Deconversion: Why Do People Lose Their Faith?

November 21, 2018

Five hundred years ago losing one’s faith would have been unimaginable, but today it is commonplace (and even celebrated). To many, the Christian faith seems unbelievable and life seems filled with reasons to set it aside. Both belief and doubt have become increasingly fragile as individuals inhabit a liminal space between the two. What are the factors that have contributed to this shift? Can faith actually be lost? If so, how can it be found again?

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Love and Apple Pie (Marsh Moyle)

November 21, 2018

Love seems to be a very unstable feeling. What do we mean by the word? Does it have any real place in modern life?

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The Enneagram: A Framework for Personality (Andy Patton)

November 13, 2018

The Enneagram is a personality typing system which offers a framework for understanding oneself and others through nine interconnected personality types. In recent years, it has risen in popularity, especially among Christians. We will look at the nine types, how the Enneagram can be used and misused, and what insights it can offer individuals and communities.

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In Pursuit of Goodness, Beauty and Truth: Why Should We Read Aloud? (Dawn Merz)

October 30, 2018

In the buzz and busyness of life, it is important to make choices for ourselves and for those we love (especially our children!) to slow down, to carve out spaces for connection and healthy interactions, and foster a safe environment in which we can explore life's greatest questions, encounter dragons and villains, and develop a taste for goodness, beauty and truth.

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The Intriguing Friendship between Francis Schaeffer and Hans Rookmaaker (Edith Reitsema)

October 29, 2018

Francis Schaeffer was a Christian apologist whose remarkable breadth of cultural interest and penetrating insights into modern life, led many to a profound spiritual reality. Hans Rookmaaker was an art historian whose Christian insights in art, music and culture had widespread influence. Both had vibrant personalities, striking charisma, and focused on how to engage with reality while creatively living out a relationship with God.

 

For further reading:

William Edgar, Schaeffer on the Christian Life

Bryan A. Follis, Truth with Love: The Apologetics of Francis Schaeffer

Colin Duriez, Francis Schaeffer: An Authentic Life

Linette Martin, Hans Rookmaaker: A Biography

Laurel Gasque, Art and the Christian Mind: The Life and Work of H.R.Rookmaaker

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Is the Singularity Near? A Christian Critique of Transhumanism (Josué Reichow)

October 15, 2018

The aim of this lecture is to present a panorama of a movement born in our era called “transhumanism”. From computer scientists and tech experts to philosophers and theologians, transhumanist thinking has been spreading quickly as a belief system to various areas of life. My goal is to analyse their concept of singularity and its centrality as a driving force for their enterprise, offering a Christian response to the main themes developed by transhumanists.

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Virtue In A Virtual Society (Alastair Roberts)

October 13, 2018

Many traditional accounts of ethics focus on the concept of virtue, the cultivation of the self towards an elevating telos by shared practices in community. Since the advent of social media, there has been a remarkable transformation in our relationships and in the realities that lie at the heart of such ethics: self, character, community, and shared practices. Understanding how we are being changed will equip us to act more prudently.

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Exploring Character in Science, Theology and Practice (Roger Bretherton)

October 3, 2018

This lecture will outline the principles and findings of the Integrated Character Project: a programme of psychological studies, biblical and theological reflection, and practical application. We will address the implications for Christian living, education, work life, and mental health.

 

 

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Why Read the Classics? An Invitation to the Odyssey (Peter Merz)

August 16, 2018

Peter Merz offers an in-depth analysis of Homer's Odyssey as an invitation to explore the classics in general and discover their beauty and wisdom which has stood the test of time.

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Conflict: Under the Carpet or Under the Cross? (Marsh Moyle)

August 15, 2018

Interpersonal conflict is painful and yet confrontation is necessary if we are to have more than superficial relationships. What issues have to be addressed if we are to negotiate the minefield and a way that is profitable for them (and not necessarily for us). In this lecture, we will look at how the Attention Economy works, how it influences our lives, and how we can respond to it in a healthy way?

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Seeing the Transfigured Word (Alastair Roberts)

July 29, 2018

The event of Christ’s Transfiguration is a more important one in the New Testament than we often appreciate. Properly understood, it gives us a key for reading the Bible as a whole.

