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Third year student Matt Davis has created an app which helps Hebrew learners to parse their verbs.
Biblical languages are important. I knew that even before I started at Oak Hill, while I was still working for a software company. So, in my first term here, I resolved to study both Greek and Hebrew for at least two years.
Unfortunately, I'm not much of a linguist, and I've needed as much help as I can get. To make matters worse, while revising for my first set of June exams Apple released a new programming language called Swift. Being distractible at the best of times, the temptation was too great. I started to tinker around with it.
Eventually, the thought struck me: there are plenty of biblical Greek apps. What if I developed something to help me learn Hebrew? Slowly, this distraction turned into a challenge: can I make something that will actually be useful to others learning Hebrew verbs? Reciting textbook paradigms is one thing, but recognising different verbs is quite a different matter, especially when consonants start to disappear.
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Mike Ovey looks at the evangelical debate over the contextualisation of the gospel in our culture.
Issues surrounding contextualisation have rumbled on amongst conservative evangelicals for the last 18 months. How should it affect preaching and presenting the gospel? My theological college co-survivor William Taylor recently took to the airwaves on the St Helen's Preaching Matters website on just this subject. This has generated yet more rumbling so perhaps we should tease out more closely what is at stake.
William's point is that the gospel of salvation through Christ from the wrath of God is relevant to every culture; Christ's gospel does not need to be 'made relevant' so we need clear communication rather than contextualisation of the gospel. Faced with the reality of death, people can understand 'at the drop of a hat' that we suffer from living in a fallen world under God's wrath. As such, William suggested we should be beavers with the text but magpies with the world, picking up glittering prizes here and there. As support, the video cites David Helm's book Expositional Preaching (published 2014 by Crossway in the 9Marks series) as well as Broughton Knox in his The Everlasting God (my edition is Matthias Media 2009).
Several things have haunted us in this debate which hinder us from thinking clearly and biblically. To begin with, there is terminology. We use the word 'contextualise', but frequently without really defining what we mean. Yet when we are told that we should communicate clearly rather than contextualise, in other words to do one thing rather than another, we need to have a clear idea about what it is we're supposed not to be doing. It is therefore very unfortunate that the video does not define what contextualisation is so that one could tell when one is 'communicating' (which is ok) rather than 'contextualising' (which apparently is not). It is also unfortunate because there is indeed something important lying behind William's posting and this piece aims to clarify where concern about 'contextualisation' is well-taken.
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Parse It app
'Contextualisation' in context
The gospel according to Bowie
Their Rock is Not Like Our Rock
Revisiting Faithful Presence
 
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Efrem Buckle talks about his ministry
Efrem Buckle, Pastor at Calvary Chapel in Lewisham, talks about his theological training at Oak Hill.
 
 
Open monring at Oak Hill
Thinking about theological training? Come to an Open Morning: meet staff and students, sample some lectures and look round the campus.
 
 
Phil Chadder talks about his ministry
Phil Chadder, Chaplain at HM Prison, Brixton, talks about his ministry and theological training.
 
 
Tony Ford
Tony Ford is chaplain to Oldham Rugby League Football Club, with many opportunities to do pastoral work and share the gospel.
 
 
Daf Meirion-Jones
Daf Meirion-Jones and Martyn Ayers work in a parish with council housing, university halls and three mosques.