random thoughts on books

Q Combinations 20: The right and wrong ways to make us feel small (with Heaney & Gursky)

It's a standard question for writers (or indeed any type of artist), so E. M. Forster would often be asked who or what had influenced him. In response, he would question, perhaps surprisingly, whether 'influence' was an important category in…

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A song of lament, a need for songs

Q regulars know that Turkey is a country close to my heart. I have just returned from my 15th (!) trip and so naturally it preoccupies my thoughts a great deal at the moment. During my previous trip, I'd heard…

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Q Marks The Spot – Treasure Map 124 (February 2019)

Sacred Treasure Only just discovered the Visual Commentary on Scripture this week - WOW! Something that only the internet can make possible! Lots to explore here... Sam Allberry is onto something very important here: why do churches end up with…

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The flicker of a smile from the unsmiling man

Shostakovich is a personal hero of mine. He walked a tightrope between the Gulag and compromise in the vortex of Stalinist Russia. But more than that, his music has brought me consolation, invigoration, provocation, and perplexity. Sometimes all at once.…

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Michael Faraday’s appeal for scientific humility

Have been dipping into Max Adams equally fascinating and frustrating book The Firebringers - Art, Science and the Struggle for Liberty in nineteenth-century Britain (aka The Prometheans). The cast of heroes, rogues, and geniuses is startling in its breadth and…

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Q Marks The Spot – Treasure Map 122 (December 2018)

Sacred Treasure An interesting (as ever from Phil!) perspective on church and community life from Sweden Peter Dray has a handful of interesting posts about the Ligonier Theology survey - first one is here Ukraine (including its regions now controlled by…

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Managing Depression during the Christmas holiday

Last week I was interviewed for the IVP blog about the holiday season, a time that is often fraught and a particular challenge for those with mental health issues. 1. How do you manage depression during the holiday season? It…

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