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Behind the Scenes: The Life and Letters of Dorothy Sayers (Dawn Merz)

July 16, 2018

Dorothy Sayers, a contemporary of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien and an unofficial "female Inkling," the literary coterie that gave birth to The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings. In this lecture, Dawn Merz explores her life, letters, and powerful, but often overlooked, contribution to Christian literature and thought.

 
 
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True Spirituality in the Arts: Recapturing the Wonder (Edith Reitsema)

July 15, 2018

Christian artists often struggle to integrate their faith with their artwork and end up with a sacred-secular split. We will look at an array of artworks to help us see what it looks like when we try to shut Christ out of a big part of our lives. This false dichotomy splits our hearts, and this problem is in no way limited to artists. Isaiah 29 and Colossians 2 will help us think about what it would look like for us to recapture the wonder of Christ working in our hearts with “wonder upon wonder” (Isaiah 29:14).

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Trained to Distraction: The Attention Economy, Technology, and Our Lives (Lili Reichow)

July 15, 2018

Our capacity to pay attention is central to human flourishing. A whole influential industry—powered by modern technology and our proximity to our smartphones—has been targeting our ability to attend in order to keep us hooked to their products and invest our time in a way that is profitable for them (and not necessarily for us). In this lecture, we will look at how the Attention Economy works, how it influences our lives, and how we can respond to it in a healthy way.

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Islam and Reformation (Arthur Keefer)

June 24, 2018

The Protestant Reformation’s 500-year anniversary and recent calls to reform the religion of Islam prompt the question of what reformation might entail for Muslims. What has and what will reformation look like in Islam? Keefer considers this question by exploring the history of the religion and its theological tenets.

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Building Cathedrals Within Time - A Theology of Rest (Best of Andrew Fellows—Part 2)

June 14, 2018

Andrew Fellows interacts with Abraham Heschel's book "The Sabbath" and builds a theology of rest by looking at how we interact with space and time.

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Three Years to Save the World: Was Jesus Busy? (Claire Paye)

June 11, 2018

Taking inspiration from Romans 12:2 about being transformed by renewing our minds, this lecture looks at the cult of busyness. Are Christians too busy? How do we cope in a world where we will never finish everything we have to do? How did Jesus manage all the demands on his time?

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Black Tea for H. R. Rookmaaker: Contextualising Dr. Rookmaaker’s Work for the 21st Century (Peter S. Smith)

June 11, 2018

Prompted by recent interest in Dr. Rookmaaker’s work, Peter Smith reflects on the decade-long relationship he had with the art historian. Through personal meetings and letters from 1967 to 1977, what kind of influence did Rookmaaker have on a young painter and printmaker? How do we understand his legacy in today’s context? Did he open doors that we have yet to walk through?

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A Play in Words: The Story of French Chanson (Pat Harvey)

June 10, 2018

In this lecture, Pat Harvey leads a whistle-stop tour of 20th-century French chanson. She surveys notable singers from the niche genre and introduces a few of their most well-known songs.

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Community as a Subversion of Modernity (Best of Andrew Fellows—Part 1)

May 18, 2018

Andrew Fellows, former L'Abri worker, walks us through the development of modernity and proposes life in community as a buffer against the more negative aspects of modern life.

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How Technology Behaves—Part 2 (Andy Patton)

May 10, 2018

Many today feel uncertain about how to respond to a changing technological landscape. Having previously outlined a few rules for what technology is and how it behaves, this lecture explores what we should do about it and proposes a response that avoids the double dangers of fear and utopianism.

A lecture given by Andy Patton (L'Abri Worker) at English L'Abri on 23 June, 2017. For more information, visit labri.org/england and for more L'Abri lectures, visit the L'Abri Ideas Library.

For further reading:

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How Technology Behaves—Part 1 (Andy Patton)

May 10, 2018

Many today feel uncertain about how to respond to a changing technological landscape. If neither technophobia nor technophoria are adequate responses, can we chart a middle way? This lecture outlines a few rules for what technology is, how it behaves, what we should do about it, and proposes a response that avoids the double dangers of fear and utopianism. 

A lecture given by Andy Patton (L'Abri Worker) at English L'Abri on 18 October, 2017. For more information, visit labri.org/england and for more L'Abri lectures, visit the L'Abri Ideas Library.

