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Ep 10: On how to read the Bible, LOTR and, well, all the books really

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Happy Valentine’s Day, listeners!

“Give your loved one a book this Valentine’s Day,” suggests Michael Jensen in this episode dedicated to the love of books: The Good Book, other books and a book on good reading.

Notes from Episode 9:

For arguments sake: where we take a debate, cut out the party politics and try to talk it out

How should we read the Bible today?  Megan and Michael ponder how the Bible is different to any other book. What in the world does a “plain reading of the text” mean when we’re talking about the Bible? What part does church play in how we read it? Can you be a better Bible reader than someone else? And what about the Holy Spirit’s role in showing us the truth? (Pssst … heads up … they also touch on the role of women in the church and the varying biblical interpretations. Deep breath.)

Mentioned in this segment:

Graeme Goldsworthy’s Gospel and Kingdom

The Suffering Servant, Isaiah 53

Qanda: you ask us questions, and we answer without the spin.  

Megan and Michael try and answer a listener question from Rachel: “Should children be allowed to read fiction that is non-Christian in some way, specifically thinking about things like ‘Harry Potter’? And if not, why is it different to other fantasies like ‘Narnia Chronicles’ or ‘The Lord of the Ring’ trilogy?

Both agree that stories of all kinds can be enriching and helpful to our understanding of the gospel. The duo also outline how they attempted to direct their own respective children towards some stories over others.

And, sigh of relief, they both declare Harry Potter as having some pretty big implicit Christian themes. Tune in to find out more, particularly about the Sorting Hat and to hear their discussion on  whether Harry Potter is a celebration of witchcraft and the occult (and whether that should be problematic for Christians).

Mentioned in this segment:

·       C.S. Lewis, Narnia

·       Tolkien, Lord of the Rings

·       J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter series

·       Phillip Pullmann, His Dark Materials series

Marg and Dave: Reviews from two people obsessed by stories. But not always the same ones

This episode, Megan and Michael review Karen Swallow Prior’s On Reading Well: Finding a good life through great books and discuss the politicisation of books, what that means for how we read and why it matters for how we talk to each other.

Mentioned in this segment:

·       Karen Swallow Prior, On reading well

·       Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics

·       Background on Prior

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Find out more about the hosts of With All Due Respect:

Rev Dr Michael Jensen, rector at St Mark’s Anglican Darling Point, author, public commentator.

Rev Megan Powell du Toit, ordained Baptist minister, Publishing Manager of the Australian College of Theology, editor of the journal Colloquium.

We got the idea of our two-header theology and culture podcast from this show: The Movie Show/At the Movies.

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