BETH Conference 2019 Day One: Wycliffe Hall Library, Oxford

Wycliffe Hall Sign

Day One of the BETH (Bibliothèques Européennes de Théologie) Conference in Oxford concluded with a tour of the Wycliffe Hall Library, which is hosting the event.

Wycliffe Hall is a permanent private hall of the University of Oxford which has about 150 students each year. Its library contains around 30,000 books suitable for students up to graduate level and is one of the largest theological libraries in the University.

Wycliffe Hall Library
Wycliffe Hall Library
One of the main reading rooms
One of the main reading rooms
Theological Journals
Theological Journals
Theological Journals
Theological Journals

The library now subscribes to only 5 print journals (the rest being electronic subscriptions), but its legacy collection of older print journals is impressive.

News about the Launch of Re-forma Global

News about the Launch of Re-forma Global 1

Dr Reuben Van Rensburg has been in touch and has asked me to share some important news regarding the training of Christian ministers in the Majority World. As I have previously discussed this issue on this blog I am happy to do so.


It is with great joy that I would like to share with you the launch of Re-Forma

Background/Reality Check

Studies show that over 90% of all pastors do not have a formal theological education. According to statistics, that equates to well over 2 million Protestant pastors worldwide. In addition, every year thousands of new Protestant churches are established, very often without a trained pastor or preacher. The biggest crisis facing the evangelical, global church today is the fact that most pastors, missionaries, and Christian leaders have no formal theological training. Re-Forma has set as its goal to fundamentally remedy this situation.

Foundational Statement

Re-Forma is responding to the crisis of insufficiently trained church leadership. Founded on outcome- and impact-based assessment, Re-Forma provides recognised benchmarks for informal and nonformal biblically-based ministry through 2 distinctive programs:

  • Guidelines for evaluating the over 40000 training programmes for ministry competency; and
  • Guidelines for start-up organisations wanting to train many thousands of church leaders annually, to narrow the gap.

The world desperately needs Christian leaders who know the Scripture and can effectively serve the church. For these servants, Re-Forma awards a Certificate of global recognition, underwritten by the World Evangelical Alliance.

Important: Re-Forma does not tell ministry organisations what to do or how to do it, but rather provides resources to assist them in achieving the goals they have formulated. It does not focus its work on traditional, formal theological education, but rather on non-formal/informal leadership formation needs which exist at all levels, from grass-roots upwards. The outcomes we prescribe are extremely simple and can be demonstrated by students at any level, including those who only have a primary school education.

We believe that many organisations who are training pastors and Christian leaders non-formally or informally, will want to take this opportunity to use the FREE outcomes we provide to help their students earn a Certificate underwritten by the World Evangelical Alliance. This is the first time we have an internationally recognised standard for non-formal training.

The attachment [linked below] provides more detail. The outcomes will also be available in Spanish and French in due course.

We would appeal to you to forward this information to the contacts you have, who may be interested in adopting these outcomes and to publicise them whenever the opportunity arises.

You can download further information about Re-forma here

Commentary on First Corinthians by Frederic Godet

Frédéric Louis Godet [1812-1900], Commentary on St. Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians, 2 Vols.

A two-volume commentary on Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians by Swiss theologian Frédéric Louis Godet [1812-1900]. My thanks to Book Aid for making these public domain books available for digitisation.

Frédéric Louis Godet [1812-1900], Commentary on St. Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians, 2 Vols. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1889. Hbk. pp.428+493. [Click to visit the First Corinthians page for the download link for these titles and other resources on this letter]

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Introduction
    1. The Founding of the Church of Corinth
    2. The External Circumstances in which the Epistle was composed
    3. The Events which took place at Corinth in the Interval between the Founding of the Church and the Composition of the Epistle
    4. Plan of the Epistle
  • Commentary
  • Conclusion


In publishing this new Commentary, I do not feel altogether free from anxiety. The welcome given to its elder brothers encourages me, it is true; but the apostolic book explained in these pages is so practical in its nature, and consequently touches on so many existing religious phenomena, that it is difficult to avoid drawing certain parallels which may injure the objectivity of the work. Then the commentator’s responsibility increases the more the results which he obtains are fitted to exercise a direct influence on the solution of questions which are now occupying the Church. And so I am specially constrained to ask God to avert every hurtful consequence that might flow from errors I may have committed in interpreting this important book, and to say to my readers, like the apostle himself, but in a sense slightly different from his: “Judge yourselves what I say.”

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