September 2022

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Theology is Important

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Theology is important! “But I am a practical person, so why do I need all that book-learning stuff?”

Theology is important for you. “No way. I follow the Spirit, so why do I need to know all that doctrine?”

“Theology is the domain of seminaries and we all know that seminaries are spiritual cemeteries.”

I have written on this before, but it is worth stating again – what we believe largely determines how we live. Sometimes we speak and act irrationally or out of anger or hurt, but mostly what we say and do flows from our embedded values, priorities, and life principles. These arise from what we believe about who we are, what we are doing on this planet, and where we go when we die, and these, and more, are the subjects of theology. However, I need to define ‘theology’ before progressing further.


What is Theology?

I really dislike the stock definition of theology as the study of God. God is multidimensional and we are limited to three dimensions of space and one of time. God is all-knowing, all-wise, and all-powerful and we are pathetically limited in all of these aspects. How then can we study God?! It is like an aphid claiming to be able to study an angel. I don’t even like the idea that theology is talking about God. No, it is far more than just that, and of much greater value than talk and conjecture.

A biblical understanding of the nature of theology derives from two Greek words, Theos and Logos. Theos translates as ‘God’ and Logos translates as ‘divine reason’, which can also mean ‘reason as the controlling principle of the universe’, and even ‘reason as manifested by speech’. However, the biblical revelation goes deeper because in the first chapter of the Gospel of John, the author writes that the Lord Jesus Christ is The Logos.

‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning … The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.’

On all three occasions ‘the Word’ is a translation of the Greek ‘logos’. So, authentic Christian theology is based on the revelation of Jesus Christ as God. Theology is rooted in divine revelation rather than intellectual discovery yet it deploys philosophy and reason as aids to comprehending God’s revelation to us. Theology is the body of Jesus-centred divine revelation.


How we Develop our Theology

Seminaries articulate theology and act as its custodians over the generations. Some of us study at such establishments’, others read theology books, while still others do neither. Yet all of us have a theology. We may have imbibed it from our parents or teachers, or perhaps we have built it directly from the pages of scripture, but all Christians have a theologically informed worldview of one form or another.

This theology, whether we call it that or not, plays a huge role in how we live. It informs our business ethics, our personal morality, and our value system, and it moulds our measures of meaning and worth. Theology is, therefore, important to all of us.

Church Theology

The role and importance of theology is more obvious within the context of the church than it is in our personal lives. Local churches and denominations invariably have a well-established theology, which becomes obvious through its preaching, teaching, and leadership ministries. They often crystalize   their theology in statements of faith or position papers and teachings on key doctrines. Problems arise when churches place their traditions and historical positions above the revelation of scripture.  Problems also occur when church practices arise from poor doctrine and faulty theology. However, those accountable for defective theology seldom acknowledge that their understanding is deficient. For instance, those who promote infant ‘baptism’ usually claim that their practice flows from the legitimate idea that baptism is a church-age continuation of the Old Testament rite of circumcision. However, Jesus modelled adult baptism by immersion and Paul expanded on this idea. So, infant baptism/Christening does not arise from a Jesus-centred understanding of scripture and is therefore defective. All churches have a theology but not all parts of their theology are necessarily ‘correct’. Now, this obviously begs the question of what constitutes good/correct theology.


The Fundamental Criterion of Good Theology

For at least the last thirty-five years I have preached, taught, and written on this subject. My personal conviction is that the biblical revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ is the fundamental criterion of good theology. In a nutshell, my reasoning is:

  1. The Bible is the trustworthy written record of God’s revelation to humanity.
  2. Jesus Christ is the full manifestation of the Godhead in bodily form.
  3. Therefore, the biblical revelation of what Jesus said, did, and revealed of the nature and character of the Godhead is the criterion of sound theology.
The foundation of this process of deduction is obviously the presupposition that the Bible is the trustworthy record of God’s revelation to humanity. A critic might claim that my Christocentric (Jesus-centred) basis for sound theology is simply an assumption. This is true. Almost all logical arguments are founded on an assumption of some kind. However, my base assumption is neither arbitrary nor unsubstantiated. I have devoted a huge amount of time and research to satisfying myself that the bible, as we have it today, is trustworthy and reliable. I do not claim that it is ‘inerrant’ as my more fundamental brothers claim it to be because it does not make this claim for itself. Yet, despite the involvement of human beings in its authorship, editing, and preservation, I find it to be consistently trustworthy.

