English L’Abri
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.

Literary Analysis and the Gospel of John: What Is Happening? (Dirk Jongkind)

Literary Analysis and the Gospel of John: What Is Happening? (Dirk Jongkind)

February 6, 2019

The Gospel of John has been analysed with the help of literary categories more than any other book of the New Testament. Literary criticism is not so much about the good story, but about how the story is told. Looking at John through a literary filter shows features that would have been easily missed otherwise. In this lecture, we will develop some of the literary concepts and see how they work in reading John.

Let’s Talk: The Importance Of Conversation In An Age Of Polarization (Lili Reichow)

Let’s Talk: The Importance Of Conversation In An Age Of Polarization (Lili Reichow)

January 21, 2019

We are living in times of polarisation. It seems that in every aspect of life, there are those who are right - us - and those who are wrong - them. What is pushing us into this position? How can we find a way to truly encounter one another? We will look at how conversation can help us to engage with others in ways that reflect reality and enable us to grow.

Work—Cultivation, Service, and Becoming Human (Joel Barricklow)

Work—Cultivation, Service, and Becoming Human (Joel Barricklow)

December 16, 2018

For some work is about survival. For others it involves issues of identity. Many are unsure they are in the right type of work at all. Yet, almost everyone seeks meaningful work. The narratives of purpose and meaning around our work are deeply rooted in our time, place, and experience. This lecture will attempt to reframe our understanding of work as a core element of being human, yet one keenly affected by the Fall—moving from how work fits into our lives to how we fit into the work of God.

Download the Powerpoint slides: https://bit.ly/2EuQNwg

Recommended reading on the topic of faith & work: https://bit.ly/2CgoAHt

Deconversion: Why Do People Lose Their Faith? (Andy Patton)

Deconversion: Why Do People Lose Their Faith? (Andy Patton)

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?

Love and Apple Pie (Marsh Moyle)

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?

The Enneagram: A Framework for Personality (Andy Patton)

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.