Monday, May 25, 2009

Interview with Terry Virgo on the Church

I have a great love for interviews with Ephesians 4 Ministries. It's a great chance to hear them speak more spontaneously and from the heart rather than the more prepared preached word. I was fascinated therefore to see that UCCF got the chance to interview Terry Virgo at New Word Alive last month and found the 45 minute interview fascinating and stimulating. Terry's passion for the Church came at a much-needed time for me. So I thought I'd type it up for those who don't have the time to listen. It was so good to hear Terry speak passionately about his vision and passion of a victorious and glorious end-day church!

Mike Reeves: Hi and welcome to another "Tabletalk". I am Mike Reeves - UCCF's theological advisor and we have got a special treat which is that wonderfully (perhaps foolishly) Terry Virgo has agreed to come and sit back round the table again. Terry thanks so much for coming back after having endured one session.

Terry: Thanks Mike. I enjoyed it so much - I am looking forward to it.

Mike Reeves: Thank you Terry. We are going to be thinking about the subject of the Church now - which is a subject I would have thought quite a few people would be thinking "Oh". We looked at grace last time and that was exciting. But Church? That's not so exciting. Well I have got a promise for the listeners. Terry is going to change that! Terry may be feeling nervous as I say that - but I am going to promise that confidently on his behalf. We want to share your passion, Terry for the Church.

Now Terry, a little bird has told me - an anonymous little bird has told me - that if we were to cut you open you would bleed local church. Now is that true? What is going on there?

Terry: Yes I think local church is very big for me - I think that is biblical. I think it is interesting to note that from the beginning in Acts 2 when the first church sermon is preached or the first gospel proclamation by the church - that the word that is used in connection with the conversion of the 3,000 is; "3,000 were 'added' that day". It is an interesting word and we tend to emphasise the individual these days and sometimes when we do evangelism we can even say to someone; "Well you have joined Christ and added to the number of those saved and it would be good for you to try and find a church now".

This time they were "added" to the community - that is how they expressed conversion. So to become part of a community where Jesus is manifestly present is a wonderful part of becoming a Christian. You get added to where He is - where He is among the people. The community of God is a wonderful thing.

Mike Reeves: So how about if we flip that on it's head - what if someone comes to know the Lord but they think that can be done individualistically. It's me and Jesus but they never really "got" the local church. It has never been a part of their Christianity. What is going to be the effect there?

Terry: I think they will lose out terribly. I think they are avoiding what is God's means and method of maturation. I don't think you can become a mature Christian without being part of a local church. I think for myself I was converted out of a non-Christian background and mixed with people who didn't think about God and time together was mostly sinning in one way or another. I became a Christian and just carried on with that. So for 5 years I was a bit of a hypocrite because I went to church on a Sunday but my community of life was still the same group of guys. So I didn't come out from that community. I needed to! When I really had that crisis in church when one day the preacher really captivated me and I felt God spoke to me deeply and I realised that I must come out from the lifestyle I was living.

In those days to be honest church was not a lot of fun. It was very formal and we didn't speak to each other "in the sanctuary" (as it said on the wall!). So to become part of a community was quite difficult because prior to my conversion I would say that my group of friends were actually something of a loving community. We would talk and share about all sorts of things and we were a very good group of friends. So for me the Church had to become a community of friends! Initially I just threw myself into whatever programme was there. I thought; "No I must get into church". My parents were not Christians so I had no model at all and I think we are going to see more and more in this generation people getting saved who are on their own. That for me meant to stop sinning and live the godly life I needed the community of believers.

I needed also to catch the heart of people who knew Jesus far better than I did and to draw on the resources of all generations. So when I actually became part of the church it was great to have older fathers and mothers and uncles and auntys who loved Jesus - as well as contemporaries who could fire the passion in my heart. So I think it is really vital for us to come right into the friendships which the church provides. I think it is really the way you come to know God. It is interesting there are over 40 "one-another" verses in the New Testament. "Love one another, pray for one another, confess your faults to one another". It is saying that the way you grow is with one another - and without those factors and without pressing into close enough friendships so that someone can love you, pray for you, admonish you - you have to be close to people and need to spend time with people for that kind of friendship to happen.

