Saturday, December 31, 2005

This Year

Last New Year's Eve I had a meal with my then fiance. We spent a miserable couple of hours together and then I went home. A week later, we finished our relationship for good. Parting company with her was one of the best events of this year.

God has really blessed me this year. Financially I have been blessed greatly. I managed to earn extra money this year marking Religious Studies school exams. I shall be doing that again this year. For some reason, my employers have kept me on when they could have made me redundant.

I started attending a different congregation this year, out of respect for my ex-fiance. This has been a very positive change. My previous church was Pentecostal. Distancing myself from Pentecostals and Charismatics has enabled me to recognise how bad the theology of those movements are.

I am making slow, but reasonable progess on my thesis.

Visiting Finland was a wonderful experience, if only for a three days. I started learning Finnish early this year, though my progress is slow.

I have had difficulties this year. A doctor diagnosed me with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. This seemed so weird I had a hard time not laughing out loud at the clinic (weird Dyspraxic humour, I guess). I had been doing a lot of shaking and trembling. That does not seem to have gone away. Its weird; my ex-fiance suffered a lot from anxiety. Since we mutually finished our relationship, I seem to have become more like her. I have not always been all that happy this year. It is difficult being dependant on my parents and I get lonely for affection some times.

Discovering the joys of blogging and meeting some of you blogging people has definitely been one of the best things this year! It has brought me such happiness to intermeet John and Rose Cole, Antonio, Dorothy, Ednella, Jodie, Ruth P, St.Jeremiah, Carey, Libbie, Earl, Shawn, Mark, Charles A Wallace, John Rush, Doug, KC, Consecrated, Blake, Paul W, Kitty Cheng and so many others who I cannot think of right now. Apologies to any I have forgotten.

(Its New Years Day all ready over here)

Witnessing to a Guy with Aspergers Syndrome

Just over a year ago, I met a guy through street preaching who suffers from Aspergers Syndrome. This is a form of Autism that gives him difficulty in communicating and understanding abstract language.

It has been a real struggle witnessing to him. It made me realise how much abstract language Christians use. It is useless speaking to him in any kind of metaphysical terminology like 'sacrifice for sins' or 'born-again'. He lives in a hostel for people with mental difficulties. I can empathize with him to an extent, because there are similarities between Dyspraxia and mild Aspergers.

I met him on the way to the spot where I preach. He told me that he had stopped drinking and had been baptized and confirmed into the Church of England. He intended to stop smoking as well. I gave him a tract to read.

He later came and approached me while I was listening to one of my friends preaching. He told me that the tract I gave him had made him worried. It had shown him that he had broken God's commandments. I explained to him about how Christ paid the penalty for sin and was raised to life so we could be saved. This gave him much comfort and he professed to accept the truth of this.

This is not the first time that this man had made some sort of profession of faith. I do not know whether he has been truly converted. I do not know how much of what I say he really understands. There is certainly a consciousness of sin in him and a desire to please God. All I can do is pray and try to make myself understood.

The Chronicles of Narnia

The Chronicles of Narnia

An alternative perspective on Narnia from Vicky Dillen.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

J.N. Darby on the Signs of Apostasy in an Assembly

J.N. Darby wrote this when describing the disorders and errors that had entered the assembly in Plymouth. Darby renounced this congregation. The aftershocks of this lead to the schism between the Open and Exclusive Brethren.

'The first sign of weakness is the gathering itself becoming the object of attention, instead of their being a people enjoying the blessedness of their position by the relationship and fellowship it gave them with Christ, who had become and was their abiding object, revealing withal God the Father. But I would speak with more detail, for this is rather the occasion of Satan's power than the fruit of it as a positive word. Where this last is, you will find holy spirtual affections broken and set aside togive place to the claim of the institution. And so are even natural affections, whilst the latter are given all their force and weight in practise to hold persons in the institution, and even largely used for this purpose. In the same manner, people are won and brought undeer the influence that acts there by them. The activity and zeal will be for the system. It will be to make proselytes, and establish them in what will keep them there, not to save souls or to lead them to Christ. There will generally be a good deal of acting against or depreciation of others who even hold the faith of Christ.

Paramount importance will be given to the views which distinguish that institution, not to what saves or to what brings faith to the test by the revelation of Christ.

Good works will be found generally much pressed, and that in asystematic way in which it works for and into the system. Truth, I mean truthfulness, will ever be wanting. This I have always found where the work of the enemy is.

Connected with this will be the pressing of much certain doctrines, when it is safe, which form the bond of the institution, and denying in them the alleged meaning, or explaining them away, when they are pressed on by those who detect the evil. This anyone conversant with the subject cannot but have noticed. The denial of the
doctrine positively stated where the influence exists, as held in any such sense or its explanation, is the very such thing that marks the power of evil. With this will be found the attributing to those who hold the truth, every kind of doctrine they abhor, where there is influence enough to have their statements believed. Popery is the plain enough of this.

Another mark, whatever the apparent devotedness, yea, and real devotedness sometimes, is that the spirit of the world is acquiesced in. The poor will be nursed as instruments, and the rich (and so the clever) flatterd for support. Another mark is the extreme difficulty in fixing them to any definite statement, save as they have power to enforce it; and then it is bound on others; and there is the sternest rejection of all who do not bow. Calumny of the saints and of their doctrines has been known from the testimony of the blessed Lord Himself onward. The influence of females and of money will be found largely employed.'


It was later discovered that serious doctrinal error was being taught in this assembly. Namely the teaching that Christ had entered into the guilt of both Adam and apostate Israel as a result of the incarnation.

