Monday, 27 April 2009

Audio Coming Out of My Ears

The recordings of not one but two quality conferences are now available online:

The Gospel Coalition 09
(Top recommendation: Tim Keller on confronting idols.)

New Word Alive 09
(Top recommendation: Dan Strange on confronting idols. With rom-coms.)

One is free, one is not. Both are still excellent value though. This should keep me in stuff to listen to for about the next decade...

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Books I Like: The Jesus Storybook Bible

Here's a book I'm loving at the moment. OK, so it's probably never going to appear on the UCCF study programme, but Tim Keller did recommend it as a book for preachers at a conference a couple of years ago.

It's called the Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name (emphasis more on Storybook and less on Bible). Sally Lloyd-Jones has taken lots of well known stories from the Bible, and a few lesser-known ones, and has written them in a child-friendly, colourful way. And some great illustrations make it really engaging. But she doesn't just retell the stories - in each story, right from the beginning of creation, she points to Jesus. Again and again, she shows how Jesus is at the heart of God's story from beginning to end. It's a heartwarming book, and I'm loving it. It's a refreshing way to look again at some familiar parts of the Bible, with the challenge of looking for Jesus in everything that happens. I love it and heartily recommend it, no matter how old you are!

Friday, 17 April 2009

New Word Alive Highlights

I've been meaning to write this for about a fortnight [edit - more like 3 weeks now], but thanks to one of the less-desirable souvenirs I brought back from Pwllheli (ie the worst cold I've ever had in my life), I haven't really felt up to blogging until now. But Word Alive was quality, so I thought I ought to mention my highlights. Lots of other people, like my friend Peter and my new (facebook) friend Krish, have aleady given their thoughts. Here are my highlights, in no particular order:

Dan Strange on Engaging with Culture I loved the way Dr Strange helped us to really see what is going on in the culture around us, and the idols people worship. I also felt affirmed in my love of pop culture! These seminars were also the source of one of my most hilarious moments at NWA - explaining "romantic comedy" to the couple sitting behind us...
"Oh, I see. So, like some of Ibsen's plays?"

Vaughan Roberts on 1 Corinthians 1-7
He was just brilliant, explaining some complicated bits clearly and warmly. The last two were the best, and his explanation of 1 Corinthians 7 was probably the best I've ever heard. I've definitely got lots to think about, and to put into practise, from these talks...

Chillaxing with the studes
It was great to spend time with some of my students, and some I'd never met before. Whether it was impromptu theological discussions late at night, or hanging on the beach, it was fun to be with them.

April Fools Shennanigans
I hate April Fools Day slightly more than I hate Comic Relief. And I'm not very good at it. Surrey CU well and truly made a fool of me by tricking me into believing someone was giving out free Vimto by the main marquee. It's a long story why they chose Vimto, but I stupidly asked them whether it was still of fizzy. Well done Surrey. I'm not sure whether Reading respect me too much, or if they just didn't think of it...

Question Time with Don Carson
I love this guy. Suffering from jetlag and having just spoken on the main stage, Don sat and answered questions on all kinds of topics. Personal favourites included predicting the outcome of a fight between certain evangelical heavyweights, and his recommendation of the TNIV Bible, which I've just started using.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

New Word Alive - Part 1

My contribution to the inevitable flurry of blog posts about this year's excellent New Word Alive conference will hopefully follow tomorrow. But until then, check out these quality videos made by some friends of mine... Not only are they brilliantly made, but they really helped to get us thinking as we looked at the Bible each evening.

And check out the unofficial "Making Of" video on JG's facebook page (you might need to add him as a friend first I guess...).