Biblical thinking: product or process?

By JubileeCentre 20 Jan 2016

Introducing 'A Word for Wednesday'

by Jonathan Tame, 20th January 2016

You can tell I'm fond of alliteration. For several years I wrote Friday Five, a weekly blog which explored events in the media from a relational perspective, and included five sections (a quote, a comment on the news, a link to further reading, a suggestion for personal application, and a Bible verse).  After I became director of the Jubilee Centre, I found it harder and harder to set aside half a day each week to write Friday Five, and in the end I laid down my pen (although my colleague Marjon Busstra from the Relational Thinking Network now writes a weekly blog on Relational Thinking here.)

OswaldChambersThe problem with not writing on pertinent issues regularly is that you end up relying on other people to do the thinking for you. This was brought home to me by Oswald Chambers, whose classic 'My Utmost for His Highest' is still tremendously topical 99 years after he died; he wrote:

"If you cannot express yourself on any subject, struggle until you can. If you do not, someone will be the poorer all the days of his life. Struggle to re-express some truth of God to yourself, and God will use that expression to someone else. Go through the winepress of God where the grapes are crushed. You must struggle to get expression experimentally, then there will come a time when that expression will become the very wine of strengthening to someone else; but if you say lazily — “I am not going to struggle to express this thing for myself, I will borrow what I say,” the expression will not only be of no use to you, but of no use to anyone. Try to re-state to yourself what you feel implicitly to be God’s truth, and you give God a chance to pass it on to someone else through you."

Consequently, I will be writing 'A Word for Wednesday', which will revisit many of the key principles and issues which lie behind the biblical vision of society as promoted by the Jubilee Centre, and to articulate my own convictions about them afresh.

User comments

In this blog I will also focus on how we can think biblically.  As we were preparing to open the Jubilee Lounge here in Cambridge, which aims to inspire and equip a new generation of Christian social reformers, I was struck powerfully by the realisation that biblical thinking is not so much a product but a process.  So Jubilee Centre must not only share the fruits of biblical thinking that have been published already - such as a book or Cambridge Paper - but also equip others to think biblically for themselves through training, mentoring, workshops and other events.

A banner in the Jubilee Lounge displays (in Latin!) the verse which best sums this up:

"Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."

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The Art of Darkness

Philip Pullman, author of His Dark Materials, is well known for his antipathy towards religion. Yet his atheism has a distinctively Christian flavour. In this new paper, Tony Watkins argues that although Pullman insists that this world is all there is, he seems constantly drawn towards ideas of transcendence.

Download the paper