At long last I have another sermon to share with you. Please bear with me while I try to remember how to post it…
I’ve been rather busy lately moving house, so apologies that my last sermon is so late in appearing on this website! Here it is. I have to take a six month break from ministry whilst I settle in to a new parish, so there won’t be any more sermons for a while, but I’ll continue to post items about interesting books or websites I come across from time to time.
It’s been worrying me for some time that my two favourite writers on the history of the early church hold different positions on the synoptic problem. Marcus Borg assumes the existence of Q (a hypothetical source used by Matthew and Luke) in his writings, whereas Mark Goodacre doesn’t believe that it ever existed. I felt the time had come to make up my own mind about what I think about Q. Now, Mark Goodacre has written a weighty (and fairly expensive) tome entitled ‘The case against Q’, but I can’t afford it at the moment, so I went back to have a look at his website. There I discovered that he has written a much shorter, easier to read book entitled ‘The Way through the Maze’ and, very generously, has made it available online, in various formats for free. I thoroughly recommend it – just click through to the NT blog (listed on the right), then to his homepage and you’ll find a link to it. Oh, and on the way through the NT blog, you might like to read about the recent conference on Jesus and Brian… (Mark Goodacre met John Cleese, you know!).
I’ve just posted the sermon I preached on Sunday. (There wasn’t one here last month as it had too many visuals to work as a simple text). Sources for this one included the wonderful ‘Dictionary of Biblical Imagery’ (published by IVP Academic, 1998) and Christopher JH Wright’s ‘Old Testament Ethics for the People of God’. Both of these are more Evangelical in outlook than my usual fare, but were particularly useful in helping me to understand the imagery of Wisdom alluded to in Matthew 11. The excerpt from the Gospel reading is from ‘The New Testament for Everyone’ by Tom Wright (published by SPCK).
I’ve just posted the sermon I preached this morning. Once again, if you want to know more about the Old Testament reading, I recommend the Open Yale Religious Studies course. For the John passage I found Tom Wright’s John for Everyone (SPCK) very useful. I also looked at the chapter on The Christian Hope in D. Migliore Faith Seeking Understanding (Eerdmans).
I’ve just posted the sermon on Genesis 1 which I preached on Sunday. If you want to find out more about the context in which it was written or about the Enuma Elish I recommend the Open Yale religious studies course (see links). There is quite a bit on the web about Old Testament studies and other Ancient Near Eastern texts, but you have to be a bit careful as much of it is from a not very academically (or theologically) sound perspective. As a rule of thumb, if they think Genesis was written by Moses (and old and no longer credible view) then give it a miss!
My new year’s resolution is to start posting sermons after I’ve preached them – so if you missed it in church, you can find it here! Just go to the ‘Sermons’ tab and select the one you want.