Truth Is The Word

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Robb Bell’s latest book has raised a number of issues for me. The first is his way of communicating his views. Instead of stating what he believes, he asks a plethora of questions, many of which are essentially, ‘would a loving God condemn people to eternity in Hell?’ It is good to ask this sort of question, and asking questions is a valid communication and teaching method. However, at some point or other a responsible and influential author and teacher needs to state what he actually believes to be true, and why he believes it to be true. Unfortunately
I have been asked to address the question, ‘why do different people understand the Bible so differently?’ Well, it’s really quite simple; it is because they wear different spectacles to read the Bible. One set of ‘spectacles’ we often wear is Tradition. Those who have been in a particular church tradition for a long time tend to ‘read’ the scriptures through the lens of that tradition. The approach to preaching, the liturgies, teachings, and practices of the tradition create a sort of spiritual optical prescription. Methodists will ‘see’ differently to how, say, Baptists will. Our traditions constitute spectacles that
I am writing this on the day after Resurrection Sunday. I don’t like to call it Easter Sunday – why should we give the pagan goddess Ishtar any credit. Friday embodies the glorious truth that Jesus settled the penalty clause of the violated covenant between God and humanity. I guess that is why some call it ‘good’ Friday. Sunday represents the equally awesome truth that through Jesus we can be born-again of the Spirit. On the cross of Calvary Jesus Christ brought to an end the line of Adam’s sin. As He walked out of the tomb, He started
In the seventies, my wife Pat and I became disciples of the Lord Jesus. The first church we attended was a traditional Pentecostal assembly, and the leaders wasted no time in instructing us in the need for baptisms. First they baptised us by immersion in water and then, some months later, they laid hands on us to be baptised in the Holy Spirit. The Charismatic renewal was in full flood then and we were soon exposed to people who identified themselves as ‘born again, baptised in the spirit, tongues talking believers’. It came as a sad shock to realise
From time to time members of my local church leave to join another Christian fellowship in the area. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it is always a painful shock. The reasons given usually have something to do with one of the following: the children need a bigger church group; the music is too loud/quiet/fast, or slow; the preaching is too expository and not topical enough; or someone offended them. These losses to the local church family sadden and confuse me. I feel like a father who comes home from work, notices that his daughter is missing

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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. I have started a site called Classical Guitar SA to serve classical guitar enthusiasts in South Africa.