”. It would take more faith to believe that the gospels were not true.

Your questions answered

This is the second video of a new feature called Your questions answered. (This particular video was originally recorded for my own church).

If you have a question about Christianity or the Bible, please send them in or comment below.

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Can we see the original version of the Bible? – Your questions answered

Is it possible to see the original version of the Bible anywhere? If not, how do we know that what it says is accurate?

In this video we look at these questions:

  • why there aren’t any original copies of the Bible left?
  • how did the Bible come down to us through the years?
  • how can we be confident that we have the Greek New Testament accurately?

Key facts

  • We have about 5,800 copies of the New Testament in Greek
  • The earliest fragment of the New Testament is from about 150AD, a small part of John’s Gospel, called Papyrus 52
  • The earliest complete New Testament is from about 300AD called the Codex Vaticanus
  • The New Testament has far more manuscripts available than any other ancient writing
  • There are very few places in the New Testament where we’re really not sure what the original version said – e.g. ‘we have peace’ or ‘let us have peace’ (in Romans 5:1)
  • There are only two well-known fragments of the New Testament which look like they have been added since the Bible was written, which most modern Bibles bracket out

Your questions answered

This is the first of a new feature called Your questions answered. (This particular video was originally recorded for my own church).

If you have a question about Christianity or the Bible, please send them in or comment below.

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