Therefore, if a church or denomination bases and validates its theology Christocentrically (from a Jesus perspective) then that theology will be good theology. The same must apply to individuals. However, I do have a few caveats to add.



It is possible for someone to base their theology on a biblical understanding of who Jesus is and what he said and did and revealed of the Godhead, yet still produce poor doctrine and theology. This can happen by:

  1. Basing theology only on what the scriptures reveal of Jesus Christ. Some would call this red-letter theology and it arises when there is a failure to realise that Jesus is both the subject of scripture, but also its interpreter. For biblical theology to be adequately developed it must take into account all of the biblical revelation and not just the Gospels, Acts and selective verses from the book of Revelation. But, and it is a big but, all of scripture needs to be looked at through the lens of what Jesus said, did, and revealed of the nature and purpose of the Godhead. This is what I understand as genuine Jesus-centred interpretation.
  2. Not basing theology on the texts and passages of the bible within their fuller context. Verse-picking bedevils many Christians! Verses that are lifted out of their historical, linguistic, and literary context do not constitute a basis for sound interpretation.
An Example

Just in case the two principles I have articulated above are too general, let me give an example of what I mean. I have written  before about the Mathew 24 ‘signs of the end of the age’, passage before, but it will also serve well here.

Many people are wondering if we are currently living in the final days of planet Earth as we know it, and so what Jesus said about it is a hot current issue.

Matthew 24 contains some statements that may confuse or scare some. For instance, Jesus said in Matthew 24 verses 15 and 16, “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation’, spoken through the prophet Daniel (let the reader understand) then let those who are in Judea flee fo the mountains’”. I wonder how many doomsday-preppers have taken this as a reason to head for the hills and live in armed and fearful isolation? The assumption for them would be that the whole of chapter 24 is about the end of time.  Because there is no longer a temple (holy place) in Jerusalem, then they figure that the reference must be to parts of today’s church which they perceive as an abomination in so many ways.  The world is evidencing much of what Jesus speaks of in the chapter, and they see the traditional church as ‘desolate’, so it must be time to run and hide. The problem is that the disciples asked Jesus two questions, one about when the Jerusalem temple would be destroyed and the other about the end of time and the second coming. In verses 15 to 22 Jesus describes the conditions that would occur in AD 70 when the temple would be destroyed by the Roman army. This passage does not refer to our current conditions. There are clues in the text itself that this is the case. For instance, ‘let the reader understand’ must surely refer to the original readers and not the hundreds of generations between then and now. If you would like to read further on this passage of Matthew then click HERE.


If, as I believe is the case, what we say and do is greatly influenced by our theology, then a good way of changing our lives for the better is to re-examine our theology.

What do I believe concerning the centrality of Jesus Christ? What do I believe concerning the trustworthiness of the bible? What do I believe concerning my dependence on the Holy Spirit?

Having determined what I currently believe concerning these three fundamental theological foundations, my next step should be to relate issues of faith and life to what Jesus revealed within its proper context. Do my current life principles, values, and purposes correlate with a Jesus-centred theology? From this base, I can determine what needs to change in the way I live my Christian life. This will be hard work requiring regular reality checks, but I know of no other way to intentionally adjust our theology and the lifestyle that flows from this.

Another way to perform a reality check is to change our approach to responding to issues that arise in our lives. If someone asks what your position is on homosexuality, abortion, war, radical liberalism, or whatever, you can check your habitual response and reprocess the matter differently. Instead of responding with “Well, I think…”, or, “The Bible says…”, you can find some time to run the issue through the filters that I have proposed.


