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VOLUME 2 - Issue 7

essential reading FROM THE LONDON SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY


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IS THE REFORMATION STILL RELEVANT TODAY? “We can learn from the Reformation and take care not to lose the important insights that it brought."

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THE GREAT COMMISSION “Fear of others strangles the gospel; love of others is the life of the gospel."

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CONFESSING EVANGELICAL THEOLOGY FOR DYNAMIC PUBLIC SPACES “What’s not negotiable is ultimate reality and everything good, beautiful, and true" WORSHIPPING THROUGH DIVISIVENESS “I’ve been filled with hope having seen communities worshipping through divisiveness."

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WHY STUDY THEOLOGY “Theology is our way of making sense of our beliefs and practices.” FAITH IN THE FAMILY “Parents need to be reminded about the role and responsibility that they have in nurturing the faith of their children.” WHAT DOES THEOLOGY HAVE TO DO WITH COUNSELLING? “It’s much more difficult and infinitely more useful, to learn how to critically examine your own ideas and the ideas of those you don’t agree with.” LEAVING A GIFT IN YOUR WILL “Not everyone will leave a legacy like Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s, but everyone will leave a legacy." HELPING YOU GET BACK ON TRACK “Anxiety is actually a normal human emotion and a reaction to stress. ” STUDYING AT LST Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Research degrees at LST explained and explored.

HOLY GROUND - LST INSIGHT


CONTRIBUTORS Matt Adcock Insight Editor & Director of Communications Robin Fisher Designer (fisherdesign.co.uk) Tony Lane Professor of Historical Theology, LST Gavin Calver Director of Mission at Evangelical Alliance, UK Jason S. Sexton Theologian Lecturer, California State Jeremy Perigo Director of Music & Worship programmes, LST Calvin Samuel Principal , LST Olwyn Mark Visiting Lecturer in Christian Ethics, LST Ashley Stewart Theology & Counselling Student, LST Jamie Bennett Supporter Relations Manager, LST Lyn Powell Theology and Counselling Level 5 leader & lecturer

INTERACT Email editor@lst.ac.uk

@cleric20 At the London School of Theology we deliver the sort of theological engagement that goes beyond the simple study of God and His Word. Built on a solid biblical base and steeped in academic rigor, taught by some of the world’s leading theologians and designed to engage with the real world. The teaching received at LST has already empowered and equipped thousands of church and youth pastors, worship leaders, Christian counsellors, teachers, charity workers and missionaries who have gone on to change the world for Christ. But studying at LST is so much more than just a qualification, it is to become part of a vibrant, Christ-centred community who will nurture, inspire and encourage you as you make life-long friends and find God’s call for your life. This issue of INSIGHT brings you a fascinating range of thinking from LST’s Faculty, Students and Alumni – it’s always a joy to edit such diverse and interesting articles. Be sure to check the new course overviews in the back – if you know someone who could benefit from getting to know God better do pass this magazine on and encourage them to get in touch! With an exciting range of Raising Theologians Scholarships available and LST’s programmes now accessible online – there has never been a better time to study with us…

Web www.lst.ac.uk Facebook /LondonSchoolOfTheology Twitter @LSTheology

Matt Adcock Editor LST INSIGHT - HOLY GROUND

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Let us start by considering some reasons why it may not be. the world today is very different from the sixteenth century. the questions that people are asking today and the issues that we face are very different. also, the roman catholic church is very different today.

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he Second Vatican Council (1962-65) introduced many reforms, resulting that the gulf between Catholic and Protestant is less than it was. The following points are all valid, but it does not follow that the Reformation is no longer relevant. It concerned a number of fundamental principles which are of abiding significance. We will touch briefly on three of these.

Justification by faith One of the most significant doctrines debated in the Reformation was justification. How can we find a gracious God? It would be wrong, though, to see the Reformation as all about justification by faith or to see the conflict as between justification by faith and justification by works. In the first place, the Reformation did not begin with the doctrine of justification but with the issue of indulgences. Purchasing an indulgence was supposed to be a way of reducing the time spent in Purgatory either by oneself or by a departed relative. Luther queried this practice five hundred years ago, in 1517, with the 95 Theses that he probably nailed to the door of the Castle Church at Wittenberg on 31st October. This is generally seen as the start of the Reformation. It was only later, in the 1520s, that the doctrine of justification came to centre stage. Many today suppose that the Reformers taught justification by faith alone while the Roman Catholic Church taught justification by works. That is a gross exaggeration. The Council of Trent defined the Catholic doctrine of justification in its Decree on Justification (1547). This teaches justification through a process of faith, hope, love, repentance and baptism, including the resolve to lead a new life and keep God’s commandments. Most Protestants would recognise the need for all of these things to take place in the process of becoming a Christian. There are significant differences between the Catholic and Protestant understandings of justification, but these are far more subtle than the popular caricatures. It is noteworthy that a few years before the Council of Trent, at the Colloquy of Regensburg in 1541, six leading Protestant and Roman Catholic theologians were able to agree a common statement on justification by faith. The Colloquy failed eventually, but because of disagreements on other doctrines, not because they could not agree on justification by faith.

While the doctrine of justification is seen as one of the highest profile differences between the two sides, the differences are not so great. It is not so surprising, therefore, that on 31st October 1999 the Lutheran World Federation and the Roman Catholic Church together signed a document affirming a Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification. They claimed that there is “a consensus in basic truths of the doctrine of justification”. An Annex to the document affirms that “Justification takes place by grace alone, by faith alone”, a remarkable affirmation by the Roman Catholic Church. The Joint Declaration does not resolve all differences but it does indicate a significant coming together.

Authority As mentioned above, at the Regensburg Colloquy the theologians were able to produce an agreed statement on justification, but the colloquy failed because of disagreements in other areas. It has rightly been noted that all such attempts to reconcile the two sides in the sixteenth century (and there were many) failed for one basic reason — differences over authority. When a particular doctrine was debated, the two sides were appealing to different authorities. The Roman Catholics were committed to accept what had been defined by the Church — either by a General Council or by a Pope. The Protestants, however, believed that councils and popes had erred in the past and all needed to be tested by Scripture. In 1541 the doctrine of justification had not yet been defined by the Church, so Catholic theologians had room for manoeuvre and some indeed accepted the Protestant doctrine almost in its entirety. At Regensburg the discussion moved on from justification to the Eucharist. Here the Roman Catholic Church had defined the doctrine of transubstantiation in 1215, which was therefore non-negotiable for the Catholics; the Protestants, however, were not prepared to accept it because they considered it unscriptural. What about today? In many ways Catholics and Protestants have drawn closer together and on many topics the gap is less wide. On some topics, though, the gap has widened. This is true especially with the Virgin Mary. The first Reformers were all raised as Catholics and many retained some devotion towards Mary, whereas most Protestants today almost completely ignore her. As someone once put it, they are embarrassed by the Virgin Mary as if somehow Jesus’ mother was a Roman Catholic! By contrast, Roman Catholic teaching on Mary has developed considerably since the Reformation, with recent dogmas affirming her Immaculate Conception (1854) and her Bodily Assumption LST INSIGHT - HOLY GROUND

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"What about today? in many ways catholics and protestants have drawn closer together and on many topics the gap is less wide. on some topics, though, the gap has widened." into heavenly glory (1950). Roman Catholics are committed to these dogmas as they have been infallibly defined by a pope; Protestants reject them as unscriptural. At the Second Vatican Council a Roman Catholic cardinal asked one of the Protestant observers, “What is it that divides us?” His answer just mentioned two names: “Peter and Mary”. The authority of the Pope as heir of Peter is the fundamental stumbling block. The mariological dogmas illustrate the distance that Roman Catholic teaching has moved from the New Testament.

The sacraments There is another fundamental difference between most Roman Catholics and most Protestants. For Catholics, God’s grace is obtained primarily through partaking in the sacraments. One becomes a Christian by baptism and one is nourished as a Christian by the Eucharist. The other five sacraments all play a significant role: confirmation, penance, marriage, ordination and anointing of the sick (formerly known as extreme unction). For Protestants, however, faith is far more important than the sacraments - which they generally limit to baptism and communion. Many Protestants regard the sacraments as no more than symbolic visual aids, but that was not the position of the sixteenth-century Reformers, with the possible exception of Zwingli. Today the Roman Catholic Church places greater emphasis on the importance of faith and the insufficiency of merely partaking of the sacraments, but there is still a fundamental difference in approach. For the great majority of Protestants preaching has a central role in a service of worship. In most Roman Catholic services a five-to-ten minute homily provides a brief interlude.