I think there are a lot of churhces today that would fit Darby's description here. Even some which claim to follow Darby's teaching.

In my Bedroom

Wow! I now have internet access in my bedroom/ office/ study/ library. Only trouble is my old computer is so slow.

Still, I can now become like one of those Japanese recluses who never leave their bedrooms.
Only joking.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

False Professor or Weak Brother?

There is a man who goes to my church who is unemployed and has absolutely no hope of getting a job. He is in debt and his life is a mess. He has a very poor diet and he never bothers to wash.

This man has professed to be a believer for years. He has attended several different churches. However, he refuses to get baptized and rarely reads his Bible. He shows little commitment to his Christian walk apart from coming to church and showing a certain interest in spiritual things. He often shows signs of sincerity.

I have a Calvinist friend who is fairly confident that he this man is not truly regenerate. He considers him to be a false professor. His strategy in counselling this chap is to point out his sins and faults in order to get him to question his salvation. The Calvinist's strategy seems to have little effect. The man acknowledges his faults, but insists that he is truly converted and has faith in Christ.

I believe that this man is a true believer. He seems to sincere in his profession and shows many signs that his understanding has been enlightened. It is true that he is unwilling to deal with his lack of holiness, but he has trapped himself by his lack of discipline. He has laid a snare for himself.

I take his miserable condition as a sign of God's chastisement. Were he living a comfortable existence, then I might question his profession. The Lord chastises those whom he loves. I have learned that lesson and I am conscious that if I willingly sin, then the Lord may do something dreadful to me to get my attention and jerk my head back. The Lord will not bless this man and improve his circumstances until he faces up to his need to be obediant.

James 1
5 ¶ If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering: for he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

8 A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.


My friend is a double-minded man; he can expect nothing from the Lord until he is willing to live up to the consequences of his faith.

I expect my Calvinist friend would also quote James, "Faith without works is dead". However, as Antonio has been demonstrating in his blog, the epistle of James is addressed to believers, giving many warnings to Christians. It makes little sense in terms of the structure of James for this warning to be addressed to unbelievers. The faith without works may be a genuine faith. A faith without works will not save one from the earthly consequences of sin. A faith without works will not lead to a transformed and renewed life. A faith without works may result in premature death by God's judgment, as with Ananias and Saphirah, or some of the Corinthian saints.

I know other Christians like this man. Christians who seem go to church, who show sincerity, but who seem are completley unwilling to live up to the high calling of the Christian life. I dare say that soem are false professors. They may have never come to terms with the meaning of salvation and truly placed their trust in Christ. However, I think most are more genuine than this. What seems uniform in these cases is a lack of stability in personal life and circumstances. These people seem to suffer form medical problems, family problems, unemployment, alcoholism, smoking, depression and anxiety. They are not happy people. Lack of spiritual discipline seems to go to together with inconvenience in personal circumstances.A friend of mine described these sort of people "Living lives of utter chaos; stumbling from crisis to crisis".

I believe the mess these people are unable to get out of is the Lord's chastisement. Until they repent, the Lord will not hear their prayers. They will not be lost for eternity, but if they continue in their course, they will not inherit the Kingdom of God (Gal 5:21, 1 Cor 6:9).

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

John Wesley's Forty-Four Sermons (44 too many)

Generally, when people are stating their position on election they mention John Wesley they either say:

"I am not a Calvinist. There were many great people like John Wesley who rejected Calvinism."

Or

"I am a Calvinist, however I recognise that there were many great Arminians like John Wesley."

Well, I am not a Calvinist, but I think John Wesley's theology was very overrated and very unsound.

The Forty-Four Sermons is a mix of indirect Gospel appeals and tedious legalism. For every mention of grace, Wesley seemed to feel the need to qualify it with a dose of law. The remarkable thing is that somehow, with incredible theological stealth, he managed to sneak in a perplexing doctrine of assurance, which seems quite out of place in his theology.

He believed in Baptismal Regeneration too.

Farming Folk

People who have worked as farmers or who come from farming families often seem to present an air of supeiriority. They seem to see themselves as a kind of earthy aristocracy.

I get the impression that people from an agricultural background feel that they experienced a far better quality of life than everybody else and so have a kind of Gnosis or hidden knowledge that more urban people are ignorant of.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Questions about John F MacArthur

I have only read three books by John F MacArthur. Does anyone know his theology well?

Could anyone tell me:

1.If he believes in a Covenant of Grace uniting the dispensations?
2.If he believes in the imputation of Christ's obediance to the Law to the believer?

Sunday, December 25, 2005

No Stocking this Christmas

This is the first year that my parents did not let me leave a stocking out. I guess that means that at 24, I am officially grown up.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

School Report when I was 13

From the ages of 11 to 16, I attended an Evangelical Christian school. At the age of 13, I was given a school report that said:

"Matthew is a solitary figure. He is philosophical, convinced of the absolute truth of Scripture and deeply concerned about the state of the world. However, he can be a little self-righteous and ungenerous towards others. Let him be more gracious."

The funny thing is that was 10 years ago, but I still think it would be a fairly accurate description of me today.

Pork Pie

An essential feature of an English Christmas is a cold Pork Pie in the evening. This is the perfect dish to conclude a day's feasting.

Pork Pie is actually my favoirte snack. I fear that if I emigrate to the USA, I may never be able to eat them again. Still, I am sure there are plenty of nice things to eat over there.

Great Christmas Article by Julie Burchill

Goodwill to all men (except the moaners)

An excellent article by British journalist Julie Burchill. This lady sometimes writes immoral stuff, but she sure speaks out against persecution of Christians by Islam. Few dare to speak out against Islam as strongly as Julie Burchill.

