Learning from the Archbishop – book review

Books, News
Diverse experience My holiday reading included ‘The Road to Canterbury', a biography of the recently appointed Archbishop, Justin Welby. This very readable and fast-moving book contains much for our encouragement as we read of a man of very diverse experience who is deeply committed to mission and the advance of the gospel in the power of the Spirit. His experience helps him empathise with people from many different cultures and who have experienced significant challenges in life. Born into a privileged background he had a somewhat dysfunctional up-bringing between separated parents and under the care of a wandering father. Educated at Eton and Cambridge, where he became a Christian, he had many contemporaries as close friends some of whom are now well-known church leaders, such as the two HTB-based Nickys,…
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Discover and Serve pt 13. Spiritual Gifts 2. How are the Gifts given?

Discover and Serve, Equipping, Spiritual Gifts
A gift is a gift Last time we saw how the gifts of the Spirit are just that - gifts. They are not, nor can be, a payment, a reward or ours to have ‘by right'. If you receive a present on your birthday you neither offer to pay for it nor see it as a reward for the way you have behaved. You certainly have no ‘right' to it; it is a measure of the giver's generosity and love for you. So how are they given? There are various ways. 1. Sovereignly by God as He wishes 1 Corinthians 12 is probably the most often cited reference when considering spiritual gifts. Paul opens the chapter by telling the Corinthian church that he does not want them to be ignorant…
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Discover and Serve pt 12 – Spiritual Gifts 1

Discover and Serve, Equipping, Serving, Spiritual Gifts
The next element of our Serving Profile is Spiritual Gifts, surely the most important. How do these differ from the Skills and Talents we have been considering recently? Skills and Talents First, Skills and Talents are perhaps best described as ‘natural' or ‘acquired'. All our abilities do, of course, come from God but we are born with certain latent abilities; some people are very artistic others are more scientific, some are athletic others are academic. These are not of course mutually exclusive. We can also acquire new skills through training, perhaps learning a language (not very successfully in my case) or computer skills. Second, who benefits? The way these skills and talents are used may benefit others or be essentially for one's own fulfilment and gratification. This is all part…
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