Conclusion So is the Reformation relevant today? It is true that much has changed since the time of the Reformation. In many ways Catholics and Protestants have drawn closer together,

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and all-out hostility has given way to limited but significant cooperation. But in other ways the gap has widened, the doctrines of Mary being the most obvious example. The positions on both sides have moved on since the sixteenth century, but the same issues still cause division. So despite the intervening five centuries the Reformation is still very relevant. Someone recently stated that the most important lesson from the Reformation is that we should not follow the Reformation. There is much truth in that. The Reformation is not some golden age to which we would seek to return. Our task is to respond to today’s issues, being guided by Scripture as we seek to do so. In doing so we can learn from the Reformation and take care not to lose the important insights that it brought, but we do not need to follow them blindly. The Reformers subjected the teaching of the medieval church to a searching criticism in the light of Scripture. To follow them uncritically would be an odd way to honour their stand. It is not only from the Reformation that we should seek to learn. Church history did not begin in 1517, though the way some Protestants talk you would think that it did! There is much that we can learn from the Early Church, the period of the early Fathers (roughly AD 100-500). God did not cease to work after the sixteenth century and there are many insights to be gained from thinkers and movements in the intervening centuries. We should also not ignore the much despised Middle Ages, which span over half the time since the resurrection of Christ. So let us learn from the past, not live in it or be bound by it. Our calling is to be faithful to Scripture, understood with the help of our forbears. As has been said, “Those who are ignorant of history are condemned to repeat it.”

Tony Lane

London School of Theology Tony is a Professor of Historical Theology at LST - specialising in Calvin and Bernard of Clairvaux.


NEED HELP FUNDING YOUR THEOLOGICAL STUDY? LST are now offering ‘Raising Theologians Scholarships’ find out more at www.lst.ac.uk/scholarships

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A few years ago, I arrived at the station on my way home from work. It was dark, cold and wet. The walk home would be long and I was tired, so I thought about treating myself to a taxi. Then anxiety kicked in, the taxi driver would ask me about my day and to be honest, I couldn’t be bothered to tell them where I’d been. I would love to write that I overcame my fear-driven apathy and got in a taxi. Sadly, on this occasion, fear won and I walked home. You may be wondering, what on earth could you have been doing that day that caused you to avoid talking about it. The answer is - I was at an evangelism equipping day, that I’d been leading.

Jesus’ command that we love God with all we’ve got and love our neighbours as we love ourselves, is often called upon to remind the Church that we are people who have received mercy and therefore we should go and do likewise. Jesus fed the hungry and healed the sick, his ministry was full of grace and compassion. And we, his ambassadors here on earth, should go and do likewise. Yet Jesus is also the Word made flesh, he is God’s word to humanity, and that word is a “yes”.

The great commission of Matthew 28 is a crucial part of outworking the great commandment. We love God by doing what He says (John 14:15) and Jesus is clear, we are called to I tell this story to highlight what I think is a crucial concept go and make disciples, to be witnesses to him. In living out when we think about evangelism: fear of others strangles this calling we are inhabiting God’s the gospel; love of others is the life of "Unfortunately, evangelism is will for His people, through doing the gospel. often caricatured in such a way what He has told us as we seek to love our neighbours as ourselves. It’s easy to focus on the reasons why

Oh, the irony!

many Christians, myself included, find it difficult to share their faith. Yet I think if we only focus on the negatives, it’s possible we miss the more potent motivating force of love.

that you would never think it was an act of love. But if we think it’s true that Jesus came to bring life in all its fullness, in this life and the next, surely it’s an act of love to speak up about this new life."

Think of the accounts in Acts. The first followers of Jesus had something to say, and it seems you couldn’t stop them from speaking about what they had seen and heard (Acts 4:20). Their actions strike me as similar to myself when I’ve watched a great movie or seen a brilliant goal on Match of the Day, I want other people to know about it. You share the things you love. In the case of evangelism, we share the one we love with those we’ve been called to love - as we love ourselves.

Unfortunately, evangelism is often caricatured in such a way that you would never think it was an act of love. But if we think it’s true that Jesus came to bring life in all its fullness, in this life and the next, surely it’s an act of love to speak up about this new life. Evangelism is not only for the committed few, rather we’re reflecting the God who we serve by being witnesses to him. God has spoken through his Word, that the world might be able to know Him. That’s why at the Evangelical Alliance we wanted to help ensure that evangelism remains central to all we do as the evangelical church in the UK. We wanted to create resources to grow people’s confidence in the gospel and give them the tools they need to use this confidence to share their faith

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with those around them. So we’ve built a new evangelism website to serve the evangelical church in the UK. Greatcommission.co.uk is designed to inspire greater passion for evangelism and empower churches and individuals to be talking about Jesus in their communities. Gavin Calver, LST alumni and director of mission at the Evangelical Alliance, heads up this initiative. He said: “Seeing people all across the  UK come  to faith in Jesus is what we’re all about at the Evangelical Alliance.  That’s why we’ve launched Greatcommission.co.uk, to help inspire and equip the body of Christ here in the UK to be talking about Jesus confidently and effectively.   “It’s been brilliant to hear from Christians all across the UK who are being encouraged in evangelism through the new Great Commission hub.

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"School chaplains and youth leaders, church leaders and heads of denominations have all been telling us they’re really excited about the range of stories, reflections and resources they’re finding on the site.”   The site brings together more than 150 tools and resources, as well as written reflections on evangelism and personal stories from Christians across the UK. This includes a variety of stories about people who have come to faith in Jesus, as well as stories of different ways Christians are sharing their faith in their everyday lives.

GAVIN CALVER

Director of Mission at Evangelical Alliance UK A regular public speaker and author, Gavin is also the Chair of Spring Harvest.


"Seeing people all across the UK come to faith in Jesus is what we’re all about at the Evangelical Alliance." G av i n C a lv e r

On great commi s s i on .co.uk y o u c a n : l  Watch

stories of lives changed by Jesus throughout the UK, and hear about how others are sharing their faith. A new story is available each week to share and freely download, reminding us that God is at work in our land.

out there. More than 150 resources and tools have been categorised according to who you want to reach, what type of activity you’re interested in, or what time of year. l  You

l  Read

reflections that will encourage and stimulate you as you think, dream, pray and plan about what evangelism could look like in your place. These reflections come from Christians across the diversity of the UK Church, sharing the lessons they’ve learnt from their context.

can also easily share what you’ve found on the site by creating boards to save the stories, reflections and resources you’d like to show others. You can then give chosen individuals access to view these boards – whether that’s friends, members of your PCC, or your youth team.

l  Find

prayer reflections and resources to inspire you in prayerful outreach.

l  Be

equipped to act through quickly and easily searching the wide range of evangelism tools and resources already

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ocating a helpful public theology for this setting needs to acknowledge conversations that have not yet born much fruit in our churches, many which pay very little attention to their contexts at all. Public theology must grapple with driving features of entire Western and indeed globalised civilisation, especially capital and how it works, along with the social histories of the particular cultures the church finds itself in. Piketty invites participants with their own cultural histories to participate in the discourse of the development and usage of capital. As such he invites citizens of various kinds to be not merely passive recipients of their own markets but to actively interpret data and its implications. In significant ways this corresponds to the communitarian Christian vision of the kingdom and of the reality of our common life together in the present ecclesial situation and how it offers much for the wider societal common good— for the poor, and the rich, for workers, and shareholders. This highlights the need for investigating how Christians confess their hope in an ever-changing world. Thus instead of saying that theology is done from the church to the world, perhaps it is best acknowledged that theology is done within the setting of common dynamic and shared societal structures, in particular locations and situations where believers confess the hope within them. Accordingly, this essay sets out to argue that dynamic and changing public space requires dynamic witness dependent on the dynamic Holy Spirit for meaningful witness today. This is the kind of theology most befitting the public space, accounting for conversion and eschatological hope in light of God’s work in Christ. Within this article’s purview is an attempt to address a number of Evangelical sensibilities with a better Evangelical public theology and how Christianity and theology are best done in these public spaces. The Nature of Theology Confessed in Public As such, the way Christian theology is best properly confessed is in light of public action—primarily of the triune God, and instrumentally through the public missionary activity of the regenerated and redeemed community constituted as the new humanity. On an Augustinian account, this testifies

of the reality of the present public situation in culture as one where sin and evil exist, and where conflict, cruelty, and suffering abound. All is not lost on such problems. Richard Mouw has tersely opined in public debate with John Howard Yoder that while culture is indeed fallen, it is still created. Present human history then is really part of a much bigger story—the divine one—which highlights that God encompasses all. Avoiding any notion of what Civil Rights leader John Perkins calls cheap evangelism and cheap social action, the Christian confession that is suitable for a sinriddled public displays an ongoing commitment to problems that are “in between,”1 down here in the real world, and finds their healing through the cross and resurrection. In order to approach the reality of brokenness, points of pain and tension in the world (the situation of everything in this present postlapsarian reality), theological propositions resulting from active Christian witness in public spaces function as demonstrations that afford acknowledgment by the widest group of people when all things have come to light as the ontological priority of the eschaton comes into view, yielding ultimate public acknowledgment. This confessed reality highlights something like what the microscope reveals, showing that the same world we interact with every day is of far greater significance—a far different world— than we had realised. Although oriented toward the future at every point, it is also oriented to revelation—a reality confessed amidst a world with which it is variously at odds. The nature of particular culturally-embedded structures resistant to the Christian confession highlight the difficulty of the conflict. Public education serves as an example, itself hardly able to sustain any meaningful form of neutrality. None of the situations there are ever static. They’re always being revised and reconfigured. All cultures, especially those more significantly affected by globalisation, are being negotiated so that the endless exploration of their rhythms objects, and values remains a requirement, even as these things change over time. While such study could be justified as time well-spent, especially for the Christian missionary task, a commitment to genuinely liberal plurality is hard to come by.

