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Reformed and being reformed


I’m not going to lie, I was underwhelmed by the door. When you travel over 650 miles to see a door, you expect it to be as you imagined it. While there’s some debate about whether Luther ever posted his 95 theses on the door of the Schlosskirche, we can all be sure he didn’t personally engrave them on the ornate door that now stands there. If the door itself was something of a let down, however, the trip to Wittenberg was anything but. I’d travelled there to learn more about the events that led to the reformation and to see...
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Remembering to love


It’s general election day here in the United Kingdom. Many of us will have been through this cycle many times and yet this campaign has seemed in some way different; it’s been more ideological and has at times appeared to get even more heated than normal. Glance at either the press or social media and you’ll find plenty of aggression and vitriol, usually written from the perspective of a perceived moral high ground. All too often when we don’t understand the choices of others, we dismiss their opinion and sometimes even attack their character. As James, the brother of Jesus, writes: ‘Out of the...
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Resurrection


The thinkers and philosophers who gathered to grill the apostle Paul on his beliefs atop the Areopagus had heard many things in their time. Athens had always been a centre of knowledge and education; it was the city that had produced Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates and it carried the intellectual stature to match that tradition. The men Paul spoke with probably thought they had heard every idea under the sun. According to Luke, the historian who travelled with and wrote about Paul, they did little else with their time but talk about and listen to ideas. A revolutionary claim There was something...
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Temples Built by Human Hands


Sitting on the Areopagus, right where Paul stood and addressed the assembly, I couldn’t help but be filled with questions: How can steps carved into ancient rock be that slippy? What VSCO preset would make my photos look nicest? Why do people insist on taking that many selfies in a single location? And, more importantly, what was Paul thinking to stand there and say the things that he said? As I looked around I was surrounded by the wonders of ancient Athens. To one side, so close that you feel could almost spit on it, is the Acropolis. It dominates the view, crowned...
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There’s More to Life


I wonder if the men who escorted Paul to Athens parted with the words, “try to stay out of trouble”. I know I’ve heard those words plenty of times, usually immediately before I find some form of trouble. You could’ve forgiven Paul for laying low in Athens, having had to leave Thessalonica and Berea because of opposition, but as we’ve already seen in this study, Paul did anything but. It wasn’t long before he’d come to the attention of the intellectual elites within the city and was being questioned about this good news that he preached. Then they took him and brought him...
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