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Resilience: A Spiritual Project

ls84Resilience: A Spiritual Project by Kirsten Birkett

The secular world is well aware of the problems of stress. Of recent decades a great deal of attention and research has been devoted to understanding what those who cope well with stress actually do; and, as a result, how to help others learn to do the same things. The psychological construct that has been developed to describe what secular researchers are looking for is ‘resilience’.

What the literature reveals, however, is that our created natures thrive on spiritual values. What fosters resilience, the qualities and strategies that resilient people demonstrate, are things like religion, altruism and belief in the good. Sometimes these ideas can sit oddly with the naturalistic, pluralistic framework of secular socio-scientific research. However, within a Christian framework. It should not be surprising that what works is just that sort of lifestyle that God created us to have.

Read more: Resilience: A Spiritual Project

Your Will Be Done

ls83Your Will Be Done: Exploring Eternal Subordination, Divine Monarchy and Divine Humility by Michael J Ovey

The relationship between the Father and the Son in the Trinity has been hotly debated since the earliest centuries of the church. The Church Fathers like Tertullian, Athanasius and Hilary of Poiters wrestled with it; church councils at Nicaea, Syrmium and Chalcedon legislated about it in attempts to define orthodoxy and heresy.  What did they and the Bible say, and why does it matter today?

Read more: Your Will Be Done

Spells, Sorcerers and Spirits

ls82Spells, Sorcerers and Spirits: Magic and the Occult in the Bible by Kirsten Birkett

Cultures, for as long as we have had history, have had some sense of magic.  This book contends that some of it, at least, is real; it describes what that is, and why the Bible is so negative about it.

However, to say ‘magic is real’ in our contemporary culture could be very misleading. In fact, wrong. For what our culture thinks of as ‘magic’ – as vague and diffuse as that is – is likely to be very different from what was practised in the Ancient Near East (the things that modern English translations of the Old Testament call, for instance, sorcery or witchcraft) or in the Greco-Roman world (what the New Testament calls magic). It also may be very different from what is called ‘magic’ or ‘witchcraft’ in animistic or ancestor-worshipping cultures today.

Read more: Spells, Sorcerers and Spirits

Thinking Aloud

ls80Thinking Aloud: Responding to the Contemporary Debate about Marriage, Sexuality and Reconciliation by Martin Davie

Christians today are faced with pressure to change and accommodate, both from outside and from within the church community.  Nowhere does this seem to be more true than on the issue of human sexuality.

This volume discusses the issue with particular interest in the impact of recent events and publications on the Church of England.
Its collection of papers and reviews aims to spell out the biblical foundations for Christian thinking about sexuality and to offer an incisive critique which can inform our response to this pressure.

Read more: Thinking Aloud

Were they preaching 'Another Gospel'?

ls80Were They Preaching 'Another Gospel'? Justification by Faith in the Second Century by Andrew Daunton-Fear

We are very familiar with the New Testament and can easily verify its teachings, but what happened to these teachings subsequently? Were they upheld, diluted or discarded? In particular, what did the Church Fathers make of Paul’s cardinal doctrine ‘justification by faith’?

The sixteenth-century Protestant Reformers thought it was ignored prior to Augustine (354-430): were the writers of the second century influenced by Paul, or did they manipulate his meaning to support their own arguments and new situations? 

Read more: Were they preaching 'Another Gospel'?

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