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The Church of England and the First World War
by Alan Wilkinson
“[...] a timely republication of an important work on a subject of topical relevance for the next few years, as we enter a quinquennium of remembrance.”
Lee Gatiss, Churchman, vol. 128, issue 3, (2014)
As written in Publishing Weekly, Nell Zink plays with the idea of Plot VS Character. They’re two essential elements of any story, right? Zink writes how in today’s coming of age novel, there are so many instances where boy meets girl and the characters drive the novel.
Is this really a bad thing? In my opinion, no, I’m a strong believer in the character driven novels, for instance, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. The coming-of-age-novel presents characters tackling the issues in today’s society: depression, school, making friends and (the driver of this genre) the love interest. Now it gets interesting.
Charlie, the protagonist, travels through his first year at school feeling awkward and at first only making friends with his English teacher. Yet he discovers the importance of being the outsider and then has the perk of being a wallflower; seeing people from the outside. Chbosky creates a great example of how a character driven story can create brilliant reading material.
Speaking from experience a lot of teens will read Charlie’s story and be empowered by the outcome, I believe they would spur him on in his quest for companionship and love. I am ultimately saying that plot is not everything. Having a simple plot throughout a novel can really make an impact as long as the character has something interesting to say. The development of the character creates the story, empowers the reader and allows them to sympathise, therefore, (hopefully) giving the reader a positive message to take away into the world with them.
Therefore, my opinion is character beats plot.
A simple plot with detailed characters can bring a story to life. Don’t get me wrong sometimes a story needs a thick plot full of twists and turns but not every book needs a big green dragon around the corner. It’s the small details of the character that really make you thinking.
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Christian Theology and African Traditions
by Matthew Michael
“Dr Michael succeeds in keeping a steady focus on both imminent contextual realities in Africa and also transcendental biblical truth [...] I would recommend this book to anyone engaging in ministry with Africans, either on the continent or within the diaspora [...] this book will also prove beneficial to those who listen to, engage with, and learn from other cultural perspectives on systematic theological issues.”
Rohintan Mody, Churchman, Vol 128, Issue 3, (2014)
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The Atheist’s Primer
by Michael Palmer
“… Atheism should be studied both by believers and unbelievers for understanding argumentation and limits about the rational proof of the existence of God. For these who want to consider this issue, The Atheist’s Primer is undoubtedly the manual.”
Pedro José Grande Sánchez, Anuario Filosófico Volume 47, issue 2, 2014
Facing the Fiend
Satan as a Literary Character
by Eva Marta Baillie
A wide-ranging examination of the character of Satan through his literary manifestations, suggesting that this theologically problematic figure is best understood through his narrative role in myth and storytelling.
Chapter 1: Is Satan Evil?
Understanding Satan as a character requires the introduction of a context in which the character operates. Our search for Satan’s dwelling place takes us to different areas of definition and interpretation, but the most fundamental question at this point is the relationship between Satan and evil. The question of whether the character of Satan is evil or not cannot be answered readily, since the problem is twofold: like any character, Satan has many layers and describing him… A free download of this chapter is available on our website, click here!
Playing with Dragons
Living with Suffering and God
by Andy Angel
A fascinating study of a neglected form of biblical imagery, showing how the portrayal of dragons and similar beings in the scriptures creates a context and language through which the experience of suffering can be explored.
Chapter 1: By Way Of Background:
Probably the best known of these myths is the Babylonian story known as the Enuma Elish. Trouble is brewing in the courts of heaven. The mother god Tiamat and the father god Apsu have had a row about how to handle their noisy children. Aspu and his vizier Mummu wanted to kill them. Tiamat said that they had to put up with the noise. Apsu and his sidekick decided to go ahead with their plan anyway. One of the children, the god Ea, got wind of this and had… A free download of this chapter is available on our website, click here!
The Centrality of Scripture in Preaching
by Ian Stackhouse and Oliver D. Crisp (editors)
A collection of essays on preaching by an international group of scholars and pastors, united around a vision of preaching as complex practice embedded in a rich tradition and performed out of deep theological conviction.
Chapter 1: Preaching the Darkest Psalm:
Thirty years ago, when I began my teaching career at Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, I was asked to teach an elective class on the book of Psalms. Since I had never even taken a course on Psalms—let alone taught one!—it was something of a challenge. Yet, I immersed myself in the book of Psalms and the secondary literature that summer and man-aged to make my way through the term without prompting a student revolt. And, in the process, I learned… A free download of this chapter is available on our website, click here!
Echoes of a Voice
We are not Alone
by James W. Sire
A wide-ranging exploration of the meaning and significance of transcendental experiences, and the variety of responses they have evoked, and their importance in modern Christian apologetics.
Chapter 1: Signals, Signals, and More Signals:
Sudden ecstatic experiences strike our conscious minds. They come without being called, they come when not expected, they come from who knows where. Almost all of us have them, some of them so profound that they change our lives; others so deep that their memory stays with us from here to eternity; others so frequent we learn to live with them asconstant companions… A free download of this chapter is available on our website, click here!