I am not a great fan of films; however I have watched some very good ones (and avoided a lot of poorer ones!). Recently the Ladies’ Bible study group followed a course, which involved a DVD – The Theory of Everything. The book which accompanied the course is called The Mystery of Everything. It is described as a Lent course, but we followed it in the autumn instead of the spring. The author is Hilary Brand.
The film describes the life and work of the well-known theoretical physicist, Stephen Hawking, who suffers from motor-neurone disease and speaks using a computer. The Theory of Everything is based on a book written by Jane Hawking, which I have yet to read. (Background reading is not essential for the course, but I am a bookworm and the whole subject has caught my imagination.)
Since beginning the course I have read two of Stephen Hawking’s books – A Brief History of Time and The Universe in a Nutshell. I am impressed by the clarity of Hawking’s language in trying to express the mathematical ideas of leading edge theoretical physics to non-scientists. The second book is full of explanatory diagrams and not a little humour. While I have been reading these books, other people caused a website to crash by all trying to access his PhD thesis simultaneously. It had just been published on-line.
The Lent course consists of material for 5 sessions. An initial session is needed to watch the film. There is scope for discussion of the differences between science and religion, of morals, of the question of suffering. There are also Bible passages to read as a Christian discipline – although they would be suitable for non-believers wishing to learn more about Christianity. Each session ends with a set ‘meditation’ with Bible readings and prayer. Is it possible to know the mind of God or to develop a scientific theory which explains everything? This is a question, which the course allows people to debate, preferably in a fairly small group. Of course it is possible to study it alone, but other people have ideas, which are worth hearing.
I am looking forward to reading Jane Hawking’s book in order to learn more about the real-life background to the film.
Regular readers of this blog will know that I find it difficult to resist a challenge. Another Blogging from A to Z in April participant issued one on Twitter and his blog.
I intend to continue with my posts about books and any craft projects I find time to complete.
The challenge is to Tweet daily about the Psalms beginning with Psalm 1 on Sunday 27 August 2017.
As I attempt to read from the Psalms every day as part of my quiet time, I have agreed to take part in the #psalmtweets project. I have been reading through the psalms in order for the last six years or so. Although I have no qualifications in Theology or Bible study, I have used various study guides over the years. I also believe that the words of the Bible may speak to anyone reading them through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
In the past I have sometimes lingered over the same Psalm for several days, particularly Psalm 119, which has a section for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. This project does not allow for that; it is a psalm a day (not to be confused with a psalmody!)
There may be supplementary posts on this blog as the project progresses. I am not committing myself to any regular blogging. What appears here may be as much a surprise to me as it is to you.
Thank you for reading. If you wish to read all the Tweets from the handful of Twitter people, who have given advance notice that they are responding to this challenge, use the #psalmtweets hashtag to search Twitter.
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The first question recorded in the Bible was asked by the serpent in Chapter 3 of Genesis. Other questions follow.
In Psalm 8 God is asked the question, “What is man that you are mindful of him?”
It is hardly surprising that there are questions in the Bible. We ask questions in order to learn.
Jesus asked and answered questions. In my A to Z Challenge of 2015 I wrote about the names of God. I couldn’t find a name beginning with Q. Instead I suggested that Jesus (believed by Christians to be the Son of God and the second person of the Trinity of God the Father, God the son and God the Holy Spirit, three persons and one God) was the Question-setter.
An example of Jesus’ use of questions may be found in Chapter 15 of Matthew’s Gospel. There are plenty of other examples elsewhere in the Gospels. Jesus asked Bartimaeus a question. My M post is also about questions.
This year for the A to Z Challenge I have taken my 2013 Challenge as a starting point for most of the posts. I have written a post based around something or usually someone from the Bible. Sometimes it is a fictional story, for example when I have added some back stories (as a writing exercise). Sometimes it is a summary.
I hope my readers will be challenged to consider the original texts in more depth. (If only to discover what liberties I have taken with them!)
My Q post for 2013