Biblical Basis Movements

Who matters?

I’m working my way through the Gospel of Luke at the moment. Luke is keen to anchor his account in history. So he identifies the rulers of the time. But as David Garland points out,

In Luke’s account, the kings and governors play no direct role in the story’s action and serve only as chronological ciphers (see 3:1 –2) or as those issuing decrees from afar (2:1). Busy with their own affairs, they take no note of the birth of John or of Jesus that will turn their world upside down. 

The vital characters in the story are unknowns: an ordinary priest and his aging wife; a young peasant girl and a Jewish man, who has to register to pay his taxes; shepherds, a despised class; and two prophets, male and female, who hang out in the temple waiting for God’s intervention.

How preoccupied we become with politics and power. As though they are the ultimate reality. How fearful angry and we have become.

Meanwhile, God is working out his purposes. He has his people in place. Ordinary people, far from the corridors of power.

God laughs at the rulers of this world. He has them in the palm of his hand.

167-Steve Smith talks about Spirit powered movements

I interviewed Steve Smith recently on a range of topics. In this live webinar with Nate Vander Stelt, Steve Smith goes deep on the topic of Spirit powered movements.

Thanks to our friends at GACX for making the interview available.


166-Finishing the Task: Steve Smith


The gospel of the kingdom will be preached as a testimony to all nations,
and then the end will come.

Matthew 24:14

Steve Smith shares his journey with church planting movements. He discusses his latest book, Spirit Walk: The Extraordinary Power of Acts for Ordinary People. Finally, Steve outlines the 24:14 Coalition and answers the question: What will it take to finish the task?


Finding your way through the missional fog

A "missional fog" has descended on the church, turning everything into mission and neglecting the spread of the gospel and the multiplication of disciples and churches.

Watch the video. Do the exercises. Read these three excellent articles. The only way through the fog is to stay close to what Jesus did, what he trained his disciples to do, and what the risen Lord continued to do through the church in Acts.

UPDATE: A good book on Biblical foundations for our mission. The Kindle version is on sale for $6.77.


While you're there... on sale for $1.59.


What if Jesus refused to baptize you?

If you were getting baptized two thousand years ago you'd probably have wanted Jesus to do it. And he probably would have refused.

Early on in his ministry Jesus was making and baptizing even more disciples than his cousin, John the Baptist. As a result opposition in Judea grew, so Jesus headed north to Galilee. In an aside the writer tells us that Jesus didn't baptize, he gave that responsibility to his disciples (John 4:1-3).

He probably baptized his first few disciples but quickly got them baptizing others. Why? Here's one reason according to John Calvin,

He calls Christ's Baptism that which He administered by the hands of others, to teach us that Baptism is not to be valued from the person or the minister, but that its whole force depends on its author, in whose name and by whose command it is administered ... our Baptism has no less efficacy to cleanse and renew us than if it had been given directly by the Son of God

John Calvin quoted in Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John, 252.

Jesus was making the point that it doesn't matter who baptizes you. Any follower of Christ can baptize. What matters is that it's in his name. Baptism doesn't depend on the person who baptizes, but on Christ.

That's why in the New Testament, every disciple is called to make disciples, to baptize them and teach them to obey Christ's commands (Matt 28:18-20).