In this blog I want to introduce myself and the new church we are planting near Delhi University (DU), North Campus. My name is Navin Thomas and I will be pastoring this new church. My family, which includes my wife Blessy and our three children, shifted near the Delhi University in April 2018 to plant this new church. We came to Delhi in 2015 and for the last three years I was pastoring another church in Delhi. Before Delhi we were in Bangalore, where I did my Masters in Divinity (M. Div.) from South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies (SAIACS). Continue reading “Church near Delhi University, North Campus”
Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, a so-called ‘archaic British law’, was scrapped by the Supreme Court last week, legalizing Homosexuality in India. The Supreme Court ruled that, “Sex between consenting adults of the same gender is no longer an offense”. Even as parts of the media and society celebrated this decision, many others including large parts of the Church in India denounced this move. But many young Christians don’t know where to take a stand. I say ‘young Christians’ because I feel the younger generation is much more sensitized to the questions of ‘Personal liberty and rights’ than many of their predecessors. And the testimony of the Bible against the practice of Homosexuality pulls them in another direction. We Christians, especially our young people, need a convincing answer from the Bible, an answer which can also engage our peers in the world. Continue reading “Homosexuality: A Christian response”
When natural calamities come with unprecedented force, which brings along with it death and widespread destruction, it is natural for the human mind to probe the reasons behind it. The rational mind tries to probe the natural factors behind it but a spiritual mind can make sense of it only with reference to spiritual activity. Silently or otherwise, the spiritual man asks, “God! Did you send this calamity on us? If yes, why?”
The Kerala floods which we all witnessed in these days is still fresh in our minds. With hundreds of lives lost, thousands of people displaced from their homes and billions of dollars lost in damages, that too in a place where Christians have a dominant presence, questions regarding God’s role in all of this is not far from the lips. I heard two Christian leaders proposing two contradicting assessments of the same situation. One said, God has sent it as a judgment upon us due to the increasing sin within the church. Therefore, we need to repent and turn to God. While another asked, how can God do this to a people who have served Him faithfully in this nation? Continue reading “God and the floods”
Last Sunday I preached from Psalm 1 and I titled the sermon, ‘The Way of the Righteous Man’. But a dominant theme within this Psalm is that ‘The Lord leads the Righteous Man on his Way’. When you look at the Psalms it is easy to admire the habits and lifestyle of the righteous man while missing the important fact that it is the Lord who leads him on his righteous path. Psalm 1 is a creative way of teaching the truth found in Phil. 2:12-13 that while we have a responsibility to work out our salvation, yet it is God who works in us to both desire it and to carry it out.
The Lord keeps us away from the way of the evil
The righteous man, who is also called ‘Blessed’ in v. 1, not only keeps away from the way of the wicked, the sinners and the scoffers, rather he marches in the opposite direction of making God’s Law, the delight (v. 2) of his life. The word ‘law’ normally refers to the Torah, the Mosaic Law, contained in Genesis to Deuteronomy but here it refers to its more generic meaning i.e. ‘the instructions of God’, found all over the scriptures. Continue reading “The Lord Leads Us on Our Way”
The Great Reformer of the 16th century, John Calvin, along with Martin Luther, were the most influential voices of the Protestant Reformation. After the Bible, Calvin’s systematic theology titled ‘Institutes of the Christian Religion’ continues to be one of the greatest literary works which have helped to shape the soul of the church, both then and now. My attempt in this article is to present a summary of what he has to say on the subject of idolatry in general and specifically about its manifestation in the form of ‘veneration of images’ in the Catholic church during those times. I am sure that this will have implications for all of us who live in cultures where idolatry is a very prevalent religious practice, especially for those of us who live in India. And as you think about it, my hope is that this article will inspire some of you to take up this book and start reading it for yourself. Continue reading “John Calvin: The Human Heart is an Idol Factory”
This is the first book review that I am publishing on this site and it is a joy for me to introduce to you not just the book but also the author, who has had a great impact on my life and thinking. He is John Piper. With 33 years of pastoral experience, he has also been a prolific writer with many books to his credit. Although, my engagement with his writings has been largely limited to articles written by him on his online ministry platform, www.desiringgod.org, the very first books that I read were ‘Five Points: Towards a deeper experience of God’s Grace’ and ‘Does God desire all to be Saved’. And both these books have proved to be major turning points in my life, as they drastically altered my view of God, man and salvation. One of his distinct contributions to Christian life and thought has been the idea of Christian Hedonism, which he often encapsulates through the statement, ‘God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him’. You can read up more about it on the Desiring God website. Continue reading “Book Review: ‘Fifty Reasons Why Jesus came to Die’ by John Piper”
The Psalmist asks, “How can a young man keep his way pure?” and he answers his own question by saying, “By guarding it (his way) according to your word” (Ps. 119:9). And yet we need only to ask any young man or woman how easy it has been to keep his or her ways pure in accordance with God’s word and most responses would range from simple disappointment to utter despair. They will tell you how difficult it has been to even understand or accept the word of God, leave alone the very ability to walk by it. And the Gospels show us that this condition prevailed among Jesus’ disciples too, before something drastic happened in their lives. And that drastic action was taken by God at the Cross of Jesus Christ. Continue reading “The Cross, the Spirit and the spiritual disciplines”
Searching for the true nature of Jesus
Who is Jesus, really? In the Gospel of Mark, the author is keenly interested in answering this question for his readers. And in this article, we will try to see what is Mark’s answer to this very important question. But that is not a novel theme found in Mark alone, for that seems to be the concern of much of the New Testament writing, found in the Bible. In these writings, Jesus identified himself in various ways and many times it was metaphorical in nature. He identified himself as the shepherd of the lost sheep, a physician for sin-sick people, the light for men living in darkness, a messenger of good news for the world and even the true vine whose branches bear fruit. But all those were metaphors, still leaving us with the question about his true nature. Continue reading “The Mystery of Jesus”
A children’s catechism book that I was using to teach my children, expected them to first answer the questions ‘who made them and why God made them?’. The answer to the first question is obvious, ‘it is God’. But the second answer is not that obvious for many, even seasoned Christians. And the book answers the second question saying, ‘To glorify Him and enjoy him’. And I would totally agree that God’s Ultimate Purpose in creating everything is to display ‘His Own Glory’ so that his creation will also ‘glorify Him’.
Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God and the sky above proclaims his handiwork”. The beautiful and majestic skies proclaim the glory of God. They are calling out to us, to do the same. And that is why the worship that rises from Heaven is: “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created” (Rev. 4:11). Continue reading “The Ultimate Purpose of God”