I thank God for church life and friendships now in the body of Christ where that can happen. I really do lean on other people's love, correction, encouragement. It is a wonderful part of being a believer.

Mike Reeves: As you say that, it strikes me that not only is that a wonderful thing but how desperately important that is. Because there are for many people who are just becoming a Christian - they are finding they are already part of a community of friendship. Whatever it is - the sports club, whatever. Which can be quite a tight collection of friends. The problem is that the local church isn't and doesn't offer a serious alternative which is a desperate situation. When that is the case how do we remedy that?

Terry: For me I went to a really good Baptist church where the pastor was a really godly man and preached the Bible brilliantly. He was a man of prayer. I went to the church prayer meeting and learnt a lot about prayer from him. Much I learnt from him. The church was a 600 member and very few people knew one another! It was quite formal in those days! And as I mentioned earlier, the sign on the wall was; "Don't speak in the sanctuary". So you were silent! It was very hard to get to know someone like that. So when we started the church that I became a pastor of - my first church - quite early on back in the 1970's - we started small house fellowships which was hugely important for getting people to know one another in their homes outside of the Sunday meetings.

We had our Sunday meetings with preaching etc but you need fellowship where you can be yourself around the Scripture. So small groups were hugely important. I found many years ago I stumbled on a book that John Stott wrote called; "One People". He talks about small groups and he must have been very early on in the forming of small groups at All Souls. That book must have come out in the 1960's so it must have been one of the earliest on the value of small groups even a big church.

Mike Reeves: Especially in a big church where you could be anonymous and not known.

Terry: Yes well said - I think that is very important. You just need that intimacy and somewhere where you can be yourself. When we are talking about fellowship we are not talking about purposeless being together and whatever happens - there has got to be purpose. It has got to be centred around Scripture and centred in purpose and honesty and integrity. I was in this Baptist church and met a zealous young evangelist who lived in Brighton and he said; "I am going to start a house fellowship" and he said would I like to come and he said let's read the book of Acts and obey every command and believe every promise.

I had never been to a small group before and in my naivety I said "Yes that would be good" - not realising what I was saying! And in small group fellowship with an open Bible you can say; "What does that mean to you and what do you think?" and we share our different views about what a verse might mean and think we have done a Bible study! When all we have really done is throw in some ideas. Instead of really letting the Bible really speak to us and having some weight in our lives. As a result of being in that group within a short time I was doing personal evangelism and went with my friend going house to house.

Mike Reeves: So it didn't make you more introvert and more of a Christian clone but made you more efficient as an evangelist?

Terry: I think it was because the guy leading the group had the intention of doing it. His goal was to make disciples! He wrote a little booklet called; "Making Apprentices" and he very much apprenticed us through an open Bible, friendship, lots of laughter and we prayed a lot. And it affected my life.

Mike Reeves: So how is real Christian fellowship deeper and better than just Christians hanging out together and just friendship?

Terry: I heard Don Carson at New Word Alive here and he was doing his studies on John and he picked up this word "fellowship" and said how we can debase it into having a cup of tea after the meeting! But he said the word really means "partnership". It is not really a religious word - it is to do with a relationship that you are in with purpose, with responsibility - they were partners! When the other's nets broke - they were in this together.

Mike Reeves: And that is at the heart of the Gospel really - relationship! That is what God has called us to.

Terry: Yes. A real carrying and partnership together. So when Paul writes and says; "Our partnership is with you" he was elevating the value of that word "partnership". I found it helpful. So Jesus saves us one by one but sends us two by two - and very quickly we are put into a relationship that strengthens us and helps us.

Mike Reeves: It sounds like from what you are saying that the idea of church as family is really driving practically how you work out what it means to be church. Is that right?

Terry: I would actually take it back to Trinity - which is community on a mission. And as Christopher Wright's book ...

Mike Reeves: Oh I love that description! Say that again!

Terry: It is family on a mission - community on a mission. It is God's mission! And when the Father sent the Son, the Son came in beautiful obedience to the Father and showed us how sons should live with the Father. He came a planet and we were all children of disobedience and Jesus showed us how to live as sons with the Father. That beautiful passage in Galatians tells us we are no longer under the Law because Jesus redeemed us from the Law that we might be sons - and being sons we have the Spirit in our hearts and we cry "Abba Father!" and live as sons! Jesus modelled sonship and extended the family - if I can put it in those terms.

Our invitation is to come into a circle of love that defies analysis - it is breath-taking! The Father to the Son - the Son to the Father. "As the Father has loved Me so I love you" - come into this relational circle, this loving context where you can enjoy the love of God!

Later when Paul sends Timothy to the Corinthians he doesn't say "I am sending you my latest article" - he says I am sending my "beloved son" and he actually says "My faithful and beloved son" - just as God did. So the family of God is extended.

So to come into the family of God is a breath-taking experience and it is not just a doctrine. It is an experience! We have dear brothers!

It is my joy to travel and I have just come back from South Africa where I have dear brothers and sisters and some are black and some white and they love Jesus and we are one family and celebrate that reality!

There is neither Jew nor Greek, black nor white, slave nor free - the family of God breaks through those barriers and draws people into a relationship that is awesome and breathtaking!

Mike Reeves: What I love about how you describe that is you are very clear that it is not just "Terry Virgo quite likes the idea of family so that controls his understanding of church but someone else might like another model". No - no relationship is built into the very foundation because God is relational! God is these three Persons in loving relationship! Family on a mission. I think that is wonderful and so including all different sorts.

Terry: I think the atmosphere of the New Testament is intensely personal. So Paul writes very tenderly to Timothy, Titus - and he writes commending Timothy. Even his great Roman epistle he greets many people by name personally. The whole atmosphere is intensely personal and sometimes with authority. "I am coming to you and you have many teachers but not many fathers". This is tender but not soft in the wrong sense. He is tender and loving and sometimes admonishing - but it is family. It never institutional. I am sorry but it is not democratic, it is not autocratic - it really is family!

Mike Reeves: Within the Trinity it is not democratic either! There is an equality in relationship. The Father loving the Son and that is replicated in the Son loving the Church. The Son is the Lover - it is not an equal relationship between Christ and the Church - He is the Lover! And that is a good thing to rejoice in!

Terry: It is wonderful. I have been studying the Trinity recently with Bruce Ware's book; "The Father, Son and Holy Spirit" and some other literature and I have been stirred by the eternal nature of that submissive role that the Son has towards the Father and that it wasn't only for the purpose of incarnation or redemption but in eternity past the Father sent the Son and the Son was already in submission to the Father. Equal in value but different in role and Person - and that is an eternal perspective!

Sometimes we are shaped by democratic principles and demanding equality in a way that if we force it back into Trinity then we miss the biblical teaching of Trinity whereas if we honour the Biblical teaching of Trinity then we will see that the Father has ultimate authority, the Son delights in submission! It is not irksome! "To always do what pleases Him". "I have meat to eat that you don't know anything about - My meat is to do the will". He gets nourishment from doing that work and although He trembled in the Garden; "Can this cup pass from Me - nevertheless what You want Me to do". So there is an absolute delight in doing the Father's will even on the Cross and on the Cross I believe His shout was; "It is accomplished!". Not just it is finished - I have done the work of the Father that I was sent to do. That is His joy!

