Does God give signs?

In ancient Israel, the high priests wore a vest that had two stones on it called the Urim and Thummim. Whenever a question about God’s will was brought to the priest, he would ask God to give the answer. If the stone on the left glowed, it indicated divine approval. If the stone on the right glowed instead, it indicated God’s disapproval.

Jim Ayer | Forever a fisherman

Jim Ayer was, for most of his life, a slave to his own dreams—a fisherman of thrills and addictions. From when he was a child, he attached a ball and chain to each ankle, closed himself up in his own world, and threw away the key.

Beholding beauty

I’m walking along a remote beach in Hermanus, South Africa. There’s not a single other footprint in the sand. I take off my shoes and let my feet sink deep into the warm, fine powder. Bliss. My friend, a local who drove me here, takes one look at my face and asks with undeniable pride, “What do you think?” But I can’t answer....

Humble faith

The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is the oldest continuously-used church building in the world. It dates from the fourth century, when Roman Emperor Constantine’s mother visited the Holy Lands to identify locations from the life of Jesus for pilgrimage destinations and church sites. From a distance, the point of entry to the church is not obvious, particularly when the area is...

Is there life after death?

As a media and communications graduate, I love stories in all their forms, but I’ve always held a special place in my heart for science fiction. Exotic planets, alien races, unique extrapolations of scientific theory and bizarre visions of the future of our world—no other genre captures my imagination in quite the same way.

Picturing heaven

What do you imagine heaven will be like? American science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov famously said, “For whatever the tortures of hell, I think the boredom of heaven would be even worse.” Although I love Jesus, I think I am a bit afraid of getting bored there too. There’s a prevailing picture of heaven as being some sort of suspended animation, which may play into this.

Practising faith

When I was at high school, I played basketball a lot—most days at school, then team training sessions and often two or three games each week. At university, I played on the best team I have been part of. We trained and competed regularly over two years, and twice won our league championship.

Four hundred and ninety times

“Forgiveness is the sweetest revenge.” (Jerome Isaac Friedman)

I will say it again: Rejoice!

Although we experience more positive than negative elements in life, we are still more intensely and more quickly affected by the unpleasant ones. How can we protect our joy of living despite the problems that beset us?

So you’re church-shopping…

Have you ever seen the early morning worship programs on television? The packed congregations, the huge church venues, the smooth-talking evangelist who delivers the perfect sermon . . . Church seems to be where the action is. That there are so many new mega-churches popping up all over the world suggests that a lot of people are desperate for spiritual guidance and fellowship....

What do dreams mean?

Last night I had one of those dreams. You know, the kind you wake up from and remember. Basically, there were a lot of things that were unusual, but people and places that were familiar—common themes for many who remember their dream content.

Thank God for atheists?

Richard Dawkins is arguably the world’s best-known atheist. His 2006 book The God Delusion was a runaway success and widely influential. That’s why theologian Alister McGrath was surprised when a young man told him he became a Christian after reading The God Delusion.

How to revive a dying church

Trying to describe a dying church like the one he was called to serve, Pastor Chris Lewis uses the image of a car "turned over, in a ditch, covered by weeds and beer cans, with a rusted out engine, and a couple of bodies in the trunk."

Can God be removed from history?

“Is God dead?” was the question on the cover of Time magazine on April 8, 1966. Three-and-a-half years later (December 26, 1969), the publication changed that to: “Is God coming back to life?”

Are you gifted?

There’s something lying on a massive table. It’s a huge picture. You move closer and see that the design is made up of individual pieces, like a jigsaw puzzle. But the pattern is unusual. It isn’t an immediately recognisable image, such as a Swiss mountain or a bouquet of tulips.