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HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully at Windsor Castle. Please join us in prayer: O MERCIFUL God, the Father...

He Will Burn Up the Chaff with Unquenchable Fire

Bishop JC RyleHe Will Burn Up the Chaff with Unquenchable Fire In 1878, two years before he was made the first Bishop of Liverpool, The Revd JC Ryle delivered a sermon on the biblical teaching regarding the doctrine of hell. His words are as pertinent today as they...

Pilgrim’s Process

By The Revd Dr Peter Sanlon In our journey to heaven we are to be thankful for the world we pass through. One of the great prayers of the Book of Common Prayer (there are many!) is the General Thanksgiving. In it we pray, 'We bless thee for our creation, preservation...

Original Sin is the fundamental systematic cause of abuse

Original Sin is the Fundamental Systematic Cause of Abuse The Christian world has recently been shaken by revelations that two high-profile Evangelical leaders—the late Ravi Zacharias, founder of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries; and, closer to home, the Revd...

Letters To The Editor – Graham

Dear Sir, The organisers of an evangelistic event in which Franklin Graham preached have won a legal dispute with Blackpool Council. The Lancashire Festival of Hope took place over three days at Blackpool's Winter Gardens in September 2018, which saw hundreds make...

Letter To the Editor – Government

Dear Editor, Readers may appreciate the relevance of the following comments by Bishop Ryle in his Expository Thoughts on John 18:36 (Volume 3 page 274): “No government can expect to prosper which refuses to recognise religion, which deals with its subjects as if they...

Lancashire Judge Rules in Favour of Franklin Graham

In a strong and clear rebuke of the cancel culture sweeping the UK, a court ruled that the 2018 Lancashire Festival of Hope with Franklin Graham was discriminated against by the Blackpool Borough Council and Blackpool Transport Services Limited by taking down bus ads...

Spectator Cover Shows Empty Tomb for Easter Edition

Many of the readers of the English Churchman are also readers of The Spectator but the 3 April edition was a rather nice surprise. If you missed it, the cover featured an artist’s rendering of Jesus’ empty tomb. Bright morning sunlight showed the inside of a tomb,...

BCP Worship

The Second Sunday after Easter 11 April 2021 Psalm 81:1-4Ezekiel 37:1-101 John 5:4-12John 20:19-23 BCP Collect “Almighty Father, who hast given thine only Son to die for our sins, and to rise again for our justification: Grant us so to put away the leaven of malice...

St George’s Church Crowhurst Promotes Wider Use of the BCP

A parish church in East Sussex – located next to the ruins of King Harold’s Saxon Manor, mentioned in the Domesday Book – has joined the Prayer Book Society in a bid to strengthen its campaign promoting wider use of the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) by young people as...

Are you a Lucky Dipper

A Short Devotion

Are You a Lucky Dipper?

Do you read the bible methodically or are you a lucky dipper?  To be more explicit, do you start at the beginning of a book and work your way through, or do you merely open the bible and let your eyes alight upon the first thing you see and that is God’s word for you for the moment?  

In my 25+ years of experience in ministry, it is my observation that if people read the bible at all that most are lucky dippers.  I confess that I didn’t invent that term, rather I picked it up from an old friend who is now with the Lord.

You couldn’t meet John for more than 5 minutes without him telling you about his faith.  His age and demeanour gave him instant credibility.  He was one of those people that you felt you should trust.  Hedge funds could’ve made a fortune with him as their spokesman.  He oozed trustworthiness.

John had retired as the personnel manager (long before people were “human resources”) from one of the area’s biggest companies.  By his own admission, he had struggled with an alcohol problem for many years, but you would’ve never suspected.   When John came to have a living faith in Jesus, he had a desire to know more about God and so he started trying to read the bible on a consistent basis.  

As a new Christian, his reasoning about studying the bible was simple.  It was all the word of God so it all must be for you on any given day.  So, every morning John would sit down for his quiet time.  He would say a short prayer, then close his eyes with his bible in hand and flip through the pages before putting his finger somewhere on a page to find his lesson for the day.  He never shared with me what had broken him of this approach, but it rattled him.  Couldn’t help but wonder if he’d landed on something like Ezekiel 16:17, 23:19-20, or 2nd Kings 18:27.  Nevertheless, he soon saw the wisdom of a different, more methodical way of studying the bible and became well versed. He always had an answer for why he believed, and his living hope radiated from his presence.

So how should we study the bible?  All of it is good…but start at the beginning, not in the middle…whether it be of Genesis or in reading the entire bible.  If a book, read through to the end before trying to dig in.  Notice to whom it is addressed.  Determine the context in which it is written.   There is benefit in reading any book of the bible but the OT historical books, the four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles are generally written to everyone, whilst the Psalms, prophetic books, and apostolic letters are written specifically to the people of God.  They won’t make much sense to non-Christians because the things they address are spiritually discerned and those without the Spirit of God cannot understand their importance.  

Just remember the Apostle Paul’s words in 2nd Timothy 3:16 & 17: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished  unto all good works.”

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