March 7, 2020
In the last 20 years the world seems to have rediscovered the concept of gratitude, and found to its surprise that it is strongly related to health and well-being.We will look at the science that has explored this, including a quick assessment of our own gratitude levels, and consider the overlap with the age-old Christian understanding of the concept, which emphasises seeing ourselves as receivers of gifts. How can we employ gratitude in every possible way in our lives?
Tom Smiley, Psychologist
February 29, 2020
What is genuine human flourishing and how do we come close to experiencing such? Chiefly drawing upon Scripture but with secondary insights from Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Wendell Berry, and James K.A. Smith, this lecture may point us in the right direction.
Gavin McGrath, Associate Rector at St Nicholas Church, Sevenoaks
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
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.
February 1, 2020
An introduction to the background and the claims of the Intelligent Design movement.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.