And that is modelling sonship for us when we become Christians! So church should never be just "doing your duty" and keeping the rules but a company of people who delight in God and know that God delights in them. And that is where we perhaps overlap with the grace we talked about - knowing His grace sets me free to be a son and when we are sons and daughters of God then we can relate as such as dear friends. I struggle perhaps hearing the language that comes out of the USA; "We hired him - and then we fired him". Speaking of pastors and I think; "That is so far removed".

Mike Reeves: It is very legal language.

Terry: Yes. I love the title of John Piper's book; "Brothers, we are not professionals!". It is a classic title! And of course you are not in a family as professionals. Even on the Cross you will find Jesus saying to John; "Behold your mother". Just that caring family atmosphere. I love it in Philippians where Paul says; "My beloved, my brothers, my longed-for, my joy and my crown". That is the relational atmosphere in the Church. Not strangers - or clergymen. It is brothers and beloved!

Mike Reeves: I would love to push in a bit more Terry into the fact that we rejoice that the Church is not democratic. I remember I once tried to look at the Father's love for the Son and the Son's love for the Father and it was so un-equal.

Again and again the Father says He loves the Son and I think I can only find two instances of the Son saying He loves the Father.

Very, very limited but which is wonderful when that inequality is at work and the Son is the beloved One - it gets mapped out to Christ's relationship with the Church.

I see in such a liberating way that my love for Jesus is nowhere near as important as His love for me! What is really important is that He loves me and of course I love Him dearly - but what is really important is that He loves me.

I would love to trace that into what that looks like in the Church. What does it mean for you to be a father in Christ's family? What does being a good church leader in Christ's family mean?

Terry: I think to follow the way that God is leading our conversation is to emphasise so much that we are the beloved of God and that is hugely important for me as a pastor/teacher and also having the privilidge of overseeing and encouraging a number of leaders - I will always say to them at questions and answers when asked; "What is your most important verse if you could say?" and I will always say it is hugely important to; "Keep yourselves in the love of God".

I think yesterday I was walking on the campsite and this time of the year it is cold in the shade but pleasantly warm in the sun. I said to my wife Wendy; "Let's walk in the sun" and we joke because that is the way I think about this. "Just keep yourself in the love of God". It is not like how do I climb Everest. No the love of God is there for us! We need to keep ourselves there! You can walk in the shade and get colder and colder but just across the road you have the sun. To be in the sunshine of God's love and conciously drink it in and receive it and know as a preacher I don't earn points with God for doing well - my reason for living is not my ministry. I don't need to be needed.

If a leader needs leadership to justify his existance then he is a dangerous man and the church suffers.

So for us all there is nothing greater than being able to say with John that; "Even now we are the sons of God". There is nothing more important. So to be a church leader is a wonderful privilidge but primarily to be a son of God is breathtaking and eternity changing and wonderfully fulfilling! So every aspect of service is secondary to delighting in God. If we can bring churches together to that delight and express it in corporate expressions of worship and love to God - then Paul says in 1 Timothy 1 that the goal of our instruction is love. He could have said; "Timothy the goal of our instruction is orthodoxy" or "the goal of our instruction is radicalism" or all sorts of goals people have! I have observed that - to some people orthodoxy is everything!

Mike Reeves: Which is not a relational thing.

Terry: No! And none of those things are unimportant. Orthodoxy is hugely important and to be radical is hugely important! Other things like money and growth become the absolute goal but Paul says my goal is to build a community of love and I am doing that by instruction. So his instruction has a goal - not just preaching - but I have a goal and my goal is a method of approaching - teaching and instructing looking to produce a community of love. And then that lovely list; from a good heart, a pure conscience, sincere faith - and if we can help pastors produce a community like that - to love God and one another - love the sinner - love the enemies then we have a community.

Mike Reeves: That is so helpful Terry what you were saying. Thank you so much. It leads me into a question I have been longing to ask you - which is; what is preaching?

Terry: I think preaching is a huge privilidge and;

Preaching is the declaration of God's purpose to God's people in the main.

