Tag Archives: bible

Bible study… But not as you know it.

How does a diverse group of people come to be gathered round a large table in an east London cafe discussing and debating the words of Jesus?

The Contextual Theology Centre works with many excellent churches. But when we decided to develop a new bi-monthly Bible study series, we wanted to find a space which wasn’t traditionally used for that kind of activity.

We considered various options before settling on the idea of taking our Bible study on tour around the various communities we work in. Nowhere was off limits. We aim to visit libraries, community centres and even parks (weather allowing!) But the first two studies have taken place in two of our favourite cafes.

The October study considered Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well and took place at Kahaila cafe on Brick Lane. Surrounded by their exquisite coffee and cakes, we discussed the meaning of this incredibly poignant and important passage.

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December’s study took place this week at Cafe Verde in Limehouse. Staff from the centre were joined by a wide variety of people including a couple of parish priests and some Muslim school-pupils who were on work experience with one of our partner charities.

Led by the Centre’s Faith in Public Life Officer, David Barclay, we studied a less well-know parable – that of the Shrewd Manager.

Having read the passage together, we broke into groups to discuss our perspectives on the story, and how it might apply to our day-to-day lives. The economic implications of Jesus’ words were debated and we discussed whether the ‘rich man’ mentioned in the passage may in fact have been the contemporary equivalent of a banker or City trader.

Being in a ‘real’ environment rather than a place of worship means there’s a real buzz to the studies, and there always seems to be plentiful coffee and excellent food on offer. We’d love you to join us for future community Bible studies.

The next Community Bible Study – held on the first Monday of alternate months – will be on 4th February at 12 noon at a cafe in Forest Gate.  Full details on our events page shortly.  

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The King James Bible at Westminster Abbey

There are a number of open lectures taking place in Westminster Abbey this October which promise a fascinating look at the public role and influence of the King James Bible.

Lord Judge, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, is speaking, followed by Melvyn Bragg, and then Nick Spencer of Theos.  You can find details of the lectures, and how to book free tickets, on the Westminster Abbey website.

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The Bible and Politics

Nick Spencer from public theology think-tank Theos has written a new book to mark the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible entitled Freedom and Order: History Politics and the English Bible.  It discusses the relationship over history between politics and English politics.

Over on the Theos website, Nick Spencer has sparked some thoughts on tolerance connected with the book which are worth a read.

And on the Biblefresh website can be found an article exploring the Bible’s contribution to politics in Britain.

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