Myth About Gifts

The ancient Greeks told a story about how the city of Athens came to adopt its patron deity.

When Athens was built, the people could not agree on whether Athene the goddess of Wisdom or Poseidon, the god of the sea should be their patron deity. They asked the two gods to give the city a gift to help them decide.

Poseidon gave the city a saltwater spring and a horse. Athene gave the city an olive tree. The people of Athens decided that an olive tree was infinitely more useful than a saltwater spring and a horse. Hence, Athene became their patron, which is where the city got its name.

The message of the story is that women are always better at giving presents than men. Men always give what they would like for themselves, while women tend to think a bit more carefully about it.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Choosing Presents

Why are we men so bad at buying presents for people? We always seem to end up buying what we would want. All the presents I bought for my family are things I would not mind having.

Not Noticed any Difference

There are people in Worcester who have known me for a very long time. There are people who have known me since I was 17 and younger.

I know people who have seen me progress from being a long-haired, hippie with Anarchist politics, radical theology and a habit of addressing God as 'Mother' to a short-haired, suit-wearing Conservative with Fundamentalist theology who preaches on the high street to passers-by.

The peculiar thing is that these people do not seem particularly surprised by any of the changes of the last seven years. They do not seem to have noticed any particular difference.

There seems to be an expectation that Matt will always advocate radical views and think a little differently from everybody else. The problem with being consistently radical is that you get sidelined as being radical and so people conveniently ignore anything you say that might be important.

God Moves in a Mysterious Way

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.


CM
William Cowper

The words of this hymn are very insightful. 'Blind unbelief is sure to err'. Absolutely! The philosophies of this world are useless and lead only to confusion. 'God is His own interpreter' indeed. Those who challenge God's wisdom and purpose always begin from their own wrong presuppositions and moral judgments. Hence, they fail to understand God's will. At the root of these challenges is the human will; that refusal to bend the knee to God and acknowledge that His purposes are right and good.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Getting Softer on Murder

The Britsh Law Comission has said that it wants the abolition of the mandatory life sentence for murder. It also intends to indroduce degrees of muder, in a similar manner to the American system (typical of the Britsh, copying the Yanks when they get it wrong and ignoring them when they get it right). The main intention is to avoid giving life sentences to women who kill abusive husbands or people who carry out 'mercy killings'.

The concept of manslaughter or degrees of murder is foreign to the Word of God. Its time to abolish this distinction. Lets get rid of mandatory life sentences for murder and introduce mandatory death sentences for murder instead. God is a righteous judge; let Him decide whether a murder is justified.

My Attitude to Christmas

I am not going to bore you all by explaining how Father Christmas is really Odin or Moloch or the nefarious nature of Xmas trees.

I do find it strange how Christmas generates such strong feelings among Christians. There is a strong feeling among Christians that Christmas is their festival, that it belongs to Christianity. That it has been hijacked by the world who are celebrating it for the wrong reasons. Some Christians feel guilty that they spend too much time enjoying the pleasures of the holiday and not enough time thinking about the Saviour they celebrate.

I do not begrudge my brethren in Christ these feelings. It is good that Christmas leads them to spend time thinking about the incarnation of our Lord. It is good that they are enthusiastic about pointing sinners to the Christian meaning of Christmas.

However, I do not really share such feelings. Regardless of any pagan connection to Christmas, I do not see it as Christian. I do not feel that this festival belongs to me as a believer in Christ. I am glad for the joy of my family in celebrating it with me. I am glad that it reminds me of the birth of the Lord. However, I do not feel that this fetival belongs to me. I see it as being the world's festival or the festival of the Babylonish church.

While I preach the gospel at Christmas time, as I do at any time of the year, I do not see Christmas as a special time for evangelism, except as it draws worldly people into Church.

I do not feel any anger at the world for corrupting the meaning of Christmas; as far as I am concerned, it was always a pagan feast. I do not fear that I will get distracted from the meaning of Christmas myself because I believe in Christianity, not Christmas.

We Now have a Fax Machine at Work!

For some reason, the Taylorite Exclusive Brethren are against fax machines. I work for an Exclusive Brethren owned company. If we want to send a fax, we give it to our accountant to send. However, today, a fax machine arrived at work!

We will be using it, however, my employers are evidently not allowed to own the fax machine. Instead, it is the property of a charity to whom my employers will pay rent. When my boss explained this to me, I had a hard time not laughing out loud. Have you ever heard of such legalistic hypocrisy?

In the event of our bringing a computer on to the premise (fundamentally evil according to their rules), only self-employed individuals will be allowed to use it, I am told. At present, our accountant does our computing for us. I did a bit of computing at home for my employers earlier this year.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Dyspraxia and Dyslexia

I am sure some people must get Dyspraxia and Dyslexia mixed up, as they do sound similar. However, calling me Dyslexic is like calling a Chinese person Japanese.

Dyslexia is a learning difficulty which seriously affects reading and spelling. While Dyspraxia can make learning to read more difficult, Dyspraxics usually have little trouble with reading once they have picked it up*. Dyslexia is almost entirely a problem of literacy, while Dyspraxia is more general, causing difficulties in almost every area of life.

I do know people who have both conditions. However, in my experience, Dyslexics and Dyspraxics tend to be quite different people. Dyspraxics tend to be a bit intellectual and analytical, dare I say a bit more academic, while, without wanting to generalise, Dyslexics tend to be quite practical, down to earth people.