For further reading:

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The Terrible Comfort of Good Friday (Phillip Johnston)

March 28, 2018

When asked what happened when Jesus was crucified, many Christians can give little more than short, pithy summaries: 'He was dying for our sins' or 'He was taking our punishment' or 'He was showing how much God loved us.' The Bible has more to say. As preparation for Good Friday, this lecture explores the deep terror and unspeakable comfort of the brutal execution at the heart of Christian faith.

A lecture given by Phillip Johnston (L'Abri Worker) at English L'Abri on 23rd March, 2018. For more information, visit labri.org/england and for more L'Abri lectures, visit the L'Abri Ideas Library.

For further exploration:

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Understanding the Times: Some Trajectories for the Future (Marsh Moyle)

March 24, 2018

The culture is polarised—not just left and right but the centre and the periphery, the cosmopolitans and the provincials. This lecture will sketch some trajectories for where this might lead and consider what we should do about it.

A lecture given by Marsh Moyle at English L'Abri on 16th March, 2018. For more information, visit labri.org/england and for more L'Abri lectures, visit the L'Abri Ideas Library.

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Beyond Redemption? The Catholic Imagination of the Godfather Trilogy (Andrew Jones)

March 14, 2018

Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather: Part II (1974) are widely regarded as two of the greatest films of the twentieth century. The Godfather: Part III (1990) is often dismissed as a pale failure. This lecture explores how the trilogy as a whole reflects the work of a specifically Catholic imagination where the moral universe is viewed through the sacraments of the Church.

A lecture given by Andrew Jones (Vicar of Grace Church Hackney, London) at English L'Abri on 9th March, 2018. For more information, visit labri.org/england and for more L'Abri lectures, visit the L'Abri Ideas Library.

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Eating People is Wrong: A Description of Other-centred Love (Andrew Fellows)

February 24, 2018

This talk explains what other-centred love looks like and how ‘the inferno of self-love’ works against it. We consider how Christ alone is the reference point for understanding the greatness of the highest love.

A lecture given by Andrew Fellows at English L'Abri on 24th February, 2018. Andrew is director of Christian Heritage, a study centre community serving Cambridge. Andrew was the former chairman of L'Abri International Fellowship and director of English L'Abri from 1995-2015.

For further study:

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Come and Rest: An Invitation to the Exhausted (Lili Reichow)

February 19, 2018

In a time of busy, workaholic, multitasking, tired people, is there a space for rest? This lecture looks at reasons why rest has become such a distant concept and explores its powerful and transformative offer to our lives.

A lecture given by Lili Reichow (L'Abri Worker) at English L'Abri on 16th February, 2018. For more information, visit labri.org/england and for more L'Abri lectures, visit the L'Abri Ideas Library.

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On Thankfulness (Josué Reichow)

February 10, 2018

This lecture articulates a theological and philosophical definition of thankfulness, trying to find broader categories to think about a common concept in a more comprehensive way.

A lecture given by Josué Reichow (L'Abri Worker) at English L'Abri on 9th February, 2018. For more information, visit labri.org/england and for more L'Abri lectures, visit the L'Abri Ideas Library.

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A Return to Virtue: Character Formation for Us and for Our Children (Tom Smiley)

February 3, 2018

There is a renewed recognition in education, politics and business that character is crucial for the future of society and human flourishing. But what is character? Can it be educated into children? And what about us? This lecture will consider these questions with a look back to ancient wisdom and forward to the latest psychological research.

A lecture given by Tom Smiley (Clinical Psychologist) at English L'Abri on 2nd February, 2018. For more information, visit labri.org/england and for more L'Abri lectures, visit the L'Abri Ideas Library.

For further study:

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How to Read the Story of Jesus in Every Part of the Bible: An Introduction to Biblical Theology (Andy Patton)

January 29, 2018

From Genesis to Revelation, God uses many threads—themes, narratives, characters, and symbols—to weave a single story. This lecture introduces ‘Biblical theology,’ a way of reading the Bible that seeks to trace each thread as it develops throughout scripture to better understand God's work in Jesus, the one to whom all the threads lead.

A lecture given by Andy Patton (L'Abri Worker) at English L'Abri on 26th January, 2018. For more information, visit labri.org/england and for more L'Abri lectures, visit the L'Abri Ideas Library.

For further study:

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