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Gods of our age: Mars (war and conflict)

At Lee Abbey last week and New Wine this, I have been leading a series of sessions on ‘Gods of Our Age’. (I did the teaching myself last week; this week I am hosting a series of contributors.) It struck me some time ago that the gods of the ancient world were not merely the equivalent of our soap operas (though they might have functioned like that to some extent). Rather, they expressed the hopes, fears, aspirations and anxieties of people within those societies—often offering a way of dealing with powerful forces, both within and without, in a way which made them manageable. The first was on Mammon, the god of wealth, money and possessions. This second is on Mars, the god of war and conflict.

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How to build an invitational community

This is a guest post by Amanda Digman, who is Vicar at St John the Baptist, Carlton in Nottingham. A while ago I discovered a book: 99 Things to Do Between Here and Heaven, by Peter Graystone. I love lists, so I thought I would have a go at working my way through the book. Inside, I […]

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Gods of our age: Mammon

At Lee Abbey last week and New Wine this, I have been leading a series of sessions on ‘Gods of Our Age’. (I did the teaching myself last week; this week I am hosting a series of contributors.) It struck me some time ago that the gods of the ancient world were not merely the […]

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The Case against Same-Sex Marriage

ABC Religion and Ethics has just published a lecture by Anthony Fisher, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, offering what I think is one of the best, short arguments against recognising same-sex marriage. Fisher has been an academic, having been awarded a DPhil from Oxford in bioethics, and he has published on issues of abortion, family […]

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Should I choose the NIV?

Following my post yesterday on the translation decisions in the NIV, the debate has continued apace. Although some of the discussion is quite technical, and the protagonists are clearly not persuaded, David Instone-Brewer has been making some interesting points. One that caught my eye was on another well-known bugbear—the translation of Is 7.14 ‘A young woman/virgin […]

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Is the NIV a deliberate mistranslation?

There is an interesting debate going on at the blog ‘Is that in the Bible?’ on whether the NIV deliberately mistranslates in order to support a particular theological position. The blog is by Paul Davidson, who is not a professional biblical studies scholar (though is a professional translator), but it has attracted comment from a […]

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Numerical composition and Revelation’s unity

Last week I read a fascinating article by Mike Parsons of Baylor University on ‘Exegesis “By the Numbers”: Numerology and the New Testament.’ It gives an overview of some of the ways that numbers features in the composition of the text. Some are well-known, but a good number were new to me. For example, apart from […]

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The budget, policy and party power

Like many people, I puzzled over the budget on Wednesday. Many were puzzled by the complexity of working out what the impact of some significant changes in both tax and welfare would be. Others were puzzled—baffled, or just plain wrong-footed—by the mix of proposals. As Nick Robinson said on the BBC that evening, there were […]

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What is at stake for the church and same-sex marriage

Earlier this week I was part of a discussion in our church about the question of same-sex marriage. We all began by sharing our own personal involvement in the issue, before tabling our questions. There were a good number who had no personal stake—but some had very close family members who were gay, and for […]

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Reconciliation in Paul’s theology

I have just edited my chapter for a forthcoming volume from Lion Hudson on reconciliation, due out in the Autumn. The first part explores the language of reconciliation in Paul, and its importance in his theology. The middle section looks at reconciliation in Jesus and the gospels. The final section draws out the relevance for contemporary […]

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The Poetry of the Lord’s Prayer

I have previously written about the poetic structure of Jesus’ teaching, drawing on examples from the Beatitudes and Jesus’ eschatological teaching at the end of Matthew. In particular, I highlighted David Wenham’s study of the Lord’s Prayer, where he identifies the careful structuring of the prayer as a poem in two parts: 6 words Opening […]

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