Christian Life

The angel Gabriel

Wed, 20/12/2017 - 13:20 -- James Oakley
Don't shoot!
Image Credit: SAJ-FSP

Angels don't normally have names in the New Testament. Why does Luke tell us that it was the angel Gabriel who appeared to Mary? Let's think this through.

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When did you last change your mind?

Fri, 08/12/2017 - 10:30 -- James Oakley
Change your mind
Image Credit: geralt

Christian, I'd like to ask you a question: When did you last change your mind?

Last week I wrote a post looking at the question of remarriage after divorce. That may not be a topic that interests you, and it was quite a long post, so maybe you didn't read it. But it was an example where I changed my mind on a topic, and I could give others.

It makes me want to ask the question: If you are a Christian, how often do you change your mind on something? What is healthy?

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Till Death Us Do Part?

Fri, 01/12/2017 - 11:19 -- James Oakley
Wedding Ring
Image Credit: Devanath

With the engagement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, people are discussing remarriage after divorce. Why do some clergy allow this and some not? Does this undermine the teaching that marriage is for life? Let's try and think clearly.

Remembrance Preaching

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 11:13 -- James Oakley
Poppy
Image Credit: Peter Dargatz

This coming Sunday is Remembrance Sunday. Once again, I find myself planning the sermon for Remembrance Sunday. Here is what happens on Remembrance Sunday here, and what I try to do when it comes to a sermon.

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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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