Monthly Archives

What destroyed Sodom?

Sat, 23/06/2012 - 13:28 -- James Oakley

Waltke again:

Scientifically, the fire and cataclysmic destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah may be explained by an earthquake. Heat, gases, sulphur, and bitumen would have been spewed into the air through the fissures formed during a violent earthquake (14:10). The lightning that frequently accompanies an earthquake would have ignited the gases and bitumen.

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Meet Marcion

Fri, 22/06/2012 - 12:40 -- James Oakley

I've been re-acquainting myself with the second century heretic, Marcion.

In the Lion Handbook: The History of the Christian Church, there is a very helpful short article by H Dermot McDonald that summarises Marcion and his teaching. (You need the 1990 edition of the Lion Handbook - there is a 2009 edition out which I've never seen, but it seems it is a brand new book so won't have this exact portion in).

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Immortal, Invisible, God only wise

Wed, 20/06/2012 - 13:13 -- James Oakley

Next Sunday (24th June), at our 10.30 service, we will sing the hymn Immortal Invisible. It's well known.

And, it turns out, mis-known.

I simply copied the words from the recent hymn book, Praise!, to insert on our service sheet. The version they include is copyright to Jubilate Hymns, but what struck me was that there were more changes here than just modernised words. The last two verses contained (between them) some of the thoughts of the last verse most of us sing, but were clearly two entirely different verses.

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Who strikes the Shepherd?

Wed, 20/06/2012 - 12:26 -- James Oakley

In our Christianity Explored group last week, we were discussing Jesus' predictions of Peter's denials, and of his own suffering, death and resurrection, as a prelude to a very good session on Jesus' resurrection.

One of the members of the group asked a question about a detail that I had never noticed before in Mark's text:

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Circumcision and Baptism

Thu, 14/06/2012 - 13:15 -- James Oakley

Reading Bruce Waltke's commentary on Genesis, he has a fine couple of paragraphs on page 264 where he explores how the sign of circumcision relates to baptism today. I agree with nearly everything he says, and it's so helpful that I thought I'd put it here in case it's helpful for some:

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What was wrong with using Hagar?

Wed, 13/06/2012 - 13:12 -- James Oakley

Last Sunday, I explained that Sarai and Abram attempted to solve the problem of their childlessness through Sarai offering her maid, Hagar, to Abram as a second wife.

I said that, even though we find this unacceptable today, in that day and age this was a socially acceptable way to raise an heir.

The problem with doing this was not that it was socially unacceptable but that it did not arise out of their trust in God.

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Site upgrade

Fri, 01/06/2012 - 17:10 -- James Oakley

Regular visitors to this site will notice that the layout has changed a little.

That's all that many of you will want to know. Those of you who are technically minded, however, may wish to read on.

The site is developed with Drupal. Drupal is currently on version 7, and the first release of version 7 was on January 5th 2011. That's 15 months ago. Drupal 6 is still fully supported, and will remain so until the final release of Drupal 8 (12-18 months away - probably). There's therefore no rush to upgrade a site from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7.

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