*The kind of books I find difficult to read are those which have a lot of pictures and inserts on the pages. I find it much easier to read books with just a singel piece of text with little or no pictures. This is because it is harder fro Dyspraxics to concentrate on things which are very busy. Its harder to focus.

America Seems Like a Magical Country to Me

I am going to seem incredibly naieve to my Yank readers, but here goes. To me, the United States sounds like a magical country, like Narnia or Middle Earth. A huge place, so diverse, filled with so many fantastic places and such diverse people. It all seems really wonderful when compared to grey, rainy Britain.

I suppose its partly the American people; they seem so much more optimistic and far less cynical than us grumpy old British.

This will sound absolutely ridiculose to my American readers and I know it is; but sometimes I think 'How can anyone be unhappy in America, such a big, wonderful place?'

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

AV Publications- Gail Riplinger

AV Publications

The website of KJV-defender, Gail Riplinger.
I was a bit hesitant about blogging this link, as the topic of KJV-Onlyism tends to generate unhelpful disagreements. In my blogging I have tried to avoid making an issue of Bible versions too much.

I think Gail Riplinger uses some silly arguments at times and her sarcasm can be horrible. However, with discernment, her books are worth reading.

Hungry/Six

Hungry/Six

A good Christian blog.

A Christmas Carol?

Galatians 1:8-9
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

2 Corinthians 11:4
For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.


It is lovely to hear 'A Christmas Carol' read aloud at Christmas. A good old, heart-warming tale by that master of fiction, Charles Dickens.

The problem is that this is an absolutely demonic book. In fact, the book almost makes me wonder that Dickens might not have been posessed.

Scrooge is visited by spirits who warn him that he is on the road to death and eternal torment. To escape this fate, they tell him he must revere the Christmas spirit and do good works.

Do you know that Pelagius was British? Pelagianism has always had a lot of appeal in Britain. It fits in with the British sense of fair play. It is a way that seemeth right unto an Englishman, but in the end is death.

What we have in this most English of books is the very thing that we are warned against in Galatians 1:8-9 and 2 Corinthians 11:4; angels or spirits presenting a different gospel to the one we have received.

This is not a nice message to give at Christmas time. I love that book as much as you do, but it presents a gospel from the pits of hell.

WWJD

I think the question What would Jesus do? is really unsound.

In asking the question one is not looking to what the Scriptures say as to how a Christian should live, or praying to the Lord for guidance, but one is instead using one's imagination to try and conceive of Jesus doing various things.

The correct answer to What would Jesus do? is "Who are you to say?".

It is very dangerous to bring imagination into spirituality and theology. The Bible does not condemn imagination, but it has harsh words to say about foolish imaginations (Romans 1:21, Luke 1:51). The practise of visualizing, popular among Charismatics, is deeply Occult.

The best question to ask is What does the Bible say?

Monday, December 19, 2005

WWVW

Female readers may wonder how to decide what is appropriate and modest dress. How do you judge if an article of clothing today is really modest? After all, the Bible is pretty silent about fashion. I suggest a simple test:

What would Queen Victoria wear?

If Queen Victoria would wear it, it is perfectly fine. Just think, WWVW.

My Parent's Church has Turned Emergent

I think my parent's Charismatic Church has turned Emergent (can you do that if your already in the open?). They released a statement saying that they would have monthly communion involving 'experimental (post) modern and ancient worsihp with candles'.

Ill settle for hymns, the KJV and fundamentalist preaching, thanks. I have got quite enough experimental music in my CD collection.

Typical Dyspraxic Problem

My parents asked me to clear the fallen leaves off the lawn today (a horrible dirty job).

After I had finished I tried to lock the workshop door. However, the key got stuck and it would not lock. I must have put the wrong key in the lock.

Typical Dyspraxic mess. I shall have another go at getting the key out later.

Dreaming Satire?

I had an insane dream the other night. In my dream, the earth was about to be invaded by space aliens. As the planet awaited its terrible fate, a toy manufacturer was planning to make a profit by selling toys and games based on the alien space ships.

Thats what I call a Left-wing dream. Science Fiction seldom gets so political.

Chinese Food

A friend sent me this. It appeared on Unchained Radio. If this breaches copyright, Ill blame my friend.

The Menace of Chinese Food

by James B. Jordan

[This essay was originally published in Presbyterian Heritage 5 (Dec. 1984), a newsletter of Geneva Ministries. Some very slight corrections and additions have been made here.]

One of the unrecognized and most deadly evil of modern life’s facets is Chinese food. Most people are wholly unaware of the critical nature of the Chinese food question, and blithely continue to participate in this wicked and dangerous activity: eating Chinese food. Of course, to speak against such a hallowed institution as Chinese food is to be regarded as a fanatic, or even as sacrilegious, but we must be true to the faith!

A moment’s reflection by any serious and committed Christian will show transparently why Chinese food must be rejected. Chinese food is an _expression of Eastern monism. Not only does it come from the East, the heart of the world’s most sophisticated paganism (which in itself is reason to reject it as dangerous); it also in its very nature and composition reflects the monistic philosophy of the East.

Christianity gives equal ultimacy to the one and the many. In the West, this has meant that on one’s plate there are several kinds and portions of food: salad, vegetables, meat, and dessert. These are not, however, all mixed up together in a monistic unity, but are left diverse. It is the harmony and combination of the various foods, eaten one bite at a time, which gives _expression to unity and diversity.

Chinese food, however, tries to break this down. All the foods -- salad, vegetables, meats, and sweets -- are mixed together in an attempt to destroy diversity and create a food-monad. This is obviously perverted and evil. Beyond this, sweet and sour are mixed together, in accordance with the philosophy of yin and yang. What could be more pagan?

