English L’Abri
Is Sin Plausible in the Modern World? (Andrew Fellows)

Is Sin Plausible in the Modern World? (Andrew Fellows)

February 15, 2020

Christians don’t have the monopoly on seeing what’s wrong with the world. This talk examines three secular sin labels as a diagnosis of the problem. Each adds something significant to our understanding of why everything is so bent out of shape. While each of these labels are useful they are inadequate to the Bible's better diagnosis. 

-Andrew Fellows, Director of Christian Heritage Cambridge

Resilience—Keeping the Spring In Your Step (Edith Reitsema)

Resilience—Keeping the Spring In Your Step (Edith Reitsema)

February 8, 2020

What is resilience?  Why is everybody on about it today?  In our search for hope and meaning, we will also look at the art of G.F.Watts.

Intelligent Design for Idiots (Barry Seagren)

Intelligent Design for Idiots (Barry Seagren)

February 1, 2020

An introduction to the background and the claims of the Intelligent Design movement.

Exploring ‘Subject-Object Relational Reality’ (Jim Paul)

Exploring ‘Subject-Object Relational Reality’ (Jim Paul)

January 18, 2020

This lecture will explore the relationship of subjective experience to the objective world around us. Jim  will be using C.S. Lewis’ argument in the first chapter of “The Abolition of Man” to develop the idea that reality is found in the relationship between subject and object.

Jim Paul, L’Abri Worker

Responsing in Faith to a Hostile World (Stuart Parker)

Responsing in Faith to a Hostile World (Stuart Parker)

November 24, 2019

Whereas Christianity once shaped the values of our culture, the historical Christian view on matters of personal choice (such as sexual morality and the value of human life) is now increasingly seen as fundamentalist and immoral. Do we look to this future with fear or excitement? Should Christians react with compromise, withdrawal, silence or assertiveness? We will review these options and look at how biblical characters responded to opposition and how we can respond to the challenge.

The Companionship of Shostakovich:  Why The Music Of An Atheist Member Of The Soviet Union’s Communist Party Should Matter To A Christian Believer (Mark Meynell)

The Companionship of Shostakovich: Why The Music Of An Atheist Member Of The Soviet Union’s Communist Party Should Matter To A Christian Believer (Mark Meynell)

November 23, 2019

Dmitri Shostakovich is arguably the greatest composer of the 20th century.  There is not a musical form he couldn’t write for.  But his brilliance made him an easy target in Stalin’s Soviet Union, especially when ruled by a dictator who fancied himself an aesthete.  His lifelong battle was to preserve his artistic integrity at the same time as avoiding the gulag and execution. Amid intolerable suffering, he somehow composed some of the most powerful and sublime comforts for others who suffer.

The Darkness Is As Light To You: An Evening With Stephen King (Andy Patton)

The Darkness Is As Light To You: An Evening With Stephen King (Andy Patton)

November 15, 2019

Stephen King has written 61 novels, has won numerous literary awards, has had more film adaptations made of his work than any living author, and has been called the “Master of Horror”.

If a task of the Christian is to seek and treasure God’s goodness, truth, and beauty wherever they are found, how should Christians interact with King’s work and with the horror genre in general? This lecture will explore King’s oeuvre, his life, and why our culture is so fascinated with the products of his strange and delightful imagination.

Stalking Joy: Three Priests In Search Of God (Andrew Jones)

Stalking Joy: Three Priests In Search Of God (Andrew Jones)

November 15, 2019

This lecture will explore the nature of faith in Christ as expressed by three clergy in three recent TV shows,  Rev, Broken and Fleabag. We’ll reflect on doubt, brokenness and the erotic as experiences in which we might know God.

Is God A Populist? Identity, Politics And The Christian (Henk Reitsema)

Is God A Populist? Identity, Politics And The Christian (Henk Reitsema)

October 26, 2019

Populism has brought a special kind of confusion for Christians, especially as Christian values can be part of the rhetoric of populism. Which loyalties, if any, should Christians feel in all of this? How should Christians respond to their cultural moment while remaining rooted in the reality of their identities in God?

Henk Reitsema, L’Abri Worker – The Netherlands

Power and the Kingdom of God: A Study of Matthew 1-4 (Marsh Moyle)

Power and the Kingdom of God: A Study of Matthew 1-4 (Marsh Moyle)

October 19, 2019

What is power and why is it important? Is there such a thing as good power? We will look at the accounts in the first section of Matthew's Gospel for examples of power and subversion to see what Jesus makes of it all.