1 John Perkins, A Quiet Revolution: The Christian Response to Human Need . . . A Strategy for Today (Waco, TX: Word, 1976), 99-102.

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The mission of the church in the present world embodied by its core confession of Jesus as “Lord” often means coming against opposing forces in the most unlikely forms. It bears the task of displaying not a braced but an open and vulnerable display of charity throughout its own various forms of difficulty, being sent out into some even dangerous settings by the very one who by nature is love. Does this mean then that Christianity ought to pursue, or provides the basis for, religious or cultural pluralism or multiculturalism? The problem of a truly pluralist public education, again, is one issue that raises challenges for how best such structures may be engaged.2 And perhaps it could also be the matter of defining marriage in the contestable public space. Here is where T. F. Torrance’s notion of evangelising the foundations of culture seems entirely wrongheaded. To link such a notion to the need of transformation of mind is one thing, but to assume this can be done for “the mind of human society and culture in which human beings exist” is another thing altogether, which Torrance seems to think is necessary if the church is to put down roots in a particular society and remain genuinely Christian. Much could be said here about the early church existing during its first three centuries on the furthest societal margins, in the darkness as light and operating in a distressed situation (1 Cor. 7:26). Torrance may simply be working with the notion of an established church over against a non-established setting, on my reading one being more realistic (Augustinian, and affirming the freedom of humans to choose their religion) whilst the other exudes an unfortunate triumphalism in which even the established church could hope that the Spirit would circumvent to work within. As such, it doesn’t seem at all plausible to say there is, or ever has been, a Christian society; there are only Christians. And they belong to society within public space, to one another, and to the Lord, insofar as they participate in the lives of each. Accordingly, then, there are no foundations of culture per se. There are only people who make culture who are shaped by the culture that others have made, and who either contribute

to the advance and health a particular cultures, or else to its decay. Being negotiable at every point, all cultures exist within a constant negotiability of epistemological structures that are present in any given culture.3 What’s not negotiable is ultimate reality and everything good, beautiful, and true, based on and blessed by this ultimate reality of the triune God whose “kingdom” reality is found in the descriptions of the “blessed”: the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, those persecuted for righteousness, the insulted, persecuted, and those falsely accused of all kinds of evil for Jesus’ sake, and yet who rejoice and are glad. Torrance himself assumed a situation that Martyn Percy finds also shared between Newbigin and Radical Orthodoxy—in proper nineteenth century colonialist style—each resembling a stance in Christian mission that insist on “the reality and primacy of Christendom.”4 Torrance, Newbigin, John Milbank, and others may very well insists on this (and whatever Christendom is . . . ), but cannot assert such as having any privilege, much less than secularists or other religious groups can assume privilege. Even with these acknowledgements, the clear demarcations enable various structures to exist in a multi- or intercultural setting. Such a setting, notwithstanding extreme polarisations, allows for the freedom to change one’s mind, as in the well-known case of Peter Berger, himself coming around to agree that the West, with its capitalism and consumerism, is indeed religious. But if it is religious, there is no religious adherence (that is, theology) that is ever expressed in static observance, even though some from different Christian traditions hold their confessions with nothing short than canonical status, as is the case with some Reformed groups and the Westminster Confession of Faith, or in ways that evangelicals hold certain points of a Scripture principle, or the way Catholics hold to the authority of the magisterium. I reckon such a situation is both in keeping with a plausibility structure conducive to Christian conversion as well as revisable Christianity in the Spirit of semper reformanda. Much of internal developmental doctrinal discourse takes

2 Lesslie Newbigin, Foolishness to the Greeks: The Gospel and Western Culture (London: SPCK, 1986), 38-39. 3 George A. Lindbeck, The Nature of Doctrine: Religion and Theology in a Postliberal Age (Philadelphia: Westminster John Knox, 1984), 32-41. 4 14

See Martyn Percy, Engaging with Contemporary Culture: Christianity, Theology, and the Concrete Church (Farnham: Ashgate, 2005), 68.

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"What’s not negotiable is ultimate reality and everything good, beautiful, and true, based on and blessed by this ultimate reality of the triune God."

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"The conflict arises from the selfauthentication of the biblical message, Spirit-imparted at every level. Contrary to the notion of Christendom, then, public theology is active and on the move, not to control or dominate but to serve."

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place both in ongoing dialogue, clarification and explanatory action among believers and churches as well as while confessing theology in public as part of the church’s public missionary task.5 Whatever public is, it is there that God has called his people to witness to the reality of the gospel. A definition of theology and of the gospel’s thick description might be given in this space that others in the public might understand. Sebastian Kim notes that public theology “does not require the privileging of Christianity in public life and its theologians do not necessarily see their work as superseding” other theologies at play in the public arena, namely, liberation and political theology. Kim goes on, “Public theology takes its place in the different contexts of plural and secular societies as a complementary approach alongside many other theologies and philosophies.”6 As such, it also moves in parallel motion with the other religions, and at critical points offers its own propositions which will give way to a genuine tension and forms of public conflict. This conflict is not to be asserted or insisted upon by Christian theologians at any point. Rather, the conflict arises from the self-authentication of the biblical message, Spirit-imparted at every level. Contrary to the notion of Christendom, then, public theology is active and on the move, not to control or dominate but to serve. It transiently exists in various places, prevailing in its followers who are carried along by the Spirit, offering healing, and who are themselves by nature at odds with impulses towards Christendom manifest in the lives of our institutions. They neither seek to avoid the world out of fear nor isolate in hopes of remaining pure. Indeed, as James 1:27 makes clear, Christian witness is to be present in the broken places. It works in these “in between” spaces, to remove impediments so the church can flourish and so that all humans can have a better chance at a better life here at present and with a view toward the best kind of life to come. Conversely, those who by their own ingenuity try to be clean from the world end up stained.

Doing Theology That Matters in Public Much of theology done in public today is not done very well, including Evangelical theology. It often retreats into an incubated existence within the life of the church, partitioned off from the world, or else proceeding as suspicious or reactionary when it comes into the public square with any responsible consciousness. So there is one final point worth emphasising here in conclusion. To reiterate a statement earlier in this essay, there is no “from the church to the world”; but there is the church and its members, functioning in the world as the body of Christ, broken for the world, both shattered and scattered throughout various soils. As such, the church remains the most significant actor in the public square. In the presence of the worshipping members of its community, the church in these particular soils “celebrates the resurrection of Jesus as the ground of assurance that the present and the future are not under the control of blind forces but are open to unlimited possibilities of new life. This is because the living God who was present in the crucified Jesus is now and always the sovereign Lord of history and therefore makes possible a continuing struggle against all that ignores or negates his purpose.”7 This very real struggle denotes the privileged calling believers are blessed to participate in, with frail and fleeting lives as they hold out and hold open with their lives the confession they have been brought into, making manifest the hope of that confession that through Christ God will one day reconcile all broken things. This will be the greatest day in the public has ever known, and every eye will see it.

JASON s. SEXTON

Theologian lecturer, California state Jason supervises doctoral research students for LST in the area of theology and culture. He has written widely in the areas of California studies, prison studies, religious studies, and contemporary theology.

5 See Jason S. Sexton, “A Confessing Trinitarian Theology for Today’s Mission,” in Oliver Crisp and Fred Sanders, ed., Advancing Trinitarian Theology: Essays in Constructive Dogmatics (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2014), 171-89. 6

Sebastian C. H. Kim, Theology in the Public Sphere: Public Theology as Catalyst for Open Debate (London: SCM, 2011), 21.

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he vexing challenge of political polarisation on issues like the recent American elections, Brexit, the refugee crisis and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict highlight a few of the struggles the world is currently divided over. Unity and civility seem like concepts from a different era. As Christians, our worship often naively mirrors the divisiveness of our larger culture. We recognise we are global citizens and citizens of a heavenly kingdom, but, knowingly or unknowingly, our worship can be easily characterised as culturally myopic and blind to key global issues. Divisiveness may characterise much of local church worship, the ‘most segregated hour of the week’, yet in my travels over the last year visiting Christian communities in Iraq, Germany and London, I’ve been filled with hope having seen communities worshipping through divisiveness. UNRELENTING AWARENESS Worship can often become an escape from the challenges of life, yet last Christmas St. James Piccadilly pushed against jolly old St. Nick and Silent Night with the haunting artistic installation, Flight, by Arabella Dorman. Linked with Mary, Joseph and Jesus’ flight to Egypt, a nativity surrounded by life jackets near an upside down inflatable raft hung in the centre of their vaulted ceiling confronted worshippers and 18