There is more. Because the perverse nature of Chinese food causes it to be so intrinsically unpalatable to the human tongue, vast quantities of monosodium glutamate are added to make it taste better. Now, monosodium glutamate, or M.S.G. as it is popularly known, is recognized to be a poison, causing hyperactivity in children and cancer in adults. Not only is Chinese food pagan, it is also poisonous.

It is also idolatrous. This is in part due to the addicting nature of M.S.G., which causes the widely-recognized "Chinese restaurant syndrome." The present writer, however, has further cause for alarm. Over the years I have tried to alert friends and family to the danger of Chinese food, and I have always met with rejection and ridicule. There can be only one possible reason for this -- an idolatrous attachment to Chinese food. Why won’t people give it up? The arguments I have presented are clear as crystal, and obviously Scriptural and Christian. The reason can only be that people have an idolatrous attachment to Chinese food.

Non-Christians, of course, are more crazy about Chinese food than are Christians. I say this: Anything the pagans are that crazy about must be evil, and so Christians should keep as far away from it as possible.

There is still more. Few modern Christians have studied the classic exposé of Chinese food by Alexander Slipshod: The Four Babylons. Slipshod in his masterful work demonstrates beyond a shadow of doubt that Chinese food originated at the Tower of Babel. Nimrod and three of his cousins, descendants of the four sons of Ham and known as the "gang of four," developed Chinese food as a subtle means of undermining the true faith. People would become addicted to Chinese food, they believed, and as they ingested the food, they would absorb the monistic philosophy. For instance, if they ate sweet and sour pork, they would become committed to the philosophy of yin and yang. This has surely proved to be the case! We must beware of eating demons hiding in Chinese food! (Slipshod’s book has, I am aware, not been well treated by reviewers. Its arguments, however, are obviously correct. Let the reader obtain a copy and find out for himself. The reviewers, obviously, are Chinese food addicts.)

How did Chinese food come into the West? Slipshod shows that it was the Bishop of Rome who introduced Chinese food into the Christian world. Do we ever read about Chinese food in the New Testament? No, of course not. So, I rest my case. It can only be a Romish plot to destroy God’s true faith. Do we read anything about Chinese food in the Westminster Confession of Faith? No; so clearly the WCF is totally opposed to all Chinese food.

Have you ever noticed how fanatical people are about Chinese food? Not only do they eat the stuff, but they are willing to pay money for it. They even set up and support Chinese restaurants, wholly given over to the production of this evil, poisonous, idolatrous, and subversive food. When you try to get people to quit eating Chinese food, they act as if you are crazy. The whole world has to stop, just so they can eat their darling sin -- Chinese food!


I still stand by my positions on issues relating to Christianized paganism. Even if I do find myself funny.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Plymouth Brethren FAQ

Plymouth Brethren FAQ

Useful basic info on the Brethren.

Not Really Appropriate

The assocaite pastor at my Church preached today. During the sermon, he made a point about people's attitude to sin. He quoted the lyrics of nearly a whole song by the Pop singer, Robbie Williams. It was a quite blsphemous song. He even put some of the lyrics on the overhead screen.

The point the preacher made was good, but I think he was wrong to read out all those lyrics. It was horrible to hear such dark sentiments being spoken in Church.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Brief Conversation Today

After I had finished preaching a gospel sermon on Worcester high street today, I was stopped by a man.

He asked why God allowed tsunamis and hurricanes. I said "The wages of sin is death. It is only out of God's mercy that you are alive today." He did not like the sound of that and asked me if I could prove the existence of God. I said "God has already given you enough proof by creating this world. The problem is that you are ignoring the proof He has given".

He was unable to reply as his mobile phone rang and he had to go. Mobile phones do not help street evangelism much.

An Introduction to Dispensationalism

An Introduction to Dispensationalism

A practical introduction to the subject by Shawn Abigail.

Principles of Dispensational Bible Study

Principles of Dispensational Bible Study

A brief and practical presentation.

Sometimes a Light Surprises

Sometimes a light surprises

The christian while he sings;

It is the LORD who rises

With healing in his wings:

When comforts are declining,

He grants the soul again

A season of clear shining

To cheer it after rain.


In holy contemplation,

We sweetly then pursue

The theme of God’s salvation,

And find it ever new:

Set free from present sorrow,

We cheerfully can say,

E’en let th’ unknown tomorrow,

Bring with it what it may.


It can bring with it nothing

But he will bear us through;

Who gives the lilies clothing

Will clothe his people too:

Beneath the spreading heavens,

No creature but is fed;

And he who feeds the ravens,

Will give his children bread.


The vine, nor fig–tree neither,

Their wonted fruit should hear,

Though all the fields should wither,

Nor flocks, nor herds, be there:

Yet God the same abiding,

His praise shall tune my voice;

For while in him confiding,

I cannot but rejoice.


William Cowper
7676 metre

I think this hymn has a very Christmassy tune, though its lyrics have nothing to do with the nativity of our Lord.

Friday, December 16, 2005

The Lord's Prayer is Jewish Not Christian

Matthew 6
9 After this manner therefore pray ye:
Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.


10 Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done
in earth, as it is in heaven.


11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.


13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen


The teaching that the Lord's Prayer is not meant for Christians is a piece of Dispensational teaching that is understandably offensive to some. It seems very impious to many to suggest that the Lord's teaching is not for Christians. However, we need to place the Scriptures in the context of God's dealings and the fulness of His revelation. It may seem pious to read the Gospels more than the epistles, but it will not lead to good theology. It is not wrong for Christians to pray this prayer or to use it to some degree as a pattern for our prayers, but to better understand our position as believers in the Risen Christ, we need to place this prayer in its Dispensational context.

