The Establishment of Constantinian ‘Christendom’ in Europe & Decline of the Roman Empire in Britain, c. AD 210-410:

The Growth of Christianity under Persecution, c. 180-260: The Roman Empire bequeathed by Marcus Aurelius in AD 180 was recognisably the same state as that created by Augustus in the previous century. After two more centuries, however, it had been transformed by the triumph of barbarism and Christianity. The key changes had been the extensionContinue reading “The Establishment of Constantinian ‘Christendom’ in Europe & Decline of the Roman Empire in Britain, c. AD 210-410:”

The Radical Messiah and the Politics of Love in the Bible: Part 1 – from Kings to Apostles.

Revisiting the Story of Israel – “the Children of Abraham”: The Bible is about the story of Israel, and of the new Israel which is the Christian Church. Christianity was nurtured in the cradle of Judaism, and the ministry of Jesus cannot be properly understood apart from the political situation of the first century A.D.Continue reading “The Radical Messiah and the Politics of Love in the Bible: Part 1 – from Kings to Apostles.”

The Bible as Action Manual: Radical Reflections on Siding with the Poor.

Liberation Stories: The focus of The Radical Bible, published in 1972, was social justice and ‘The Third World’ as it was then known, meaning the poor and powerless peoples of the earth, most of whom live in Asia, Africa and Latin America. This is not to say that justice is all the Bible is concernedContinue reading “The Bible as Action Manual: Radical Reflections on Siding with the Poor.”

“I was hungry and…?”: Pilgrims to ‘The World Beyond’ in Children’s Fiction – C. S. Lewis, Henry van Dyke & John Bunyan.

The Last Judgment: The Gospel of Matthew tells us that the last ‘parable’ Jesus told before his trials and crucifixion was that of ‘the Final Judgment’, depicted above. It really reads more like an allegory, because of its intense symbolism: When the son of man comes in his glory … Before him will be gatheredContinue reading ““I was hungry and…?”: Pilgrims to ‘The World Beyond’ in Children’s Fiction – C. S. Lewis, Henry van Dyke & John Bunyan.”

‘Something About Jesus’ – The Judaean Ministry and His ‘Last Week’: Gospel Stories.

The Servant King: Jesus’s close friends and followers from Galilee had great difficulty in getting out of their heads the widespread Jewish conviction that God’s chosen leader when he came would establish some kind of national kingdom, with a king and government. They had grown up with this idea, as Jesus himself had done, andContinue reading “‘Something About Jesus’ – The Judaean Ministry and His ‘Last Week’: Gospel Stories.”

Jesus as Story-teller and Poet: The Authenticity and Urgency of His Message.

Narratives from Nazareth: Jesus put what he had to say into stories. As Alan T Dale wrote in his Portrait of Jesus, he must always have have loved telling stories, even in his boyhood: Evening meals in Nazareth must have been hilarious times, and people must often have dropped into the builder’s yard for moreContinue reading “Jesus as Story-teller and Poet: The Authenticity and Urgency of His Message.”

Fact & Film: ‘Silly Suffolk’ – The Dialect of ‘The Dig’ at Sutton Hoo.

Above: the Sutton Hoo helmet discovered by Brown’s excavations History lessons: Soon after my son moved to Framlingham in Suffolk to take up his first teaching post at the local Thomas Mills’ High School, in 2014, I fulfilled one of my ‘bucket list’ ambitions, which was to visit Sutton Hoo, the archaeological site nearby which had beenContinue reading “Fact & Film: ‘Silly Suffolk’ – The Dialect of ‘The Dig’ at Sutton Hoo.”

Christmas to Candlemas: The History of the Gospel Narratives of the Incarnation, Nativity and Epiphany.

Have you taken down your Christmas tree yet? For many people, the ‘Twelfth Night’ of Christmas, the Eve of Epiphany, is the time to remove the decorations, but this is perhaps more of a pagan custom, or superstition, than a tradition that has its origins in the Christian faith. The ‘Christmas Season’: Traditionally, the ‘ChristmasContinue reading “Christmas to Candlemas: The History of the Gospel Narratives of the Incarnation, Nativity and Epiphany.”

The Three Kingdoms and The Third Civil War, Part Two – Scotland, 1650-52: Dunbar & Worcester

The Fate of the Earl of Montrose, April-May 1650: At the beginning of the new decade, with Oliver Cromwell wintering in Ireland, together with a significant portion of the parliamentarian army, from the middle of January onwards the Rump became ever more fearful that the Scots were about to take up arms once more forContinue reading “The Three Kingdoms and The Third Civil War, Part Two – Scotland, 1650-52: Dunbar & Worcester”

The Three Kingdoms & The Third Civil War: Campaigns in Ireland; Drogheda & Wexford to Tipperary, 1649-1652.

The Stuart Court at the Hague, 1649-51: The Trial and Execution of Charles I may have shocked the whole of Europe at first, but Edward Hyde, First Earl of Clarendon, wrote after the execution that… The kings and princes of Christendom had their eyes fixed upon this woeful bloody spectacle; how they looked upon thatContinue reading “The Three Kingdoms & The Third Civil War: Campaigns in Ireland; Drogheda & Wexford to Tipperary, 1649-1652.”