Spiritual Abuse, Fallen Leaders and the Misuse of Matthew 18
Ed Creedy |
by The Early Church Blog
2M ago
As I discussed in a recent review article, the problem of spiritual abuse is significant, and it is one that we must confront, in both our individual churches and more broadly within our Christian cultures. Yet, so often when accusations of spiritual or pastoral abuse are raised, a common scriptural refutation is made. The accuser is themselves accused of failing to bring their concerns to the abusive leader directly, in line with Jesus’ teachings of Matthew 18:15-17. Pastors, elders and other church leaders might push back against a report of allegations – ‘why did you not take this issue di ..read more
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Book Review: Bully Pulpit by Michael Kruger (Zondervan, 2022)
Ed Creedy |
by The Early Church Blog
2M ago
Bully Pulpit confronts the reader with a difficult but necessary exploration of spiritual abuse within Christian circles. Difficult, because this matter of abuse is so grievous. Necessary, because the problem is seemingly so prevalent. Kruger approaches the subject after several years of personal and public reflection on the issue of abuse within Christian contexts, and with a background in church ministry as well as in the academic training of others for pastoral leadership. Through seven probing chapters, Kruger confronts this issue directly: identifying the problem of bully pastors, defini ..read more
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Book Review: A Short Introduction: How the Early Church Fathers Read the Bible, by Gerald Bray (Lexham Press 2022).
Ed Creedy |
by The Early Church Blog
5M ago
Gerald Bray’s current voluminous output continues apace, with this latest title from Lexham Press seeking to introduce the reader to the interpretive methods the Early Church Fathers employed in reading the Bible. An admirable goal and a beautifully produced book combine in a short volume that is certainly readable (something that cannot always be said of popular church history volumes!) and offers a broad introduction to the subject matter. If its strength lies in its engaging, introductory style, its weakness can be found in its breadth – which does on occasion lead to generalisations or ov ..read more
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Book Review: Who Chose the Books of the New Testament? Charles E. Hill (Lexham Press, 2022)
Ed Creedy |
by The Early Church Blog
8M ago
Part of a series of short books aimed at undergraduate level – Charles E. Hill’s Who Chose the Books of the New Testament offers a brief introduction to the formation of canon and the coming together of the New Testament in the first centuries of church history. This series, Questions for Restless Minds (edited by Don Carson), seeks to equip students with biblically and historically informed answers to some of the big questions – both that they themselves wrestle with, and that their friends at university will raise. Hill’s contribution is a well-informed, easy read, and ably addresses the ti ..read more
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Is congregational singing historical?
Ed Creedy |
by The Early Church Blog
1y ago
I read an interesting article yesterday, entitled ‘Is congregational singing dead?‘ In it, the author questioned whether a perceived decline in congregational singing in churches across America signalled the end of this historic aspect of gathered Christian worship. Except, the author pointed out, it wasn’t that historic at all. In fact, Christians gathering to sing together had roots that only stretched back about five hundred years. The author claimed that “like the hymnal, the mainline churches, and Lutherans, congregational singing is a product of the Protestant Reformation.” I don’t real ..read more
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Book Review//Blog Post: Powerful Leaders by Marcus Honeysett (IVP, 2022)
Ed Creedy |
by The Early Church Blog
1y ago
This post is a little longer than my usual book reviews. Whilst I will offer no comment on specific cases – given the reality of this issue in the UK church at them moment (and it is a sad fact that no tribe great or small is able to claim they are immune from this problem) I have dwelt more on this than other posts. Forgive me if there are moments of harder reading or oversimplification, there is too much to say on this issue in one short book, let alone one short blog post. If you read this as a victim of abuse in the church (or elsewhere), please know that as I write and post this I a ..read more
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A Simple Ancient Prayer For a Hurting World.
Ed Creedy |
by The Early Church Blog
1y ago
If like me you are struggling to know what and how to pray in light of the unfolding crisis in Ukraine, join me in echoing the words of 1 Clement, a first century Christian text (written c.96 AD.) This short prayer helps us pray for our brothers and sisters in distress, calls upon God to care for those in pain and need, and asks that He might make Himself known to the nations. This prayer is not perfect, but I am reminded of Paul’s words to the church in Rome. “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercede ..read more
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Book Review: Read this first, by Gary Millar (GBC 2022)
Ed Creedy |
by The Early Church Blog
1y ago
Introductory books on ‘how to read your bible’ seem to be ten a penny, there’s plenty out there. So I picked up this new book from The Good Book Company with slight hesitation. Within a few chapters, however, Millar had me won over. I simply enjoyed reading this book (and not just because of the section ‘Why reading the bible is like watching cricket’…) More than that, this is a wise little book, and I can see how it could be a particularly great help to new believers. Miller states that his book is for those who want to read the bible but aren’t quite sure how to dig into it, whether a young ..read more
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The Top 10 Most Read Posts of 2021: The Early Church Blog
Ed Creedy |
by The Early Church Blog
1y ago
Last year I put together a ‘Top 10 Blog Posts of 2020’. I suggested that if, like me, your Christmas plans had been derailed at the last minute then perhaps you’d have some more time on your hands, and maybe one or two of these posts might be of interest…. Well, with a strange sense of de ja vu the next few weeks look uncertain once again, so maybe 2021’s list will equally provide some entertainment. After a strange year then, leaving book reviews to one side, the Top Ten Most Read Posts of 2021: The Early Church Blog. 10. The Church in Egypt… What can we say about the first Christians in Ale ..read more
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Celebrating Christmas… when and why?
Ed Creedy |
by The Early Church Blog
1y ago
This is an updated version of a post from this time last year, and there is a definite sense of de ja vu. Once again, Christmas feels a bit different. Though we are not under strict lockdowns, and restrictions are limited in scope and impact, the rising daily chatter around new variants and NHS pressure all feels quite 2020. We are well in to Advent, Christmas is very nearly here. It might not look anything like we’d hoped or expected, but it will still be Christmas. Perhaps you’re lining up carols services, buying presents, and decorating trees. You’ve made plans to see family and friends, t ..read more
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