The first thing to notice about this prayer is that it is not in th ename of the Lord. Christians are to ask in the name of the Lord.

John 14
13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.



John 16
23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.

24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.


Secondly, the prayer is for the coming of the Kingdom. Now, this is not to say that Christians do not desire the coming of the Kingdom of God (though the vast majority of Christians are confused about what it is), but rather that the coming of the Kingdom was a peculiarly Jewish hope. All of the promises given to Israel can be connected to the establishment of God's rule on earth.

The Christian however, has his hope not in the Kingdom, but in the personal coming of Christ, the Blessed Hope. The Christian inherits the Kingdom of God and will share in Christ's rule. However, these promises are all connected to the Christian's relation to Christ and his union with Him. It is in Christ that we inherit the Kingdom; to sit down on Christ's throne, even as Christ is sat down on the Father's throne (Rev 3:21). The last prayer of the Bible is a prayer for the Lord to come. We pray for Christ to come, not for the Kingdom to come.

The third point of difference from the believer's position; and this is vitally important to recognise; is that it does not concern one who is justified in Christ and freed from condemnation. The prayer is the prayer of one who is a debtor to do the law and has not received judicial forgiveness. Nowhere after the Resurrection do we find a justified saint asking for forgiveness. We are to confess our sins, but this is quite different. The justified believer is saved through Christ's work. His redemption is complete.

Galatians 5
1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

2 ¶ Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.

3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.


The Christian is not in a position of being a debtor to the Law.

Galatians 3
10 ¶ For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written,
Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things
which are written in the book of the law to do them.


11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

14 that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.


To view oneself as in debt to the law as a justified believer is to fail to grasp the full import of the doctrine of justification.

Romans 5
1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

2 by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.


Being justified by faith we have peace with God and so have no need to seek forgiveness. The other side to this is that we must confess our sin and walk in the Spirit. If we walk after the flesh, then we become subject to God's parental discipline. This may involve sickness, persectution or any other form of suffering and in an advanced state amy result in premature death, the destruction of the flesh.

So, if this prayer is not for the believer, who is it for? This prayer is for the Jewish disciples of Christ to use in the light of the coming of the Messianic Kingdom. It rests on the position of the Jew under law awaiting the coming of the Kingdom.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Are You a SQUARE THEOLOGIAN?

When I was doing my theology degree, I used to joke that some Evangelicals are Square Theologians. To be a Square Theologian, you need to be:

-Five-Point Calvinist
-Cessasionist
-Six-Day Creationist
-Amillennial

You can be either Baptist or Presbyterian. Choice of Bible Version is optional. You will almost certainly favour Cornelius Van Til's Presuppositional apologetics.

I have known plenty of these guys.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

37 Reasons for Having a Shoes-Off Policy in Your Home

37 Reasons for having a shoes-off policy in your home:

1. Carpets are not easy to clean.
2. Carpets absorb dust and become breeding grounds for dust mites, causing the development of asthma and allergies.
3. If you do not have a carpet, the dust will not be absorbed and you are likely to breathe it in.
4. Shoes can leave marks on wood, PVC and marble floors.
5. Shoes can scratch wood flooring, especially if they have high heels.
6. Boots and high heeled shoes can cause wear and tear to carpets.
7. That goes for rugs as well.
8. Shoes pick up small particles of grit that cause wear and tear to carpets.
9. Shoes pick up traces of petrol fumes and industrial pollution.
10. Shoes can pick up pesticides, fertilizers and other chemicals.
11. Shoes pick up traces of animal excrement.
12. Ever noticed how much chewing gum there is stuck to the streets?
13. In a square mile, there are more insects than people on the planet. How many do you think you have squashed on your shoes?
14. If you have a crawling baby, do you want him or her to be exposed to the dirt from people's shoes?
15. In rain or snow, you are less likely to get the floor wet.
16. If you live near a beach, you will bring less sand into the house.
17. If you have a crawling baby, you will do less damage if you accidently step on him or her.
18. If you get mad and kick the cat or dog, you will do less damage (apologies to animal lovers).
19. If your children play rough, they will do less damage.
20. It creates a more homely atmosphere.
21. It creates a greater sense of relaxation.
22. Your guests will become more like you by removing their shoes and will feel part of the family.
23. An oriental, Scandinavian or East European visitor will feel more at home.
24. It teaches children the importance of respecting and looking after things.
25. Psycologically, removing your shoes helps you to enter a frame of mind where you keep your everyday troubles outside your home.
26. It is more comfortable.
27. It is healthier for you feet to take your shoes off during the day.
28. Small children with growing feet should wear shoes only to the minimum.
29. If you wear high-heeled shoes, your feet badly need a break.
30. You can put your feet up on the sofa without taking your shoes off first (Dont tell me you put your feet on the sofa with shoes on?).
31. You can put your feet up on the coffee table without taking your shoes off first.
32. If you ever visit Japan, it will seem less weird.
33. If you are ever arrested and they confiscate your shoes, along with your belt and jewellery, it will seem less weird.
34. Your feet smell less if you do not wear them all day.
35. When you lovingly chastise your children, you will have a slipper to hand.
36. It was a Biblical custom (come on, did they wash their feet with shoes on?)
37. Do you really think the Saints in Glory are going to trample the sparkling, clean New Jerusalem with shoes on?

Make Poverty History? No Thanks

I noticed that all of the Anglican Churches in Worcester have put out big banners declaring 'Make Poverty History'. The Church of England officially supports the 'Make Poverty History' campaign. They may not agree about the Virgin Birth of our Lord, but they sure managed a show of unity on this one.