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visitors with an obtrusive, unrelenting awareness of the flight of modern refugees. Throughout the songs, sermon, prayers, it was impossible to forget or escape this crucial global crisis. Throughout the week, we could change the TV channel or click away from the depressing news-feed, but prayers like ‘thy will be done’ and hymns such as ‘Joy to the World’ found renewed and poignant meaning through this installation. Last Christmas at St. James, this multi-sensory worship experience connected with God’s story of salvation helped reorient the desires of our sometimes self-absorbed hearts towards a greater yearning for the kingdom to come on earth. COSTLY HOSPITALITY Though much work into contextualising worship and sensitively re-appropriating the worship of other cultures has been inspired by groups such as WEC’s Resonance and the International Council of Ethnodoxologists, most churches rarely reflect the vision of multi-cultural worship around the throne of God that we see in Scripture. Pushing past musical ethno-tourism, a recent youth conference in German made liturgical adaptions in their evening worship to include testimonies from an Afghan and Syrian girl followed by powerful intercession for displaced peoples in Europe. A few churches in the city who had initially started by providing food, clothing and initial contact with refugees


outside of the government, moved beyond this felt-needs ministry into a ministry of hospitality. As they ate, drank and spent hours and hours ‘sharing life’ in the family homes of these displaced peoples who had just recently arrived in Germany, religious and cultural divisiveness was overcome by costly hospitality. At one of the evening meetings of a youth conference, two young girls, from a different religious tradition and with their families sitting on the front row of the church, shared their heart-breaking stories of their impossible journeys to Germany from Afghanistan and Syria. With tears in their eyes, they looked at some of the members of the local church who had become friends and stated how the hospitality of German Christians brought hope and transformed their lives. Though it cost time, energy and resources, the hospitality of these Germans is bringing hope, love and support to these families at a decisive time in their lives. IMPOSSIBLE UNITY In an undisclosed but never-the-less packed prayer room during a 100-hour, nonstop prayer and worship conference in Northern Iraq, a service of reconciliation between groups that have deeply rooted disputes and have been at war with one another for decades occurred without any

planning. Echoes of Isaiah 19:23-25 were experienced as Jews, Egyptians, Syrians, Palestinians, Kurds and Iraqi Arabs confessed hatred and animosity to one another and forgave one another. This nearly impossible act of unity peaked as they imitated Jesus by washing each others’ feet. In the midst of 100-hours of prayer, this small but diverse group worshipped through divisiveness revealing glimmers of heavenly unity on earth. CAN YOU WORSHIP THROUGH DIVISIVENESS? Is there any better moment to worship through divisiveness? Sure, the church has a bad rap for being Euro-centric, sexist, bigoted, blinded and escapists, yet at the same time, there are Christian communities embodying a different approach in their worship. Unsatisfied with divisive cultural narratives and hungry for an experience of God’s kingdom in their cities and world, they are responding in worship.

Dr. Jeremy Perigo

Director of music & worship Programmes Jeremy is an accomplished saxophonist and travels internationally as a worship leader and speaker to see the nations experience God's presence and equip churches with practical training in worship leadership.

This article was initially given as part of a panel at the 2016 Calvin Worship Symposium in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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The English word theology comes from two Greek words: theos & logia. Theos refers to God and logia, to speaking or study of. So as biology is the study of bios or life, archaeology, the study of archeos or ancient things, anthropology the study of anthropos or humanity, so theology is the study of theos or God. However, this analogy begins to break down almost immediately. Firstly, God is not simply an object or system that humans can study. God cannot be observed through a telescope or microscope, or interviewed for divine opinions. God is a person who chooses whether to reveal himself. Secondly, God is also beyond human comprehension so even if we were able to observe God we wouldn’t be able to understand God adequately. Thirdly, even if we did understand God fully we would struggle to express that understanding, because our language is too limited to describe all that God is. For example, it’s possible to observe a sunset or rainbow, possible to understand them, but we can’t adequately describe what we have seen. Our language is limited. If a sunset is beyond our description what chance have we of describing God? However, it is precisely because God is not simply a subject or system, theology is possible, despite human limitation. God has chosen to reveal himself. Divine revelation is what enables us to speak of God, to study and learn of God, because God has revealed by his grace what our senses alone would never be able to observe. Divine Revelation, through the Word of God, supremely revealed in scripture and the Act of God supremely revealed in Jesus Christ, enables theology. A key element to note about theology is that it is a corporate undertaking. The word ‘logia’ refers to speaking. Speaking implies a conversation partner. So theology, the

speaking of and study of God, requires conversation about God. For Christians, this conversation has been ongoing for two thousand years as we have wrestled to make sense of God’s revelation in Jesus and in scripture. God is himself part of that ongoing conversation, not merely a subject to be studied. Instead, God invites humanity into relationship so that out of that relationship a deeper understanding of God, of ourselves, and of the world in relation to God, becomes possible. So what is theology? Theology is discourse about God that is rooted in the church and is a response to God’s revelation supremely expressed in Jesus Christ. In other words, theology is our way of making sense of our beliefs and practices, even though we don't define that ‘making sense’ as theology. When we try to figure out why bad things happen to good people, we are doing an ancient branch of theology called theodicy, or justification of God. When we engage in debate about how we should organise our church, or how well we serve our community, we are doing a form of theology called ecclesiology, the study of the church, or missiology the study of mission. When we try to explain to others why our faith is not stupidity or madness, we are doing theology; it also has a name: apologetics. And when we get angry because those who have too much are getting more whilst those who don't have enough are being exploited; when we wrestle with what is the right response to millions of refugees seeking asylum we are doing theology. We are asking questions about what it means to have a shared humanity, a form of theological anthropology. Whether we give it a fancy name or not, Christians are constantly doing theology. LST INSIGHT - HOLY GROUND

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Here are my top 4 reasons to study theology. 1

2

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Because we love God. When you love someone you want to know everything you can about them. They become your magnificent obsession. Jesus declared in Luke 10.27: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your MIND…. One of the ways we love the Lord with our mind is through the study of theology because we desire to know God more. I am not suggesting that if you don’t go to bible college you don’t love God, but everyone who truly loves God is going to become more of a theologian. We can’t help it. To be equipped for service. See 2 Tim 2.15: ‘Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.’ If we are going to rightly decipher the word of truth we need to study it. There is no substitute or shortcut for this study. The complex issues of our day demand it. This not a time for microwave answers where we retrieve, reheat and redistribute what we learnt in Sunday school. This generation faces complex questions. To every complex question there is a simple answer, that is almost always wrong! In response to today’s complex questions, today’s generation of Christians need to offer compound responses, rooted in a deep understanding of Christian faith.

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It teaches us many other skills. God calls far more people to work in the world as Christians than in the Church. So many study theology in order to work as lawyers, bankers, counsellors, teachers, business men and women. Through the study of theology they learn to think, to analyse, to express their thinking articulately and to wrestle with complex questions. They are committed to truth and justice. All of which make theology graduates an employer’s dream. In truth, the question is not why study theology. It’s why wouldn’t you study theology? To find out more about studying theology visit one of LST’s Discovery days or check us out at www.lst.ac.uk.

Tell them I sent you. CALVIN SAMUEL

LONDON SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY Calvin is the Principal of LST. He has a MBA from Manchester Business School and a PhD from King’s College London. His research interests include holiness in Scripture and in Wesleyan tradition.


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uestions concerned with the passing on of faith in the home have come particularly to the fore in recent years in light of the numerical decline in church attendance in the UK. As the Church of England’s ‘Church Growth Research Programme’ highlighted, older generations are not being replaced, and the problem is not with adults leaving the Church, but instead that ‘half of the children of churchgoing parents do not attend when they reach adulthood.’1 In response to this decline, one thing we can affirm is that an individual leaving the faith of their parents is not a sign of a decline in the influence of the parents or the family. Indeed, the evidence from social science strongly and consistently argues that what we learn about faith in the home, particularly from our parents, can significantly shape future beliefs and practices. Instead, in light of the social learning that takes place in the home, questions of decline in family faith beg further questions to be asked about what practices in the home make a difference to whether a child who is brought up in a faith grows up to practice it. Also, how is the influence that parents clearly have being exercised?

Parents and Faith Transmission These were key questions for the ‘Passing on Faith’ report – published by the religion and society think tank Theos, in association with Canterbury Christ Church University. The report set out to gather evidence on what measurable difference parents made to the future faith outcomes of their children and young people. In gathering findings from 54 published studies, the data represented responses from thousands of young people, parents and grandparents in

the US, Canada, the UK, Sweden and Australia. While the findings were drawn largely from studies within the Christian community, they also included studies from within Seventhday Adventist, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh and Hindu communities. Of course, in reflecting on the role of faith in the home, it is important to note that no child has a value-free upbringing. Instead, every family context has traditions and practices that are steeped in values and beliefs about life and the world. For example, attitudes and values that inform responsibilities towards one’s neighbour and the environment, as well as answers about the meaning and purpose of life; these are understood and shaped by the overarching narrative that a child or young person learns within the home. It is necessary, therefore, to continue to rebut the popular accusation that there is something morally or ethically questionable, even wrong, in bringing a child up within a religious tradition. To do so, it is argued, goes against the creation of a rationalistic and ‘neutral’ environment within which a child should be allowed to discover their own values and beliefs. While all children should have the opportunity to critically reflect on their family’s faith tradition, this secular assertion is a false narrative to be challenged, for as already noted, there is no such thing as a ‘neutral’ upbringing. In assimilating the results of the published studies, three characteristics of parenting and family life emerged as significant in the successful transmission of faith: the quality of relationships in the home, the unity of traditions between parents, and the stability of the family structure.

