After what we have been through these past two Sundays, particularly over the Bank Holiday weekend, we need to be reminded that the authentic biblical gospel of our Lord Jesus is the only message that can bring the life of God to spiritually dead men and women in any society, including one as thoroughly obsessed with self-worship and self-indulgence as ours.
That is why cc is most grateful to the friend who has just sent our prayer network of old Oaks the audio link to the Revd Mike Cain's talks at July's Evangelical Ministry Assembly in London on 2 Corinthians 3 & 4. Entitled Removing the Veil, they are a great way of immersing oneself in warm spiritual waters before September kicks off. The three talks are available on the Proclamation Trust website here.
With great clarity, sincerity, and grounded ministerial realism, Mr Cain, senior pastor of the Emmanuel family of churches in Bristol, shows the glory of authentic gospel ministry, as Paul both teaches and exemplifies it.
In his first talk, Mr Cain is somewhat satirical about EMA-attending ministers who blog about the trendy films they have seen or culturally-cutting-edge books they have read. Your curate has occasionally gone for a little outing on that kind of pedalo though without the impressive visuals of some other evangelical blogs.
But God willing drawing attention to Mr Cain's talks on this little blogspot will help boost the morale of some beloved brothers in Christ who have been experiencing the personal and social cost of authentic gospel ministry. They may even have been told they need an image make-over to get the punters in. "If only you were as cool as that Vicky Beeching"...
Our hearts need Paul's encouragement:
For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For it is the God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ (2 Corinthians 4v5&6 - RSV).