We can talk about evangelistic preaching but in terms of the context in which we are speaking to the people of God. The preacher with an open Bible in his hand has responsibility to genuinely submit himself to what it says. It is not our goal to have a pet idea and find a verse that will fit it. We really want to submit ourselves to Scripture and I feel one of the best forms of preaching if you are a local pastor is probably to do a series and work through maybe a passage of Scripture so we are seeing what the Bible says, what light is it shedding on subjects and if you work through an Epistle you will cover all sorts of ground and if you go through the Epistle you will find yourself handling stuff that you didn't want to handle and you must work hard to find out what it means.

It has also got to be motivational, interesting and lively and relevant to today's culture so people can make sense of it and not just get to know Philippians better - but really are hearing God speak to us through the Scripture. So for me it is teaching what God says is true, making sure we are being faithful to the Scripture, making it relevant and bringing application to people. I try to reach the heart and preach something that will bring change - inspirational change - lifting people's hopes. Sometimes yes - correctional change but we are expounding God's wonderful truth to bring about change in people's lives and sometimes that is to set forth Christ or to set forth the Trinity or objective doctrine that helps inform them. But whatever it is should be applied to their lives.

Mike Reeves: And a heart change in them. So what sort of things are going through your mind as you are getting yourself ready to preach - what sort of things are driving you as you stand up to preach?

Terry: Well I think again so much depends on the context so to answer broadly - if I was going to be in a local church (I am on the road so much these days) but if I were in a local church I would be very prayerful about what is the next series that you want me to do Lord? I am looking to see if God says "You must feed the Church" - like the steward who wants to keep the house running or the housewife who wants to nourish the family and making sure that the menu is broad-based. So we are asking what the Church needs now and you may feel they are vague about this and need instruction on that. So I am looking for "What are You saying to us Father?" - because sometimes you set yourself up for a series and be in Galatians for maybe six months. So you want to know you are getting it from God!

Then I think I remember we did a series on the life of Moses many years ago in the church where I am based and really just followed the story. We turned to the next page to see what happened next and how to apply that to the modern world. So I am prayerfully saying what is the main point of this passage and what are you wanting to say here - that would be very different if one is working through the life of Moses where I might look at the whole chapter. Or if I were working through Galatians I might look at a few verses. It depends on the Scripture.

And then I would be hoping to see what God has spoken to me - has something there really captured my heart and stirred me first? I am looking - always looking for that! I am disappointed if I don't find that. I hate to preach something that hasn't stirred me first.

Certainly when you say what is it like just before I preach really one is trying always to live in an atmosphere of saying "Lord I know You called me to do this and I know I didn't choose this - You chose me to do this. Lord I am still scared and need Your help". I think one should always be thinking that - Lord I know You want me to preach, I know You are with me and I always know that vulnerability.

Mike Reeves: A sort of confident weakness?

Terry: Yes it's a strange mixture isn't it. I think one feels vulnerable but I know I mustn't stay there. I know I am called. I know I am commissioned and I know I would fail if I stayed feeling ultimately vulnerable because no, no God said "Go and preach" so I need to feel His all-sufficiency.

Mike Reeves: Terry I am going to sneakily try to get you to do a mini-preach now. I have got one Bible verse that I want to ask you about which is one that you will know very well. It is Ephesians 3:10 that Paul writes; "God who created all things" wanting through the church to make known the manifold wisdom of God to to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places". What does that mean? Why is it that God chooses to make His manifold wisdom to the rulers and authorities through the church? Why is the church such a perfect God-chosen medium for the proclamation of the gospel?