1 http://www.churchgrowthresearch.org.uk/UserFiles/File/Reports/Report_Strands_1_2_rev2.pdf LST INSIGHT - HOLY GROUND

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"Research reports reveal that the young people and young adults who have experienced close and affirming relationships with both parents are more likely to grow up identifying with the beliefs and practices of their parents’ faith." THE Quality of Relationships It may come as no surprise to find out that the quality of the relationships in the home are shown to be key to successful faith transmission. Research reports reveal that the young people and young adults who have experienced close and affirming relationships with both parents are more likely to grow up identifying with the beliefs and practices of their parents’ faith. The relationship with grandparents is also noted to be significant, for example, the particular influence of grandmothers on granddaughters. The style of parenting also matters. Authoritative parenting is shown to be more effective in faith transmission than authoritarian or permissive parenting – in other words, a controlled and disciplined yet nurturing family environment is conducive to faith transmission.

The Integrity of Parental Beliefs and Practices It may, again, come as little surprise to hear that the integrity of parental beliefs and practices is important for successful transmission. Both consistency and integrity matter, and parents need to practice what they preach. This integrity includes the practicing of faith in the home. A study, for example, among 875 university students at the University of New South Wales in Sydney found that respondents who recalled a strong emphasis on religion in their home were likely to have remained under the umbrella of their childhood religion. Other studies show that parental church attendance is significant in shaping positive attitudes towards Christianity during childhood and adolescence. In general, a higher level of religiosity among parents is also shown to strengthen family relationships.

The Unity of Traditions and Stability of Relationships In affirming the previous points, research studies also point to the fact that two church-going parents have a significantly stronger influence on their child’s faith

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development than one. Evidence also shows that passing on faith is not a priority in mixed-faith families. This is as a result of parents themselves often not being committed believers, and, consequently, families participate in fewer religious practices. The quality and stability of the marital relationship is also noted to be significant. Happy and stable two-parent families are conducive to adolescent religious participation and belief. On the flip side, parental divorce is shown to correlate with an increased likelihood of an individual switching religion or renouncing religion altogether.

Priority of Passing on Faith As well as measuring the difference that parents make in faith formation and transmission, the ‘Passing on Faith’ research also set out to gauge what parents today think about passing on faith to their children – in particular, what importance do they place on it and what difference do they think that they make. Polling carried out by ComRes, as part of the research project, showed that British parents, in general, are not overly concerned about their children growing up to share their beliefs and values. In fact, only 31% of parents said they wanted their children “to hold the same beliefs about whether or not there is a God or Higher Power as me when they are older”. It is too easy to presume that such a response came only from those parents who are agnostic or indifferent about God. This was not the case. Instead the polling revealed that 28% of church-attending Christian parents did not mind whether their children shared their beliefs. The polling also showed that parents were anxious about passing on their faith, with concern expressed that their child would be alienated at school, or the fear that they would not have the right answers to questions that their children might raise. Above all, parents were concerned that technology and social media would have a greater impact on the beliefs of their children than they would. Despite


the evidence to the contrary, the polling indicated that many parents do not feel that they have the influence to successfully pass on their beliefs to their children. Nor do they have the confidence to do so. Out of the findings of the ‘Passing on Faith’ report, at least two actions emerge for the Church in response. Firstly, parents need to be reminded about the role and responsibility that they have in nurturing the faith of their children, and, secondly, the significant influence and authority that they have in doing so needs to be re-affirmed and supported. And, of course, the Church must continue to proclaim the abundance of God’s grace to redeem and restore even the

most broken of individual and family contexts, and in doing so, to continue to invite and welcome men, women, children and young people into the kingdom of God, from every tribe and tongue, and every family background and experience.

OLWYN MARK

VISITING LECTURER IN CHRISTIAN ETHICS, LST Olwyn is also the author of the 'Passing on Faith' report. the full report can be accessed at http://www.theosthinktank.co.uk/ publications/2016/10/31/passing-on-faith

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Theology What does

Counselling? have to do with

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WHEN I FIRST CAME TO LST IN 2013 TO BEGIN A DEGREE IN THEOLOGY AND COUNSELLING I HAD TWO MAIN GOALS: TO UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE MORE AND TO GET MORE EQUIPPED TO CARE FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE HURTING. At that time I understood these as two very separate things: I thought the first goal would be achieved by studying Theology and the second one by studying Counselling. Whilst the word ‘integration’ was used a lot in relation to the course (and I remember saying it a lot in my interview) I didn’t really have a clue what it meant. I had no idea that studying Counselling would have such an impact on my understanding of the Bible and my relationship with God, nor did I realise that studying Theology would play such a crucial role in shaping how I understand and relate to other people. Looking back now I realise that Theology wasn’t just something I studied alongside counselling training, it was, in itself, an invaluable part of that training and instrumental in my development both as a Christian and a professional counsellor. So why was studying Theology so important? Why did I spend three years reading the works of countless theologians when I could have just done a Masters in Counselling? And why would I recommend this course at LST to any Christian who wants to train as a counsellor? Well, to begin with, the Bible is the place where I find my motivation to counsel others and to stand alongside those who suffer. Whenever I come face to face with ‘the compassionate and gracious God’ (Exodus 34:6), the one who poured Himself out in love for a sinful world, I hear the resounding call to a life of compassion. It is in the person of Immanuel; the incarnated Son who entered into the brokenness and death of humanity; that I see what compassion- this ‘suffering with’- really looks like. Therefore, the more I engaged with God’s story, the deeper my burden became to embody this empathy and compassion in the counselling room, not just because it is essential for effective

counselling but because it is part of my call to imitate Christ, the ‘ultimate empathic presence.’1 However, studying Theology did much more than just inspire me to counsel, it also helped shape my understanding of humanity, thus influencing the way in which I approach all my clients. Kallmier argues that any counselling model must have an underlying anthropology, a particular understanding of what human beings are like, what they need and how they function.2 Whilst psychology provides a lot of useful insights into this topic, if we believe that humanity is created by God and in the image of God then we must first look to the Bible for answers to such questions. The Bible presents us with a relational God, one who by very nature exists in relationship among the persons of the Trinity.3 Therefore, as God’s imagebearers, humanity is also fundamentally relational and designed for connection. In fact, the whole Bible could be viewed as God’s call to relationship: an invitation to come get to know Him through Christ and experience true joy and life. Yet it also reveals that human beings are created for connection with one another, which we see when God looked at Adam and said ‘it is not good that the man should be alone’ (Gen 2:18). This fundamental need for relationship is likewise attested to by various scholars in the fields of psychology and social neuroscience. The structure and development of infants’ brains, their formation of speech and their sense of self and others are all profoundly impacted by their early childhood relationships. Likewise in adulthood, relationships play a crucial role in healing past hurts and can even re-structure one’s neural pathways to create new ways of thinking and relating to oneself and others. Therefore, it is unsurprising that hundreds of research studies have provided convincing evidence that the relationship between counsellor and client is the single most important factor in

1. Olthuis, James H., ‘With-ing: A Psychotherapy of Love’, Journal of Psychology & Theology, Vol 34 (2006) p71. 2. Kallmier, Ron, Caring and counselling: An introduction to the Waverly model of counselling, Farnham: CWR, 2011, p62. 3. Crabb, Larry, Understanding People, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1987, p, 111. LST INSIGHT - HOLY GROUND

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counselling. Or in other words, within counselling it is the relationship that heals. So, if every client is fundamentally relational and, within counselling, the relationship is the principal agent of change, then, in my mind, the single most important question a counsellor must ask themselves is ‘how should I relate to this client?’ There have been numerous counselling books written on this subject, many of which are immensely helpful and invaluable. However, none of these books can provide what the Bible can: the perfect model of how one should relate to another person, embodied in the person of Jesus. In Him we see the ultimate example of patience, kindness, humility, presence, empathy and compassion. Hence, it is by consistently encountering Jesus, engaging with His Word and living by the Spirit that the Christian counsellor develops a more Christ-like character and learns how to relate to others in ways which offer comfort and hope. However, whilst the Bible provided my motivation for counselling, informed my understanding of humanity and presented the ultimate model of relating well, could I not have simply read the Bible rather than formally studying Theology? Well, my time at LST has done much more than simply expanding my knowledge of what is written in the Bible, it has changed how I approach it altogether, it’s taught me how to ask various questions of each text, to consider my hermeneutical approach and to critically engage with a range of scholarship. Studying hermeneutics alongside counselling has not only helped me understand how my culture, background and worldview impacts how I interpret the Bible, it also made me realise how many factors influence the way I perceive my clients and consider which pre-conceptions and unconscious biases I bring into the counselling room.

