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Using images well in preaching

Many churches these days have digital projection and a screen—so the question is, how to use this well in preaching? Many people use it to put up words, perhaps setting out the points they are making. This has some value, because it enables listeners to see and understand the shape and flow of what you […]

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Do we need to ‘interpret’ the Bible?

Some years ago a well-known Christian leader, minister of a large and influential church, proclaimed: I don’t interpret the Bible. I just tell you what it says. How you react to that statement will say quite a lot about your attitude to the Bible, its interpretation, and the role of ministry. On the one hand, […]

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Is allegorical interpretation a Good Thing?

I just had a fascinating interaction online in the context of discussing the relation of the Old Testament to the New. The conversation went something like this. Blogger: ‘There is no difference between the OT and the NT. There is nothing in the NT which is not in the OT.’ Me: ‘What about Jesus?’ Blogger: […]

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Can we fix Bible translation?

The translation committee of the English Standard Version has announced that there will be no more revisions to the text, which now becomes the Permanent Text. The ESV is not one of the ‘big hitters’ in translation like the NIV (it is used by around 8% of American Bible readers) but it has been the preferred […]

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Does the Bible interpret itself?

I was recently passed a very large and heavy volume, beautifully bound in leather-covered boards, by friends clearing out their late father’s library. On opening the weighty cover, I was confronted with the bold declaration: THE SELF-INTERPRETING BIBLE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS BY THE REV. JOHN BROWN I’ve done no research to establish who this […]

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Why you need Bible reading notes

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Christian in possession of a Bible must be in want of some help in reading it. Bible reading notes were once the staple of any church which believed the Bible to be a vital resource for discipleship and growth, but like many habits, regular Bible reading and […]

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Poetic structure in Jesus’ teaching

In doing some research on Matthew’s portrait of Jesus, I have been struck afresh by the poetic structuring of Jesus’ teaching. Noticing this raises interesting issues both about our engagement with the texts and our understanding of them, but also some questions about how the texts have come to us in their current form. A […]

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The kingdom and the common good

In one of the presentations at the Premier Digital Media Awards I attended last month, the speaker used a phrase about his project which has stayed with me. A group of coders spent a weekend trying to design computer and phone apps that could be used ‘for the kingdom and the common good.’ I was […]

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