Posted by: Hugh Griffiths | August 7, 2007

Fantastic free spiritual resources

New Wine

My friend Dan Bowen, has just alerted me to let me know that back issues of New Wine magazine are now available online. This highly influential magazine began in June 1969 and became a charismatic teaching platform for Bob Mumford, Charles Simpson, Ern Baxter and others. Importantly, New Wine became the example and inspiration from which Restoration magazine was launched – a hugely important magazine that brought vital teaching to the UK church.

Although visually it looks extremely dated and perhaps now looks tired and jaded, it was a remarkable publication that brought massive spiritual life to many individuals and churches across the world.  You can check out the first edition here (link to 5Mb PDF) – including an article by Bernard Mumford. Bob is much more snappy…

If you’re visiting Dan’s blog, make sure you check out his links and materials from the New Frontier’s conference ‘Together on a Mission 2007’. More fantastic and useful resources.

Posted by: Hugh Griffiths | August 6, 2007

Weighing prophecy

Accuracy targetAccuracy target

Jesse Phillips, on his excellent Resurgence blog, asks a great question ‘What makes a particular prophecy biblically sound?’

The judging of prophecy is a key aspect of the exercise of this gift, particularly when used in the church gathering.  This works in several ways – the most obvious is to determine whether the word, vision, demonstration or other prophetic expression is from God.  However, more important is the judging – or weighing – in order to determine its significance or practical application.

Certainly from my experience as an elder, this is absolutely key for the life and health of the church. Most people exercising the gift are genuine, Spirit-filled Christians using it to different degrees or ‘measures’ of insight or expression. Judging for correctness is therefore not usually a major issue – but weighing for its impact and influence is very necessary. Therefore in the shared life of the church, a leadership or eldership team needs to be skilled prophetically so as to respond appropriately to words or other revelatory gifts. 

Old Testament Israel required kings and leaders to pick up the words of the prophet and interpret them into their community, leading God’s people very practically into an appropriate response. Similarly, in the present day church, elders too must exerise a weighing of prophetic gift – not as some sort of spiritual censorship (although that is sometimes needed!), but as a way to ensure the word of God is heeded.

There are some very practical ways to do that … perhaps we can get to these in another post?

Posted by: Hugh Griffiths | July 15, 2007

Harry Potter

The countdown seems to have been going on for ages, but now just a few days away, is the biggest book launch the world has ever seen – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  Absolutely amazing numbers of pre-orders make the two editions being released on Saturday bestsellers on Amazon even though they have not yet been officially published – not bad for a book that has not yet hit the shelves.

However, themes of sorcery and heroes, good and evil, adventures of magical discovery and the ever present threat from dark creatures and their manipulative master do not sit comfortably with all Christians.  Books and tales which involve the good and bad guys all using magical items, wielding powerful supernatural forces and drawing on ancient or deep traditions often cause us to question whether we should be reading them.

Still, that’s enough about Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings and C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia – what about Harry Potter? Should Christians read J K Rowling’s series of books about the young wizard and his friends? I’m sure the coming weeks will see much debate and many more words added to the discussion about whether children should or shouldn’t read the books or see the films.

Of course, the main accusation is that these books somehow lead young or impressionable readers towards witchcraft or an overfamiliarity with the occult. However, one commentator made perhaps one of my favourite observations:

“…we should be worrying about adults not being able to distinguish between fiction and reality. The kids themselves seem to have a pretty good grasp of it”

Hopefully this distinction will be adequately reflected in any debate…

Posted by: Hugh Griffiths | July 4, 2007

Wednesday Wonders

Another musicial gem from YouTube.  Jake Shimabukuro is not someone I had previously heard of but there seem to be plenty of other clips featuring him giving a virtuoso performance on … the ukelele!  This is a long, long way from George Formby (which is no bad thing!)

This clip features a striking piece of music composed by no less than George Harrison.

Posted by: Hugh Griffiths | July 2, 2007

Introduction to the Book of Revelation

Following a personal request, I’ve re-published below a link to an overview and summary of the book of Revelation. This Keynote Guide was originally used by everyone in our church to support their ‘through-the-bible’ reading plan. They provided a quick introduction to each bible book, including some background and a look at some of the main or keynote themes.

I hope you enjoy this articles. Please let me know what you think and whether you would welcome seeing any more.

icon_pdf_small.gifKeynote Guide to Revelation

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