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Curiosity is a quality that most children seem to possess. It is this hunger to know and understand that spurs on their many questions. While some people remain curious into adulthood, for many of us it does not come as naturally as when we were young. Neither do many Christian people consider curiosity to be significant to the life of faith. What …
 
In ’The Last Battle’, the final book in CS Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, the children witness the end of Narnia before walking through a door between worlds into a land of "warm daylight' and "blue sky, with flowers at their feet”. They eventually come to see that this ’new’ land is the real Narnia, “which has always been here and always will be”, a…
 
What is a Map? How does it work and what does it do? In a general way, maps help us to orient ourselves. As we talk about this broad category such as reality, is it even possible to map it? This panel will explore the way we engage, think and represent the world around us, reflecting on the different sources we use to make sense of everything that …
 
The Social Sciences have become central in the way people think about our times and the issues of the day. Its constitution and origin as a science need to be understood if we are to reflect on the roots of the contemporary social movements. Besides, as we go deeper into its roots we may come to a clearer perspective on how meaning is framed within…
 
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 conc…
 
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…
 
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 Fellow…
 
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 WorkerL'Abri Fellowship
 
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 asser…
 
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 avoidin…
 
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 wit…
 
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.L'Abri Fellowship
 
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 …
 
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…
 
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 …
 
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.…
 
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?L'Abri Fellowship
 
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…
 
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 t…
 
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.L'Abri Fellowship
 
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 of…
 
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, incre…
 
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 th…
 
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.…
 
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.L'Abri Fellowship
 
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 rev…
 
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.…
 
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.L'Abri Fellowship
 
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.L'Abri Fellowship
 
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…
 
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…
 
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…
 
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 …
 
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 fac…
 
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 …
 
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,…
 
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 focuse…
 
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 dr…
 
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 shar…
 
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.L'Abri Fellowship
 
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).L'Abri Fellowship
 
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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