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.

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It is with great joy that I would like to share with you the launch of Re-Forma www.re-forma.global.

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

Westminster Commentaries: Pastoral Epistles by Ernest Brown

Ernest Faulkner Brown [1854-1933], The Pastoral Epistles with Introduction and Notes. Westminister Commentaries

This is an exegetical commentary on the Pastoral Epistles of 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus from the Westminster Commentaries series. Ernest Faulkner Brown [1859-1933] was a leader of the Oxford Mission to Calcutta and a Canon of St. Paul’s Cathedral in that city.

My thanks to Book Aid for making a copy of this public domain title available for digitisation.

Ernest Faulkner Brown [1854-1933], The Pastoral Epistles with Introduction and Notes. Westminister Commentaries. London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1917. Hbk. pp.121. [Click to visit the download page for this title]

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
    1. Timothy and Lystra
    2. Timothy as companion of S. Paul
    3. Titus as companion of S. Paul
    4. Authorship of the Letters
    5. Titus and Crete
    6. The Second Epistle of Timothy
  • Text and Commentary
    • The First Epistle of Timothy
    • The Second Epistle of Timothy
    • The Epistle of Titus
  • Index

Intrroduction

I. Timothy and Lystra.

‘The very brilliant colony of Lystra’ as it delighted to call itself1 was a place of some importance in the middle of the first century. Though merely a small rustic town in the Lycaonian territory of southern Asia Minor, it had been raised some fifty years before to the dignity of a Roman ‘ colony’ by the Emperor Augustus, i.e. it had received a garrison of Roman veterans, with the view of holding in check the wild tribes of the !saurian mountains in its neighbourhood. These Romans would be few in number and would keep very much to themselves ; though they were found in several of the towns which S. Paul visited, Philippi is the only one where they have left any trace on the narrative ; and there they did so owing to peculiar circumstances. The commerce and civic life of such a town would be carried on mainly by the educated Jews and Greeks; by the latter term is meant not only Greeks by race, but also those indigenous inhabitants who had imbued themselves with Greek culture and manners~. The most numerous class of the population would be the Lycaonians, rough and uncultured, from the country round. In these conditions we have an almost exact parallel to many of the country towns in India, more especially those in the hill districts. A small body of Europeans holding themselves aloof may answer to the Roman colonists. The educated Musulmans and Hindus represent the Jews and Greeks by whom the business of the city is carried on. The crowd of aboriginal inhabitants, mostly poor and uneducated, form the main part of the population’. Between the last three classes no very sharp line of demarcation exists. The aboriginals may at any time pse to the level of the educated. The Mahomedans and Hindus mix together freely in the ordinary affairs of life. They draw the line however at intermarriage, whereas between the Jews and Greeks of such a city as Lystra marriage might occasionally take place, as in the case of Timothy’s parents, though owing to the difference of religion and the abhorrence of the stricter Jews for idolatry it could not have been common.

Sir William Ramsay has proved, to the satisfaction of nearly all critics, that Lystra in common with Derbe, Antioch and Iconium belonged to the Roman 1 province of Galatia, and ‘Galatians’ was the name by which their inhabitants would prefer to be called….

Pages xi-xii.