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Senior Pastors’ Talks

“Sin” — the Misconceptions, and the Reality

“Sin” — the Misconceptions, and the Reality

Senior Pastor Lyn Burnhope takes on the thorny question of “sin” — an old-fashioned, negative-sounding word that’s often misused and misunderstood. She explores what it is and what it isn’t, how it impacts human life in so many ways, and how we’re called to join in Jesus’ mission against sin in its personal, corporate and global dimensions.

The Bible Story Box Set (part three)

The Bible Story Box Set (part three)

Steve Burnhope completes our short series of talks thinking about the Bible with a simple way of telling the story like a Box Set — Season One: the Old Testament, Season Two: the New Testament and Season Three: the on-going episodes in which we are invited to join the cast!

The Bible Story Box Set (part two)

The Bible Story Box Set (part two)

In this week’s episode, Steve Burnhope explains some of the “rules of the game” of biblical interpretation (how to make sense of what we’re reading, in the best possible way), which begins by respecting the original authors and audiences and understanding the way they thought and wrote. Starting with ‘how communication works’ (in every era, and culture) helps us see the difference between the ‘timeless truths’ God intended to give us and the ‘time-bound wrapper’ in which they are unavoidably packaged.

The Bible Story Box Set (part one)

The Bible Story Box Set (part one)

Steve Burnhope kicks off our latest three-week series of ‘Big Questions’ about Christianity and faith with another look at the Bible as the story of people and the story of God, intertwined. During these talks, he’ll be explaining how we can understand it the way that the original authors and audience would have understood it, and how it all hangs together as one big story from cover to cover.

Home, homelessness and God’s hospitality

Home, homelessness and God’s hospitality

Lyn starts by looking at the call of Abraham to leave his home, and how this Biblical theme is a challenge to us. She then goes on to reflect on wider themes of ‘home’ and ‘homelessness’ in the Bible, and encourages us that whatever situation we are in, we do faithfully and well, whilst at the same time extending God’s hospitality to others in todays world in many and various ways.

What does it mean to be ‘in a relationship’ with Jesus?

What does it mean to be ‘in a relationship’ with Jesus?

Steve Burnhope continues from last week’s talk (“What does it mean to ‘love Jesus’?”) and explores what it means to be ‘in a relationship’ with Jesus. He offers some practical suggestions for how we might go about that and the importance of creating space in the busy-ness of modern life.

What does it mean to ‘love Jesus’?

What does it mean to ‘love Jesus’?

The dictionary tells us that love is “An intense feeling of deep affection.” But as Christians, is that what God is wanting from us, or is it something more? Steve Burnhope suggests five key things to have on our personal checklist for what a biblical perspective on ‘loving Jesus’ looks like.

How far do you want to go?

How far do you want to go?

Steve Burnhope speaks from Ezekiel 47, where the prophet experiences a dramatic vision of a river of blessing flowing from the presence of God in the temple, a river that pictures an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, in which Ezekiel is invited to go deeper and deeper. Steve asks us the question that no doubt God was asking Ezekiel: “How far do you want to go? Just watching from the sidelines? Ankle-deep? Knee-deep? Waist-deep? Or plunging in, out of your depth?

Easter Services and Baptisms 2019

Easter Services and Baptisms 2019

Steve Burnhope talks about the significance of Jesus’ resurrection, why we can trust the authenticity of the accounts of what happened on that first Easter Sunday, and the connection with being baptised.

Journeying to Jesus, Journeying with Jesus

Journeying to Jesus, Journeying with Jesus

Becoming a Christian is often thought of as a one-off ‘event’ — where everything is about crossing a boundary — moving from being ‘out’ to being ‘in.’ Steve Burnhope suggests that the reality is more complex and that for each of us, the ‘before’ and ‘after’ that pivotal moment is like a journey with waypoints — which in turn needs to impact how we think about the journey to faith of our friends.

Pictures of the Church — the ‘Body of Christ

Pictures of the Church — the ‘Body of Christ

The Bible never talks about Church as a building, or something we “go to.” But it has a lot to say about what it means for us to “be” Church, mostly through metaphors (or, ‘picture language’). Steve Burnhope looks at one of the New Testament’s favourite metaphors, ‘the body,’ and what it looks like for us to be putting that into practice in “being Church” together today.

Yes, “Jesus Saves” — but … how, exactly?

Yes, “Jesus Saves” — but … how, exactly?

In the third and final talk in our latest ‘Big Questions’ series, Steve Burnhope looks at how Jesus made us right with God. He starts with what the New Testament and Early Creeds tell us about that question and what the Bible means when it talks about Jesus ‘redeeming’ us, ‘ransoming’ us, ‘paying the price’ and becoming ‘a sacrifice’ for us. Finally, he addresses the widespread but mistaken assumption that the good news of the Gospel is — and ‘has to be’ — all about an angry God of wrath being placated and enabled to forgive only by punishing and killing his innocent Son instead.

The ‘Death’ of the Church

The ‘Death’ of the Church

Surveys showing declining church attendance have led to the media projecting the death of the Church in this country within the next 50 years, if not well before that. In the first talk of our latest ‘Big Questions’ series, Steve Burnhope explores whether the surveys are right. And if so, what the Church can do about it.

Living in ‘Exile’

Living in ‘Exile’

Lyn Burnhope continues from last week’s passage, Jeremiah 29, and explores what it looks like to live faithfully to God’s design for human life in the key areas of money, sex and power.

Does God Have a Plan for my Life?

Does God Have a Plan for my Life?

Many Christians assume that God does indeed have a detailed, individual plan for their lives — the only problem is, finding out what it is! Steve Burnhope looks at the famous verse of Jeremiah 29:11 together with some of the other things the Bible has to say about this important question!

What is the Church?

What is the Church?

Steve Burnhope talks about what it means to be the ekklesia (the New Testament Greek word for ‘the Church’) — a group of people who are both ‘called out’ and ‘gathered together.’

Tell me something I don’t know…

Tell me something I don’t know…

At our Christmas Guest Services 2018, Steve Burnhope borrows from a Paris Hilton tweet earlier in this year and challenges our over-familiarity with the Christmas story. What we expect in the story, now, is very different to what the original first-century audience would have expected, then.

Christmas Carol Services 2018

Christmas Carol Services 2018

Steve Burnhope’s 10-minute talk from this year’s Christmas Carol Services: ‘Christmas Essentials’ …