Tag Archives: IF-4 study series

Illuminating Faith: Advent Studies on the Song of Songs

What has this surprising biblical book got to do with the idea of God’s coming-to (‘ad-vent-ing’) us? The central themes of longing and desire in the Song of Solomon which connect the book with Advent.

It has been said that the Psalms are God’s Word to us in our words to God – our own songs and poems and prayers given back to us as God’s revelation of Godself. In thinking about Songs we ask after something comparable: in what way might our words to each other – for that is what love poetry is – become God’s Word to us?

The studies are concerned with what it is we desire, and how that desire works in us – in, for and against others and God. The issue is not whether we do or should desire, or not. Longing and desire – the beautiful and possessing it – are at the heart of Solomon’s Songs and at the heart of all that we do and say, whether or not we are conscious of it. We cannot but desire; the question is simply one of pressing towards the ‘appropriate’ object of desire, longing, yearning. Advent is a season for the training of desire.

The studies are designed for small group use in a ‘read and discuss’ format. Though originally conceived as a series for Advent, they could be used at any time.

llluminating Faith studies are occasionally edited for corrections and other minor adjustments. The version date is incorporated into the file name of the download – check that you’ve got the most recent version!

Illuminating Faith: The Spirit in the Desert

‘The Spirit in the Desert’ is the title of a series of talks by Rowan Williams, available on YouTube. This IF study is an unofficial guide through those talks. The talks can be complemented by Willams’ book on the theme (‘Silence and Honey Cakes’), which is recommended supplementary reading.

The studies introduce the thought of the early Christian ‘desert fathers’, and invite modern believers to be more aware of their own calling to be Christians in the place they find themselves, with the people with whom they’ve been placed.

The series requires minimal preparation by group members – you can just turn up and listen to the audio – and would serve well as a Lenten study, or at any other time of the year.

llluminating Faith studies are occasionally edited for corrections and other minor adjustments. The version date is incorporated into the file name of the download – check that you’ve got the most recent version!

Other Lenten Study possibilities

Illuminating Faith: Is God among us or not?

Howard Wallace’s studies on the Exodus trace the interactions of Moses and the Israelites with their liberating God as they make their way through the desert to the Promised Land. These four studies are based on 4 central texts in the Exodus narrative, addressing themes of worship, mission and identity; promise and trust; leadership; and coming face to face with God

 

 

llluminating Faith studies are occasionally edited for corrections and other minor adjustments. The version date is incorporated into the file name of the download – check that you’ve got the most recent version!

 

Illuminating Faith: The Lord’s Prayer – Prayer for those who can no longer pray

Bruce Barber’s The Lord’s Prayer is an introduction to this Prayer – and to Christian prayer generally – as specifically Christian prayer. After framing the problem of prayer for the modern mind – believers and non-believers alike – Barber unpacks the Prayer line by line, drawing out its specifically Christian nuances. The study is supported by guiding questions and is suitable for personal or small group use; it could be comfortably be covered in a 4 to 6 week study series, although returning to the material again and again will be rewarding.

 

 

llluminating Faith studies are occasionally edited for corrections and other minor adjustments. The version date is incorporated into the file name of the download – check that you’ve got the most recent version!