Trampled on

I have a feeling that this might be my last ‘beyond the pale’ blog for a while, I feel like I just need a change. This is not to say that I have in any way covered the weird, disturbing stories of the bible and explained them all. I’ve only studied a drop in the []
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Nehemiah

Often in the Old Testament you come across these bizarre scenes of communal worship, communal grieving or communal confession amongst others. I say bizarre, because I suppose we just don’t do those things much anymore… or at least not in the way they did in the Old Testament. So, let’s have a look at one []
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Saul and David

‘A Question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved.’ Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince In 1 Samuel 18 we read a story that will make even the most nonchalant of us squirm and wince in our seats, particularly the males among us. Picture the scene, a young woman is []
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Ananias and Sapphira

Confession time, some of you might remember parts of this blog from a talk I did in Ignite a few years ago, actually I think you can find the recording of that talk here too if you’d rather listen than read! Anyway, due to time pressures I have not been able to dig up new []
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Hagar

Religion has been involved, both subtlety and obviously, in all sorts of conflict and violence throughout human history. There is no avoiding the fact that in the wrong hands religion can be a force of great harm. And this includes Christianity. If we consider the sins of the Christian past critics have plenty to work []
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Gideon

I realise that this ‘beyond the pale’ series of blogs has been resembling Game of Thrones with a lot of violence, sex and general post-watershed content. So this week I wanted to look at something not quite as violent, something lovely…something like… say… jumpers and cakes.     We’re gonna stay in Judges, but this []
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The Woman [unnamed]

If you are into weird bible stories then Judges is probably the book for you. In some ways it reminds me of the classic book and film ‘The Princess Bride’. For two main reasons really, one it’s so entertaining, you never know what is going to turn up on the next page and secondly because []
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Uzzah

I’ve never experience a celebration like the one described in 2 Samuel 6. David and the people of God have eventually got their hands on the ark of God and they’re having a party! The ark of God (also known as Ark of the Covenant, the Ark of the LORD, and the Ark of the []
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Tamar

Dr Herbert Carl Leopold wrote an extensive commentary on Genesis in the 1940’s; at the end of each chapter he included a paragraph titled ‘Homiletical Suggestions’, basically how would you preach to a group on this passage. Under Genesis 38 this section has just one sentence which begins: ‘Entirely unsuited to homiletical use…’ In other []
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