Its a bit vague really. Do they mean relative or absolute poverty? Do they want everyone in the world to be able to afford a radio or just an extra pair of shorts?

Frankly, its a ridiculose aim. The only way to abolish poverty is by gross interference in the economies of the world, which woud only lead to Socialism and ruin. That the established Church supports this silly campaighn only shows the hold that Left-wingers have over the mainstream denominations.

At the root of such silly politicization of the Christianity lies a wrong view of the Kingdom. The Kingdom is rightly seen in political terms by infidel theologians, but they ignore the role of the Messiah in bringing about the Kingdom. They want the Kingdom without the King. They ignore the fact that the imminent establishment of the Messianic Kingdom was postponed because of Israel's rejection of our Lord.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Finished Wrapping Christmas Presents

I just finished wrapping Christmas presents for my family. I am so organised; got it done really early.

Being Dyspraxic , I find it really difficult to wrap presents. They look very messy, as usual.

Free Grace Theology: Reformed Theology Says 'Do Works or Go to Hell'

Free Grace Theology: Unguarded Quotes / Bear or Burn Theology

Calvinists often portray those who deny their doctrines as drifting towards Popery. However, the truth is that there is a strong theological affinity between Calvinism and Romanism.

Amazing Grace: But for how long?

Its funny that in the last verse of the hymn, Amazing Grace, some people sing ten thousand years and other people sing a thousand years. Why the difference?

I have no idea what John Newton wrote in the original, but I reckon its down to theology. Us Six-Day Creationists think that a thousand years is a really long time. However, those Old Earth compromisers think that if the earth is billions of years old, a thousand years time would go rather quickly. Hence, singing ten thousand years is a sure token of apostasy.

Free Grace Theology: Reformed Theology: Works Necessary for Salvation

Free Grace Theology: Reformed Theology: Works Necessary for Salvation

The disturbing truth about Calvinistic theology.

My Salute to Women who Wear Long Skirts

I am always really pleased when I see women wearing long skirts. I realise that most of them are wearing them either for comfort or to match the rest of what they are wearing, but it still delights me. As long as women continue to wear long skirts, there is hope that more Christian ladies will re-discover the concept of modest dress.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Free Grace Theology: John Calvin and Reformed Assurance

Free Grace Theology: John Calvin and Reformed Assurance

When I read Dave Hunt's book 'What Love is This' (a rather weak book) I did not really understand the chapter on assurance. When a Calvinist on Rose's Reasonings started questioning my grounds for assurance, it all made sense.

The Semitic New Testament

The Semitic New Testament

Barbara Aho and Janet Moser defend the true New Testament text from attacks by the Hebrew Roots movement and scholars of infidelity.

Another Disabled Person Killed and the Killer Avoids Jail

I was deeply disappointed to learn today, that Andrew Wragg, a former British soldier, has been cleared of murder and has received a two-year suspended sentence for manslaughter. Wragg killed his son, who was severely disabled as a result of Hunter's disease. He claimed it was a 'mercy killing'. He was acquitted of murder on the grounds of diminished capacity, due to stress.

He killed his son, made excuses and he will not spend a day in jail.

The message of this is that it is perfectly fine in Britain to kill disabled people.

The Lausanne Consultation on Jewish Evangelism

The Lausanne Consultation on Jewish Evangelism

Article by Barbara Aho demonstrating Evangelicalism's drift into Ecumenicism and Judaizing.

Musings of an English Muffin: Idle worship #2

Musings of an English Muffin: Idle worship #2

A good post by Libbie (apart from her nod of approval to National Service).

Musings of an English Muffin: Hey! Watchful dragons! Over here!!!

Musings of an English Muffin: Hey! Watchful dragons! Over here!!!

Some English sensibility from Libbie.

Do I Really Need to see a Therapist?

Rose~ suggests in good humour that I need to see a therapist, because I am appalled at people dirtying my parent's carpet with their shoes. Most people in Britain would also regard this as a sign of Obsessive-Compulsive disorder.

This raises an interesting question discussed by sociologists, that is the social construction of mental health. In order to diagnose somebody as mentally ill, they have to have some idea of what mentally healthy people are like. Hence, to some degree, they must rely on the norms of a given culture to establish their understanding of mental health.

In Britain it is normal to keep one's shoes on when entering a house. Therefore, somebody who expects visitors to remove their shoes would be thought of as either excessively house-proud or else excessively concerned about hygeine, a 'clean freak'. Psychologists might see this as a sign of Obsessive-Compulsive disorder.

However, in Russia or Iran, such a person would be considered to be quite normal. In those countries, everyone takes off their shoes when entering a home and it would be rude not to do so when visiting. Nobody would consider my concern as cause for me to see a therapist.

So, the assumptions and norms of a culture are used in shaping ideas about mental health. Few sociologists would of course completely question the medical basis for concepts of mental illness; however, it is apparent that things that are relative can be used in determining mental health. This can be a cause for concern. In Britain, more people from ethnic minorities are placed in mental hospitals than white British. This may well be because the nuances and norms of cultural behaviour within minority ethnic groups are not understood and recognised by psychiatrists.

Do I sound like a bleeding-heart liberal?

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Are You a Jacob or an Esau?

Here's a question for you, guys. Are you more like Jacob or like Esau?

Obviously, I am not asking if you are a profane person or a fornicator. Are you a rugged sportsman or a domesticated indoor type? Do you hunt your food or do you prefer cooking it?

