Generations of Christians have found the Westminster Shorter Catechism to be a wonderful treasury of spiritual gold. It outlines the core Christian beliefs and the essential characteristics of Christian living in a way that enlightens the mind and inspires the heart. Its most famous statement, that our ‘chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him for ever’ is widely recognized as a piece of timeless wisdom. Sadly, though, the wisdom of the Westminster Shorter Catechism is increasingly hard for many people today to appreciate. With the passage of time, its beautiful 17th Century English has become further and further removed from the language we use every day. This brief book aims not only to address this problem by putting the Catechism into modern English, but likewise to highlight the carefully arranged structure of the catechism—a structure that in itself contains a great deal of wisdom. To achieve this, the catechism is divided into sections, and a few notes to help explain it are given. May God use it to help a new generation glorify and enjoy Him!
Over the past decade there has been political debate on the ‘right to ridicule’ – the question about whether we would be allowed to joke about the political and religious opinions of others, perhaps with the intention of making them aware of how ridiculous their beliefs are.
Jesus, however, is more concerned with our right to be ridiculed. His words in the Sermon on the Mount suggest that ridicule or even persecution for his sake is worth it and that it should even make us glad!
This book, packed with biblical insights and practical application, investigates why ridicule for Jesus is indeed worth it and why we should not keep our faith private. We discover that there is ample reward, not just after death, but also in our life here and now. When we view all forms of persecution from the right perspective, true joy can be experienced in the midst of suffering.
“These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also.” That was the startled cry, circa 50 AD, from a hastily assembled mob in Thessalonica. These men who have turned the world upside: their description of Paul and Silas. Holy vandals on the loose, anointed marauders running amok, men out ransacking Roman cities with the gospel. You’d think they were heralding the arrival of Barbarian hordes, fierce Berserkers descending on poorly fortified villages, not two hungry men with no more than a fire in their bellies and a wildness in their eyes. These were just two ordinary men. But, as Paul says to the Corinthians, he was a man who preached “with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,” a man whose weapons were not of the world but had “divine power to demolish strongholds.” Two simple, ordinary men, walking in the power of God. A whole town in uproar because of them. It’s been a while since we’ve seen the likes of this. Your Church Is Too Safe is an ebook based on a simple idea: that God meant his church to be both good news and bad news, an aroma and a stench – a disruptive force to whoever or whatever opposes the Kingdom of God, and a healing and liberating power to those who seek it. That the church has not always lived this mandate is well-documented. That the church needs to recover this mandate is much touted. Your Church Is Too Safe is a plea, a celebration, and a manifesto. It’s an attempt to call the church to be the church. It is a tribute to the many churches that seek to be this. And it is a roadmap to become this. Above all, Your Church Is Too Safe is a biblical reflection and exhortation on why we should be this. Its main narrative is rooted in the story of how the early church, for all her failings and heresies and squabbles, managed to turn the world upside down. And its principal claim is that the modern church, for all her failings and heresies and squabbles, has every advantage they had, and maybe more, and faces no more challenges than they did, and maybe fewer.