Category Archives: What’s Happening

Third Quarter starts Wed 15 July … John 13-21

There will be updates here and on Facebook each week. Planning will be via The Wiki as usual:

… and week-to-week discussion in the email group. For week one, just have a scan through chapters 13-21, note your favourite and least favourite parts, and read one of the Introductions to John that is linked in the Wiki. We’ll decide on an outline for the next 10 weeks in Week 1. 

Contact Nigel for more info.



Hosea, Part 2: Crossing into the New Testament

Podcast for 17 Jun:


  • What is 6:6 doing to or saying about the Law of Moses? How is it used by Jesus in Matt 9:13 and 12:7?
    • Or it it mainly about unworthy sacrifice? (cf. comments on sacrifice in 8:11-14), or is it also about idolatry? (cf. 9:10, 11:1, 13:1-3), or is it about injustice (or corruption lack of mercy or steadfast love) trumping all religious deeds? (cf. 10:13, 12:7)
  • There is an interesting theme in later Hosea of prophets bringing destruction (6:5, 12:13-14)…
    • How did these prophets see themselves? Unlike Amos, was Hosea a ‘proper’ prophet?
    • Is this basically the same message as Amos (see prev. weeks), but from within the school of prophets?
  • What does it mean for Matt 2:15 to quote Hos 11:1, and apply it to Jesus?
  • Consider what Hosea 13:14 means in Hosea, and then how Paul uses this in 1 Cor 15:55? (Or for something really interesting, what does Isa 28:3 means in Isaiah, and then in the way Paul uses it in 1 Cor 15:54?)
    • Reading as Christians, 6:2 is immensely evocative; what do you think it meant to Hosea when writing or speaking it?

We pick messages not for agreement in every detail, but for their discussion value. See How home groups work at Imagine for more, and The next ten weeks… for a current outline.

Amos, Part 2: Religious people committed to social injustice

Podcast for Wed 20 May [+ 27 May]

  • God’s Lament Over Us (Sandy Willson, 59m, MP3) — speaking to “A room full of business guys.” This ranges over the whole book, but applies specifically well to 3-6. The last 20 mins here are absolutely brilliant.


  • It takes 10-15 mins to read Amos 3-6. What are the most striking lines? (How about 3:2, 3:7, 3:12, 3:15, 4:1, 5:18-20!, 5:24, 6:1, 6:4-5.)
  • What religious wrongs are condemned in Amos 3-6? (See esp. 4:4-5, where Bethel and Gilgal are prestigious centres of pilgrimage.) Does much of this apply to your experience of modern Australian Christianity?
  • What social wrongs are condemned in Amos 3-6? (See esp. 5:10-15, but throughout.) Does much of this applies to your experience of modern Australian society?
  • What do you think is the relation between judgement and disasters, both natural and man-made? — Is it different in ancient Israel to how we ought to think about it? (see 4:6-13, is Amos thinking about the covenant in Deut. 28-30?)

Remember that we pick messages not for agreement in every detail, but for their discussion value. See How home groups work at Imagine for more, and The next ten weeks… for a current outline.


Amos, Part 1: God’s judgment on nations in the Old Testament

Starting into Amos proper this week…

PODCAST for Wed 13 May: 

Israel and Judah split apart about 920 BCE, and Amos is speaking around 160 years later. He has come from from Judah to announce a message to Israel. People in Israel will say, he’s not one of us! Is he on the side of our enemies?

  • Can you imagine Amos 1-2 being preached to an audience in Israel? How would they be hearing the judgement on the six other nations, then Judah, … and then themselves. (See Amaziah the priest’s reaction to Amos in Ch.7. Might Paul have gotten the idea for the turn in Romans 1-2 from Amos 1-2?)
  • Did he present his message to the other nations, or do you think that was just for Israel’s benefit? Here’s a summary: 

The specific accusations in the first six sayings all have to do with crimes in war. Damascus has treated the people of Gilead with extreme cruelty, grinding them as grain is ground on a threshing floor. The Philistines and the people of Tyre have been involved in large-scale programs of deportation. Tyre has violated an international treaty, the “covenant of brotherhood.” The Edomites are accused of pitiless and ongoing cruelty against a “brother” people. The atrocity of the Ammonites is especially reprehensible: Innocent civilians, pregnant women, are killed by the sword, taking two lives at one blow. If the Ammonites exterminated life before birth, the Moabites are accused of extending their atrocities beyond death, in this case for white-washing walls (the same word is translated “plaster” in Deut. 27:2, 4). [Limberg, Interpretation: Hosea-Micah, p.89]

  • Is right worship expected from gentile nations in Amos 1-2? Is right behavior expected? Are only notorious outrages being condemned? 
  • How does the relationship between Israel/Judah and gentile nations then compares to the relationship between Christians and non-Christians today? — or between supposedly Christian nations, and others?
  • Some highly audible American Christians expect God to judge America and America’s enemies. Does Amos support that idea? Does the New Testament? … How would you tell conclusively one way or the other?

Remember that we pick messages not for agreement in every detail, but for their discussion value. See How home groups work at Imagine and The next ten weeks… for a current outline.

“Everybody wants justice. Nobody wants to be judged?”

PODCAST for Wed 6 May
Sandy Wilson: God’s Lawsuit Against Us (US 2008; 8.6M @52 mins, MP3)
Remember that we pick messages not for agreement in every detail, but for their discussion value. See How home groups work at Imagine.
This one is about the end of Joel, not the start of Amos, but makes a perfect introduction to the subject of judgement. See The next ten weeks… for an outline.
  1. “Everybody wants justice; nobody wants to be judged?” — Discuss. Does your understanding of God’s judgement line up with your understanding of justice in general?
  2. Do you feel comfortable or uncomfortable with the idea of God’s judgement of both Israel and other nations, or both on Christians and non-Christians? Are there parts that seem OK and others that don’t? If you try to write out a list, what falls into each category? Bring it along.