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How often did Jesus and his followers fast?

How often did Jesus and the first generation of his followers fast? Was it an occasional thing, focused on specific events or causes? Or was it something more habitual and regular, an integral part of their devotional life? As most studies of the subject point out, fasting in the Old Testament was associated either with […]

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Sermon on the mount by Bloch

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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Is the Lord’s Prayer offensive?

While I have been in the States for the weekend, I gather that back in the UK you’ve been experiencing a little local difficulty in relation to prayer, free speech, and the cinema. Digital Cinema Media (DCM), owned by Cineworld and Odeon and controlling about 80% of cinema advertising, decided not to screen a 60-second […]

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Sermon on the mount by Bloch

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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fasting

How often should we fast?

Since we are now in Lent, it might be a good time to review the spiritual habit of fasting. Jesus clearly expected his followers to fast after he had gone, so it is odd that this is not a widespread habit amongst all Christians. To answer this, we need to ask some background questions. How often […]

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What is prayer?

I recently preached at another local church, and a member of the congregation there is running a project to encourage prayer. He has recorded a range of leaders talking about prayer, and incorporated this into a website which includes a course on prayer making use of Richard Foster’s book Prayer: finding the heart’s true home. Find […]

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How can we pray for the Philippines?

You really would have to have a heart of stone not to be distressed by the scenes of suffering caused by the Philippines typhoon. So began Jeremy Paxman’s broadcast on Newsnight yesterday evening. He wanted to explore how people in Britain turn this sense of distress into giving. But Christians are also faced with another […]

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zcihjdhyo6ieevshlnkg

How often did Jesus’ followers fast?

How often did the first Jesus-followers fast? Was it an occasional thing, focused on specific events or causes? Or was it something more habitual and regular, an integral part of their devotional life? As most studies of the subject point out, fasting in the Old Testament was associated either with particular festivals (such as the […]

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