IBTM Newsletter
19 July 2026

Hello from Lindisfarne, also known as Holy Island, a significant center of early English Christianity. It was initially settled by Irish monks in AD 635, and it was here that the renowned Lindisfarne Gospels were created around 700 AD. I first saw these magnificent documents in the British Museum in 1980—when they were only 1280 years old—not 1323, as they are today! Amazingly, despite the Viking destruction of Lindisfarne in 793, the gospels were saved.

The visible ruins of Lindisfarne belong to a 12th-century priory, which traces its lineage back to the original monastery. (Info from English Heritage.) I’m here with friend and colleague in the teaching ministry Malcolm Cox. History—and that includes church history—is as fascinating as it is complex.

Today we have three offerings, two of them Q&As. I hope you find something helpful or inspiring.

Q&A 1639—Is the Enneagram Suitable for Christians?

Q: I've recently noticed in increase in the use of the enneagram tool in churches. What is your view on using this tool (albeit with good intentions), bearing in mind that it has its origins in occult practices? I’d appreciate your thoughts. — R.M. KEEP READING

Q&A 1640—Cold-contact evangelism?

Q: In regard to your “conversation” on Matthew 28, I agree that placing emphasis on just one scripture (Mattt 28:18-20) made for a very efficient church-building programme, yet also resulted in a community where many good-hearted people ended up being hurt and/or going astray. However, one challenge we currently face is that only a minority of us have convictions about street evangelism… KEEP READING

What is Worship? (Andrew Kitchen, Sydney, Australia)We might respond by saying something like “it’s what we do when we go to church”. “We sing worship songs don’t we? It’s our praising of God when we pray and sing… It’s the band.” For many Christians, the exact definition of what worship actually is may be elusive. We’ve got no temple to go to. No altars any more. So I just bow my head, and you know, be… worshipful!

For modern-day Christians, the category of “worship” is pretty strongly linked with “worship services.” It’s what we do at church. But has it always been this way? The New Testament actually has precious little to say about “worship services.” KEEP READING

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