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From time-to-time, unsurprisingly, people ask us about the name 'Ekklesia'. We have an FAQ on that, which you can find here (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/about/faqs/10), but it is something that we should probably talk about more.
There are few passages in the Bible that I feel more strongly about than the parable of the talents. This is partly because of the worrying ideas that are justified by the way it is usually interpreted. I am convinced we have been reading the parable “upside down”.
When I became a Christian, I read daily (or almost daily) Bible reading notes, each exploring a particular Bible passage. They were helpful, at least in terms of assisting me to be disciplined about reading the Bible. They were less helpful in that they frequently jumped around the Bible and often implied that there was only one interpretation of a particular passage (to be fair, some did this more than others). They tended to assume that the reader had a rather straightforward view of biblical authority and they almost never drew any explicit social or political meaning out of the passage in question.
Ask anyone reporting or commenting on the 2013 General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and they will tell you that proceedings this year are being dominated by two 'issues': the reception, or otherwise, of same-sex persons in the life and ministry of the Kirk; and later this week 'The inheritance of Abraham: A report on the promised land' (which has provoked a substantial preemptive assault by the pro-Israeli government lobby, on account of its advocacy of justice for Palestinians and Jews alike).
In a previous blog (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/17832), I noted the significant coincidence of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States with the second inauguration of President Barack Obama ('Obama, MLK and the dream of a better world').
Update: Bristol University Christian Union performs U-turn on female speakers http://tinyurl.com/cojwb8j