Christian Life

Principalities and Powers in Ephesians

Wed, 27/04/2022 - 11:22 -- James Oakley
Nicholas Roerich, Battle in the Heavens

I'm greatly enjoying reading Against Principalities and Powers: Spiritual Beings in Relation to Communal Identity and the Moral Discourse of Ephesians by Daniel Darko (published 2020 by Hippo Books).

He explores the significance of the spiritual powers in Paul's letter to the Ephesians, suggesting that we in the West often don't feel the full force of the letter's message because we are not atuned to see this as important.

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Is there an evangelical theological method

Fri, 25/03/2022 - 15:46 -- James Oakley
Shadow of cross over an open Bible

Recently, someone asked my advice. They had been asked to present a one hour session on how evangelicals do theology.

It's not hard to think of things to say if someone asked about the content of evangelical theology. We'd talk about our distinctive doctrine of Scripture, of sin, of the atonement, of judgement and so on. There are particular hallmarks that have arisen over the centuries that mark out what evangelicals do when it comes to theology.

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Coming to church: Set your watch

Sat, 19/03/2022 - 20:23 -- James Oakley
Watch

Most Christians have weeks when it's hard work to discipline themselves to get up and worship with their church family on a Sunday.

I love these words from Robert Murray McCheyne, written in 1836, that quaintly and yet compellingly encourage us to make the effort.

If this struggle is you, let me encourage you: Come, and callibrate your watch!

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Alan Stibbs commentary on 1 Peter

Thu, 04/11/2021 - 11:44 -- James Oakley
Alan Stibbs commentary on 1 Peter

This blog is many things, but one of them is a kind of commonplace book where I can jot things I want to find later, but done in a public blog because the things I want to find later may help others too.

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Do it your way

Mon, 12/07/2021 - 10:14 -- James Oakley

Each quarter for the past 12 years, I've written a one-page article at the front of The Well, the magazine our church produces for the whole village community and distributes free of charge to every household.

Here is the "vicar's letter" from the most recent Summer 2021 edition.


Dear Friends

“And now the end is near, so I face the final curtain.” So begins one of Elvis’s most well-known songs, “My Way”.

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Does Jesus contradict himself in giving differing guidance

Sat, 10/07/2021 - 10:27 -- James Oakley

A few days ago, I posted the transcript and a link to the video of my presentation, explaining my reasons for leaving the Church of England, and for moving to join Trinity Church Scarborough as their Associate Minister.

That presentation was given on a Wednesday evening to our church family, having told them the Sunday before that I would be leaving. In that briefer leaving announcement, I said (pithily) that Jesus was my boss, and loyalty to him meant I had to move.

The miraculous catch of fish in John 21

Tue, 27/04/2021 - 15:44 -- James Oakley
Tabgha, Sea of Galilee

This Sunday I'm preaching on John 21:1-14, the miraculous catch of fish. I've been asking myself why this miracle is recorded in John's gospel. Here are some thoughts.

What's the Puzzle?

Here's why the question needs asking. The story is a miracle (the catch of fish), and a post-resurrection appearance (“Afterwards Jesus appeared again to his disciples. … This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead”).

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