The Biblioblog Reference Library

[«] Posts by the Author "James Oakley"(#851)

November 7 2017, 4AM

This coming Sunday is Remembrance Sunday. For readers not in the United Kingdom: World War I hostilities ended on 11th November 1918. Many communities had lost a large proportion of their young men, so war memorials were erected in each community with the...

October 23, 3AM

Premier Christian Radio just posted a question on Facebook: A quarter of Church of England services do not have a single child in the congregation, increasing fears of a gradual ‘extinction’. An average-sized Anglican church has only three children at...

September 20, 2AM

I hit an annoying trouble using the "Stroke Outline" feature of Photoshop Element 14. I then solved it. So I'll share it here for the benefit of others who encounter the same issue. Stroke Outline "Stroke outline" allows you to do something quite simple:...

September 13, 2AM

Daniel chapters 2-7 are written in Aramaic; the rest of Daniel (chapter 1, and chapters 8-12) are in Hebrew. The most obvious way to divide Daniel into two is to note that Daniel chapters 1-6 contain stories about Daniel, whereas chapters 7-12 contain vis...

September 6, 2AM

I'll just park this here for future reference. Sometimes you see writers say that certain parts of the Bible are written in the "apocalyptic" style of writing. Recognising the "genre" of part of the Bible can be very important when it comes to reading it ...

August 30, 2AM

“There seems to be one fundamental law of a very solemn kind which touches this question of judgement; and when I turn to the ancient prophets and recall the limited area of history they had at their disposal for making their inductions, I am always sur...

August 23, 2AM

Some commentators worry themselves about the fact that Daniel 4 is a mixture of first person account (Nebuchadnezzar speaking) and third person account (another narrator, writing about Nebuchadnezzar). They think this indicates that Daniel 4 was originall...

August 16, 2AM

A while back, I had a bit of a problem with someone, not me, opening bank / credit card accounts in my name. That meant I had the opportunity to contact the fraud teams at a number of banks. Most of the banks handled things brilliantly. I had cause to rin...

August 7, 9AM

Bishop N. T. ("Tom") Wright, formerly Bishop of Durham, is a well-known biblical scholar. He has produced works that showcase his careful work, such as Jesus and the Victory of God. He has also published books to help any Christian get into the biblical t...

July 26, 2AM

In hot weather, sometimes an iced coffee can be just the thing. Here's my recipe (makes about a pint / 550ml). Needless to say, as with all things coffee, GIGO. Garbage in, garbage out. That's to say: Start with good quality coffee beans. I'd recommend so...

July 19, 2AM

A friend recently asked on Facebook about whether to use a Facebook Page or a Facebook Group for his newest project — or indeed whether to run both. For what it's worth, here was my advice (now elaborated upon): General Rule of Thumb: Choose My gener...

July 12, 2AM

Almost every Windows user is familiar with the problem. You have an external hard drive, or a pen drive, attached to your computer. You know the correct way to eject the device: Don't just yank out the lead, because it could corrupt data if the computer w...

July 5, 3AM

Those who have read my reflections on the consecration of Andy Lines as a Bishop in ACNA will know that Archbishop Nicholas Okoh's sermon was a major encouragement to me. In that post, I included some excerpts from that sermon. It may be that some would ...

July 3, 6AM

On Friday 30th June, at 4pm UK time, the Anglican Church of North America held a very special service to close their Provincial Assembly. Canon Andy Lines was consecrated bishop. In a previous post, I wrote about the lead-up and background to this. By the...

June 26, 4AM

Do you remember the "Love Is" cartoons. Occasionally I show them at the start of a wedding sermon. They were a light-hearted slogan to suggest what love looks like in practice, accompanied by a picture of an innocent-looking boy and girl which wittily goe...

3AM

The annual so-called "Pride Festival" runs from Saturday 24th June until Saturday 8th July this year. Lots of businesses, public and private, have chosen to show their support. They're proud to support Pride. The trouble is, "Pride" is not something that ...

June 23, 8AM

John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress is one of the bestselling books ever written, never out of print since 1678. By way of brief background: It is written as though the narrator dreamt the story, and is an extended allegory of the Christian’s journey t...

June 22, 5AM

Here's a simple tip, which may help some clergy looking to complete their tax returns. Disclaimer: I am not an accountant, so this is not professional advice, merely a tip from a fellow traveller. Needless to say, you are responsible for the figures you p...

June 20, 2AM

Here, once again, is David Gooding, in his book True to the Faith. Read this slowly, let it sink in, and take time to enjoy the amazing mercy and grace of God shown that first Pentecost: “If it is true that Jesus Christ was the Son of the Owner of the v...

