Christian Life

Structure of Daniel 2-7

Wed, 13/09/2017 - 10:58 -- James Oakley
Concentric and other Patterns
Image Credit: Rodney Campbell

Daniel chapters 2-7 are written in Aramaic; the rest of Daniel (chapter 1, and chapters 8-12) are in Hebrew.

The most obvious way to divide Daniel into two is to note that Daniel chapters 1-6 contain stories about Daniel, whereas chapters 7-12 contain visions seen by Daniel.

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What is an "Apocalpyse"

Wed, 06/09/2017 - 10:50 -- James Oakley
Four Horsemen of Apocalypse by Viktor Vasnetsov

I'll just park this here for future reference.

Sometimes you see writers say that certain parts of the Bible are written in the "apocalyptic" style of writing.

Recognising the "genre" of part of the Bible can be very important when it comes to reading it properly. For instance, parables and historical narrative communicate in very different ways; you'd completely misread the gospels if you confused them.

The Fall of Arrogant Rulers

Wed, 30/08/2017 - 10:48 -- James Oakley
Great empires become ruins
Image Credit: Margie Savage

“There seems to be one fundamental law of a very solemn kind which touches this question of judgement; and when I turn to the ancient prophets and recall the limited area of history they had at their disposal for making their inductions, I am always surprised at the curious aptness with which they seem to have found the formula in this connection — a formula which they put in a special position of priority.

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Change of person in Daniel 4

Wed, 23/08/2017 - 10:55 -- James Oakley
The tree grew large and strong and its top touched the sky
Image Credit: Bob West

Some commentators worry themselves about the fact that Daniel 4 is a mixture of first person account (Nebuchadnezzar speaking) and third person account (another narrator, writing about Nebuchadnezzar). They think this indicates that Daniel 4 was originally two different accounts, clumsily edited into what we now have.

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"#LoveIsLove" is a Tiny Love

Mon, 26/06/2017 - 12:39 -- James Oakley
#LoveIsLove on billboard outside Tottenham Court Road
Transport for London

Do you remember the "Love Is" cartoons. Occasionally I show them at the start of a wedding sermon. They were a light-hearted slogan to suggest what love looks like in practice, accompanied by a picture of an innocent-looking boy and girl which wittily goes with the caption. Mostly, it was extremely soppy romantic love. You could accuse them of being shallow, lacking meaning and depth — but they were only ever meant to be a bit of fun.

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Proud to support #Pride?

Mon, 26/06/2017 - 11:20 -- James Oakley
Tottenham Court Road station, with the Underground roundall recoloured
Transport for London

The annual so-called "Pride Festival" runs from Saturday 24th June until Saturday 8th July this year.

Lots of businesses, public and private, have chosen to show their support. They're proud to support Pride.

The trouble is, "Pride" is not something that is supported by all of the British public. Yet, in giving these businesses their custom, members of the public are giving their support (including financial support) to the Pride movement.

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Vanity Fair

Fri, 23/06/2017 - 16:24 -- James Oakley
The Pilgrims enter Vanity Fair

John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress is one of the bestselling books ever written, never out of print since 1678. By way of brief background: It is written as though the narrator dreamt the story, and is an extended allegory of the Christian’s journey through life. The protagonist is called Christian (and all the other people and places have names that betray their character).

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