Living

The stench of death

Mon, 30/09/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

2 Corinthians 2:15-17 says this:

For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.

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Christians and the Stock Market

Wed, 25/09/2019 - 12:10 -- James Oakley

The other day I was asked, certainly not for the first time, whether Christians may invest in the stock market.

Part of my job is to help Christians think through how biblical teaching applies in the nuts and bolts of daily life, so this is a very good question indeed. I've never written down my thoughts on this, and as the question recurs from time to time I thought it would be a help to jot things down.

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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.

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:

A Few Thoughts on Bullying

Wed, 20/03/2019 - 14:50 -- James Oakley
No Bullying

Earlier this week, our Deanery Synod had an excellent 45 minute presentation from one of the clergy in our deanery, Revd Dr Lorraine Turner. Lorraine's doctoral thesis was on the subject of bullying as experienced by clergy, and her subject with us was bullying.

Clearly, 45 minutes is far too short a time for anything other than the most cursive of introductions, especially for someone who has studied this with the thoroughness required for a PhD. Nevertheless, it was extremely helpful, for reasons including the following:

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Personal Church History

Mon, 25/02/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

It is a great privilege indeed to belong to a Christian church, and so to the Christian church.

This last weekend, I reached the milestone of 10 years serving the churches here in Kemsing and Woodlands, also a great privilege.

That gives me cause to look back on the many churches I have belonged to over the years. Each made its mark in different ways, and the person I am today is undoubtedly shaped by the time spent in those churches.

Sabbath Rest

Mon, 18/02/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley
Image Credit: milinkapoor

I'm taking a 3 month sabbatical starting in May. This is something many Christian ministers find helpful. The Diocese of Rochester, within which I serve, used to recommend this every 7 years (although I see that their guidance now says 10 years).

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