Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Invitations to talk history - as well as gospel

I'm preaching away from home this Sunday - always an opportunity to dust off the best recent sermon and give it a second outing, I find. Except that my host - a local New Frontiers church pastor - has asked me to speak about some of the social and historical background to Paul that I've been alluding to on the website and have talked about with him over numerous cups of coffee in recent months.

It's unusual to be asked to focus in this area by a church. And yet I find myself quite a lot these days talking with Christians - both in my church and others - about what many people would call 'history' rather than 'theology'. There seems to be an interest in knowing where the early believers met, what they did, what kind of jobs they had, how the Roman empire worked and what influence it might have had on the shape Christianity took on, what kind of leadership churches had, etc...

I find this hugely encouraging. I'm just wondering whether my New Frontiers hosts will take kindly to a sermon on how women were essential to the successful founding and nurturing of the church in philippi, according to Acts!

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