June 13, 1AM

Is schism the biggest, or even the only, heresy in today's church? It can seem so. The anonymous Twitter account, operated under the handle @thechurchmouse, recently mused: "Considering whether the heresy of division and disunity is the most prevalent her...

June 7, 2AM

… eventually. I have no idea which way tomorrow's General Election will go. But our parish magazine, The Well, comes out this week or next, and I have a letter in there about the Election. Here it is: Dear Friends I was planning to write some more about...

May 31, 2AM

Why Pentecost? Why did the Spirit come on the church on that day in particular? It's a good question. Jesus ascended on a Thursday; the Spirit did not come for another 10 days. Why the wait? Jesus only said that they'd have to wait for "a few days", but ...

May 24, 5AM

Spam is a problem that never goes away. Email spam. Comment spam. This site has long used Mollom to protect the comment section and the contact form. They're closing down on 2nd April 2018, so lots of webmasters will be looking for alternatives. I'd like...

May 17, 2AM

To give credit where credit is due, some readers may spot echoes of the late Mike Ovey's CD1.1 lecture course in the pen portrait of romanticism below. They'd spot that with good reason. The section is included as a summary, and for the benefit of those n...

May 10, 2AM

In Microsoft Word, there's all the difference in the world between a new paragraph and a new line. To insert a new paragraph, press the Enter key. If you have "show all characters" turned on, you'll see each paragraph break with its "backwards P" icon. Ea...

May 3, 2AM

On Easter Sunday, I preached on Romans 8:18-30. There wasn't time in that service to set those glorious verses in their full context in the book of Romans. But I obviously made sure I was clear on the argument through the letter, so that what I said about...

April 26, 3AM

A few weeks back, I found myself in a group where we were discussing whether weapons are intrinsically evil. One person suggested that weapons cause war. In particular, the British government should outlaw British firms selling arms to foreign nations. It...

April 19, 2AM

When you have something you do not want to forget, do you write it on your hand? Some people write things on the palms of their hands; others write things on the back; others don't do this at all. In Isaiah 49, God is reassuring his people in exile that h...

April 12, 3AM

I often tell people that we need to listen to the gospel writers whenever we read the gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke or John are teaching us something by recording the things they do. We need to let them do that. The words Jesus spoke within the gospels wer...

April 5, 3AM

The week before last, tragic events unfolded in London. It seems that a man drove a car at nearly 70 mph into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before stabbing a policeman on duty at the entry to the Parliamentary Estate. 5 people died, including the atta...

March 28, 9AM

I'll put this here, in case it helps anyone else. I'm owning up to Drupal Schoolboy Error #1. I was writing a very simple module. It did so little, that I wanted to keep things as simple as possible — just a .info file, and a .module file. I then includ...

March 22, 4AM

I often tell people that we need to listen to the gospel writers whenever we read the gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke or John are teaching us something by recording the things they do. We need to let them do that. The words Jesus spoke within the gospels wer...

March 15, 4AM

A little while back, the Church of England's weekday lectionary spent some time in Hebrews 7 and Genesis 14. So it was, that I found myself trying to explain as simply as possible why the hard-to-pronounce character of Melchizedek is such good news to hav...

March 8, 4AM

Robin Lustig, former journalist at the BBC, most recently as presenter of The World Tonight, has written a superb blog post entitled Will the law stretch from Srebrenica to Saydnaya?. Go read it - it's not long. He makes a simple point. War crimes from th...

March 1, 5AM

Many people today move towards the Christian faith gradually. Maybe they have friends who are Christians, with whom they talk. They start to attend a local church. Maybe they attend a course such as Christianity Explored or Alpha. Gradually, things come a...

February 24, 6AM

The Gossipy Parrot by Shen Roddie, a story that our children used to love: Godfrey, the parrot loved to make trouble. He used to tell tales on the other animals - "Gorrila says that bee has stung his own bottom." "He does, does he?", says bee - and off he...

February 20, 9AM

I'm bookmarking this here for my own future reference. There's an important article by New Testament scholar Luke Timothy Johnson entitled Homosexuality & The Church: Scripture & Experience. It is published by Commonweal Magazine, which says about...

February 17, 8AM

This is the third in a series of blog posts looking at the decision faced by that Church of England General Synod this week: do they, or do they not, take note of the report by the House of Bishops (GS2055) on human sexuality. Part 1: When it comes to the...

February 15, 2PM

Yesterday, I wrote about the debate before the Church of England's General stood as to whether to take note of the House of Bishops' report into human sexuality. I explained that the document, and the process that led to it, was all about "good disagreem...

February 14, 1PM

How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him. (1 Kings 18:21) It is logically impossible to tolerate differences of opinion when it comes to the acceptable boundaries of tolerance. Tomorrow, ...