Buried secrets—or hidden assumptions?

Last night was the second episode of the BBC’s The Bible’s Buried Secrets. Go here for my comments on the first programme. This one covered different areas, but for me was more disappointing.

Once again, Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou (whom I will call FS for short) set up from the outset a sharp dichotomy between religious and ‘objective’ views.

Although FS presents her conclusions as

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What did the ‘Bible’s Buried Secrets’ Unearth?

Last Wednesday saw the first of three programmes, ‘The Bible’s Buried Secrets’, in which Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou of Exeter University looked at what archaeology tells us about the Old Testament. This first episode explored whether there was evidence for King David’s ’empire.’

What did we learn?

1. Subjective Bible versus Objective History?
From the opening, Stavrakopoulou and other commentators

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Esther: for such a time as this

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 are the key verses and summary for the story of Esther (‘For such a time as this’), to be broadcast this Sunday 20th Mar from around 8.20 am:

Summary

How do you respond to experiencing a narrow escape from certain disaster? Perhaps the only thing to do is to look back and laugh—and this is what the book of Esther does. Another really surprising inclusion in the Bible, it is quite different from anything else we find in it.

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Transforming encounters: John’s gospel

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 are the key verses and summary for the story of the Gospel of John (‘Transforming Encounters’), to be broadcast this Sunday 13th March from around 8.20 am:

Verses: John 8.3–11

They brought in a woman caught in adultery and made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”

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Giving it up for God: Leviticus

I am working with Sarah Julian and 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 are the key verses and summary for the story of Leviticus (‘Giving it up for God’), to be broadcast this Sunday 6th March from around 8.20 am:

Verses: from Leviticus 19
The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.

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Making sense of the Derby fostering court case

What are we to make of the court case of Eunice and Owen Johns, apparently refused permission to continue fostering because they could not tell a child that they thought homosexuality was a good thing?

Simon Vibert of Wycliffe Hall thinks that a Rubicon has been crossed. This judgement signals a fundamental change in English law. In a similar vein the blogger Cranmer sees the comments from the judges on equality and secularism as making nonsense of elements of our constitution,

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Finding our way

Footprints in the snowIt was the end of a really good week. The snow had been great, the sun had been out, and we had had a lot of fun as a family. The bags were packed, the skis returned, and all we needed to do now was find the car.

Alas, it was parked at the bottom of the hill, quite a long distance below us vertically, and an even longer way by the typically winding Swiss mountain roads. How were we going to get there? Was there a quicker way, a sure route down?

At last, we saw it. Others had had the same challenge as us, and we could see their

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What’s the use of Facebook?

I am half way through watching The Social Network (with my daughter…!) and can already see why it has won awards. So far the most interesting observation is that Mark Zuckerberg aimed to replicate online the sorts of social things that people do in real life. In the film this arises from a conversation with his friend, who is wondering who is in a relationship with whom, from which Zuckerberg adds the ‘In a relationship’ feature to his programme.

So what are the kind of ‘human relating’ things that we can use Facebook for? Here are examples of how I have used Facebook in the last few weeks. What about you?

Life in the city: 1 Corinthians

Lechaion Way with Acrocorinth in backgroundI 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 are the key verses and summary for the story of 1 Corinthians (‘Life in the city’), to be broadcast this Sunday 20th Feb from around 8.20 am:

Verses: 1 Cor 13.1–4

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