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Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Do return here as I will be updating this page… this is just a draft. Any other resources then please tell me.

Postgraduate Trinity students are available to access a wide range of journal articles online in PDF format. To do this it is first neccessary to have registered at Bristol University Library (Arts and Social Sciences) and to have received a username and password. Once this has been done the easiest way to get things going is to change the proxy settings on your internet connection. This can be done for you automatically by clicking here. Once this has been done return to the bristol university library webpage and you should be asked to put in your username and password.  Your computer is now setup to access online journals. There are a number of ways to find appropriate journal articles. Some students use J STore. Alternatively you can just go straight to journal websites if you know what you are looking for. ie. Journal for the Study of the New Testament. Once articles have been downloaded they can be printed off. On my Apple Mac I use the free pdf software called Skim which allows you to take notes on PDFs and highlight the text.

Of the making of bibliographies there is no end. Thanks to bibliography software this task becomes signifcantly easier and less time consuming. Some people us the old favourite called EndNote which is great but is expensive. I use the free piece of software called Zotero.

Zotero requires that you have installed  firefox web browser. I reccomend downloading the beta version of zotero as this allows you to sync your library on mulitiple machines and means that if your computer breaks your zotero library is safe.  I highly reccomend this free piece of software. I would advise though that it better to import bibliography details from academic libraries (such as Oxford) rather than through amazon or google books.

Google Books and Google Scholar are powerful and growing websites  which can be searched. They are often my first port of call when lookign for books and articles in my research area.  If a book is quoted I often type the quote into google books and i can read the surrounding context of the citation.

There are a number of different options of Bible programs for the scholar. Some people prefer a free online Bible which works within your web browser. However, the best option is to download bible software onto your machine. This will allow you to use the program when not online. E-Sword is a free bible program which is pretty good (considering it is free) for general english bible searches and using it like a high speed exhaustive concordance. However, the best option (except it costs money) is to go with either Accordance (for Mac only I think), BibleWorks or Logos. Detailed review of these products can be found here. I use Logos and Trinity Students are able to receive a  significant discount by going through this link .  You can add books at a later stage and it is possible to buy such delights as Word Bib Commentaries, Anchor Bible Dictionary, Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics, IVP Dictionaries.  It can be expensive (depending on what you get) but they do have a payment plan which can spread the payment over several months for only a few extra pounds. Please see me if you would like advise, a demo or anything else.

For those with a mac I do recommend taking a look at Scrivener

Here are a few random websites which I visit. Some are better than others….

I don’t use Word but use OpenOffice and NeoOffice instead. They are free.

Free Don Carson and John Piper Books

N.T Wright Articles,Videos and Mp3

Wayne Grudem offers an mp3 course through his systematic theology.

Spotify. If you like to listen to music but don’t have money to buy CDs.

For free theology and biblical studies lectures in Mp3 format try here, here and here.

Student Discount on a Mac

Free PDF version of decent English translation of the Septuagint

New Testament Gateway

For those interested in New Perspective on Paul

Free commentary by Don Garlington on Galatians

For those interested in Reformational Philosophy

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Gordon Fee on Revelation

Thanks to M.Bird for the link

The brilliant scholar Gordon Fee is interviewed about his new commentary on Revelation. Click here for link

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The award winning Encyclopedia Judaica is available online for free

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The latest volume of Themelios is out which contains a review of N.T Wright’s Justification:Paul’s Vision and God’s Plan by a man called David Mathis from a place called Bethlehem Baptist Church. I thought that sounded familiar so I googled his name and discovered that he is the executive pastoral assistant to John Piper.

That is pretty weird….

Given the seriousness of this interchange between Wright and Piper you might have thought that they may have asked a reviewer who didn’t work for Piper. As it turns out, and there is no surprise here, it is quite a negative review. I do wonder if Piper may have had a hand in it….

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I thought I better do this as Belder and the Bishop tagged me. Hopefully Taylor may join in.

