The sharpest question for studying the Bible.

Leave a comment

06/03/2013 by Chris Green


People come to church for a lift. An encouragement. Maybe a challenge. They don’t want trouble.

And those of us who stand behind the lectern agree with them. We’ll give them their lift and maybe their challenge. But we don’t like trouble either.

So we conspire together to avoid certain subjects. Which isn’t healthy

It’s a really useful exercise to stare at a Bible passage and ask what we wish wasn’t there. The bits that we don’t understand. That say the opposite of what they should. The hot bits. The bits we want to cut out.

It’s useful because of what it shows up.

It shows up my temptation. One of the ways God gets on our case is that the Bible becomes repeatedly and emphatically clear about something. Every passage seems to be about giving, or lust, or lying – you’ve had the experience. When God dislikes us like that it’s for our good, so take your medicine and change your life

It shows up my cowardice. The Bible will always be counter-cultural, and god will always want us to speak on those parts of his Word which will get us into trouble..I preached on Genesis 2 the other day, and was slightly anxious when a friend said he,d used that recording at home group, and another suggested we put it on the website. Why? Because that passage gets us into trouble today, and I’m a coward. But to be faithful, I must nerve myself for that fight. So i preach to myself. Be strong, and of good courage. He has overcome the world

It shows up the conversations I’ll have after church. Mention Israel, and three people will make a beeline for you. As a pastor I wince. In advance. But deep down i do know that I can’t keep avoiding the subject forever. It’s in the Bible and on the news. So, rather than duck those conversations, plan for them – aim to lance that boil

God’s word is sharper then a two-edged sword. That means it cuts. It cuts bits out of us. Let it do his work.

Crack open you Bible, and study it (letting it study you) as you ask, “What do I wish wasn’t there?”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Shortlisted for “Most Inspiring Leadership Blog, 2018”

New resource

Pastors are busy, and leading a church is a demanding task.  That’s why I wrote this e-bookchecklist: The Pastor’s Checkup – The Top 10 Questions every pastor needs to answer (and helpful stuff if you can’t)

There’s only way to get it is by subscribing to my  (occasional) email newsletter here.


God, Suffering and Joy

A conversation between me (with cancer) and Michael (with Multiple Sclerosis)

Legal stuff

This blog does not share personal information with third parties nor do I store any information about your visit to this blog other than to analyse and optimise your content and reading experience. I am not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without my permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice.

I welcome your participation on the Ministrynutsandbolts site, and invite you to share ideas elsewhere on what you learn and read here. At the same time, I ask that you respect my intellectual property rights in the process.

You are welcome to link to my site or any specific post on my site, extract and re-post less than 200 words on any other site, provided you link back to my original post, or print my posts in any non-commercial publication (e.g., company newsletter, class syllabus, church newsletter, etc.), provided you include this copyright notice: “© 2017 Chris Green. All rights reserved. Originally published at”

Please do not do the following without written consent: Re-post one of my posts in its entirety anywhere else on the Internet, use this content for commercial purposes, including selling or licensing printed or digital versions of my content, or alter, transform, or build upon this work.

If you have some use for my content that is not covered here, please contact me. If you would like me to do a guest post on your blog, email me at

Copyright does not apply to the titles of books, but transparency means I should own that the title of the blog is taken from the excellent ‘Ministry Nuts and Bolts: What They Don’t Teach Pastors in Seminary ‘ by Aubrey Malphurs (Kregel: 2nd edn. 2009)

© 2018 Chris Green

%d bloggers like this: