random thoughts on books

Q Marks the Spot 136 (February 2020)

Sacred Treasure This is an extraordinary story that reads like a whodunnit: the stolen early manuscript of Mark? (long read but worth it)I'm an unashamed John Dickson fan - his new book on the historical Jesus looks great: here he…

Continue Reading Q Marks the Spot 136 (February 2020)

Q Marks the Spot 135 (January 2020)

Sacred Treasure If you've not come across it, "The Saint John's Bible is the first handwritten, hand-illuminated Bible to be commissioned by a Benedictine Abbey in over five hundred years." Some of the images are simply breathtaking. Here is a wonderful selectionMy…

Continue Reading Q Marks the Spot 135 (January 2020)

2019: Reading Highlights

These are in no particular order and I've picked them out as the ones I gave 5* to on my Goodreads page - you can see the rest here. The observant may well be able to discern themes and current…

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Q Marks the Spot 132 (October 2019)

Sacred Treasure A friend who pastors in Hong Kong tackles the church's divisions in the face of political turmoil and social unrest. We would do well to listen, here in Brexit Britain...The Simple Pastor draws on some fascinating Pew Foundation…

Continue Reading Q Marks the Spot 132 (October 2019)

Promoted to Glory: the incomparable Frances Whitehead

Despite the relative freedom that singleness brought him, John Stott would never have achieved everything he achieved in his 90-year life were it not for one person: Frances Whitehead. Her legacy is truly unique: She was John's secretary for nearly…

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Q Marks The Spot: Treasure Map 128 (June 2019)

Sacred Treasure Jeremy Marshall was a senior British banker - until he was informed about his terminal cancer with 18 months to live. It's now 4 years on - a remarkable testimony in The SpectatorAnd while on the theme, here's…

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Coming Soon: Why on earth do they think THAT?!

In a couple of months, I'll be leading a study day here in Maidenhead on postmodernism and stuff, revamping and updating old material that led to writing A Wilderness of Mirrors. It's been a while since I worked on it,…

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Q Combinations 21: The big IF of Easter (from AE Housman & Eugène Burnand)

There is an emotional complexity to this wonderful painting by Swiss artist Eugène Burnand. I know very little about him, apart from the usual resort of Wikipedia. But he manages to capture a moment of almost frantic inquisitiveness, as Peter and his young, fellow-disciple John rush in the golden sunrise light to the burial garden. Their faces seem filled with anxiety, confusion, hope, wonder, and longing all at once. Hoping against hope, but fearing a con, or something worse? Could Mary Magdalene, first to visit the tomb, possibly have been right...?

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Sofia’s story: 1. The Memory of that Blue Line

This is, I hope, the first of several posts from Sofia. Our friendship goes back a couple of decades and we’ve kept in touch for much of the time. We were invited to her wedding, although we’d been out of the country for several years and so had never met her husband. But we were excited for her.

We had no idea, of course, not least because we lived 100s of miles apart, what was happening and so never saw them interact. It wasn’t until many years later that she was able to start talking more openly about what she was going through. But I’ll let her take over from here, not least because she writes so powerfully.

Sofia’s story will speak for itself.

(more…)

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