1) What’s your favourite theology book?
Ahhh! That is difficult. I have different books for different phases of my life

John Piper: The Pleasures of God
When I was in my late teens this book powerfullly set forth a high view of God. A powerful tonic to an anthropocentric view of the world.

Creation Regained by Al Wolters: In my early twenties this book exposed my dualism and set the foundation for a non-reductionistic view of the kingdom and the gospel.

N.T. Wright: Jesus and the Victory of God: In my late twenties this book helped me to better understand the historical Jesus

Rikk Watts: Isaiah’s New Exodus in Mark: In the last few years I keep on coming back to this book. This book has shaped and is still shaping how I read Mark and appoach teh Old Testament.

2) What Christian(s) book has been most influential in your thinking? Why?
Creation Regained: Al Wolters  Life became richer! Mission became life encompassing

3) Where do you attend church?
St Micheals, Stoke Gifford Bristol

4) What is your denominational affiliation?
Church of England

5) Who is your favourite theologian/Christian philosopher?
John Calvin,   Lesslie Newbigin, N. T. Wright, Chris Wright, Rikk Watts

6) Who is your favourite preacher?
My dad…

7) What is your calling as a Christian (if you’ve figured that out!)?
To be human. To love God and enjoy him forever. To be an agent of reconciliation. To be a husband and dad. To teach and preach. To bring theological education to the church. To be a servant of the church.

8) What spiritual virtue do you desire most?
Greater depth and persistence in personal prayer

9) What is the greatest challenge to the church today?
Depends who we are talking about:
Conservative Evangelicalism: To reduce the gospel to personal peity and evangelism
Mainline CHurches: To be more influenced by  zeitgeist than scipture

10) What bothers you most about the local church?
I have noticed a copy of the ‘Left Behind’ series in the Church Library.

11) What encourages you most about the local church?
Love the Bible, Love each other, impacting local community, openness to the Holy Spirit.

12) Pre, post, or Amil?
I have postmillenial tendencies….
Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
Does his successive journeys run;
His kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.

13) Antichrist…past or future?
Margaret Thatcher! just kidding….. both/and

14) If you could only keep 5 Christian books with you on a desert island, what would they be?

Bible: Preferably a study bible with notes, maps and concordance.
Greek New Testament + Greek Grammer Book + BDAG lexicon Apostolic Fathers in Greek (might finally be able to get my greek up to scratch)
Church of England’s ‘Daily Prayer’
Maybe Bavink’s Reformed Dogmatics: Never read it but want to!
Hymn Book of some description (preferably something which blends old and new)

15) What got you thinking theologically?
debates as a teenager on United Beach Missions about Calvinism and Arminianism.

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The Death of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark

The purpose of my last few months of research has been to explore, within the narrative of the gospel of Mark, the link between Jesus’ death and the Temple.  This link is clearly to be seen at the surface level of the passion narratives where the  Temple and the  cross are fused together in the closing stages of the Markan narrative. For instance, Jesus at his trial, which leads directly to his execution, is  falsely accused of saying that he would destroy the Temple sanctuary ( ναὸν) and replace it with another (14:58). This accusation is repeated during the crucifixion  in the form of mockery  (15:29) and at the point of death the link between Jesus’ death and the Temple is made explicit, ‘for a single instant…. we [the reader] are transplanted from Golgotha to the Temple area, and then back to Golgotha’ when the veil of the Temple was torn (ἐσχίσθη)  in two (15:38).

The attached paper (click on title above)  seeks to explore these themes.

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Last Five Amazon Purchases

The Evangelical Universalist by Gregory Macdonald (Robin Parry): After listening to a discussion of the book I decided to see for myself.

Sennheiser Sports Headphones About 10 weeks ago I stopped being a regular pipe smoker. I have taken up running. It was sow and painful at first (I could only do 3km) but now I regularly putting in a 10km run. I love it and I have discovered some great runs around bristol. I prefer running through woods rather than on the road. I listen to lectures/podcasts on my run but have already managed to trash to sets of headphones through increased wear and tear and exposure to rain. I hope these new headphones which are more rugged and waterproof will do the trick.

