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Simon Nash (Jersey, Channel Islands)

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Podcast Addict
Podcast Addict
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3.0 out of 5 stars ok, 6 Aug. 2015
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This review is from: Podcast Addict (App)
Better than some podcast apps but interface is not the most freindly
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 11, 2015 3:07 PM GMT

Just Jesus: My Struggle to Become Human
Just Jesus: My Struggle to Become Human
by Walter Wink
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.61

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, touching, inspirational, 5 Feb. 2014
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I loved reading this short book. It is a memoir pieced together after Wink's death of demntia in 2012, from fragments that he had written in more lucid moments along with some extracts from his corpus of work. These little snippets offer precious windows into a life of scholarship, activism, discipleship and personal transformation.

Having read and ben inspired by Wink's work for the past 25 years it is hard to imagine what this book would be like for someone who hadn't followed the man and his teachings, but I would recommend it, whether or not you have read any other of his work.

Learning to Interpret Toward Love
Learning to Interpret Toward Love
Price: £7.78

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An important contribution to the church's journey on this issue, 20 Aug. 2013
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In this short (136pp) little book Peter Fitch seeks to explore the question of how Christians can be faithful in their reading of Scripture and also hospitable in their Christ-like welcome and affirmation of LGBT people. He succeeds in this, mainly through the warmth and evident love expressed in the passages of personal testimony, which are by far the book's strongest sections.

Fitch is a Vineyard pastor, and although to my knowledge the Vineyard has not published a position statement on this issue, I think its fair to say that many people in the Vineyard and similar churches will experience a tension between their desire to be faithful to Scripture and their experience of God's loving nature, as seen in Jesus and experienced in the spirit-filled community. We therefore often end up toting a line of intolerance, or conditional acceptance out of a sense of obligation which arises from the way the text has been interpreted to us.

What Peter does is to lovingly address this tension from two angles. There is a chapter on the hermeneutics of the clobber passages. Its quite brief and there are more extensive treatments of those texts elsewhere, some of which are noted in his footnotes.

The second angle is treated with much greater depth and that is the pastoral and practical question of how do we love and welcome real people who are gay or lesbian, not just how do we write and apply blanket policies about "the gays and lesbians". In this part Fitch is superb, blending testimony from years of pastoral leadership with deep insights from the themes of scripture, and most importantly the teaching and example of Jesus.

One of the nicest things about this approach is the sense of a journey, in which the reader or small group studying the book, may find their own place on the path and think about the struggles and joys ahead, while not losing fellowship with those behind.

This is not the only word on the subject, but it is an important word. Its importance lies in its timing and its location in the contemporary Evangelical church. Above all it is a very hopeful word, a lively word of the Spirit and a word that draws the reader closer to Jesus and to those He loves.

The Essential History of Christianity
The Essential History of Christianity
by Dr. Miranda Threlfall-Holmes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1900 years in 138 pages!, 22 May 2013
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Where does one start with a review of Miranda Threlfall-Holmes one volume church history? Well with some trepidation to start with as the author is probably going to be a Bishop pretty soon. Doubly cautious as my good mate was a student of hers and will probably put me right on my misreading of the text soon enough too.

To start with its almost impossible to criticise a project that seeks to span such a wide and diverse terrain in such a limited wordcount, which I imagine was a publisher's parameter. Every reader is bound to be screaming out at the omissions and glosses, but all crying out at different points in the text. Similarly this is a popular text and not an academic one, so it would not be fair to decry the lack of footnotes or Bibliography. On that latter note there is a short "further reading" section, and that too will probably have readers crying out for their own favourite texts for inclusion.

The absolute strength of this book is her engaging, almost conversational, writing style. Under Dr Threlfall-Holmes the reader is drawn into the story and the centuries fly past with key synods, changes, reforms and figures all taken in the sweep of history. A rattling good yarn, especially if read in decent long stints.

My own two beefs with the text, which will doubtless be different to those of others, are these.

