Monthly Archives

Romans 1: A Fair Exchange

Wed, 16/01/2008 - 15:00 -- James Oakley

Romans 1:18-32: We, the human race, have suppressed the knowledge of God that we all have. We all have it because God has made his existence, deity and power known in his creation. The creation is his conscious handwriting intended to communicate to us. We have done so effectively, such that Paul can say we all knew God. The problem is not ignorance, it is culpable suppression of what we know.

God’s temporal judgement for this is to hand us over to self-harming sin. The human-race is constantly attempting to self-destruct; Romans 1 interprets this as God taking off the reins.

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The gospel is not a joke

Fri, 11/01/2008 - 10:47 -- James Oakley

I find Genesis 19:14 one of the most sobering, and scary, verses in the whole Bible.

“So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, ‘Up! Get out of this place, for the LORD is about to destroy the city.’ But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.”


But surely that’s just the Old Testament, right?

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Living with tensions between how you'd like things done and how they are done

Mon, 07/01/2008 - 10:15 -- James Oakley

I found David Field’s recent post on how they, as a family, applied their thinking on infant baptism immensely helpful.

Specifically, it’s worth asking:

  • If we know Jesus will get there in the end, do we need to be impatient with others? Especially given Jesus is patient with us.
  • Is baptism a purely personal thing (something “I have to do” because of “my relationship with Christ”) or is it about church membership?
  • When we are in the position of needing to find a church to attend, it will never perfectly fit our ideal church in every respect. So what do we let go of for the sake of other things we value?

Thanks for sharing your thought with us, David.

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Luke 21, Ephesians 2 and the equality of men and women

Sat, 05/01/2008 - 12:08 -- James Oakley

I was asked one very specific question after my last sermon on Luke 21.

I developed one implication that the temple was to come to an end, which is the implication developed in Ephesians 2. The era of Jewish national privilege has closed, so that in the new creation none of us will have a second class spot – specifically, no Gentiles will be penalised for being Gentile.

After the service I was asked why, if this is the case, I still hold that there will be a distinction in the roles taken by men and women in church life.


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Psalms 88-89

Thu, 03/01/2008 - 10:36 -- James Oakley

Psalm 88 has been a huge comfort to me over the years, as I know it has to many other Christians. There is something paradoxically comforting in the presence of such a black Psalm in the Psalter. A Psalm that truly records life as we feel and experience it, without embarrasment, without contradition to the other Psalms that step back to see life from God’s perspective.

There is, of course, much debate over the title.

“A Song. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah. To the Choirmaster: According to Mahalath Leannoth. A Maskil of Heman the Ezrahite.”

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Footnote: Some Bible Statistics

Wed, 02/01/2008 - 12:40 -- James Oakley

Following on from my posts on reading and learning the Bible, by way of a footnote I offer some statistics.

Let’s suppose you want to set out to read / learn a book / some books of the Bible. How big an undertaking are you taking on?

Here are the books of the Bible, together with how long they are:

Book Verses Words Percentage
Genesis 1533 36277 4.80%
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Edible Words

Tue, 01/01/2008 - 05:01 -- James Oakley

Happy New Year, everybody!

May I take this opportunity to present to you a new website, Edible Words.

Neil Robbie and I have spent a year or so working on this. It’s not taken a year because it has been an enormous project – more because we’ve been fitting it into the time we can carve out from our other commitments. It is now at the stage where we think it is ready to roll out, go live, launch etc.

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