If you still hold that theology is not important, then I would be very happy to interact with you and hear what you have to say. The easiest way is to comment on this post at the foot of the page, or you could send me an e-mail.

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TruthTalks: Books that Most Impacted me

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Have you ever read a book that has completely changed your perspective on everything? That has opened your mind to a new way of thinking?

In this TruthTalks podcast, Dr Christopher Peppler tells us about 9 books that have played pivotal roles in his life, both before becoming a Christian right up to being a Theologian. We would love you to let us know what books have impacted YOU so feel free to drop us a note. is non-profit and we rely on YOU to help us spread the word, so please like, comment, subscribe and interact with us.

Please press play to listen now or download this TruthTalks message. You can also subscribe to ensure you don’t miss the next one.

Until next time, Admin

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Books that Most Impacted me

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I have been thinking recently about books that most impacted my ministry as a pastor and theologian.

I am sharing these with you because the quotes and insights I provide may be useful to you in your Christian life and ministry. Before switching off, because you are not a pastor or a theologian, please bear in mind that all who are born again of the Holy Spirit have some form of ministry and all of us have a theology that informs us, even though we may not call it by that name.  I also list some of my favourite books that I encountered before I became a Christian, and some I read as a young Christian… so there is something for everyone here. 

I am not listing the bible here because it is a given for any disciple of the Lord Jesus that the scriptures are THE most life-impacting collection of writings. Just for your interest, though, I consider the New International Version (NIV) 1984 edition as both readable and as accurate as any translation can be. I am referring to the 1984 edition only because the translators of later editions seem to have lost their way in gender-neutral language and other issues that cast doubt on the accuracy of the translation. No version is perfect so I also like to consult The Holman Christian Standard Bible and the New Living Translation.
Pre-Christian Books

I was born again of the Spirit at the age of thirty, so the books that impacted me most in my teen and early adult years were not necessarily by Christian authors. Here are the three, from among several, that opened my mind to different ways of thinking and fed into my later worldview.

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

The main character of this book, Howard Roark, was inspired by the well-known American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. In my late teens, I aspired to be an architect and was forever drawing floorplans of houses and so I immediately related to this novel. The setting for the book was the profession of architecture because it was a field that combines art, technology, and business, and thus allowed Ayn Rand to illustrate her primary theme in several areas of life. Her main theme was individualism as a philosophy with profound life implications. A later publication was a collection of her essays, titled ‘The Virtue of Selfishness’ presenting her radical moral code of rational selfishness and its opposition to the morality of altruism. I was an enthusiastic unbeliever at that time and Ayn’s thinking inspired me and played some part in the driving ambition that characterized my life until the age of thirty. There could hardly be a philosophy and worldview more opposed to biblical Christianity! However, my esteem for this book set me up for the mind-challenging influence of the next book that impacted me.

Dear and Glorious Physician by Mary Taylor Caldwell

This book took years of research in the making as it encompasses the life and works of the medical doctor Luke, the author of The Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts. She presents him as an authentic man with a history, hopes, frailties, and virtues. When I read the book, I was already roughly familiar with the biblical Luke thanks to my believing parents and my years at Sunday School. In Mary’s depiction of this man, my eyes were open to the possibility that the Gospel might be real and relevant to my life. It also provided me with a profoundly different worldview to the one promoted by Ayn Rand. Instead of self-serving as the highest goal, here was a portrait of a self-giving person committed to the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Looking Glass Universe by John Briggs and David Peat

This book added another dimension altogether to my developing worldview. In 1984 John, a PhD in Psychology and a professional writer, assisted David, a Holistic Physicist, in writing this fascinating book. The blurb on the back cover describes it as the ‘mind-boggling journeys of several prominent scientists, including David Bohm, Karl Pribram, Ilya Prigogine, and Rupert Sheldrake, whose startling new theories could revolutionize our understanding of the universe.’ A lot of what I had learned at school transformed and reconfigured into a vision of a universe of sub-atomic particles, quantum realms, relativity beyond relativity, Morphogenic zones, and much more. At first, I was indeed mind-boggled, but then I became fascinated, and finally delightedly informed.

