… and many of the reasons do not relate to the bedrock of liturgy and music and preaching for which it is so deservedly known. Or rather, the other things are (perhaps to be expected?) spin-offs.
I love feeling free to wear my hats – I am pretty sure that here most people will just take my assorted head gear in their strides, and not read too much into it. The varying degrees of formality, conventionality and eccentricity demonstrated will just be written off as Rosemary wearing another hat.
Equally, when they make their way here from Glastonbury (discovering the actual shop had sold my boots, I went on line to track them down, and the fact they were found in Glastonbury I cannot but feel that tells you too much about them), the new pink boots will be rejoiced over.
And conversations. Good conversations are haveable at St Mary’s. I had an excellent one today – though it did lead me to remark that there is too much of Shrek’s Donkey in me. The trick is not to get me to talk but to shut up. Anent this conversation, I am posting links to two books I think somebody finding their way into discussion of the root ideas and values of the Bible. My problem was finding something readable, and moderately well balanced and positive. I fear what I suggest does not really answer the questions raised. Does anybody know of a really good and readable account of Deutero-Isaiah? I could do it for Jeremiah….
The problem also is that one book will never cover systematic theology, Biblical theology, and commentary on the Old and New Testaments.
So here goes – for those interested in what has been or is going to be read in church, a wide variety of articles often ‘preaching’ but also helpful academic notes, will be found on-line at the unpromisingly named Text This Week. Yes it is aimed at worship leaders, and probably all of them know about it, but general enquirers will find it interesting.
The most interesting book on NT authorship and composition (in my opinion) of recent years is Richard Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eye Witnesses. No I don’t believe every word he writes, but yes, I do feel that, at the very least, his comments on the methodology and weaknesses of some modern scholarship will need to be taken seriously.
Much older, and quieter and thought provoking is the work of Kenneth Bailey. His ‘Poet and Peasant’ and his ‘Through Middle Eastern Eyes‘ are books which open minds.
I know we have done this before on other blogs – but suggestions even if repeated are welcome.