The Deliverance of God: Am Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul by Douglas Campbell. I am studying Mark but also want to keep up to date with some of the key texts in Pauline scholarship. This looks like one them.

Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith by Francis Watson. A look at intertextuality in Paul and Second Temple Judaism.

Who gets to narrate our world? by Robert Webber Short worldview type book.

What were your last five amazon purchases? or book purchases?

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Today I had the pleasure of sharing a few insights on mission and worldview to the members of the ‘College Green’ pastoral group at Trinity College.. This group has pioneered and developed a chaplaincy which seeks to serve and bear witness to the young people who gather outside of Bristol Cathedral. Further information can be found here. The session today was intended to provide a theoretical/theological/philosophical basis for using worldviews in evangelism. On a practical level we will be using a modified version of the UCCF worldview questionnaire to engage in discussion.

If any church or group would like me to come and lead an interactive workshop on  ‘Worldview and Mission’ then I would be more than happy to assist. There would be no charge for any group in the Bristol area and for anyone else, within reason,  I would only ask that traveling expenses be covered. If interested then just leave a comment on this post. I can get references for those who want to know that I am kosher and can communicate effectively. I have previously discussed this material at West Yorkshire School of Christian Studies, local churches and a ‘Exploring Vocations’ retreat.

The following is primarily aimed as a resource bank for the pastoral group.

My presentation can be found using the following link.

I mentioned 2 books in my presentation.

Walsh and Middleton, Transforming Vision which introduces the reader to a Christian worldview. This book, if i remember rightly, takes a look at the worldview questions.

Where are you? Who are you? What is the problem? What is the solution? Where are we going? It will be worth checking out my  mate, Mark Roques’ website who has a great page on the worldview questions and sketches out a number of answers from different worldviews.  Also check out his podcasts.

I also recommended N.T Wright’s ‘New Testament and the People of God’ which provided the story, symbols, q+a, praxis part of my presentation. This book is great and will greatly assist you in hermeneutics and study of the New Testament. It is meaty and is not directly related to mission or evangelism. If this is your first year of theological training it may be best to leave on hold for a while. I think that it would be great to try and sit down and sketch out the worldviews of some of the young people you have met. What is their praxis? symbol? story? answers to worldview questions.

If you are interested in the Christian metanarrative and a holistic understanding of mission then check out some of the audio lectures by Micheal Goheen.

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Almighty God, you planted in the heart of your servant William Tyndale a consuming passion to bring the Scriptures to people in their native tongue, and endowed him with the gift of powerful and graceful expression and with strength to persevere against all obstacles: Reveal to us your saving Word, as we read and study the Scriptures, and hear them calling us to repentance and life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

tyndale

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Jake Belder, via his blog, introduced me to the book ‘Who gets to narrate the world?’ by Robert E. Webber. My copy arrived today and I have ploughed through the first few chapters.  So far, so good. Webber encourages us to look at the comprehensive biblical narrative which is desperately needed as Christians face real problems, both internal and external, in the 21st century.

However, I was surprised, given this book calls us to move away from a reductionistic understanding of God’s story and mission to find the following,

The overriding theme of this book is to respond to these challenges by understanding and practising the fullness of God’s narrative. Whether you are a pastor, a youth worker, a worship leader, an evangelist, a teacher or active layperson in the church, the effect of restoring God’s narrative is manifold. (page 19)

Why, please tell me, does a book which is against reductionism, have as its target audience people who work in a church? Surely the call of the gospel is to people working in all spheres of life. I have taken the liberty of re-writing the above paragraph and would be happy for Robert to use it in in any future editions of the book.

The overriding theme of this book is to respond to these challenges by understanding and practising the fullness of God’s narrative. Whether you are a pastor, baker, butcher, scientist, artist, teacher, economist, lawyer, candlestick maker,  the effect of restoring God’s narrative is manifold.

If this potential new edition contains the above paragraph I would only ask that a glossy picture of myself be included on the back cover. This would have the added advantage of increasing sales…..

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