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Four Radical Voices By Dr Ken Baker
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During the 18th Century, or rather overlapping it somewhat, four radical voices spoke out in Bandon, County Cork, creating a strong impression that has continued to this day. Though each voice came... More > from a (broadly) Christian context, they were sternly critical of the established Church, totally committed to social activism, and energetically engaged in bringing about change. In different ways they each paid dearly for their faith-stance. In this little book we examine the contribution of John WESLEY, William HAZLITT, Dean SWIFT and George FOX.< Less
The Lusitania Conspiracy? By Dr Ken Baker
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For one brief shining moment, the Lusitania, a British-built ocean liner, was the largest, fastest and most luxurious ship in the world. When she was torpedoed by a German submarine in May 1915, she... More > sunk in just under fifteen minutes, taking over 1200 passengers and crew to their death. The New York Times reported a “grave crisis… at hand” which was the question of Washington’s response to this outrage. Would the American government retaliate against this “monstrous act of aggression” by joining Britain and her allies against the Kaiser’s Germany? And here we come, immediately, to the first whiff of historical discussion which may, (or may not), validate the use of the word “Conspiracy.” Was there more going on here than meets the eye? If the writer for the New York Times could identify such a consequence with such rapidity, might not others do so too? In fact, if America’s joining the war was such an obvious consequence, could the calamity itself have been engineered to produce it?< Less
Churchill: Worst Lord of the Admiralty? By Dr Ken Baker
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This is a short monograph which discusses Churchill's role as First Lord of the Admiralty from 1911-1915. The title "Worst Lord of Admiralty?" suggests some of the various assessments that... More > historians have made of his role, which culminated in the disaster of the Dardanelles Campaign in 1915.< Less
The Quakers and the Famine in West Cork By Dr Ken Baker
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In this lecture, we will consider the work of the Quakers in relation to the Potato Famine during the years 1845-1848 with particular reference to County Cork. There are a few preliminary notes to... More > make. First, just who were the Quakers? In answer to this question, we’ll investigate their origin and development in Bandon (as an important West Cork market town) during the last years of the seventeenth century and into the next century. Second, we must sketch a picture of what this area of Ireland “looked like” during the years just before the Famine and attempt answers to the question: “Why was the Famine of 1846 so catastrophic?” The historical and geographical context has been described as “An explosion ready to happen.” So we ask, briefly: why was this the case? Third: a mention must be made of the social positioning of the Quakers around 1845. The intriguing question must be asked: “How did this [relatively small] group create such an impact?”< Less
FAITH WALKING By Dr Ken Baker
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This book started life as a series of talks on Hebrews 11 on the nature and practice of faith. It was a time of change in our local church: a change in leadership, a change in building and -even more... More > significantly-a shift in what may be called an “ideology of purpose.” By this phrase, I refer to a corporate sense of journeying, a fluid spirituality of mobility. We began increasingly to define ourselves as the People of God on the Move, not bound or defined by buildings or structures. And in this new context, we began to appreciate the words of Hebrews 11 spoken over Abraham: “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going." This profound sense of “living in tents” as a corporate expression of the life of faith is the subject of this book.< Less
Grace Notes By Dr Ken Baker
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A “grace note” is a music notation that the individual performer has to interpret for himself. Isn’t that amazing? Here’s the main melody (the composer seemed to say), and... More > sort the rest of it out for yourself! It’s like a parable for how to do life. There are general broad principles to follow, like the Ten Commandments, but the real fun comes in the grace notes, the extra bits that you learn to play by feel. The New Testament word is Charis. In modern Greek it’s the word for birthday present! Imagine that. Something you just don’t deserve at all, but which is rather nice and makes you smile inside. This is a prayer journal: that is to say, it’s a daily-collected random assortment of prayers, notes from books that I’m reading and reflections on my daily reading of the Bible. Some of these pieces made it into sermons, or even into magazine articles. Most languished in online blogs, until summoned into service into this little book of grace-notes. Hope you hear the song.< Less
Our Father: Living the Lord's Prayer By Dr Ken Baker
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This book is a devotional exposition of the “Lord’s Prayer” -the pattern prayer that Jesus offered to his disciples two thousand years ago. Different aspects of the Christian life... More > are discussed, as the Prayer brings them to the fore: the place of prayer itself; relationship with God and with each other; and the call to a rigorous honesty and integrity in the way we live together.< Less
What do these Stones Mean? By Dr Ken Baker
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The book of Joshua contains the ancient account of the People of Israel’s entry into the “Promised Land” after the death of Moses, under Joshua, the newly chosen leader, and the... More > settling of the land under their occupation. This is a devotional day-by-day study through the Biblical text, taking about a month, to ask the title question "What do these stones mean?" Joshua's stone marker was intended to provoke a few questions that this little book aims to answer:Who is God? Is He the same today? Can the promises to the people of Joshua be appropriated by the people of Jesus? Does God still move in power today?< Less
The Sanctified Mind By Dr Ken Baker
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The Apostle Paul associated life "in the Spirit" with changes in the "mind" (Rom 8) and urged believers to be "transformed" by the renewing of their minds (Rom 12:2),... More > "and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." (Eph 4:17-23). This book is a pastoral analysis of how that works. It seeks to look practically at the radical change envisaged in the New Testament. The word Paul uses repeatedly for "mind" is nous -“the faculties of perceiving and understanding and those of feeling, judging, determining; the intellectual faculty.” What is it, “to be renewed in the spirit of your minds”? What does that “new self” look like, when “created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness"? This book claims that the language of the New Testament is not aspiration but experience.< Less
The Company of Jesus By Dr Ken Baker
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This book is a study of the Gospel of Luke. More specifically, it is a study of the ecclesiology of that Gospel. It is written in an easy, devotional style and emerges from the ongoing life of... More > Ken’s local church family. It includes sermons, songs, prayers and poetry along with straightforward exposition of a Biblical text that characterises the life of the Company of Jesus as -in Ken’s words- “simple, mobile and urgent.”< Less