James's Weblog

Luke 17:37

Sat, 29/07/2006 - 22:45 -- James Oakley

Has anyone met a self-evidently correct explanation of Luke 17:37 that can cut through the pages of depate there are. I’m not overwhelmingly persuaded by anything I’ve met.

The two questions I’m left asking are

  • What does the proverb mean?
  • How does it fit into 20-36?
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Mark 5:1-20

Thu, 27/07/2006 - 12:59 -- James Oakley

I've often wondered why Jesus sent Legion into the herd of pigs. Lots of obvious things have come to mind for a while - it shows the size of the demonic force just defeated for one.

Thinking about the Exodus made me wonder. God destroyed the Egyptian army by plunging them into the sea in Exodus 14. Jesus destroyed a demonic army by plunging them into the sea in Mark 5. Co-incidence, or is Mark teaching us that because of Jesus' crucifixion those demons "whom you see today you shall never see again" (Exodus 14:13)?

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1 John 4:7-11

Mon, 24/07/2006 - 12:15 -- James Oakley

I’m preparing a sermon for a wedding on 1 John 4:7-11.

Having found a way of laying the text out in a way that I think is quite helpful, I thought I’d share it…

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Bible in the driving seat?

Thu, 29/06/2006 - 23:00 -- James Oakley

Enjoyed a stunningly helpful and refreshing lecture from David Jackman at the Proclamation Trust's Evangelical Ministry Assembly.

He had a particularly helpful illustration on the difference between preaching that is expository and preaching that merely delivers our theological framework.

Is the Bible in the driving seat for the sermon - it decides the course the sermon takes?
Or is the Bible in the passenger seat? A useful point of reference, but ultimately we decide where the car goes, not the Bible.

I'm sure that oversimplifies things slightly, but a helpful illustration nonetheless

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Found a new children's Bible I like

Wed, 12/04/2006 - 10:29 -- James Oakley

I found it in Morrisons the other day, at £3.99, called "My First Bible". It was with all the Mr Men books etc.

It has about 60 OT stories, and 55 NT ones. Each is short - one or two sides, with a well-drawn colour illustration. Looking at the stories that are hard to do (or hard to do right), like the fall, the healing of the paralytic, etc., it does a good job. Like it!

ISBN: 1873824831
Authors: Leena Lane and Gillian Chapman

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Religion and Oaths in court

Mon, 10/04/2006 - 10:06 -- James Oakley

According to Times Online, a magistrate in Hull has drawn up an oath of truthfulness which makes no reference to God.

His reason was that it is more important to stress the risk of a charge of perjury if someone does lie under oath. That is, after all, the importance of the oath.

The trouble is: What if there is a God? What if there will come a day when he will judge the world by the man he has appointed (as Acts 17:31 says)? If these things are so, someone lying under oath may still face a charge of perjury. But they can also expect to give an account of the way they took their oath lightly to God one day. That is far more serious...

Surely it is entirely appropriate to remind someone of the most serious consequence of breaking an oath?

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