Wednesday, 27 April 2016


The inquest into the Hillsborough Tragedy reported yesterday.

To say that it has been long-awaited would be an understatement: 27 years have elapsed since the deaths of 96 people, crushed to death at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough stadium.  

Friday, 15 April 2016


Typically robust stuff from Mark Steyn on Angela Merkel’s sanctioning of Turkey’s legal action against a satirist for criticising that country’s President Erdogan

“The process is the punishment” was the line that caught my eye. How true this is in Britain and across the West on a whole range of issues today.

We think of the idiot the other week who tweeted of how he had challenged a Muslim woman in Croydon & asked her what she was doing about massacres in Belgium. Unsurprisingly it turned out that she was doing nothing about them. Well why would she be?

Thursday, 14 April 2016


I haven't read this book so I'm not plugging it.

However the basic thesis that Saul of Tarsus would have met Jesus during His earthly ministry has always seemed to me not only plausible but likely and it is good that a new scholarly work is advancing the idea.

Jesus & Saul were contemporaries (Saul was probably converted within a year of the crucifixion) and as adult Jewish males they would both have been regular attenders at the feasts in Jerusalem.

 When we consider that Jesus during His ministry always attracted large crowds to hear His teachings and that Saul as an earnest young rabbi would surely have been intensely curious about Him, we can say with near-certainty that the youthful Pharisee would at some point have been present in the crowd when Jesus spoke. Perhaps he often was.

Nor is this merely a matter of historical curiosity since it helps relieve us of the tired old canard that Paul was unacquainted with the "historical Jesus" and just made up a new religion all of his own.

All the evidence says not.

Friday, 8 April 2016


“above reproach”                                                         FAIL                                                                                             
 “the husband of one wife”                                           PASS

“sober-minded”                                                            FAIL

“self-controlled”                                                            FAIL

“respectable”                                                                FAIL

“hospitable”                                                                  FAIL

“able to teach”                                                              PASS

“not a drunkard”                                                            N/K

“not violent but gentle”                                                  FAIL                       

“not quarrelsome”                                                         FAIL

“not a lover of money”                                                   FAIL

“must manage his own household well”                       N/K

“not a recent convert”                                                    PASS

“well thought of by outsiders”                                         FAIL

Thursday, 7 April 2016


The UK's former chief rabbi Jonathan Sacks writes in Newsweek:

 "Anti-semitism is a virus that survives by mutating. In the Middle Ages, Jews were hated because of their religion. In the 19th and 20th centuries they were hated because of their race. Today they are hated because of their nation state, Israel. Anti-Zionism is the new anti-Semitism."

 History, he says will judge us by how we deal with the renewed rise of anti-Semitism in our midst.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016


Now here is a good old-fashioned piece of persecution from down-under. And you thought that denying Christians the right to say "Jesus is Lord" went out with Diocletian.

But as I have observed before these episodes show that the real battle line is not freedom of worship but freedom of association.


Sunday, 3 April 2016


                               "And after eight days...Jesus came" (Jn 20:26)

Why do Christians meet on Sundays?

Well, that's an obvious one, John: we meet on the first day of the week because that is the day when Jesus rose from the dead, and so we meet to mark it, right?. Well, yes...and no.

 That is, I think that there is slightly more to it than that. After all, Jesus certainly had to rise from the dead on some day of the week but it does not automatically follow that He wished them to subsequently mark this day as a new day of worship never previously held by God's people.