That's the title for a seminar I'm doing at the end of the month. I have some ideas floating around my head for it. I think I'll want to cover something on the overall shape of the Bible's narrative, and on the brilliance and importance of narrative in the Bible.
Books. Fiction. Libraries. Second only to churches as are the best gateways in your community to ultimate reality and new possibilities.
Our local library has just re-opened after refurbishment, and I love that our boys have spent several mornings there during the summer holidays, discovering some wonderful new stories.
I realised a few months back that I wasn't reading enough fiction. My work necessitates reading a lot of non-fiction, a mix of historical and contemporary thinking, biblical studies and theology. But fiction is the cinderella. Easily overlooked, and yet able to awaken my imagination and show me the way things are meant to be.
So I've picked up a few more lately - bought and borrowed. Not every book attempted flies, and that's ok. These have been winners though.
Ink. This is Alice Broadway's debut novel. It's young adult fiction and tells the story of Leora who lives in a world where the events of your life are tattooed on your skin. Nothing gets hid…
Reading gospel accounts in parallel is sometimes used to blur the differences in perspective between the evangelists, seeking to harmonise the texts and find a definitive historical account of what happened. No such thing exists because every account is biased and limited. You simply can't record everything. You have to hold a vantage point. And that's not a problem.
Matthew, Mark and Luke take a very different vantage point to John who was of course an eyewitness himself of the events. Comparing the text of Matthew, Mark and Luke across the death and resurrection of Jesus yields two steps.
Firstly, the common ground. All three accounts tell of... Simon of Cyrene carrying the cross….
· Jesus labelled as King of the Jews….
· Criminals crucified with Jesus…
· Darkness in the daytime…
· Jesus' loud final cry… The women who witnessed Jesus death,
and Jesus' burial…
· The tomb lent to Jesus by Joseph of Arimithea…
· The women who went to the tomb on the morning of the…
Christians are a singing people, it's part of what we do when we gather.
Our church meets morning an evening on a Sunday - normally using 5 songs in each service. So, over the year that's about 520 song-slots available. The report from the database system we use (http://planningcenteronline.com/) tells us that in the past year we've sung about 150 different songs.
Our current most used song has been sung 11 times in the last year, just under once a month. Our top 10 are used about every 6 weeks. By #30 we're talking about songs used every two months. The tail is long and includes loads of classic hymns from across the centuries, plus other songs from the past 40 years, that we have used around once a term or less.
1. Rejoice - Dustin Kensrue
2. Come Praise & Glorify - Bob Kauflin
3. Man of Sorrows - Hillsong
4. Cornerstone - Hillsong
Rejoice was a song I didn't previously know, along with a couple of others that have quickly become firm favourites for me: Chri…