At the age of thirty, I was born again of the Spirit of God and my reading choices changed radically.

Books I read as a spiritually young Christian

In the first decade of my life in Christ, my major need was to learn to know God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. At that time, I formulated what I still believe to be a statement of the purpose of life – To know Jesus, to become like him, and to help others to do likewise. The three books that impacted me most during that period all fed into this need to know God rather than just to know about him.

Love, Acceptance, and Forgiveness by Jerry Cook.

One of the main themes of this book is summed up in the statement: ‘Love, acceptance, forgiveness – those three things are absolutely essential to any ministry that will consistently bring people to maturity and wholeness’. This idea weaves through the whole book.

Another theme, which prepared me wonderfully for the years of pastoral leadership that would soon follow, was the concept that the church should be positioned as a ‘force’ and not as a ‘field’. Essentially, the Field mentality is where a church sees its buildings, programs, preachers, and so on, as means of getting people to come to them (come play on their field). The Force mentality sees the church as members going out into their worlds as a force for Gospel truth and wholeness. I will use Jerry’s words, not mine, to explain the important differences between these two ideas.

‘In the field concept, the organized church is where the people come to do the work of God’. ‘Jesus said, “The field is the world… (Matthew 13:38) Instead of the world being the field, we have made the church the field.’ In the Church as a Force model ‘the church is people, equipped to serve, meeting needs everywhere in Jesus’ name’.

This book addresses the following questions:

  • ‘What does the church-as-the-field emphasize?… (the need for) a great deal of visibility… the leaders of the church must take on a very significant PR role’ ‘The happenings that take place in this building must be of such a nature that people will be attracted. Programme and promotion become very important… So, the church’s emphasis becomes visibility, organization, programme, and promotion.’ ‘What does the church-as-a-force emphasize? ‘worship, training, and fellowship, because these are the things that produce Spirit-filled people who can meet others’ needs in Jesus’ name’.
  • ‘What goals does the church-as-a-field have? ‘(They) are defined in terms of numbers in attendance, of budget and of facility.’ ‘Facility is vitally important to the concept of the church-as-a-field because the only way to increase the field is by enlarging the facility.’ What goals does a church-as-a-force set? ‘Each member to come to wholeness, be equipped, and be released into the world to minister.’
  • ‘How does the church-as-a-field go about accomplishing its ministry?’ ‘This work, once the people are gathered, centres around a professional…And when there are more heads than his hands can take care of we add another professional.’ ‘Everything is designed to draw people.’ It is ‘the role of the pastor is to help Christians start living in the light of the truth.’ ‘Ministry becomes a positional identity within the organization… As a result, the individual member is easily misled about the meaning of Christian service and is often reduced to a spectator.’ Opposed to this, the church-as-a-force sees its primary ministry as equipping and encouraging members to do the work of the ministry.
  • ‘What motivates the church-as-a-field?  ‘Their primary motivation is to get people in and keep them in’. ‘This results in an enormous amount of programming’ because this kind of church ‘must also get people serving the church… leaders begin to exploit people’. They reach people ‘not because they are hurting, but because they can help the church’. What, on the other hand is the motivation of the church-as-a force? What does it try to accomplish? They try to ‘bring healing to the whole man, to every area of a person’s life…The church-as-a-force becomes a healing agency in the community, not a place of refuge from the community. Nor is the church a competitor with the world.’

Jerry Cook had much more to say that was valuable to me, but I think you can get the idea from the above quotes why I decided, very definitely, to be part of building a local church with a ‘force’ and not a ‘field’ mentality.

The Sense of His Presence’ by David Mains.

This book starts with the question ‘what would happen if Jesus came to your church this Sunday?’

