Monthly Archives

Neither poverty nor riches

Wed, 28/08/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

This year is the 300th anniversary of Robinson Crusoe, the debut novel of Daniel Defoe published on 25th April 1719. It is said to be the first novel published in the English language, and since 1719 has been printed in many editions. It is many years since I read it, so I thought it time to do so again.

The novel starts with Robinson's father seeking to persuade the stubborn lad not to go to sea. His efforts are sincere and emotional, but in vain.

Love God. Fear God

Mon, 26/08/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley
Fear

There are lots of ways the New Testament is different from the Old. That's why it's called "New". A testament is another word for "covenant", and the book of Hebrews describes this by repeating the adjective "better".

But there are also lots of ways that the New Testament simply builds on the Old, transforming it, fulfilling it, colouring it in, but not replacing it. In fact, this is so much so, that when we read the Old Testament we rarely have to ask: "What is the complete contrast for us?", but far more often ask "What do the lessons here look like for us today?"

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Helpless at the hands of the majority

Fri, 23/08/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

As part of my sabbatical study, I've been reading the late Mike Ovey's book, Your Will Be Done: Exploring Eternal Subordination, Divine Monarchy and Divine Humility.

I'd forgotten Mike's love of the writings of Alexis de Tocqueville, and his concept of "the tyranny of the majority".

On page 119, Mike has a pertinent quotation from De Tocqueville's Democracy in America, I.xv:

Jesus in the Old Testament

Mon, 19/08/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

It's funny how an issue looks different depending on who you're talking to.

When I was at college, my third year dissertation was looking at the faith of the Old Testament saints. How much about God and the gospel did Abraham know? Is he an example that it's possible to be saved without explicitly knowing about Jesus? Or did he know more than we give him credit for.

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Appropriating Attributes to Persons of the Trinity

Fri, 16/08/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

My sabbatical study project concerns a specific aspect of Trinitarian theology. (See my earlier post outlining what I planned to study).

Before reading books on this specific topic, I've been reading some more general works on the Trinity. My thinking is very rusty, and I need to enter the world of Trinitarian thought again at greater detail.

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From Balaam to Balak

Wed, 14/08/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley
Plains of Moab

Since visiting Israel, I've had a fresh alertness to, and interest in, the geography of the Bible. Things that a first-century reader would instinctively pick up.

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Doorstep Clothes Bags

Mon, 12/08/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Now for a slightly different post.

Sometimes you get a bag like the one pictured above-right put through your letter box.

They are inviting you to fill the bag with old clothes you no longer need, and leave it out on the advertised day roughly a week later. They'll collect the bag from you.

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Travel Tips

Fri, 09/08/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley
Tel Aviv airport gate

This blog post is part of a series jotting through my trip to Israel in June 2019. For contents page for the posts see the Introductory Post. If I've reported something incorrectly, please let me know via post comments (below) or my contact page. All photographs are Copyright © James Oakley, June 2019, unless indicated otherwise.


To round off, a few simple travel tips for those planning to visit Israel themselves.

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Plant Life

Wed, 07/08/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

This blog post is part of a series jotting through my trip to Israel in June 2019. For contents page for the posts see the Introductory Post. If I've reported something incorrectly, please let me know via post comments (below) or my contact page. All photographs are Copyright © James Oakley, June 2019, unless indicated otherwise.


I'm nearly done with Israel. But not quite.

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Drupal 8 Development / Deployment Workflow

Mon, 05/08/2019 - 12:52 -- James Oakley

I've been putting off learning how to build sites in Drupal 8, and migrating my existing Drupal 7 sites over to Drupal 8. Why? Drupal 8 uses a lot of new tools. I want to learn how to set up a Drupal 8 site in the "right" (optimal) way so that I don't incur technical debt for myself later on. That means I have a lot of tools to learn. That takes time, which I don't have a lot of. So I've procrastinated.

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