See the slides here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1UFAXQq3tfddosYGkBmOHil7jZshpXo5Q

Reading Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life - Part 2 (Josue Reichow)

Reading Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life - Part 2 (Josue Reichow)

October 5, 2019

Figure of fame and controversy, Jordan Peterson is loved and hated with the same intensity for the polarizing views he expresses. In this lecture, we will continue the discussion of his rules for life,  looking at their philosophical and theological framework trying to understand what he is saying and why it’s been so influential and try to offer a Christian response to some of the ideas he’s developed. 

Good Expectations: Encountering Disappointment And Risking Goodness (Joel Barricklow)

Good Expectations: Encountering Disappointment And Risking Goodness (Joel Barricklow)

September 28, 2019

Every disappointment is an expectation revealed. Should we get rid of them altogether or can we expect good things in a broken world? We’ll work towards a recipe for healthy, realistic and resilient expectations that aim for the good life while taking into account our often painful and disappointing reality.

I Feel, Therefore I Am (Jim Paul)

I Feel, Therefore I Am (Jim Paul)

September 21, 2019

We are undergoing an ‘affective revolution’ in which our feelings define reality.  This is driving much of the current debates around gender, but it also affects many other areas of our lives.  What is the status of statements of our feelings in relationship to truth and reality outside of ourselves? 

Where Do They All Belong? A Reflection On Loneliness (Lili Reichow)

Where Do They All Belong? A Reflection On Loneliness (Lili Reichow)

July 27, 2019

Made to be in relationship with the Creator and with others, humans are meant to share life. The reality of loneliness in contemporary society is keeping many from this essential aspect of life. In this lecture, we will discuss the reasons for the rise of loneliness, its effects on individuals and communities and how can we respond to the challenge.

Tolkien’s Table Motif and the Importance of Positive Cultural Liturgies (Arthur Hunt)

Tolkien’s Table Motif and the Importance of Positive Cultural Liturgies (Arthur Hunt)

July 20, 2019

This lecture addresses the significance of J. R. R. Tolkien’s table motif as not only a time to enjoy the feast but also an opportunity to replenish the soul. In both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings the sharing of meals are episodes of wonder, hospitality, and renewal in contrast to the travail and despair of the road. Furthermore, Tolkien’s table motif signals the importance of establishing positive cultural liturgies in our age of distraction.

-Arthur W. Hunt III,  Professor of Communications at The University of Tennessee at Martin

Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’: A Cry That Echoes Through Creation (Nigel Halliday)

Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’: A Cry That Echoes Through Creation (Nigel Halliday)

July 20, 2019

Why is Munch’s iconic image still so popular today?  Why does it resonate so powerfully with us? Some reflections on the work of Edvard Munch and the current exhibition at the British Museum.

Reading Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules For Life - Part 1 (Josue Reichow)

Reading Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules For Life - Part 1 (Josue Reichow)

July 3, 2019

Figure of fame and controversy, Jordan Peterson is loved and hated with the same intensity for the polarizing views he expresses. In this lecture, we will discuss the first six rules of his most famous book, looking at their philosophical and theological framework trying to understand what he is saying and why it’s been so influential and try to offer a Christian response to some of the ideas he’s developed.

The Art of Looking for Beauty (Edith Reitsema)

The Art of Looking for Beauty (Edith Reitsema)

June 22, 2019

In the 18th century, Naturalists referred to beauty as that which was functional.  The 19th century Romantics said it was the sublime. Many 20th century artists just resorted to shocking people in the name of art and beauty. Art conferences and critics in the late 20th  century have shown a renewed interest in the concept of why beauty matters, increasingly using the word "beauty" again. But, the concept appears to have lost some of its meaning. What do we mean by beauty? Could the answer lay in how beauty relates to our brokenness and need for restoration? As Isaiah 61:3 says, "He gave me beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning …"

Download the slides: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1s0Rs8bFHJSaTwYqyXQd_0776z8kYCviJ

Creatures of Our Own Devising—A Critique of the Modern Self (Andy Patton)

Creatures of Our Own Devising—A Critique of the Modern Self (Andy Patton)

June 22, 2019

The quest to find one’s self is an ancient one, but modern people pursue it with new means and new ends. People today often build their identities on the pillars of freedom, self-expression, disenchantment and authenticity.  What resources and challenges can Christianity bring to the questions of the self? Can there be truth and beauty to an idea that is anathema to many moderns: an identity is best founded not on one’s self at all, but on God?