This must have stayed in my memory for decades because a few years ago I wrote a series of articles titled ‘What Kind of Church would Jesus Attend?’ Have a peek HERE if you want to see my answers. David Mains summed up his response to the question with: ‘the answers revolve around a single standard: is there a strong, abiding sense of the presence of the Lord here?’ He then addressed the following eight specific areas in which the presence of God needs to be sensed:

  1. ‘Do the people perceive the presence of Christ to the degree that they come prepared truly to worship Him?’
  2. ‘Is Christian love expressed in such a remarkable way that all can see the living Christ is truly present among His People?
  3. ‘Is victory over sin a quality which consistently marks the people at all levels?’
  4. ‘Are the people in this church excited about the privilege they have as subjects of the King to serve Him?’
  5. Are they eager to learn more of the Scriptures and to hear about personal application of the Word?’
  6. ‘Do the people see value in spending quality time talking to Christ?’
  7. ‘Are church members sharing with others the news that their Lord is truly in the midst?’
  8. ‘Is there a general sense of well-being, a feeling that life in the church is as God intended it to be?’
With hindsight, I can see that it was not the answers to these eight questions that impacted me, but the underlying question that gave rise to them – Is there a sense of His presence?’. A glaring omission from David’s list is the question, ‘Is there evidence of the ministry of the power of the Holy Spirit?’

My list, later as a more mature Christian, was:

  • Reverent and adoring worship
  • Passionate prayer
  • Serious attention to biblical preaching
  • An attitude of faith
  • Ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit
  • Anointed leadership
  • Expressions of love
  • An impartation of life and wholeness
  • A desire to share the presence of God with others
Return From Tomorrow by George Ritchie

This book had a great impact on me in my early Christian years. I did not accept everything that he claimed to have experienced or his analysis of these events, but his core experience blew me away. As a twenty-year-old, George had a near-death experience during which he was caught up into Heaven to stand before Jesus. He had become a Jesus-follower as an early teen, but had then wandered away from the reality of his faith. Here are some of the things he experienced when he stood before the Lord and Saviour:

‘Far more even than power, what emanated from this Presence was unconditional love. An astonishing love. A love beyond my wildest imagining. This love knew every unlovable thing about me… Everything that had ever happened to me was simply there, in full view, contemporary and current, all seemingly taking place at that moment… Every detail of twenty years of living was there to be looked at. The good, the bad, the high points, the run-of-the-mill. And with this all-inclusive view came a question. It was implicit in every scene and, like the scenes themselves, seemed to proceed from the living Light beside me. What did you do with your life?… No condemnation came from the glory shining round me. He was not blaming or reproaching. He was simply loving me. Filling the world with Himself and yet somehow attending to me personally (and) waiting for my answer to the question that still hung in the dazzling air… The question, like everything else proceeding from Him, had to do with love. How much have you loved with your life? Have you loved others as I am loving you? Totally? Unconditionally? ‘

What I learned, no, more than learned, absorbed into myself, from this book was that:

  • God is good and loving
  • All will stand before him one day to give an account for a life lived. For those born of the Spirit, there will be a review of earthly thoughts, words, and deeds that allows us to see the reality of our life on Earth in all its glory, failure, sin, and absolution. The result of this review will determine our utility/rewards in Heaven. For those who do not already know Jesus, the result will be an honest acceptance of the righteousness and justice of their separated state.
  • How we spend our time on earth, the kind of relationships we build, is vastly, infinitely more important than we can know.’

These things are biblically true and endorsed, taught, and manifested by Jesus Christ during his years on Earth.

At the age of forty, I became a full-time pastor of a local church and, once again, my reading choices changed.

Books I read as a pastor and theologian

The first three books listed in this article challenged my view of moral values, spiritual reality, and the nature of the world in which we live, and the second group of three challenged my views on God’s nature and character. I read many other books on these subject areas, but once I became a pastor, the nature of the books impacting me shifted. In the first decade as a Christian and lay leader, I had developed fairly comprehensive opinions on the nature of the bible, the centrality of Jesus, the church, and ministering in the power of the Holy Spirit.

By the time I started leading a local church, I had crystalized the fundamentals of what I believed into three bylines – Bible-based, Jesus Centred, and Spirit Dependent.

