Audio by Revd Dr Richard Turnbull

Work, Wealth and Responsibility

Series: First and Last Things

Why do we ‘work’? What does the Bible teach us about how our work fits into the wider picture of God’s purposes for humanity? Does it matter what work we do? We will explore these questions, as well as current issues of pay, wealth, taxation and our responsibilities to others.

Patience under injustice

Series: Our living hope

How does our Christian hope guide us while we suffer injustice? There are tensions between patiently bearing wrong, submitting to authority and the godly desire to stand up for what is right. Christians have been at the forefront of abolishing slavery, yet this was done by legal means. And in English history we can think of non-conformists barred from certain occupations, or miners who became Christians and had to suffer unjust working conditions. In this lecture Richard Turnbull will consider how Christians should live under injustice.

John Wycliffe and early English Protestantism

Series: The English Reformation

Protestantism in England began centuries before Henry VIII. John Wycliffe was an early challenger of the authority of the Papacy with his devastating critique. His belief that the Bible should be available in English was seen as radical and dangerous.

The reforming strategy of Thomas Cranmer

Series: The English Reformation

Cranmer is a giant. He survived 15 erratic years under Henry VIII despite the King’s vacillations. Cranmer, though, was also a strategist and his opportunity came with the accession of Edward VI in 1547. He moved quickly to reform the worship of the Church of England with increasing Protestant emphasis.

Among God’s giants

Series: Independency and freedom

We will explore the Puritan vision of the Christian life and their quest for godly and holy living. The Puritans understood that our life on earth is a preparation for the glories of heaven. They often faced persecution yet remained focussed on the celestial city. Their spirituality could not be separated from their theology. We will consider their approach to the Sabbath, worship, marriage and family. Thomas Goodwin (pictured above), Richard Sibbes, John Owen and Richard Baxter will be among those that help us.

Oppression and toleration

Series: Independency and freedom

What happened that led to the collapse of the Commonwealth period as quickly as its arrival? This lecture will look at the end of the Commonwealth and the cry for the restoration of monarchy. We will look at the unremitting oppression presided over by Charles II (pictured above) and the emergence of a new round of independency in the ‘Great Ejection’. Great oppression, and yet, within 30 years, a formal Act of Toleration. Why did this happen and what are the lessons for today?

Biblical teaching on leadership in times of crisis

Series: Christian leadership in times of crisis

The teaching of Scripture is the proper starting point for any discussion of Christian leadership under crisis. Nehemiah is despatched back to the ruins of Jerusalem, with a final group of the exiles, with the city and the nation of Israel in crisis. Threatened by those around them, the rebuilding project ground to a halt. How did Nehemiah provide leadership to the disheartened exiles? What lessons can we learn for today?

Leadership under crisis in Christian history

Series: Christian leadership in times of crisis

What did the Reformers teach about the appropriate response to plague and pandemic? Martin Luther wrote a treatise on the matter which we will consider. Thomas Cranmer fled from Cambridge in the face of a plague! In the nineteenth century there were several visitations of cholera in which thousands of people died. Bonhoeffer demonstrated true spiritual leadership from his prison cell.

A failure of spiritual leadership

Series: Christian leadership in times of crisis

Many have reported increased spiritual interest in the person of Jesus Christ during this pandemic. This has often been true in these times of crisis. Individual church ministers have often been heroic. However, the response of the church as an institution has been nothing short of scandalous. Why this failure of spiritual leadership? What led to the suspension of public worship for the first time since Magna Carta? There are, of course, broader questions including the trade-off between health and economics, the proper role of the state and the place of liberty, including religious liberty. We will reflect on all these matters. Recorded 20 October 2020