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Review: “Welcome” by Jen Oshman

I love the format of this book. Although it is short, Jen Oshman has packed it with nuggets of biblical wisdom. Each chapter has brief real-life stories to bring the topics to life. Jen then roots the principles of what she is saying in biblical passages. The end of each chapter lists a set of “Action steps”, based on the teaching from the chapter. And the book ends with a 7-session discussion guide for small groups, each session being based on one of the chapters as well as a relevant Bible passage.

Loving people towards Jesus

10 years of fruitless evangelism

Review: “Space at the Table” by Brad & Drew Harper

In this book, subtitled "Conversations between an Evangelical Theologian & His Gay Son", pastor Brad Harper and his son Drew converse in short letters to each other about their differences of opinion regarding same-sex attraction. Whilst Brad holds to a traditional Christian sexual ethic, Drew has left his biblical faith and embraced an LGBTQ lifestyle.

Outreach at TFT

At a recent staff away day, we considered the unique place of TFT’s ministry within the church in the UK and Ireland. TFT is long established, having been founded in 1977, and provides one of the largest support networks for Christians experiencing same-sex attraction and/or gender incongruence we are aware of anywhere in the world. Attached to this, we also have a speaking and teaching ministry that works closely with churches, networks and Bible colleges to deliver events that are closely tailored to their individual needs. No two events are the same.

Review: “Is God anti-gay" (2nd Edition) by Sam Allberry

If you’re like me, when "Is God Anti-Gay?" by Sam Allberry was first published in 2013, you found it a helpful and informative read. I was surprised when an updated version was recently released. But what are the differences in the two editions?    

God healed my experience of rejection

I grew up in a non-Christian family. No one, even in my extended family, went to church except for the standard weddings, christenings and funerals. I attended a boarding school which was nominally Christian. We had Chapel 5 times a week and I sang in the choir at churches and cathedrals around the country. I went to church a lot, so I knew about God, but I didn’t know Him. My school ran an evening club, where we could hang out after curfew.

Reaching out to gay friends

When I originally planned an edition of Ascend on the theme of outreach, I sounded out a few TFT members who live around Brighton based on the thought, “I’m sure Christians living in Brighton have got some good tips on how to reach out to LGBT people”. What I discovered was how disheartened they were about the prospect of outreach in an area that has an established history of hostility to Bible-believing Christianity. 

How God set me free

In my late teens, I adopted a stray budgie that had flown in through my next door neighbour’s window and landed on his head whilst he was asleep. After trying unsuccessfully to locate the owner of the bird, I kept the budgie, naming it Wally (after the neighbour), not knowing that it was actually a female! Uneasy with keeping birds in cages, I left Wally’s cage door open for her to come and go as she pleased. She loved to have a fly around the room, but always returned to her cage after her excursions.

Is the Bible positive about singleness?

When looking at this question, “is the Bible positive about singleness?”, it’s easy for us to jump straight to the Apostle Paul’s verdict, “I wish that all men were [unmarried] as I am”– 1 Cor 7:7. But how do we reconcile this with the consistent emphasis on marriage and filling the land throughout the Old Testament? This seems to be one of God’s priorities from the start, beginning with God’s command to Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply” – Gen 1:28.