I built the local church, and later a seminary, on these three foundations, and so it is not surprising that the books that had the greatest impact upon me fell into these three categories. They did add some new things to my thinking, but their greater purpose was to confirm and reinforce my theology and church praxis. Until I read them, I had felt a little like someone singing into the wind, but these books helped me to realise that I was actually part of a choir and that perhaps the wind was changing direction.

The Scripture Principle by Clark Pinnock

I have read a lot of Clark Pinnock’s work, enjoyed his biography, and even communicated with him by email. He is probably my theological role model because of the way he went about doing theology. Some called him an experimental theologian, but to me, he was a brave and brilliant man who was prepared to write about things he was still processing. In this way, he invited the reader into his thinking, research, and developing convictions.

As a mature Christian, and more particularly as, by the time I read this book, a qualified theologian, I had become disappointed by the rigid stance of most evangelical scholars concerning the nature of the bible. Clark had grown up in that world, but had been brave and honest enough to write about the bible as it really is.

The subtitle of the book is ‘Reclaiming the Full Authority of the Bible’ and his contention was that this can only be achieved by abandoning the non-biblical beliefs that the scriptures are entirely divine, inerrant, and the primary source of truth. My view had long been that Jesus, and not the bible, is the source of truth, but that it was rather the divinely inspired revelation of Jesus and the trustworthy rule of faith for the church. Clark wrote: ‘The Bible is a witness, although the primary one, to the revelation of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Christology, not Bibliology, occupies centre stage in Christianity… God gave the Bible to the church to bear an authoritative witness to Jesus Christ and the gospel.’

Concerning Biblical Inerrancy, Clark wrote: ‘God could have produced an errorless Bible, but we have to look and see if this is what he willed to do… Does the New Testament, and did Jesus, teach the perfect errorlessness of the Scriptures? No…’

With regard to the nature and composition of the bible, Clark wrote: ‘The Bible is God’s Word in human language. These God-human aspects should not be disassociated. God has willed the human characteristics of the text… God did not negate the gift of freedom when he inspired the Bible, but worked alongside human beings in order to achieve by wisdom and patience the goal of a Bible that expresses his will for our salvation.’

Of course, there is a lot more value in this book than these selective quotes, so much so that I have read through it three times to date.

Jesus Manifesto: Restoring the Supremacy and Sovereignty of Jesus Christ by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola

A central theme of this book is summed up by what Len and Frank wrote, which is: ‘The center and the circumference of the Christian life is none other than the person of Christ… We can rightly say that God spoke Himself into human life in the person of the Lord Jesus. For this reason, John called Christ the logos, the living Word of God. God’s Word is a person. The one true God has revealed Himself completely and finally in Jesus… The Holy Spirit has come to reveal, to glorify, to magnify, to unveil, to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ. He takes what is true of Christ and makes it real and alive in the lives of human beings… Jesus Christ makes Scripture intelligible. He is the key that unlocks the entire biblical canon… According to Scripture, Jesus Christ (and not a doctrine about Him) is the truth. In addition, Jesus Christ (and not an ethic derived from His teaching) is the way. In other words, both God’s truth and God’s way are embodied in a living, breathing person—Christ. “I am the way, the truth, and the life’

While Clark Pinnock stressed the need for Christians to be bible-based, Frank and Len stressed the need for us to be Jesus-centred. In this book, they stress the supremacy and Sovereignty of Jesus whilst placing this into the context of the bible and the Holy Spirit. They write: ‘Three features are present in every awakening in the history of the Christian church: (1) a rediscovery of the “living Word,” or the Scriptures and its authority; (2) a rediscovery of the living Christ and His supremacy; and (3) a rediscovery of the living Spirit and the Spirit’s gifts and power to manifest Christ in the context of that culture. God has a history of taking seriously people who take the eternal Word seriously. Jesus Himself said that when He is lifted up, He will draw all people to Himself. But because we don’t trust Jesus to do what He says He will do, or believe that He is who He says He is, or have not caught a glimpse of His infinite glory, we sit at drawing boards and draw up programmes and methods and draft strategies that we hope might bring people to Christ. But Jesus could not have been clearer: the only begotten Son of God is the draw. Our mission is simply to lift Him up in a context that our culture can understand and appreciate. Whenever this happens, the rest will take care of itself.’