One of the most important skills you learn at LST is how to think for yourself. Initially I thought I had this skill pretty well honed as I have a natural tendency to question what I am told, a readiness to argue my point of view and a love of playing devil’s advocate (which I’m sure my longsuffering lecturers can attest to)!! However, I soon realised that it’s easy to argue a point of view but it’s much more difficult and infinitely more useful, to learn how to critically examine your own ideas and the ideas of those you don’t agree with. I found myself being forced to examine exactly why I believed what I believed, to consider the fact that some of these beliefs may well be wrong, and to engage with various conflicting ideas in order to reach an informed and well-thought out opinion. This has not just changed how I read the Bible but it’s also shaped how I approach counselling literature and how I choose which theories underpin my practice. There are countless psychological theories and ideas about counselling, some of which align with Biblical teaching and are very useful for informing practice and some of which contradict the Bible and should be rejected. Therefore, in order to decide which ones are which, it is necessary to examine what the Bible teaches on the subject and then evaluate which theories, or which parts of each theory, are correct and which are erroneous. Therefore, studying theology in and of itself has been helpful for my counselling training; however, as mentioned before, integration is a fundamental part of the counselling course at LST. The REMA model of counselling, which has been designed and developed by the LST counselling faculty, is underpinned by both theological and psychological research and this integration is evident in the way this model is taught throughout the course. For instance, whenever a psychological idea or approach to counselling was discussed we would also consider whether

“It’s easy to argue a point of view but it’s much more difficult and infinitely more useful, to learn how to critically examine your own ideas and the ideas of those you don’t agree with.”

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“Looking back now I realise that Theology wasn’t just something I studied alongside counselling training, it was, in itself, an invaluable part of that training and instrumental in my development both as a Christian and a professional counsellor.” it aligned with Biblical teaching and explore any spiritual implications it may have. We also discussed what the Bible teaches about different emotional issues or mental health problems and considered various spiritual interventions which may be useful when used appropriately with certain clients. LST teaches a holistic approach to counselling, which considers clients not simply from a psychological perspective or a Spiritual perspective but instead appreciates that people are more complex and require a more integrated approach. We explored how different life experiences or psychological issues can impact people spiritually, physically and relationally as well as affecting their sense of agency and the meaning they derive from their experiences. I particularly enjoyed studying attachment theory and considering how this can help us make sense of our own relational styles and that of our clients. However, we went beyond simply applying this to human relationships to also examine how early childhood relationships can impact how we perceive and attach to God. This teaching on attachment theory gave me a lot of insight into my relationships with others, it helped me understand and relate better to my clients and has enabled my relationship with God to grow in intimacy and depth. However, training as a counsellor is hard. I found that the academic study of theology and counselling combined with the practical experience of counselling clients as well as engaging with my own personal therapy caused me to wrestle with some huge theological and spiritual questions. The more I sat with people who were hurting immensely, the more I wrestled with issues of theodicy and became increasingly troubled by the question of why God allows so much suffering. Likewise, the more I studied theology, the

more my cosy images of a nice, safe, predictable God were shattered and replaced by the dangerous, incomprehensible yet fiercely loving God of the Bible. LST provided the safe environment I needed to explore major spiritual issues, to learn how to sit with the unknown and to cope with asking unanswerable questions without my faith crumbling as a result. I believe that those who encounter suffering on a daily basis, such as counsellors do, will at some stage find that it impacts them spiritually. Therefore, I consider it invaluable that studying counselling at LST spurs you to consider these spiritual issues right from the start of your career and provides you with a caring and supportive environment in which to wrestle with questions and concerns as they arise. This was not only vital for my own faith but has also helped me learn how to sit with others who are also struggling with similar questions or doubts. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, studying at LST combined with the life-changing spiritual and pastoral input I received from staff and other students has helped me understand the hope of the gospel - this living hope embodied in Jesus and which now lives inside me by the Spirit. It is this hope which declares that God can do more than I can ever ask or imagine, he can heal any hurt, transform any life and redeem any situation. There is no darkness which cannot be eradicated by the light of Christ, no sorrow which cannot be replaced by joy. Hope is found in the living, eternal Son, therefore hope never dies. And if there is one thing which I know that I need every day and which I will always need in order to journey with others through the dark valleys of pain and despair, it is hope.

ASHLEY STEWART

THEOLOGY & COUNSELLING STUDENT, lST

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Dietrich Bonhoeffer is perhaps one of the most well-known Christians of the 20th Century. From the first moment that Adolf Hitler was elected as Chancellor of Germany in January of 1933, Bonhoeffer was firm in his opposition of Nazi ideology and challenged the Church to reject the persecution of the Jews. He was executed on the 9th April 1945 for the part that he played in trying to put an end to the Hitler’s leadership. Today, he is remembered for his incredible influence, not only within Christianity, but on political movements across the world. Not everyone will leave a legacy like Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s, but everyone will leave a legacy. By leaving LST a gift in your Will, you will be making a lasting impact on the worldwide church. LST is committed to equipping Christians to express the message and love of Jesus and we rely on the support of hundreds of friends who give financial support to our ministry each year. Legacy gifts, in particular, are vitally important in enabling us to further our work.

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A Few Practicalities‌ 1. Why make a Will?

3. Why leave a legacy to a charity?

A Will is a legal document that lets you decide what happens to your money, property and possessions after your death. It ensures that your family are cared for, and that your final requests are upheld.

So often, there are worthy causes that we wish we could make a donation to, however, there is too much month at the end of our money! By writing a Will, you can ensure that once you have provided for those closest to you, you are able to leave a gift to the causes that matter the most to you. Legacy gifts are extremely valuable to LST as they allow us to grow and extend our work.

2. When is the best time to make a Will and how do I go about it? People usually think about writing a Will when they arrive at a significant stage in life, such as marriage, the birth of a child, or a change in health. By writing your Will through a solicitor, you can ensure that you will be protected if anything goes wrong; the complicated bits are done for you; and your Will is stored safely!

Leaving a legacy to a charity could ensure that your estate will pay less Inheritance Tax (For further information on this, please speak to your solicitor when you write your Will.)

JAMIE BENNETT

SUPPORTER RELATIONS MANAGER

GLOSSARY Legacy: A gift in a Will. Estate: Everything owned by the deceased, including money and assets. Residuary Legacy: A percentage share of the estate (e.g. 10%) Pecuniary Legacy: A precise share of the estate (e.g. ÂŁ5,000) Specific Legacy: A specific gift such as property, or other assets such as jewellery. Codicil: A legal amendment to an existing Will.

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‘How are you using your Bible College Training?’ My reply ... ‘I use it in my life... every day.’ JUDY HOPKINS (1983-85) I attended LST from 83-85, and presently work as a nurse in a hospice – the same one where I worked for seven years before my husband’s early death aged 38yrs. I used my LST training to write an evangelistic book, ‘Lucy’s Rainbow’ about the certain hope I had throughout my experience of losing my husband and bringing up two children. The clear teaching I received at LST gave me confidence to write and speak with a depth of understanding and biblical background. Three years ago I felt prompted to return to hospice nursing. It is such a privilege to know I am ‘hosting the presence of God’ as I go to work. We now have a chaplain and vibrant prayer group and many have noticed a change in atmosphere. I work

late and night shifts when the chaplain is not on hand and on occasions lead families in prayer after a loved one has died. I have many opportunities to speak deeply with patients and staff and see my role there as a ministry. I believe that LST has enabled me to establish a prayer group at the local primary school and play an active role as a church member preaching, speaking and leading groups. I view my whole life as a ministry and have confidence to share my faith with anybody. I value my training at LST every day.

A gift of just 1% will make an incredible difference to the future of London School of Theology. To find our more information about the opportunity to leave a legacy to LST, or to receive your free legacy pack, please contact us: Jamie Bennett | Supporter Relations Manager | jamie.bennett@lst.ac.uk | 01923 456191 LST INSIGHT - HOLY GROUND

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HAVE YOU NOTICED HOW OF TEN MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES HAVE BEEN IN THE PUBLIC EYE RECENTLY? Very public and famous people offering testimony to their struggles with depression and anxiety, eating disorders and panic attacks. The younger Royals getting involved and suddenly it’s OK to talk about things that have caused some embarrassment in the past.

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We at REMA Counselling are really pleased that at last there is an open and more honest attitude to mental health. We firmly believe that if we are talking, then we can help each other.

Take for example the issue of anxiety... Anxiety is actually a normal human emotion and a reaction to stress. We need anxiety. On a good day it can be good for us. It is designed to alert us to the potential of overloading the system that is our human frame. Daily stress is a part of life but too much stress leads to worry and worry to anxiety. Anxiety is basically fear. It’s an awareness of worries around things that might happen in the future. Our minds are prone to playing with potential outcomes, the what ifs of life. Then our bodies soon kick in and we hold the anxiety in our bodies as well as our heads. We suddenly experience the worries and the pressures as nervousness, restlessness, fatigue, sleeplessness, shortness of breath and tension. Normally, after a while things sort out, we move on and we are back to normal. But sometimes we don’t move on. We can’t move on, we get stuck in a spiral of negative thinking. It seems unending and there is no way out.

Triggers. Your response to anxiety will depend on what stress you are already dealing with and what state of mind you are in. Take for example that extra bill that comes in when the car breaks down. If your finances are reasonably healthy your response will be quite different to the day it arrives, at the end of the month along with five other unpaid bills and an overloaded credit card.

Triggers to anxiety can also be about concerns can lie in poor health or sickness, tiredness, sadness, family concerns and pressures, concerns for the future of your employment or success in life, exams and other things that are about your metal, physical and spiritual survival , your relationships, or future prospects.