Terry: I think that the mystery of God being revealed through the church is an amazing concept. It is plainly there in the Scripture. I think God has chosen - and I always think this is strange. That Christ has a Bride made up of people to be put together again and I always feel if I was God I would like something pure and not reconstructed. In God's incredible purpose He has chosen to reconstruct people and it is an amazing display of His grace so through the church is a revelation of the grace of God - that God can take spoiled goods and throughly transform them to such a degree that in all honesty He can say; "My delight is in her". He delights in us and we are a demonstration of His breathtaking grace. We are (as it says in Ephesians 2) "one new man" and we come from enormous diversity and racism, tribalism is so deeply rooted in the human culture and human nature and only Jesus can bring together that which is impossible to dwell naturally together.

So I was with our international Newfrontiers team two or three weeks ago and we have Indians and Pakistanis together worshipping God and we are planting churches in West Africa and the guy who oversees that is a fellow who was doing a Phd at Sussex University and is going back to be a professor of zoology at Accra University and he got so fired with the church when he was with us and so loved it that he went back to West Africa and found it very difficult to find a church that was not legalistic and very forceful and sadly pastors often were quite harsh there and would take the offering and send it back and say that isn't enough! Give more! He found church so ugly compared with what he had enjoyed for four years while he was at Sussex and so he said "We are going to start a church" and he has done brilliantly.

He has many hundreds in his church and is overflowing into Benin and Nigeria and that West African coast. And he has written a book called "God's New Tribe" and he means the church. And he said sadly in West Africa churches are often built along tribal lines and so tribes are often aloof from one another and think they are uniquely the best tribe around and church life flows along those channels. People are not encouraged to marry outside their tribe etc so he has started saying "No! We are proclaiming God's new tribe" and he has worked so hard at preaching and teaching the New Testament concept of the church where there is neither barbarian nor Greek, Jew nor Gentile and he has really worked at it not just as a theological concept but working it in life. The hard work of getting it into people's family lives and encourage them to see what the church is in all it's beauty. Recently there has been an election in Ghana and I was in Kenya last year and elections bring tribal forces to the surface again. As was in Kenya and people got killed on an election because people vote for their tribe. And John has started a weekly broadcast preaching even to the world about God's new tribe and had a tremendous response!

The church is not just meant to be beautiful for herself life stain glass windows but is the answer to the world's deep need! And only Jesus can unite tribes who hate one another. Only Jesus can do that miracle. So the church is resplendent with glory because the church is a display of Jesus power to totally transform an individual. You may say Mother Teresa was an amazing lady and a saintly person - but God wants not just a saintly individual but He wants a community who corporately demonstrate Jesus power to save at depth culturally in such a way that we are on display and cause the world to take note!

I feel when it says in Isaiah 2 that in the last days the mountain of the house of the Lord shall rise above all the nations and all the nations shall flow to it - that is my hope and prayer that we shall the church that is the mountain of the house of the Lord and there are many other mountains! Communism came and went. Secular humanism. There are many mountains. But the promise is the mountain of the house of the Lord is above them all and all the nations will flow to it. And as Moyter says in his commentary on Isaiah - that is supernatural for rivers to flow upwards! God will do that!

God will draw from all the nations and glorify His house and the glory of the latter house shall be greater than the glory of the former! I think we can live with a verse like that! I know it is an Old Testament prophecy but I am wanting to believe for a glorious church where love and harmony and the Presence of Jesus and worship and love for our enemies even in the midst of hostility as it was in the book of Acts - but the church (it says in Acts 2) that no one dared joined themselves to them. But the Lord was adding daily those who were being saved.

They were held in honour and there was reverence towards the church. No one was laughing at the church. To me it is a matter of heartache when the church is regarded as foolish when the church should be a in a place of real respect. There may sometimes kill us as we know is happening around the world today. But there should be a fear of God because of the church. So there is a long way to go but God is committed to His church and we want to keep believing that He is going to have a glorious church.

Mike Reeves: Terry that is a magnificent glorious vision of the church and what I love is how you have got a vision of the church that is rooted in the very being of God and is attractive to how we are made, attractive to our hearts and what a challenge to the whole world and designed as such. Terry could you give us some thoughts on what has helped your thinking on this? Are there some resources that people can get hold of to help to think through the church more whether that be more of the doctrine of church or pragmatically? Anything that has helped you?