This Manifesto also has much to say about how the Christian life is to be lived. They write: ’The Christian life properly conceived and experienced is simply a reproduction and a reliving of the life of Jesus. Your Christian life begins with Christ, continues with Christ, and ends with Christ… If Christ is in you, then the Christian life is not about striving to be something you are not. It is about becoming what you already are… There is a vast ocean of difference between trying to compel Christians to imitate Jesus and learning how to impart an implanted Christ…,“What would Jesus do?” is not Christianity. Christianity asks, “What is Christ doing through me . . . through us? And how is He doing it?”

Once again, there is a lot more of great value in this book than I have set out in this article.

Revival! A people saturated with God by Brian Edwards

The first of this set of three books confirmed my passionate belief in the bible-based principle, the second in the Jesus-centred principle, and this final book in the Spirit-dependent principle.

This book is about Revival, but the key to its underlying Spirit-dependent theme is ‘A people saturated with God’. Brian writes that ‘Revival reveals in an exaggerated way those ingredients that God expects always to be present in his church.’ In the section titled ‘During Revival’, Brian deals mainly with a revival of urgency, a revival of Christ-centred preaching, a conviction of sin and a revival of holiness, a revival of prayer, a revival of worship, and a revival of evangelism, and so on. All of these are manifestations of the Holy Spirit and all of them occur when Christians are dependent on him.

This book is a sort of manual on Revival and of great use to the church in these days, but it is also a testimony to the need to be dependent on the Holy Spirit.

I have enjoyed writing this article because it has caused me to re-read parts of books that were so meaningful to me.

By doing this, I have become conscious, once again, of how God has formed or confirmed so many of my key principles through the work of others. I do not embrace everything these authors teach but have internalised what conforms to the biblical witness of the Lord Jesus Christ. They are all worth reading more than once.

In revisiting these nine books, I hope that I have provided you with some valuable information and even inspiration – perhaps you will get hold of some of them and be as blessed by them as I have been.

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TruthTalks: Who World Religions say Jesus is

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In this TruthTalks audio, Dr Christopher Peppler sets out to give us an overview of 6 of the worlds religions and how they differ, and sometimes not, from Christianity.

The source for this TruthTalk can be found HERE.

I apologise for the clicks and pops that can be heard about a minute in (they could not be fixed)  – but please don’t stop listening, they only last for 10 seconds.

To listen to this great podcast click on the play button below or subscribe with your favourite podcatcher. is non-profit and we rely on YOU to help us spread the word, so please like, comment, subscribe and interact with us.

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About Me

My name is Christopher Peppler and I was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1947. While working in the financial sector I achieved a number of business qualifications from the Institute of Bankers, Damelin Management School, and The University of the Witwatersrand Business School. After over 20 years as a banker, I followed God’s calling and joined the ministry full time. After becoming a pastor of what is now a quite considerable church, I  earned an undergraduate theological qualification from the Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa and post-graduate degrees from two United States institutions. I was also awarded the Doctor of Theology in Systematic Theology from the University of Zululand in 2000.

Four years before that I established the South African Theological Seminary (SATS), which today is represented in over 70 countries and has more than 2 500 active students enrolled with it. I presently play an role supervising Masters and Doctoral students.

I am a passionate champion of the Christocentric or Christ-centred Principle, an approach to biblical interpretation and theological construction that emphasises the centrality of Jesus

I have been happily married to Patricia since the age of 20, have two children, Lance and Karen, a daughter-in-law Tracey, and granddaughters Jessica and Kirsten. I have now retired from both church and seminary leadership and devote my time to writing, discipling, and the classical guitar.

If you would like to read my testimony to Jesus then click HERE.