Behaviours. Living with someone with mental issues is not easy but how do you know that something is seriously wrong? What might you notice? The first thing that people tend to do is to withdraw from contact with people and isolate themselves. It becomes too hard to attend to more voices that the ones in their heads. Longer times asleep, more time on the computer or phone etc. They might appear to be more obsessive about their Facebook page, TV, social media etc. People often look for something external to soothe the internal pain so you might notice an increase in the consumption of alcohol, drugs or binge eating, pornography. Obsessive behaviours and compulsions can overload an already stressed system. A lack of sleep can lead to irritable behaviours so you might notice people become rude, angry or argumentative more quickly than usual. That can lead to fights and even violence. Combined with alcohol and financial worries this can soon spiral out of control. Panic attacks serve as a very large red flashing light -if we are alert to read the warning signs. They indicate that you are in overload and at the end of your own resources.

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Help is needed. In much the same way as depression indicates that help is needed and that you are is under too much pressure from issues past or present. Depression is a whole other subject and has a variety of sources physical mental or spiritual but also requires your serious attention.

What can you do? Anxiety is very much about the future. In our worries about the what might be we tend to loose touch with the present moment. Being healthy in the present helps us deal with those pressures. The tendency of course is to say that we have no time in the present to look after ourselves, there is too much to worry about. And therein lies the problem. Catch 22 syndrome. The first step in responding to anxiety is break the cycle and start to look after yourself. 1. Get enough sleep. Quality sleep is a great healer and finding a way to break the sleeplessness cycle is important. We usually can’t sleep because of the myriad of thoughts that fill our heads. Finding a way to sleep peacefully can be a challenge. Put the computer/ phone/TV away early. Stay clear of stimulants of any sort and get organised so that you can find a relaxing space if only a few minutes before sleeping. 2. Healthy diet. Eat well and check your diet is well balanced and not overloaded with carbs or sugars. 3. Some daily exercise will help if its only a walk around the block. 4. Some quality “me” time so that you feel important, A coffee with a friend or connection with someone who does you good. It is really important that you don’t cut yourself off from people. Community is important to good health. We are relational beings and our mental health needs feeding by good relationships. Talk to someone who will listen and be there for you.

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If none of this works then do see your doctor or seek advice from a dependable objective listening ear or/ and find a counsellor. We at REMA Counselling regularly see people who have not been able to find solutions at home and need someone to talk to. We offer a confidential service in a safe environment. We are trained to listen and most importantly we can be there solely for you. You can find the space you need, away from the noise of your life, to consider your life and start to work out some solutions. We will support you in this search. We count it a privilege to walk with you and to help you find yourself again and from there look with you at these issues past and present that were causing your anxiety. We won’t give you the answers because we can’t live your life for you but we can be a support and a special place especially for you. It might be that you will need to chat to your doctor for help at the same time. There is no shame in asking for help to sleep or a break from the bleakness of depression while we work things out together by talking. And hopefully you will soon be back in the swing of things and able to deal with life’s messiness without us. Whatever you decide you don’t need to be alone with your anxieties. It is OK to ask for help. Looking forward to meeting you.

Lyn POWELL

Theology and Counselling Level 5 leader & lecturer Interests include displacement, bereavement & trauma, relationship issues and issues of sexuality such as internet addictions, sexual development , embodiment and gender issues.


"Anxiety is very much about the future. In our worries about the what might be we tend to loose touch with the present moment. Being healthy in the present helps us deal with those pressures."

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UNDERGRADUATE COURSES:

THEOLOGY The BA in Theology at LST is designed for people called with a view to serving churches, missions, schools and society at large. The programme is academically rigorous and enables you to gain a deeper understanding of Scripture and its relevance to the world around you. It addresses our changing cultural and intellectual climate and how the Christian faith relates incisively, relevantly and practically to society. Here at LST you will also have the privilege of studying alongside and interacting with students and staff respectively from different backgrounds and denominations, which enriches the whole study experience. In addition, you will experience personal spiritual growth partly through the taught programmes and the extracurricular activities organised by the student body. LST now offers more choice to potential students wishing to study undergraduate theology and brings theological education within reach through greater accessibility. Most notably, LST’s BA Theology degree (also HE Cert and HE Dip) is offered both on campus and online. Whether you study on campus in London or remotely online, you will

take the same courses, meet the same outcomes, do the same assessments, benefit from quality teaching and tutoring provision and graduate with the same degree. All BA Theology students can combine any choice of delivery between on-campus and online modules. This means that you can study the same degree completely oncampus, completely online or in any blended combination of the two delivery modes. The latter is an exceptional form of blended delivery that allows you a huge variety of combinations, such as taking your first year on campus and the remaining online, or doing it the other way around, with an initial period of study online and then a seamless integration to on-campus study for the latter part of your degree.

“The fruit of academia should reflect the subject of study. LST is an academic theological institution. A rigorous one at that. However, having studied here, what I have learnt above all is how to love." Simeon Burnett, LST Student

Studying at LST has never been more flexible – we offer excellent online learning options as well as / or blended with the first choice on campus experience. Find out more at www.lst.ac.uk LST INSIGHT - HOLY GROUND

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UNDERGRADUATE COURSES:

THEOLOGY, MUSIC & WORSHIP AND THEOLOGY & WORSHIP The two integrated undergraduate honours degree programmes at LST are the only ones of their kind in Europe. The heartbeat of two unique programmes: Integrating theology, music and worship; pursuing excellence in music; training leaders of worship; encompassing breadth of musical styles; and exploring creativity and the arts. As well as a substantial core programme of theological studies they offer a wide range of music and worship modules. We consciously integrate these disciplines, allowing them to inform and debate with one another. We believe in pursuing excellence in music and that students should undertake to achieve the highest attainable level as appropriate to their starting point. We are committed to equipping confident, theologically aware and spiritually attuned worship designers, facilitators, music directors and leaders of music worship, to serve effectively in the

local church and elsewhere, and to train and release others in ministry. We encourage breadth in worship, promoting diverse forms of music and corporate worship that celebrate both our rich heritage and contemporary expression. We explore and encourage the contributions of other cultures and engage with varied expressions of Christian spirituality. We seek to champion informed dialogue in the wider area of the creative and performing arts, exploring the interface between arts and faith and encouraging creativity as an expression of holistic worship.

“I am really impressed with the thoroughness of this induction experience. It looks like LST is going to challenge me out of my comfort zone and I'm looking forward to better learning how to articulate and share my thoughts in community as I form my convictions.” Online LST student

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THEOLOGY & COUNSELLING LST is privileged to be the only institution in the United Kingdom offering a unique ‘Theology and Counselling’, course, a joint-honours degree programme combining studies in Theology and training in Counselling. The conviction behind our vision for the course is that Christian counselling needs to be solidly based on the Bible and theology - and vice versa - that our understanding of the Bible and of theology deepens as we become equipped, as interpreters, with the insights that counselling gives. It is for people interested in training for pastoral ministry or mission with a strong individual focus, and for people interested in becoming professional Christian counsellors with a well-laid foundation in the Bible and theology.

the standards of their full professional scrutiny – and to that we add theological studies with teachers of world renown, in an institution with a long track record of providing the church in the UK and around the world with its future leaders. What more could you want? Academically, the course is accredited by Middlesex University, so that on successful completion of the programme you will leave with a Middlesex University award.

The Theology and Counselling course is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), the main professional body for counselling in the UK. This is the only Christian Counselling course to meet

The Theology and Counselling course can be studied either full-time or part-time. Both the full-time and part-time versions of our course have been granted BACP Accreditation.

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POSTGRADUATE COURSES:

MA IN INTEGRATIVE THEOLOGY (MAiTh) The Master of Arts in Integrative Theology is truly a unique MA programme that seeks to foster a holistic approach to doing theology which rejuvenates both the study and practice of Christian theology for Church and world. We do so by aiming to form more holistic practitioners of theology by means of the integration of the commonly recognised sources of theological knowledge: the programme prioritises the Bible (Scripture), recognises the historical construction of Christian belief (Tradition), the importance of considered, critical thought (Reason), the role of experience (Experience) and the witness of the living community of faith (the Church) as it proclaims the Gospel and makes disciples. The programme also pursues the holistic doing of theology be means of the integration of the theological subdisciplines that are often studied as islands in themselves. We do so by seeking to bring into mutually enriching dialogue disciplines such as Biblical interpretation and theology, Systematic theology, Historical theology and Practical theology.

OPTIONS INCLUDE: • Social Justice • Christian Worship • • • •

The Holy Spirit in Luke-Acts and Paul Issues in Contemporary Christian Worship The Gospel of Mark Trinitarian Personhood

THIS PROGRAMME IS FOR YOU IF: • You are a theology graduate seeking an innovated and flexible Masters-level qualification in theology; • You are contemplating PhD level work in theology or a related discipline and you are seeking a great foundation for doctoral research. • You are involved in ministry and are looking for a path of lifelong learning that will enhance your service; • You have never formally studied theology but wish to integrate your professional and personal interests with theological understanding.