1) The view of the church's history is pretty much from the institutional centre of gravity and top-down. Thus the more radical fringes of the Christian project get very little airtime. If I recall the Montanists were absent, the Nestorian churches were only addressed after European missionaries "rediscovered" them and groups like the European Anabaptists and the English radical movements of the c17 were only addressed briefly and from the perspective of the established churches.

2) The second point is like it and it is that the authorial perspective, perhaps unconsciously, seems to imply a (providential?) "rightness" to the chain of events and decisions that led from Constantine, through schism and reformation to the Book of Common Prayer and current polity of the Anglican Communion. As a non-Anglican I found myself noticing this fairly often and found the assumptions made me bristle. On the other hand many of the book's readers will be Anglicans who I imagine will take great comfort from this reading of their shared story.

Overall I would recommend this as a good introductory text for someone who has read little or no church history, but one to be read alongside one or two other perspectives that bring out the voices of the non-Europeans, the women and the non-clergy to a greater extent and show how the Holy Spirit has so often operated to a different agenda to those of the Kings and Priests of Empire. It would also be an interesting text for a reader who knew their church history but wanted to see how that history is understood from an established Anglican and clerical perspective.

Overall well worth nine quid for most theological bookshelves.

Who Moved the Stone?
Who Moved the Stone?
by Frank Morison
Edition: Paperback

0 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars We know who moved the stone, 3 April 2013
This review is from: Who Moved the Stone? (Paperback)

Matt 28:2
2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.

So there you are - an Angel moved the stone. Now you don't have to read this book.

There are lots of better boooks about resurrection than this one.

What We Talk About When We Talk About God
What We Talk About When We Talk About God
by Rob Bell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.99

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply truthful, 19 Mar. 2013
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This is probably Bell's best piece of written work and ranks for me alongside his 2010 DVD show "Everything is Spiritual", which had a theme which in many ways set the scene for this book.

One of the big criticisms of Rob's previous book (by those who actually read it, not those who just assumed it carried a theology that differed to their own, and was therefore heretical), was that it carried too many open and unresolved questions. Personally I think that style was quite right for Love Wins, as with matters of eschatology all you can do is ask questions. For this work those readers will be pleased that Bell does nail his colours to the mast. He proposes a way of thinking about God (mostly a blend of Tillich and Process theology for those who like their theology pre-labelled) that is more deeply grounded in the Biblical witness than those modern propositional assertions that his opponents are so fond of.

The real power of this book is that it does theology for people who don't do theology. He leads the reader through a mixture of stories, questions and thought experiments that take us into a deeper awareness of what we think about God, without resorting to teaching people the language of technical theological jargon to do so. In this he is supremely talented as a communicator and wonderfully acts as a humble guide on a route through this terrain to the novice. He does this in such a way as to sugggest "I have been thsi way a few times and the view from around that corner is amazing, but I'm not so proficient that I don't need to be careful of my own footwork and bearins from time to time." The perfect guide for such mountain-work.

Others have noted that it is a pretty short book with few words on each page. You'll read it in a few hours, and then a few days later be itching to have another journey through its pages.

After Magic - Moves Beyond Super-Nature, From Batman to Shakespeare
After Magic - Moves Beyond Super-Nature, From Batman to Shakespeare
Price: £5.40

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Its a super read, naturally..., 17 Mar. 2013
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Amazing. Kester pulls this one out of the hat, to the oohs and aahs of the rapt reader. Although I do seem to recall a promise of the sawing in two of some globetrotting Irish (a)theologian - perhaps he's saving that trick for the stage show.

The book is about two thirds literary analysis of an archetypal theme found in Shakespeare's Tempest, Macbeth and also some modern forms such as the super-hero genre, Harry Potter and Christopher Nolan's film The Prestige. The last third is the pay-off which is a beautiful theological reflection on this theme of the renunciation of the power of the super-natural in favour of the far more miraculous and enabling power of love and reconciliation. In these concluding chapters Brewin also resolves the tension that many readers of Mutiny may have been left with.

