Sunday, 31 August 2014

THE CREATOR EXPLAINS




John C Lennox commenting on John 11:9-10


“It was his divine mind that had conceived of the idea of a vast nuclear furnace rolling through trackless space, warping space-time around it and thus holding earth captive in its orbit and bathed in its light and heat. It was his idea to put the source of light outside the world on which he would later place his supreme creation, men and women made in his image. And here he was, the Creator, standing on his specifically designed planet Earth, deigning to explain to a group of his human creatures why he had organised the solar system that way. I think we ought to listen, don’t you?"


          Cited from Seven Days That Divide The World John C Lennox Zondervan p106

Saturday, 30 August 2014

TYRANNIE SANS FRONTIERES



With a few weeks to go before the referendum on Scotland’s independence from the UK, opinion polls continue to show a significant lead for the “No” camp.

 This is not surprising since it is well-known that the status quo position always has a good chance to win out in these situations: as human beings we have a natural inclination towards the familiar, and a corresponding distaste and even outright fear of the unknown.  

 England and Scotland, enemies for long centuries, first forged a joint monarchy with the accession of Scotland’s James VI to the English throne in 1603.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

NICAEA MYTHS

Short vid from Dr James White once again debunking the notion that the Council of Nicaea debated the canon, specifically here the four gospels.

The Council did no such thing yet so many folks out there, not just Muslims, still repeat the nonsense.

The internet myth that just refuses to die!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

"CIVIS AMERICANUS SUM"



 In 1847 a Gibralterian Jewish merchant and British subject named Don Pacifico, having suffered an anti-semitic attack upon his property in Greece, found himself unable to obtain redress from the Greek government.

  It was the start of the so-called Don Pacifico Incident which I recall reading about in my A Level History studies

 Lord Palmerston eventually despatched the Royal Navy to Piraeus the main port of Athens in defence of the cause of this single British subject. The port was blockaded for two months until Don Pacifico was eventually awarded £500 compensation. 

“Civis Romanus sum” thundered the Prime Minister in Parliament, in justification of his actions.

"As the Roman, in days of old, held himself free from indignity, when he could say, Civis Roman Sum, so also a British subject, in whatever land he may be, shall feel confident that the watchful eye and the strong arm of England will protect him from injustice and wrong."

 It was a prime example of what became known as Palmerston’s “Gunboat Diplomacy,” an especially vigorous defence of Britain’s interests on the world stage.  

In the light of the brutal murder of American journalist James Foley by ISIS, opinions vary as to what response needs to be made. Some might tell us that as Christians we should turn the other cheek and forgive our enemies in this instance.

 But that would be a gross misreading of scripture in my view.

 The Sermon on the Mount was written as the morality code for individual Christian believers, not nation-states. The nation-state finds itself instead in Romans 13 territory, charged by God with the upholding of order, and therefore without the luxury of turning the other cheek.

                              he does not bear the sword in vain” (Rom 13:4)

 It is the US which currently bears the primary responsibility for the outworking of Romans 13 in the international arena. 

The sword may have given way to the gunboat, which in turn has given way to the F15 fighter jet but the principle remains the same.    

When God blesses a nation with the strategic upper hand on the world stage, that is a power which comes with great responsibility.

 In his day, Palmerston knew that Britain was the world’s policeman and that policemen must be seen to act.

Just as when three Israeli youths were kidnapped and murdered in June, Israel knew that the hammer hard to fall, and fall hard. Otherwise an enemy that understands no other kind of language but force, would be emboldened by an opponent's hesitancy.   

Sometimes it does not really matter whether what you do is especially effective or conducive to your wider objectives. Sometimes it is simply necessary to be seen to have done something.

All the more so when the cause is far greater than a dispute over compensation!

 To do nothing only convinces your enemy that you have grown too weak or too timid to respond and encourages him to still-greater crimes  

We do not expect that Mr Obama will cry, “Civis Americanus Sum”: that is clearly not his style.

However he does have to do something.  

A NON-RELIGION?



Some words of wisdom from Archbishop Cranmer

“The Muslims of the Islamic State may not speak for all Muslims, but they plainly call themselves Muslims and profess to speak for Islam. They may not be President Obama's type of Muslim or practise Tony Blair's preferred brand of Islam. But to reduce their religious beliefs to the status of a non-religion is to subjugate their devout worldview to the very notions of Western-Christian arrogance and imperialism they wage Jihad to defeat. And in such political ignorance and religious denial lie the seeds of our own decline, defeat and destruction.”       

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

MADE FOR ANOTHER WORLD



"The Christian says, "Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exist. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most likely explanation is that I was made for another world."

                                                                                              C S Lewis


                                                                                                                       

Monday, 18 August 2014

"APPOINT ACCOUNTABILITY BOARDS IN EVERY CITY"



Those who live by the media will die by the media

 Certainly it is starting to look that way with regards to the crumbling empire of Mark Driscoll over in the US.

 Ever since the Mars Hill Church leadman was directly accused (9:50) on the Janet Mefferd show of plagiarising material in his books, the skids have been under the charismatic Seattle pastor.   

Those unfamiliar with the most recent developments can catch up here, but suffice to say we do appear to be entering the “Berlin bunker”* stage of the Mark Driscoll phenomenon

Thursday, 7 August 2014

THE SEARCH FOR SABBATH REST



So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.” (Gen 2: 3)


It is sad that the Genesis creation narrative has become such a battleground in our day,  both inside and outside of the Church.  

 But no one can deny that it is so.

Are these to be understood as six literal days? Are we “old-earth” or “young-earth”?
Do we hold to catastrophism or uniformitarianism?

I fear that in all of this talk we may be in desperate danger of missing the main point.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

THE JESUS OF THE BIBLE



Words penned a hundred years ago that could have been written just this morning:

 “The hardest thing to believe about the Bible, to our thinking, is that it can be a different kind of a book from what Jesus and His Apostles declare it to be. And the most difficult task we can conceive any one setting himself is that of holding to the Jesus of the Bible and at the same time not holding to the Bible of Jesus. It is a task we may feel sure has never been accomplished. He who no longer holds to the Bible of Jesus – the word of which cannot be broken – will be found on examination no longer to hold to the Jesus of the Bible.”


B B Warfield quoted from The Theology of B B Warfield Fred G Zaspel IVP p165

Friday, 1 August 2014

NO ARMOUR, NO AMMUNITION




“There will be no smiting of the forces of evil which now hold the world in thraldom, no lifting of the degraded hordes of paganism to light and eternal life, by any but praying men. All others are merely playing at religion; make believe soldiers, with no armour and no ammunition, who are absolutely helpless in the face of a wicked and false world."
                                                                                                    E.M. Bounds