Duty or pleasure?

I went to see the magnificent The King’s Speech yesterday. (In case you need persuading, you can see the trailer here). It concerns the relationship between George VI, unwillingly passed the crown on the abdication of his elder brother Edward VIII, and his speech therapist Lionel Logue who tries to rectify George’s stammer.

There were some moments of great poignancy—such as the look that Lionel gives his eldest son as they listen to Churchill announcing the declaration of war, knowing his son would be called up (though in fact he survived the war). And other moments of sheer genius—the

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Losing our way?: Matthew

I am working with Celia Kellett at BBC Radio Nottingham on an idea to present most of the books of the Bible, one a week, during 2011 as part of the celebrations of the King James Bible. The plan is to read some verses from the book, to give a one-and-a-half minute summary, to hear a human interest story which relates, and then include a short discussion making the connections.

Here’s the key verses and summary for Matthew (‘Losing our Way?’), to be broadcast this Sunday 30th Jan from 8.20 am:

Verses: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. [Matt 5.3–5]

You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye,

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Seeing the Big Picture

Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart comment that there are two key skills in reading the Bible: the ability to see the big picture; and the ability to see the distinctive detail of each passage, in particular to recognise its genre.

Here is my list of resources to help with the ‘big picture’ side of things. Do add yours in comments!

  • Scripture Union has developed the  E100 project which offers 100 Bible passages, 50 from the Old Testament and 50 from the New, to give you an overview of the Bible. It come with a range of supporting resources.
  • It might sound odd for adults, but we have found Children’s Bibles great for giving readable, accessible overviews of the whole Bible. The Lion Storyteller Bible is a good one for older children and adults.
  • Lesslie Newbigin gave an overview of the Bible in a series of talks at Holy Trinity Brompton several years ago, and these have been written up in the

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Security and identity

Where do you get your sense of personal security? What defines who you are? What gives you a secure sense of identity? For most of us, it will involve a range of factors—our occupation (often important for men), relationships (often important for women), our achievements, perhaps our appearance. For much of the time, we can happily get on with life without worrying about this, but there are key moments which test our security in our identity:

  • The years when we are forming our understanding of ourselves. I remember the intense competition, as a teenager in an all-boys’ school, for kudos and being in the ‘in’ group—and the freedom that came from discovering I was accepted as I was, first by Christians and then by God.

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All you need is love: Song of Songs

I am working with Celia Kellett at BBC Radio Nottingham on an idea to present most of the books of the Bible, one a week, during 2011 as part of the celebrations of the King James Bible. The plan is to read some verses from the book, to give a one-and-a-half minute summary, to hear a human interest story which relates, and then include a short discussion making the connections.

Here’s the key verses and summary for Song of Songs (‘All you need is love?’), to be broadcast this Sunday 23rd Jan from 8.20 am:

Verses: Song of Songs 7.6–13

(He)
How beautiful you are and how pleasing, my love, with your delights!
Your stature is like that of the palm, and your breasts like clusters of fruit.

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Honey or vinegar?

I am a member of the Church of England Evangelical Council, and yesterday we had a meeting at Lambeth Palace. We were there to hear from the Archbishop of Canterbury, and to ask him questions, in the end both about what he had said and about wider concerns for evangelicals in the Church.

Rowan’s address, starting with a careful exploration of the what the NT says about the Spirit and power (the role of the Spirit does not seem to be merely to give us power, but the Spirit and power enable us to be formed in the self-giving image of God, and we make space for it when we recognise our own human weakness) and ended on a quite inspirational note. In relation to the goal of mission and evangelism, he commented:

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‘I need a hero’: Judges

I am working with Celia Kellett at BBC Radio Nottingham on an idea to present most of the books of the Bible, one a week, during 2011 as part of the celebrations of the King James Bible. The plan is to read some verses from the book, to give a one-and-a-half minute summary, to hear a human interest story which relates, and then include a short discussion making the connections.

Here’s the key verses and summary for Judges (‘I need a hero’), to be broadcast this Sunday 16th Jan from 8 am:

Verses: Judges 16.4­–6, 16­–18

Some time later, Samson fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah. The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “See if you can lure

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The World on a Plate

What is it that is before you each time you sit down to eat? For what are you giving thanks?

Every Saturday morning I take Ben to his guitar lesson at Crossways Music in Beeston (above the Christian bookshop). In the half hour the lesson lasts, I head to the Flying Goose a few doors down, and enjoy what I think is the world’s best Welsh Rabbit.

But this morning, as I gave thanks, I stopped to reflect on what I was thanking God for.

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What is the meaning of ‘head’?

I am in the process of writing a Grove Biblical booklet with the title ‘Women and authority: key biblical texts’ which aims to explore all the key texts in 28 pages! Due out in March. I cover Gen 1, 2, 3, Luke 24, John 20, Acts 18, Romans 16, 1 Cor 11 and 14, Eph 5, 1 Tim 2.

Here is the section on 1 Cor 11. Any comments welcomed.

This passage is often seen as a key one in the discussion about gender relations because of Paul’s use of the idea of ‘head’, and applying this to relations within the Godhead as well as human relations. We

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Should women keep silent in church?

I am in the process of writing a Grove Biblical booklet with the title ‘Women and authority: key biblical texts’ which aims to explore all the key texts in 28 pages! Due out in March. I cover Gen 1, 2, 3, Luke 24, John 20, Acts 18, Romans 16, 1 Cor 11 and 14, Eph 5, 1 Tim 2.

Here is the section on 1 Cor 14.34–35. Any comments welcomed.

These verses are problematic mainly because they appear to contradict not only what Paul has said in chapters 11 and 12 but also what has been said in the immediately preceding verses. If women are

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Who do you think you are: Genesis

I am working with Celia Kellett at BBC Radio Nottingham on an idea to present most of the books of the Bible, one a week, during 2011 as part of the celebrations of the King James Bible. The plan is to read some verses from the book, to give a one-and-a-half minute summary, to hear a human interest story which relates, and then include a short discussion making the connections.

Here’s the summary and key verses for Genesis, to be broadcast this Sunday 9th Jan from 8 am.

Verses: Gen 1.1–4, 26–27 and 31

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was without shape and empty, and darkness was over the surface of the watery deep, but the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water. God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light!  God saw that the light was good, so God separated the light from the darkness.

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