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Why English majors make bad fundamentalists

by Richard on March 5, 2014

Morgan Guyton: Why English majors make lousy fundamentalists. Good stuff when you get past the Myers-Briggs introduction. Here’s a flavour:
To an English major, what makes a piece of writing rich and poetic are the metaphors it employs. Metaphors are scary things to fundamentalists because they seem like a ploy to undermine the Bible’s authority. [...]


Exploring truth & myth in the Bible

by Richard on December 1, 2013

On 21st November my local newspaper was kind enough to publish a short piece by me for its regular ‘Crosstalk’ column under the headline “Exploring myth and truth while reading the Bible”. It isn’t available online, so here’s the text:
A friend of mine got very upset when I suggested to him that the Bible contains [...]


The truth of Genesis

by Richard on October 10, 2012

An amended reblog, partly prompted by some recent comments
I was talking to someone recently about the evolution ‘debate’. He got very troubled when I spoke of the first chapter of Genesis as a myth. “If Genesis 1 isn’t true, how can we trust anything the Bible says?” he asked.
Imagine yourself in one of those [...]

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Listening to the Bible

by Richard on January 10, 2011

Out and about in the car yesterday, I managed to catch some snippets of the BBC Radio 4 King James Bible programme. The readings are available as podcasts for the next little while, and I highly recommend them based on the little I heard yesterday. It struck me that though we treat the Bible as [...]


The definition of fundamentalism (reblogged)

by Richard on November 12, 2010

Some comments have been provoked on other posts about the use of the words ‘fundamentalist’ and ‘fundamentalism’. I’m a preacher, and I believe strongly that words should be used as precisely as possible, so I thought it might be helpful to clarify what I think these words mean. (Of course, I’m as guilty as the [...]


The myth of fundamentalism (reblogged)

by Richard on November 12, 2010

At the heart of almost every controversy in the church lies a deceptively simple question: “How do we read the Bible?” It shouldn’t be surprising that different Christians (and parties of Christians) interpret the Bible differently. We’ve been doing that for a very long time. Where it becomes urgent is when one party “unchurches” another [...]

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On reading the Bible

by Richard on October 29, 2010

Another reblog I’m afraid, from the early day of my blogging
One way or another, I’ve been involved in lots of conversations recently about the Bible and how we read it. When Christians disagree, very often the “nub” amounts to a diiferent way of reading the scriptures. There are many approaches to the Bible, but not [...]


Picking and choosing? (a reblog)

by Richard on August 19, 2010

I’m reblogging this post as part of the conversation that’s going on about how we use the Bible. I’m not able to write anything fresh today, and this still says what I want it to. I’d also point you to Why Bible-believing Methodists Shouldn’t Eat Black Pudding, Bishop Alan: Reading the Bible 101 and Internet [...]


Scripture is a conversation

by Kim on August 18, 2010

In view of Tim Chesterton’s response to a comment by DH in the thread to my post “Hauerwas on spirituality: ‘the assholes got it’”, here is the first hymn I ever wrote (in desperation, simply because I couldn’t find a hymn in any of the hymnbooks I have that say what I wanted to sing [...]


C.S. Lewis on reading the Bible

by Richard on October 7, 2009

Tim Chesterton has been looking again at C.S. Lewis on the inspiration of scripture. Here’s a morsel to whet your appetite
It is Christ Himself, not the Bible, who is the true Word of God. The Bible, read in the right spirit and with the guidance of good teachers will bring us to Him. When it [...]


Reading the Bible

by Richard on October 6, 2009

I’ve been messing about with Bitstrips again.
I don’t think Dave Walker has anything to worry about.


Reading in worship

by Richard on July 14, 2009

About 2 years ago I wrote a post in response to my friend Randy and InternetMonk entitled A novel idea for churches - read the Bible. I expressed a certain amount of surprise that there were churches where the Bible is little read.
Now Craig confirms that this is an issue for the Australian church too. [...]


Good stuff from Olive

by Richard on July 13, 2009

Olive is on a bit of a roll at the minute. First, she reminds me that I haven’t welcomed the election of our new President and Vice-President for next year. That was remiss of me.
Second, she points to a report in the Telegraph that Only 10% of Britons know the Bible. Olive is right - [...]


Reading the Bible 101

by Richard on March 3, 2009

A very useful post from my favourite blogging bishop
In the same way as “original instruments” recordings are not, in fact, the only or even the best possible ways to get your Bach, we have to lay aside earnest Victorian literalism and come alive again to the riches of the Biblical texts as they are. Ancient [...]


Poet Laureate: “Students do not know the Bible”

by Richard on February 18, 2009

Andrew Motion, the Poet Laureate, has been lamenting the state of British student’s knowledge of both the Bible and classical mythology. (Listen here)
The Poet Laureate said: “I’m not trying to give them a dusty and bitter pill to swallow here, I’m just saying that these stories achieve archetypal status because they tell us recurring truths [...]


A picture paints a thousand words

by Richard on January 29, 2009

This cartoon needs no further comment. A little bit of genius.
From Naked Pastor via Randy


Blake and the Bible

by Richard on December 11, 2008

Kim posts over at Faith and Theology on Blake and the Bible. He’ll only blub if I don’t give him a link. Here’s a taster:
Chesterton declared: “Critics say his [Blake’s] visions were false because he was mad. I say he was mad because his visions were true.” Absolutely! “Mad” in the way St. John the [...]


I mentioned this very useful book in a comment the other day. It really is a most helpful introduction to the subject of Biblical interpretation, and will be of benefit to everyone, even non-Methodists who wouldn’t touch black pudding with a barge pole! I’m delighted to say that the book’s author, Stephen Dawes (who had [...]


A good read

by Richard on March 16, 2008

Paul Martin has been thinking about the Bible.
Just as he should.


Do we take the Bible literally?

by Richard on December 1, 2007

A guest post by Craig L. Adams
This is a common question. But, what does it mean to take the Bible “literally”? I feel that this term has often been misused or used foolishly. I sometimes think people should stop using the term “literal” to describe our beliefs about the Bible.
What does the word “literal” mean? [...]