Your editor is a barrister member of the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn. What could this possibly mean? In England, the legal profession is divided into two: the “lower branch”—the solicitors—and the “upper branch”—the barristers. Solicitors are general practitioners (like GPs), whereas the barristers are specialists, particularly in the area of high court advocacy. The barristers wear the wigs and argue the difficult cases in the high courts. Since the late Middle Ages, barristers have been grouped into gilds (“Inns of Court”), of which there are four, one of which is Lincoln’s Inn. To become a barrister, one must not only complete academic training and an apprenticeship (“pupillage”), but also eat a specified number of dinners at one’s Inn of Court, in personal contact with practicing barristers and judges. To receive dining credit, one must be present for the Trinitarian “Grace Before Meat” and the “Grace After Meat.” If you are an unbeliever, tough on you: the requirement is the same for all in a country which, at least officially, is committed to a national Christian church. Each Inn has its own chapel or church building, with a master or chaplain who conducts services every Sunday during the legal year. At Lincoln’s we have been privileged for a decade to benefit from the ministry of The Revd Canon William (“Bill”) Norman, who, having been called to the bar himself, has been particularly cognisant of the needs of a primarily legal congregation. Bill is retiring soon (against the advice of all who know him, including myself), and in the next issue of the Global Journal we want to give readers just a taste of the fine, thoroughly biblical and evangelical sermonising the Inn has received during Bill’s tenure.
And since we are on a legal note, issue 6/1 will also feature an essay on U. S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Scalia and the Bible. Can the American federal courts still reflect scriptural truth? Find out in the next issue! The author of that article is my colleague, Craig Parton, Esq., the American director of Trinity’s International Academy of Apologetics, Evangelism and Human Rights, held in July each year in Strasbourg, France. In the meantime, why not check out the Academy’s new website (www.apologeticsacademy.eu) –and consider seriously attending in July, 2007? You will receive not only academic credit but also a remarkable cultural and theological experience.
A lot of law, you say? But always connected theologically! Alan S. Bandy will put the two nicely together with a strong dash of exegesis in his detailed article, “Word and Witness: An Analysis of the Lawsuit Motif in Revelation Based on ‘Witness’ Terminology.”
All this free legal (and theological) advice in the next issue—with no need to pay your lawyer!