I've been reading Lee Gatiss' excellent new little book, The forgotten cross, as part of my devotions these last two weeks. It a series of edited sermons on the cross, focusing especially on those aspects of the cross that a narrow focus on penal substitution alone might sideline. Lee explains carefully in the foreword that the book is not meant to detract from penal substitution as the main paradigm of understanding the cross, but that the Bible doctrine is considerably broader and deeper than just one focus. The book is relatively short, but does require some thinking. That's a good thing. The doctrine of the cross is at the heart of the deep things of God. It's not, therefore, a superficial book, there is depth to it. That's why - despite its length - it's taken me two weeks to get through it. There's plenty to ponder along the way, much to rejoice in and things to repent of as well. I've felt all these emotions. I expect it to feature at this year's EMA; it certainly deserves to do so. It does use the ESV (making it one step removed from some church congregations), and there is a rather untimely illustration about not being able to treat Prince Andrew with disrespect! But these are very minor niggles. I heartily commend it for your own soul, Mr Preacher, and for those of your people.
It's not often that there's a good Christian article in the otherwise secular press. But today's Thunderer in The Times is an exception to the rule. CoMission get an honourable mention!
"Justin Welby’s biggest fight to date has been with sharks — the loan sharks he wants the church to drive out of business. But this week the Archbishop of Canterbury took on an even bigger fish: his own church. Speaking in New York, he warned against sermons containing “moral claptrap” that boiled down to “wouldn’t the world be a nicer place if we were all a bit nicer?” This will be welcome news to many who have darkened the doors of an Anglican church from time to time or listened to a bishop on the Today programme’s “Thought for the Day” slot. "The archbishop is perhaps responding to market forces. Churches that preach conviction rather than claptrap appear to be growing. Research by the statistician Peter Brierley suggests that 83 per cent of churches with congregations of more 350 describe themselves as “evangelical”. Two thirds of churches that describe themselves as “conservative evangelical” have grown in the past decade, with a third growing by more than 33 per cent every year. "But in a paper on church growth — or, perhaps more accurately, church decline — for next month’s General Synod, the archbishops of Canterbury and York focus on the organisation of the church, the diversity of clergy, credit unions and social media. All useful stuff, but there isn’t a single mention of scripture or indeed belief, save for a concluding Bible verse. Without it, the church becomes a civic social club that happens to have pretty windows and colourful uniforms — and one that will continue to decline at an average of 1 per cent every year. "The Co-Mission group of churches is excellent at attracting newcomers but it’s the strength of their belief, summed up by Paul in I Timothy i, 15, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners — of whom I am the worst”, that encourages those newcomers to return. Otherwise people have no more reason to return than they do to stay at home and read a good book rather than the Good Book. "The Church of England’s first female bishop, Libby Lane, is enthusiastic but clearly wary in interviews of saying what she believes. Yet showing that it believes in something will secure the future of the church. If Archbishop Welby manages to impress that upon his clergy, it will be a far greater victory than over any shark."
Day rate £50
3 days £110
Student day rate £25
Student 3 days £60
Monday 22nd June 2015 –
Wednesday 24th June 2015
EMA 2015: Identity Crisis - Preaching to a confused world. Speakers will include Christopher Ash, Tim Keller, Mike Raiter, Andrew Reid, Vaughan Roberts, Bruce Ware and John Wyatt. We're confused about identity. We're confused about gender and sexuality. We're confused about race. We're confused about the beginning and end of life. The 2015 EMA will focus on a biblical theology of humanity: if we can be clear about the Bible's teaching on humanity, then we can be joyfully confident in our own identity in Christ and equipped to preach to a confused world.
For those who are really looking ahead, the dates for EMA 2016 are 21st to 23rd June.
Marriage and Ministry Yorkshire February 2015
Monday 16th February 2015 –
Tuesday 17th February 2015
A 24 hour stopover hosted by Wallace and Lindsay Benn for up to 14 couples at the beautiful venue of Bagden Hall in West Yorkshire. Marriage can be tough. Ministry can be tough. Together, they can be an explosive combination. What should be a joyful partnership sometimes turns out to be the very thing on which both ministry and marriage founder. We cannot let it.
Sorry, this stopover is now fully booked.
Started in 1991, PT Cornhill exists primarily to train preachers, as well as equipping men and women to teach the Bible in other contexts, such as youth/children's work and women's ministry. Click here for more details
We're gradually adding material from our archive. EMA 1993 featured Dick Lucas, Phillip Jensen, Don Carson, David Petersen and John Lennox for a mix of inspiring teaching, challenging exhortation and encouraging reports of gospel work. (Click the title, left, for the talks)