Jacob’s new direction (Genesis 28:18-22)

What turns someone around? A revelation of who God is.

Jacob’s alone. In the dark. Fleeing with nothing. With no one. His greed destroyed his family. He hopes Esau doesn’t find him.

None of this changes the sovereign’s plans. The God who promised land and descendants and blessing to his father and grandfather reveals himself to Jacob. Yes, Jacob goes into exile for his sins, but he does not go alone: Continue reading “Jacob’s new direction (Genesis 28:18-22)”

How Bibleview works

How does the Bibleview reading app decide which two chapters to provide each day? Here’s the inside story.

Have you read through the whole Bible? How do you decide which bits to read? Need a bit of help with some of the Old Testament?

Haydn Nelson (senior pastor of Riverview Church) wanted to provide a way to help people read Scripture well in today’s busy world. The result was an app for iOS or Android, or from a website if you prefer. Continue reading “How Bibleview works”

Jacob’s dream: a portal between heaven and earth (Genesis 28:10-17)

Jacob dreamed of a ladder linking God’s two realms. We’d probably call it a portal. What is the connection between heaven and earth?

Jacob is fleeing for his life. He’s leaving the land God promised to Abraham. He has no reason to come back. His father is dying. He’ll never see his mother again. For his own safety, he hopes he never sees his brother either. Continue reading “Jacob’s dream: a portal between heaven and earth (Genesis 28:10-17)”

Good News for God’s World (course)

You’re invited to a free course at Riverview Church in Perth, over the next six weeks.

What do you feel when you hear gospel?
Good news, or guilt-news?

For the next six Mondays, come and bathe in the good news of who Jesus is, what he’s done for his world, and how it changes everything. We’ll talk about how we share his good news with people. In fact, we’ll talk about how to be good news people.

You know what? It’s really hard not to share genuinely good news. Continue reading “Good News for God’s World (course)”

Abraham’s family disintegrates (Genesis 27)

How can God’s rescue plan work when the problems that shattered humanity in the beginning threaten to destroy Abraham’s family?

You’ve advertised for help with a bakery in a country town. Two people apply. The first asks prying questions about your business model, disquieting questions that leave you feeling you can’t trust him. The other doesn’t bother showing up for the interview. You have to call him and remind him. So, who do you hire? They one you can’t trust? Or the one who couldn’t care less?

Continue reading “Abraham’s family disintegrates (Genesis 27)”

Jacob Neusner (1932–2016)

Jewish scholar Jacob Neusner died yesterday. His writings gave many of us a better understanding of Judaism.

According to The New York Times and The Times of Israel, Jacob Neusner died yesterday. He was a Jewish scholar who “transformed the study of American Judaism, becoming one of the most influential 20th-century scholars of the religion.” Continue reading “Jacob Neusner (1932–2016)”

Isaac: the next kingdom representative (Genesis 26)

The Isaac narrative is all about the way Abraham’s descendants must follow in his footsteps.

Since Abraham laid the foundation of the nation that would restore the blessing of divine reign to the earth, what Abraham’s descendants must do is to follow in his footsteps. The Genesis narrator makes this point in the way he recounts Isaac’s life. Continue reading “Isaac: the next kingdom representative (Genesis 26)”

Visit Israel with us (updated 11 Nov)

Like to see the places where the Bible’s stories took place? Join me for a tour of Israel.

Update 2016-10-11: Okay, we had lots of interest for the information night. Applications close 25 November 2016, or sooner if we have 40 applicants. Contact me if you need a copy of the info booklet.

Riverview Church is planning its first trip to Israel 11–27 May next year, and I will have the pleasure of joining you and explaining the significance of the places we’ll visit. The information night is this Monday (10 Oct), 6pm, in the newly opened Riverview Church building (Burswood, Western Australia).

Continue reading “Visit Israel with us (updated 11 Nov)”

The kingdom in the Old Testament

The core of the OT narrative is the story of God’s reign.

There’s a plotline that integrates all the little narratives of the Bible into a purposeful story. With all the twists and turns of a suspense thriller, the Bible’s narrative has a single focus: the unfolding story of the kingdom of God.

Over the last five months we’ve traced the meta-narrative of the kingdom through the first half of Genesis. In the previous two years, I’ve personally pursued that journey through the rest of Genesis and Exodus. The integrated picture of God’s kingship and kingdom is absolutely stunning. Want a taste? Continue reading “The kingdom in the Old Testament”