“My experience of the MAiTh program has been overwhelmingly positive. It has presented me with an excellent opportunity to study Theology from a distinctively Evangelical perspective, in a rigorous, scholarly, and innovative way. The flexibility of the course fits remarkably well with the demands of my professional work, Church, and family commitments, and has enriched and formed my spiritual journey considerably over the past two years.” Mike Roca-Terry, MAiTh Student

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MA IN THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION (MATE) Imagine knowledgeable and professional theological educators all over the world who can work both autonomously and within teams in a variety of contexts. Imagine theological educators who can adapt to change and generate new ideas while remaining faithful to the Biblical roots of their vocation… This distinctive set of programmes represents a unique opportunity for theological educators from all over the world to obtain much desired professional training in education. It is no secret that teachers in Bible colleges and seminaries all over the world are traditionally trained in theology but not necessarily in education. LST is working together with strategic international organisations involved in theological education to bridge this need and provide a series of highly flexible and internationally deliverable courses in the discipline of theological education. THIS PROGRAMME IS FOR YOU IF: • You are currently a theological educator teaching in a Bible college or seminary; • You are a theology graduate who is considering a vocation in theological education;

• You are involved in leadership or academic responsibilities in a theological college, but have not professionally trained for these roles; • You want to deepen you awareness of what is distinctive (and theological) about theological education are re-discover your calling. THREE DEGREES: MULTIPLE ENTRY AND EXIT POINTS FOR MAXIMUM FLEXIBILITY: • PGCertTE - Postgraduate Certificate in Theological Education (60 credits), part-time 1 year • PGDipTE - Postgraduate Diploma in Theological Education (120 credits), part-time 2 years • MA in Theological Education (180 credits), part-time 3-4 years

“The MATE programme in which I am studying has had great impact on my knowledge and application of theological principles and concepts. It has reformed and transformed my mindset as a theological educator and missionary.” MATE Student

Studying at LST has never been more flexible – we offer excellent online learning options as well as / or blended with the first choice on campus experience. Find out more at www.lst.ac.uk LST INSIGHT - HOLY GROUND

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POSTGRADUATE COURSES:

MA IN ASPECTS AND IMPLICATIONS OF BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION (MA-AIBI) “A distance learning masters you can start any time…” The MA in Aspects and Implications of Biblical Interpretation is offered entirely and exclusively by distance education, with a specific focus on a range of issues of exegesis and interpretation. Since 2001 LST has offered the MA in Aspects and Implications of Biblical Interpretation entirely by distance learning. Specifically designed with distance learning students in mind, the study material enables you to engage with a range of issues of exegesis and interpretation. Regularly evaluated and revised it remains an innovative and challenging qualification to help prepare you for your next step. The course is designed to help you upgrade the analytical and evaluative skills you acquired through your undergraduate studies. You will learn how to use these to relate Scripture to the contemporary world, as well as to your own spirituality, past experience and future ministry.

It is especially relevant for Christians in several different types of ministry and work: • Teachers and practitioners who want to update their knowledge and acquire skills of interpretation relevant to their roles. • Those engaged in, or preparing for, theological teaching in cross-cultural or multi-faith contexts. • Theological graduates thinking about undertaking a research degree and wanting to develop their understanding of hermeneutics and biblical interpretation to Master's level. • Internationals who trained outside the UK but who want to gain a cross-cultural benefit from the style of academic discipline in theology practised in the British university system at postgraduate level. The MA-AIBI is only delivered by distance education through printed materials, with plans to make its materials available through LSTOnline as well. You can begin at any time and you will study on your own in a self-paced manner with the assistance of a tutor.

Find out more about studying at LST at www.lst.ac.uk

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RESEARCH AT LST:

MASTER OF THEOLOGY (MTh)

Full-time: 1 year Part-time: 2 years Assessment: Thesis of up to 40,000 words and oral examination (viva).

At LST we believe in making research accessible and relevant. The MTh degree is aimed at those who have completed formal theological training and who wish to pursue a specific topic rather than commit to a taught programme. The full or part-time options offer flexibility and allow you to pursue further studies whilst you continue in work or ministry. The MTh is a first research degree, combining training in research and writing skills. Candidates for this degree follow a programme of study approved by the Director of Research and write their thesis on an approved topic in one of the major theological disciplines. The thesis must be an independent contribution to knowledge by the discovery of new facts or a distinct critical survey of knowledge. It must be well argued and be appropriately presented with clarity and conciseness of expression. It is possible to transfer to

either MPhil or PhD registration with the agreement of the supervisor(s) and the Director of Research. The MTh can provide a chance to reflect in more depth on experience you have had in your job or ministry; and for pastors to address their congregations with necessary expertise and critical judgement. An MTh provides an excellent apprenticeship in research and research writing for those who wish to progress to a PhD programme. It is also ideal preparation for a future in teaching, writing and pastoral work.

Find out more about studying at LST at www.lst.ac.uk

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MASTER OF PHILOSOPHY (MPhil)

Full-time: 2 years Part-time: 3 years Assessment: Thesis of up to 40,000 words and an oral examination (viva).

The MPhil degree is aimed at those who have completed formal theological training to Masters level and want to pursue their studies to a higher degree or beyond to PhD. The full or part-time options offer flexibility and allow you to pursue further studies whilst you continue in work or ministry. All we ask is that you attend LST for two weeks each year for supervision from your supervisors. For an MPhil you need to offer a careful and critical investigation and evaluation of an approved topic, and demonstrate an understanding of the research methods appropriate to your chosen field. Your thesis does not

necessarily need to be ‘original’; however, it must offer a distinctive independent contribution to knowledge, including the ability to critique new ideas and a sense of proportion in evaluating evidence and scholarly interpretations which is ultimately worthy of publication. While you would normally be expected to read the language of your primary sources for an MPhil, you would not be expected to engage with untranslated secondary literature.

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RESEARCH AT LST:

DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY (PhD)

Thesis of up to 80,000 words and an oral examination (viva).

Here at LST we believe research should be accessible, relevant and engaging. Undertaking doctoral research at London School of Theology provides you with the opportunity to be involved in research at the cutting edge of theological disciplines. We ask that you attend LST for two weeks a year for supervision and an opportunity to come and learn with the wider LST community. It helps that LST is so close to London and its rich library resources! LST offers research supervision for the PhD degree in collaboration with Middlesex University, which awards the degree. A PhD thesis must show the ability to test ideas and critically investigate your chosen area. You need to offer a substantial fresh discovery or analysis, to argue some new critical hypothesis, or to provide substantial new arguments for an older one. Ultimately your research must result in an independent and original contribution to knowledge in your chosen discipline, which, in principle, is worthy of publication. By the time your thesis is submitted,

you should be able to show that your competence in your chosen area is comparable with that of the experts. PhD candidates in biblical disciplines are expected to have the ability to interact with their primary sources in the original languages (e.g. Hebrew or Greek) as well as with secondary material in the main research languages (English, French and German). Other disciplines may require other languages which will vary considerably according to the area of study and some may require no foreign languages.

Find out more about studying at LST at www.lst.ac.uk

RECENTLY PUBLISHED PhD THESES Tim Carter, Forgiveness of Sins (James Clarke + Co. 2016) Martyn J Smith, Divine Violence and the Christus Victor Atonement Model: God's Reluctant Use of Violence for Soteriological Ends (Pickwick Publications 2016) Timothy Wiarda, Spirit and Word. Dual Testimony in Paul, John and Luke (Bloomsbury T+T Clark 2016) Nina Henrichs-Tarastrikova, Luke's Christology of Divine Identity (Bloomsbury T+T Clark 2015)

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Todd L Price, Structural Lexicology and the Greek New Testament (Gorqias Pr Lic 2015) Annette Glaw, The Holy Spirit and Christian Ethics in the Theology of Klaus Bockmuehl (Pickwick Publications 2014) Daniel LĂŠ, The Naked Christ (Pickwick Publications 2014)


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Build your

MINISTRY on the

STRONGEST O F

F O U N D A T I O N S

BIBLICAL THEOLOGY FROM THE LONDON SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY (LST) S T U D Y AT T H E L A R G E S T E VA N G E L I C A L I N T E R D E N O M I N AT I O N A L THEOLOGY COLLEGE IN EUROPE: ONLINE OR ON CAMPUS.

FIRST CHOICE FOR: Theology | Theology, Music & Worship | Theology & Counselling From a single module, certificate, diploma or BA, up to PhD. Find out more at www.lst.ac.uk “Studying at LST laid essential foundations for our ministry. It was God’s way of preparing us for the last 17 years of church leadership and fostering in us a lifelong love of His timeless Word. Thank God for LST!” Tim Roberts, Senior Minister at Wellspring Church, Watford London School of Theology Green Lane, Northwood, HA6 2UW tel: 01923 456000 | email: enquiries@lst.ac.uk ‘Like’ us on Facebook: facebook.com/LondonSchoolofTheology | Twitter: @LSTheology | www.lst.ac.uk

Lst insight issue7  

Essential theological reading from the London School of Theology (LST). Features include: - Is the Reformation still relevant today? - The...

Lst insight issue7  

Essential theological reading from the London School of Theology (LST). Features include: - Is the Reformation still relevant today? - The...

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