I suppose every reader comes to a text from their own experiences and I come to Kester's work from the twin perspectives of being spiritually formed in a Charismatic, Anabaptist house-church context, while intellectually formed in the pomo critical theory of Foucault, Rorty and others. After Magic is especially relevant to anyone who has dipped their hand in either of those hats let alone both. Brewin quite rightly places the creation of the supernatural into the modernist period, which also formed novel theologies such as Evangelicalism. He also quite rightly tracks the roots of supernature in the cultural and literary reality of magic - which can be either expressed openly or suppressed as shadow, depending on the power moves of the day.

The theology part was enchanting for me, although I think it would also appeal to many with different theolgical leanings, or indeed none at all. The most challenging take-away is contained in Brewin's Eucharistic theology, which flows from a communal understanding of the resurrection following the death of God.

I like the point about Prospero's breaking of his staff, which is reminiscent of the greek word stauros / stavros for "cross" - perhaps the Christian move is to lay down the cross, as the magical token it has become, to rediscover the weak power of sacrificial love.

Finally for me the juxtaposition of reading this alongside my kid's bedtime serial reading of Harry Potter was a happy coincidence and an enriching one.

Unlike so many books that have read recently this one delivers on its pledge, both by naming the card you first thought of and also by showing you that it was up the speaker's sleeve all along. The reveal comes not as disappointment that the speaker has no access to magical powers, but as liberation - giving the realisation that the real transforming power is up all our sleeves, in hands that can bring a loving touch and craft beautiful things. As a hands-on Charismatic that's Good News indeed. Read it before Easter - *SPOILER ALERT* There's a neat move with a body being placed in a box on stage and ta-da! It's gone. But that is only the Turn. The real magic is in the Prestige.

Forming Christian Habits in Post-Christendom
Forming Christian Habits in Post-Christendom
by James Krabill
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful collection of writings in honour of a beautiful couple of people, 30 Nov. 2012
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Eleanor Kreider would be one of the half dozen or so people who, through her words, character, style and personality has powerfully communicated to me what a Christ-like and faithful life of discipleship looks like. Although its now over twelve years since I saw the Kreider's, the recollection of them and especially Eleanor's beautiful discussion of the Eucharist is an immediately centreing memory. I especially meditate on the memory of her words during Morning Prayer and find her simplicity and wholeheartedness a very valuable corrective to the grandeur of the prayer book.

The book is a very fitting and honouring act by many who are so fortunate to know them much better than I, and a joy to read.

Experimental Theology
Experimental Theology
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent Faith, 7 Aug. 2012
Richard Beck breaks all of the rules of good blogging. He will often write a post that's well over the 600 word "ideal", he sometimes blogs series of posts that go on for 10, 20, 30 posts which is also apparently a "no-no" in these days of 160 character attention spans, finally his blog singularly fails to "be about one simple thing".

For all of these reasons and more Experimental Theology is just about my favourite place on the web.

ET covers a broad range of topics, many of which straddle the lines of Theology, Psychology, Spirituality and Culture. The links Beck makes between these different disiplines are refreshing and enlightening, and all done with a pleasant writing style and occassionally quirky humour.

There's a fairly regular comm(ent)-unity that hangs around below the line most days and Richard often does step into the discussion, which is a real thrill.

The thing I most like about ET is the surprise of it - even after following it a few years you never quite know what's coming next and you always want to follow up ideas with further reading and thinking. And for those spare afternoons there's about 5 years of back archives!

Komputerbay 64 GB Micro SDXC Memory Card) Sandisk 64GB MICROSDXC
Komputerbay 64 GB Micro SDXC Memory Card) Sandisk 64GB MICROSDXC

5.0 out of 5 stars Great product, great price, great service, 2 Aug. 2012
Decided to take a punt on a lesser known retailer, and so glad I did. Really excellent service and very prompt.

On the product - it was exactly what was described but I still need to do a bit of work to make it work on my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 - but I think I have found the solution to that online. I have tested the card on my PC and its fine.

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