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The narrative theology of Mark 6

Mark continues to tell his story about Jesus and his ministry, doing his theology in and through his narrative. As with the previous chapter, we see how Mark offers us a carefully crafted, yet compact, account of the impact of Jesus on those around him, and it is striking how Mark’s narrative theology makes connections […]

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The narrative artistry of Mark 5

The early chapters of Mark’s gospel took us on a breath-taking, roller-coaster ride through the early stages of Jesus’ ministry. We were offered summary accounts of a typical day in Jesus’ life, showing his dynamic power in preaching and healing, and the impact that he made. This included drawing crowds who longed to hear his […]

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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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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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Evangelical Leadership

Questions for evangelical leaders

I am pleased to say that my Grove Leadership booklet Evangelical Leadership: challenges and opportunities is now available on the Grove website. You can order it post-free (in the UK) or have a PDF emailed to you. In it, I address what I think are the five major challenges for evangelical leaders—which of course offer five […]

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What does resurrection mean?

The idea of resurrection is central to Christian belief and theology—but it is also the key idea which separates the New Testament from the Old. The Old Testament appears to assume that, after death, people continue in some sort of shadowy existence in a place called Sheol—often translated ‘grave’ or ‘pit’ in English Bibles. There are some examples of resuscitation (see 1 Kings 17:17-24 and 2 Kings 4:18-37)—but these are acts of compassion and never shed any light on life after death.

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