Download the slides: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1FwSPVNgS9J4aYj8rjYYrxcNPUeS1HcSk

John Stott: The Man and His Legacy

John Stott: The Man and His Legacy

May 18, 2019

Legacy is best judged after 20 or 30 years or more, but there are elements of a lasting ministry which are evident much sooner.  Julia Cameron will outline John Stott’s life and point to some of its effects which are already visible. He was, she argues, a man of colossal influence, like his mentor, Charles Simeon.  

The Multiple Meanings of Life: Understanding Herman Dooyeweerd’s philosophy (Part 3) (Josué Reichow)

The Multiple Meanings of Life: Understanding Herman Dooyeweerd’s philosophy (Part 3) (Josué Reichow)

April 15, 2019

This lecture will continue a series on the Dutch Christian philosopher Herman Dooyeweerd.  We will explore the way humans experience reality in all its various facets. Dooyeweerd’s Christian ontology is a powerful perspective which challenges contemporary perspectives that reduce and degrade life.

Understanding Herman Dooyeweerd: Christian Philosopher—Part 2 (Josué Reichow)
Understanding Herman Dooyeweerd: Christian Philosopher—Part 1 (Josué Reichow)
The Psalm Code—Genesis Imagery in the Psalms (Andy Patton)

The Psalm Code—Genesis Imagery in the Psalms (Andy Patton)

April 3, 2019

Can you understand the Psalms without understanding the first two chapters of Genesis? Much of the imagery of the Psalms is built upon a handful of core images found in Genesis that appear again and again in the Psalter and throughout Scripture. We will look at where these metaphors come from, how they have shaped biblical poetry, and what they reveal about God himself.

What’s Caritas Got To Do, Got To Do With It? Love & Christian Ethics (Marc LiVecche)

What’s Caritas Got To Do, Got To Do With It? Love & Christian Ethics (Marc LiVecche)

April 3, 2019

What is love? What does it have to do with the ethical life of the Christian? What is at stake when we get love wrong? In an age in which love seems increasingly sentimental and maudlin, this talk aims at a course correction by first proposing a framework for the character of Christian love and then applying the proposal to cases, including war.

Should I Stay? Exploring The Value Of Place In A Mobile & Virtual Culture (Joel Barricklow)

Should I Stay? Exploring The Value Of Place In A Mobile & Virtual Culture (Joel Barricklow)

March 20, 2019

As embodied creatures, to be human is to be in a particular place. But does it matter where that is? What value is there in committing to a place? We will consider the ideas shaping our decisions to stay or to go, to engage or to escape.

The Odyssey (Part Two): The Search For Home And the Nature of the Gods

The Odyssey (Part Two): The Search For Home And the Nature of the Gods

March 13, 2019

We will examine the themes of dislocation and homecoming and discuss the nature of the Homeric gods. This lecture will include a comparison with and critique of the Homeric cosmos and worldview from a Biblical perspective.

Farming With Awe: What About That Good Old “Fear of the Lord”? (Wim Schippers)

Farming With Awe: What About That Good Old “Fear of the Lord”? (Wim Schippers)

March 6, 2019

Thoughts on farming, eating and living with awe.

Download the Powerpoint presentation here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1KmG9GY67f3XcclHxm3QaIwK-fcCB5KQ7

Beyond Male and Female—Searching for a Deeper Meaning in the Contemporary Gender Debate (Jim Paul)

Beyond Male and Female—Searching for a Deeper Meaning in the Contemporary Gender Debate (Jim Paul)

February 20, 2019

The current gender debate often flattens out the meaning of gender - male and female are merely the result of evolutionary developments and therefore we can construct and reconstruct gender in any way we see fit. But the Bible sees a deeper meaning behind gender, as well as giving a more nuanced account of our experience of what it means to be male and female.

Prodigal: Exploring Entitlement And Drifting Through Rembrandt’s Painting And Luke 15 (Per-Ole Lind)

Prodigal: Exploring Entitlement And Drifting Through Rembrandt’s Painting And Luke 15 (Per-Ole Lind)

February 20, 2019

A collaborative study of Rembrandt’s artwork and exposition of the text implementing insights from Henri Nouwen and Tim Keller.