You see, all those years ago, when I began - I was just running. I called myself 'The Doctor' but it was just a name. And then, I went to Skaro - and I met you lot, and I understood who I was: The Doctor was not the Daleks!
I was in Gloucester last week, staying at the in-laws with my wife. Besides watching Doctor Who at the cinema (Into the Dalek review to be posted shortly!), and almost exploding from all the burgers and milkshake and waffle at Ed's Diner, we also had the chance to visit the Good News Centre in Newent. As far as I understand, my Father-in-Law is one of the trustees for the centre and oversees its management. Most times we visit, Jo's parents normally treat us to an afternoon there, usually with some tea and cake thrown in for good measure.
It really is a lovely place. It doubles as a coffee shop and a bookshop, with a great second-hand section upstairs. (We'll get to that in a moment.) I've been to many 'Christian bookshops' in my time and some of them can be a wee bit pants. You know what I mean: soft Xian rock playing in the background, posters bearing the laziest of theological puns usually designed to intersect with a cultural trend at least 2 years old, etc. Thankfully, the GNC is not really like that. Great food, some lovely art. Not cheesy, just.. peaceful.
As mentioned, upstairs is a great selection of second-hand texts, ranging from theological to pastoral to biographical pieces.
I really do love second-hand bookshops, don't you?. I know I'm not the only one; you might well be 'one of us', too.
There's something delicious about the smell, the feel - but most of all, that suspicion that today's the day. This is it. You're going to find - just beyond that next spine, just on the next shelf or across the other side - that book. The one you want. The one you need (using that word loosely). Absurdly cheap, too. Pristine edition of Calvin's sermons on Job for 50p for example, or, Barth's Church Dogmatics for £1.50, or, a complete Whitefield collection for a fiver. (No? Just me?)
It'll happen one day. You know it; I know it. We all know it. It's why we love second-hand bookshops if we're really , truly honest. It's like some sort of horrendously dull addiction. Gambling for the short sighted.
For Part  - Intro - see here.
For Part  - "Why?" - see here.
For Part  - "Sources" - see here.
For Part  - "Types" - see here.
For Part  - "How?" - see here.
This is just a little bit 'extra' to our Theology 101 series. I wanted to give us a kind of 'Church History Reading List'. Please note: I am in no way suggesting that this is a comprehensive or perfect guide. In fact, I'd really like it if you guys (on Facebook or in the comments below) could add to this, and help us make it better. These are just texts and figures that I've encountered on my journey, put into a particular arrangement. I'll be expanding the post as we go along to make it as helpful as possible.
The list below is presented in broad chronological order, starting from the texts of the 1st Century, into the early 2nd Century, and then beyond. It forms a Church history of sorts - as well as an informal theological 'syllabus'. I'd imagine one would benefit from reading a text belonging to each of these categories, in the order of their historical appearance ... but then I'm a pseudo-autistic completionist, and you really don't want to go down that rabbit hole.
"You can’t see me, can you?
Ordinarily I’d be happy to keep this sort of thing on Facebook, and to around 200 words. But I’ve got a blog now. I’m drunk with power; I might go punch a squid or something. And then blog about it. (And make you read.)
Let’s get one thing out the way: I liked it.
Deep Breath marks a complete gear shift for the series. After Tennant left in Jan 2010, the DW crew lost vast swathes of personnel, all the way up to the executive office. I remember watching Eleventh Hour and feeling that the look and feel of the show had changed. But this is different. This isn’t just about aesthetics; this is about substance. You can’t have missed it - the Mincin restaurant scene was shared by the two principal actors, and it lasted about 10 minutes.
That’s a lot of time in DW world. The eleventh doctor could have killed himself twice in that time.
This marks a big, substantive change. Granted, not one we haven’t seen before in the show’s history; a lot of the promotional material has compared Series 8 to classic DW. But certainly a change in the context of ‘New-Who’. Remember: under Russell T. Davies, the show found its groove as an action packed, Buffy-style, twist-and-turn family show, filled with pathos and angst for the central character. I’m sure these elements won’t be entirely missing (and we’re yet to see how this pans out for an ordinary 45 min episode) but the point deserves a mention.
We have come to the end of our ‘Theology 101’ series. What have we established?
In this final section, I want to say a few words to those of you interested in studying theology. Seeing as it may be a little daunting for beginners, there are a few fallible bits of advice I’d like to give you before you get going, if you'd let me.
Three young(ish) English theologians. Aaron; Owen, and Nathan.
We love theology.
We love the Church.
And we love Jesus.
"Together - through the ages of the world - we have fought the long defeat".
For more, click here and here.