Terry: I think my love for the church has grown over I guess many decades now. When I was converted I didn't think this way and I was so grateful to find what I thought was a good church where people were truly born again and we had the Bible preached every week. But I hadn't any biblical awareness of the glory of the church at the beginning. I think I was an individualist and we were taught to do personal evangelism and personal devotions and everything was personal. But I think specially in these post-modern days where everything is so fragmented the church as a corporate community is a wonderful answer to the desert conditions out there. I think it has grown over years. I think when I first read John Stott's BST on Ephesians that was a real introductory helpful book where he does lift up the church in that commentary. Over the years more and more if I see a good book on the church I will grab it, read it and feed myself on it because I really feel we need to start from a good theology. I don't want to start merely pragmatically. There is so much on the church today that is telling you how to build it bigger.

Mike Reeves: I think you have shown that is something built theologically.

Terry: Yes I am constantly having to work on that because I think we live in an amazing generation of developed skills and over the years the way a pastor is seen has changed somewhat reflecting the culture. So historically he was in the culture of a doctor or a squire. Then later with the development of education he had to have a degree so he could be in that world and then a psychologist and add some therapy. It's almost a reflection of culture. Today it is that you need to be a manager or a CEO - can you direct? What is your five year goal and talk the language of growth and being smart.

These things are all very helpful but I am much more motivated to be stirred theologically and rooted from what God wants. That keeps my heart warm and saves me from being shaped by the latest fad - seeker sensative and all that kind of stuff. I am not unmindful of trying to be a good fisherman and trying to catch fish well and there are people who can help us with practical things. But I much rather come from a biblical root and help to fire the guys I work with with theological reasons. Because I think that is like throwing coal on the fire instead of twigs. I think a twig may give you a quick flame and then it is gone but if I can throw some coal on the fire then that will keep the fire burning in guys hearts. So yes I want to have a love for the church and I have been encouraged along the way and I am not quite sure I can immediately come up with this, this and this because it has been a growing experience.

Also not only from helpful material sometimes in books but also the practice of being involved in church planting for (I guess) 20 years and seing good communities working. Leadership is fundemental. Jesus said those famous words; "It shall not be so with you". Some lord it over them but that is not the way we do it - so to keep encouraging leaders to be servant leaders and care for the flock and model something worth joining and attractive. I think it has been a process over time. Even here just looking round the bookshop I saw a book by Edward Clowney on the Church so I quickly brought it because I have been blessed by listening to Tim Keller quite a lot recently and I noticed he quoted Edward Clowney. So I am always trying to feed myself with good books on the church.

Mike Reeves: Terry thanks so much for your time and sharing your heart - very grateful for it and everything you are doing.

Terry: Thanks so much Mike.


Anonymous said...

Hi, I have been looking for the tape set Passion for the Church by C.J. Mahaney and in google searching I came across your blog entry from 2007 when you were giving them away. Do you by any crazy chance still have those?

Dan Bowen said...

Hi Anonymous, no sorry I haven't got any audio messages by C J Mahaney left anymore - only some videos of him speaking at Stoneleigh Bible Week in 2000.

If you are based in the USA, best contact Mahaney's church;

If you are based in the UK, maybe try contacting the main SG church in Newport, Wales;

Maybe they will be able to help you further.

Dan Bowen said...

I've got a feeling I gave the "Passion for the Church" series to a guy called Peter Cockrell. You might try contacting him and asking if you could get copies;

Anonymous said...

Okay, thanks very much for the info.

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

Some very wise answering going on here from Terry.

Loved the Family of the Trinity on a mission.Loved the bit about the Godhead being a bit more than a democracy.

Loved the references to Africa being born there, and having observed Kenya later, then Ghanaian and Nigerian churches here in London.