Making of the KJV app
The excellent Bodleian Library have created a really good app for the iPhone and Android based around their making of the KJV exhibition. It's not free (sadly) but still worth a look.
Why your church needs pew Bibles
Guest post from Ian Metcalfe, Director of Publishing at Hodder Faith
As Publishing Director for the UK's largest Bibles publisher I do have to declare a vested interest in this matter(!) – but nonetheless I hope I will be forgiven for taking this opportunity to argue the case that churches should resist the temptation to rely on modern technology instead of ensuring there are good stocks of Bibles in the pew.
The modern penchant for big screens and video projectors is all well and good, and it may seem to offer a one-size-fits-all solution. After all, you could use a different Bible translation every week, skip around at will between passages in the course of a sermon, and at no point will anyone in the pew have to do anything more than lift their eyes to the screen to see what (metaphorical) page they're on. And that page will be exactly the one the preacher wants them on.
But that is, in fact, more or less the sum of the problem. The big challenge in any church is to get people to go beyond mere listening to the wisdom of others and become truly engaged with the challenge of wrestling with the truth for themselves, not just during the 10, 20, 30 or 40 minute sermon (delete as appropriate) but out into the week that follows. And the pew Bible, mundane and outdated as it may seem, is perhaps the most powerful single tool at our disposal to drive that kind of engagement.
With the words on a screen, the chances are the Bible passage will disappear soon after the reading is finished, making way for a key sermon point or a powerful image. Such things are all well and good in themselves – but unless the congregation have a photographic memory, the removal of the Bible passage leaves them hanging off the words coming out of the speaker's mouth at each successive moment (including whatever Bible snippets they may choose to repeat), rather than the word of God itself.
Let's assume, though, that the passage does remain onscreen. Even so, it is stripped of context, so the folk in the pew end up at the mercy of the speaker's ability to frame it adequately. With a pew Bible there is endless opportunity to explore and to assess for themselves the environs in which a particular passage appears, and the style and intent that might go with that. (Sure, they may use that opportunity to dive off at a complete tangent. But I guess that could be God's leading too, assuming the guy up the front doesn't have a monopoly on inspiration. And better a biblical meander than mere daydreaming.)
Even if you want to read from a different translation to make a particular point, there's more to be gained than lost in having people compare with the version in the pew as listeners have the chance to weigh up the different strengths of one translation against another.
I can't help thinking it's a bit like the satnav/road atlas argument – one that road atlases definitely seem to be losing. But the humorous stories of how satnav leads lorries (sometimes literally) up the garden path disguise the fundamental difference between these two tools that are, after all, both designed to help you get where you're going. Using a road atlas, you work out a route and build up a picture of how the land lies which will stand you in good stead even when things take an unexpected turn. With satnav, by contrast, you blindly follow directions and if it all goes wrong you have even less of a clue than someone just driving by their wits, because they at least know how they got to where they are now. When satnav works, it is ultra accurate; when it fails, people get seriously lost.
So with the Bible, we must surely desire that people get to know the territory, and are equipped to make their own explorations, even more than that they slavishly follow the particular points made in any one sermon, however valuable those points may be. Otherwise we'll be creating poor followers of the local Apollos or Paul rather than mature disciples of Jesus.
And that's why your church needs its pew Bibles.
Keller: preaching teams
At Redeemer they preach series and the preaching team all participate. How does Tim manage that process? Here he answers the question. Again, useful snippets of wisdom for those leading preaching teams.
Keller: prayer IS your life
When I interviewed Tim Keller at this year's EMA, prayer was a very strong and useful theme. How pastors need to hear this!!
Keller: pastoring larger churches
Here's some more from the Tim Keller interview at this year's EMA. This time around it's some useful thoughts about pastoring larger churches…
Keller: pastoring and preaching
From this year's EMA, Tim Keller on the relationship between pastoring and preaching and how that differs in a larger church. Also some stuff on how Keller "learnt" to preach.
2011/12 Proclamation Trust Resource Guide now available online
Our 2011/12 resource guide is now available online. Hard copies are only sent to UK residents due to the prohibitive costs of mailing it abroad. So, if you are interested in our work or want to read more about what is going on in 2011/12, please do click on the brochure for a flash version. Not only does it contain news about our ministry, conferences and training, but there are also some useful articles and resources.
Keller: cancer and resurrection
In this short excerpt, Keller explains how having cancer was like a death and resurrection moment.
Keller: dealing with criticism
Here's one of the snippets we'll post from my interview with Tim Keller at this year's EMA. This one has some helpful things about dealing with criticism.
John Stott with Christ, better by far
We've just heard that John Stott died peacefully today. More information here.