Dr. Chris Peppler

Retaining an Apostolic Approach to Church Life

I co-authored this article with my M.Th student Malcolm Black and we published it in the SATS Conspectus in March 2008.

This article briefly examines the current return to apostolic Christianity in various parts of the world and references three earlier Christian movements that came into existence at approximately 100-year intervals, beginning with the Methodist movement in the 1700s, culminating with observations of a current apostolic movement that began in the early 1980s, known as New Covenant Ministries International, in an attempt to ascertain how they embraced early apostolic principles.

The article highlights the strengths of several movements but also makes observations about how these movements lost their initial effectiveness by becoming institutional and, in many cases, forfeited their initial vision of impacting the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We examine possible reasons why these movements lost their fervour and discuss possible ways of how current movements could learn from their mistakes not only maintain their spiritual fervency but sustain their vision and momentum of reaching the nations with the gospel to succeeding generations.

HERE is the full article.

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Perceiving God’s voice: divine guidance for everyday believers

 

I co-authored this article with my M.Th student Hugh Goosen and we published it in the SATS Conspectus in May 2015.

 

Vagueness exists amongst Christians with regards to what it is like to experience divine guidance practically. This problem is aggravated by conflicting perspectives on the will of God, whether or not His will is discoverable, and how Christians are to go about seeking it. This article seeks to reveal what we can reasonably expect to experience when God speaks by considering (1) perspectives on the will of God and its discoverability, and (2) the levels of awareness and certainty of divine communication as evidenced by select biblical characters. The article shows that the ways in which Christians experience divine direction are as unique and varied as each individual relationship with God is unique and varied. It shows, furthermore, that we should have, as our primary concern, a focus upon fostering a deep and intimate relationship with God, out of which direction and instruction will naturally and invariably flow. Finally, it shows that the primary way in which God communicates with us today is by means of the subtle and unobtrusive guidance and direction of our hearts and minds by the Holy Spirit.

 

HERE is the full article

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Sermon on A different Gospel

Some truly Good News

Why do bad things happen to good people? Shouldn’t God be stopping them?

I preached on this topic in a sermon titled ‘In the World, trials and sorrows; In Jesus, peace’ when I realised that I had been asked this question more times than I can remember and yet my response has always been the same.
John 13-16 is the last long conversation Jesus had with His disciples before His crucifixion, and  we draw from the end of chapter 16 to find His answer to the question of suffering. Listen to my sermon if you would like to know what I believe to be the answer by clicking on the play button below.

 

Sermons and Articles ImageYou will find many of the sermons I have preached along with their notes on THIS page, so listen to any you may have missed or would like to listen to again HERE. They include:

and many more.

On www.truthistheword.com you can also find many articles I have written over the years for various publications. Most are short articles sharing a specific message so they won’t take you long to read, so:

  • Are you feeling worried? Click HERE
  • Do you know what it is to be filled with the Spirit? Read about my personal experiences concerning it HERE
  • Want to live debt free? Click HERE for some tips
  • Feel like God isn’t there? It may help to read this article HERE.

Other topics which may be of interest to you include ‘Women in Ministry‘, ‘God is not a User!‘, ‘How to discern a Move of God’ and many, many more.

PLEASE NOTE with regards to the articles: Because I am still uploading many of these I can’t DATE them correctly (it’s technical), so please don’t try to find an article by how “current” it appears to be. Some of my most current articles, for example, are dated 5 years ago, so a much better way to find what you are looking for would be to use the Search button found on any of the listed article pages or simply browsing through them from here.

May God bless You!

Christopher

 

 

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Thinking Differently

Matthew 3:1-2 reads, ‘In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

Repent means many things, but the essence of the word is ‘to think differently’. We need to think differently. We need to think differently about the nature of progress, knowledge, and truth. We so easily buy into the humanistic concepts of our age. We tend to accept unthinkingly that scientific advancement is both good and inevitable and that competitive individualism is a virtue. We need to learn to think critically.

Several years ago, I supervised my first Masters candidate. He had completed a four-year degree programme at an accredited institution and had been in the pastoral ministry for more than a decade. The first chapter of his thesis arrived and I was distressed to find that it was little more than a bunch of quotes strung together. I sent his work back with explanations of how the thesis needed to reflect his own thinking. His second attempt was little better, so this time I sent him my own rework of a part of his chapter as an example of how he should develop his thesis. I was dumbfounded when I read his third submission; he had cut and pasted my work! I sought help from my friend and colleague, the late Dr Rex Mathie, and he explained two things to me. Firstly, in my student’s culture there was no higher honour he could give his professor than to quote from his teacher’s work. Secondly, nobody had taught him to think. Despite four years of full time higher education, this man did not know how to think critically.

The rate of change that is upon the world is bewilderingly fast. The foundations of society are shifting more quickly than the polar ice cap is melting. Technology is shaping a world we will hardly recognise in ten years time. If we are to survive, we need to learn to think creatively. However, God expects more than survival from us; he wants us to thrive. To thrive, we need to learn to think critically. This applies to all people but it is especially applicable to Christians. We are the ones who should be forming world opinion. We are the ones who should be leading a confused generation back to truth and godliness. We should be the inspired thinkers of our time.Truth Is The Word Book

One of the effects of the blizzard of change we are currently experiencing is the cloud of deception it generates. James wrote to the church of his day, ‘Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers’. (James 1:16) That warning was important then and it is even more important now.

To avoid deception we need grace, wisdom, and critical thinking skills. We need to learn to evaluate, test, analyse, and judge.
Satan usually appears as an angel of light, and deception most often presents itself clothed in fine sounding words and enticing proposals. We will be in grave danger if we do not learn to think critically. Remember, Jesus said that ‘false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform miraculous signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones’. (Mark 13:22-23 NLT) We have the Bible, and we have access to the knowledge and wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Yet what many of us appear to lack, are critical thinking skills.

I recently completed a revised edition of the book: Truth is the Word – restoring a lost focus. Its second chapter is all about how we acquire knowledge. I have also designed the entire book in a way that stimulates thought and improves thinking skills. You can find out more about it at www.truthistheword.com

 

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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.