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Episode #52: The future we build

In the final instalment of this epic journey through the Old Testament we are brought right down to earth and the story of one man against the odds. Nehemiah is an inspiring tale of dogged perseverance, but his life is caught up in dreams far beyond his own. What do we get left with once the story is over? And how do we make sense of its message in our world?


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Episode #51: Paranoid religion

With Ezra we finally return to the storyline and relive, in explicit priestly detail, the Return from Exile in Babylon and the rebuilding of Jerusalem. But the values of Israelite faith are under threat. How will their leaders respond? And how will we take stock of our stories?


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Episode #50: Ink on our fingers

Esther is a story for those who seize the moment. And it carries hope for those Jews far from Jerusalem. So is this a different kind of Jewish faith? And what about the bit they never told you in Sunday School?


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Episode #49: The holy grail

How do we build a society when different cultures clash? This is the question that simmers in the background to Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi. With different agendas vying for power, how will the People of Israel fare after Exile. And how will we, in our world of great differences and deep opportunities?


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Episode #48: Keeping faith

The second half of the book of Daniel exposes a world in a space and time far from the Babylonian governor. This apocalyptic cauldron cooks up an account of Israel's experience that gives meaning to her darkest days. So what insight does Daniel bring to our world of beast-like superpowers? And what new ideas will be birthed as we hammer out the future of our faith?


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Episode #47: Opportunity in exile

Daniel is not just the story of four brave young men. It is a whole new moment in the story so far. Now in the shadow of a foreign empire, how should the people of Yahweh live? In this brave new world, with strange gods and alien customs can Israel survive? Most unlikely of all, could faith in Yahweh thrive?


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Episode #46: New vision

Ezekiel is one of the strangest works of the Old Testament. To understand it we have to enter into a different world. Here we journey with the Israelite exiles as they face the departure of Yahweh and marvel at their courage as they find new vision for the future. But the undercurrents matter. Because the vision will shape the future, for good or ill.


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Episode #45: Poetic imagination

The psalms possess a power unknown to prose. As they paint pictures with a pulse they expand the Israelites' minds and hearts. But they also reshape theology in deeply creative ways. What do these psalms teach us about imaginative faith? And how can we live them in our modern world?


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Episode #44: One nation under threat

Joel gives voice to a nation under attack. As an army tears up the ground like a swarm of locusts, his call for repentance and war is clear. In the wake of 9/11 has our response to attack been constructive? And have we found ourselves ensnared by the same ideological dreams or can we find a path to freedom?


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Episode #43: You are not alone

The book of Lamentations relives the pain of Israel's darkest hour. It expresses the deep pathos of shame and the insecurity of a broken covenant. So what of our laments? Should we emulate this ancient sorrow, or keep our distance? What can we learn from this crushing covenant cry?