My Christian friends describe me as a plain man, dwelling in tents. I am a Jacob all right.

Charismatic Gifts

There are two sorts of Christians who believe Charismatic gifts are available today; those who endorse false teaching and those who are so busy combatting false teaching that they never have any time to use any Charismatic gifts.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

I Can be a bit Arrogant Sometimes

A few minutes ago I heard a Christmas song by Cliff Richards (see below). I thought to myself about how shallow his religious music is.

However, it occurred to me that my attitude was not right. I was being arrogant. Sure, I was right to be critical of the shallow nature of Cliff Richard's religious message. Nevertheless, I had never onece thanked the Lord for the fact that this man had been singing about the Saviour for years, yet I listened to loads of secular music. The music of Cliff Richard's might be sentimental, but how many had come to think on Jesus Christ through his music and testimony? My heart was not right.

Where Should I Go?

Regular readers will know that I really dislike Britain and want to leave. But where should I go? Here are some options:

Finland

Obvious one. I am learning Finnish and have visited Helsinki. I thought it was realy nice. As an EU resident, I can go there and seek employment. There is certainly a lack of Fundamentalist Christians there.

On the other hand, would I be able to find a job where I could teach in English? Could my Finnish become strong enough for me to get by? I also would not want to live under such an authoritarian Left-wing state. I think Finland could only be my home in the short-term.

The United States of America

Being a Right-wing, Fundamentalist Christian, I could fit in well here, provided I kept quiet about my fondness for alcohol. There would certainly be far more job opportunities for a theologian than in the UK.

I really admire the USA. Its such a big, diverse place. Thinking about America always makes me feel happy.

On the other hand, getting to live and work in the USA is not simple. There is also the question of whether the USA needs any more Fundamentalist Christian theologians.

Canada

Like America, a big diverse place with a lot of beauty. Sadly, not as Right-wing. Easier to emigrate to. Does that say it all? I am sorry to compare you to Yankland, Canadians.

Japan

This would be a really interesting place to live. It is so different from the UK. I find Japan really interesting. Also, my obsession with removing shoes to keep the floor clean would be seen as perfectly normal (as with Finland and Canada, but not as strongly as Japan). There are Christians in Japan, so there must be some need for academic theologians. Oviously, Japan is a mission field, even more than Finland.

However, could I cope with being forever considered a big, clumsy foreigner? Being Dyspraxic, coping with the nuances of Japanese manners might be difficult. Then, again, to a Dyspraxic, everything is weird anyway.

Australia

Nicer than Britain, I expect. Australians seem very pleasent people.

Am I prejudiced, or is Australia maybe just a bit lacking in culture? I do not want to seem like a snooty European, but I do get that impression.

New Zealand

A very beautiful country, but unless I cannot go anywhere else, I shall give this one a miss. New Zealand is just a bit too popular with Left-wing British people. I do not want to go meeting lots of British socialists who have sought refuge there. Apologies to Paul W.

Somewhere in Europe

I would need another language. I suppose, if I were to learn another European language, Swedish would be the best choice, as it is the second language in Finland.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Crossed a Threshold: I am Starting to Enjoy Reading Darby

They say that if you run in marathons, there is a point at which if you keep on running long enough, the adrenalin kicks in so hard you actually start to enjoy running. Maybe this is rubbish; I have never run a marathon before; and being such a sapling, I am not planning on trying (While I very much admire my sisters in Christ who write about Biblical Womanhood, I do not want to even think what Biblical Manhood might involve- killing lions, maybe?).

Anyway, I feel that I have reached this point in reading the works of John Nelson Darby, one of the early Plymouth Brethren, the founder of the Exclusive party of Brethren, the founder of the Dispensational scheme and the subject of my PhD thesis.

Darby wrote 34 volumes of papers, amongst other works, including translating the Bible into several languages. Most people agree that Darby's writings are incredibly complicated, opaque and rather badly written. Even by the standards of the 19th Century, they are extremely difficult to read. The big problem seems to be that he did not think beforehand what he wrote. He seems to have written down his thoughts as they came into his head.

I have read about 20 volumes of these papers as well as notes of his lectures and his parts of his Bible synopsis. I am amazed to find that I am starting to enjoy reading his works. I have got past his stylistic problem and I understand his theology. Now he really makes sense to me.

The Biblical and Historic View of Angels and Demons

The nature of devils and their distinction from angels.

School Uniforms

Most British schools require pupils to wear a uniform. It is thought in Britain that this is the 'proper' thing to do. It is thought that only very bad schools lack uniforms and it is commonly argued that lack of a uniform would result in children being bullied over the way they dress. The prime minister has even declared that he wants all schools to have uniforms.

Now, correct me if I am wrong, but I believe most American schools do not require pupils to wear uniforms (or are the movies just misleading?).

It is argued that British schools would feature more bullying if there were no uniforms. However, at the moment, there is a horrendous problem of bullying in British schools, most of which require uniforms. We have seen girls being injured by scissors and blades removed from pencil sharpeners. Are we to believe that uniforms are a significant bulwark against bullying?

Now, I dare say that there is probably a lot of bullying and violence in American schools that have no unifroms. I dare say there may be as much bullying as there is in British schools. However, I find it hard to believe that there is significantly more bullying merely because of the absence of uniforms.

I have my doubts that uniforms are a good aid to the education of children. They smack of authoritarianism and Socialism. Can children learn to be responsible citizens of a free and democratic society by being told what to wear?

Any thoughts?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Lord's Chastening

A couple of years ago. I made some really bad choices. The first was to study Law. I did a part-time Law diploma which was only the first qualification needed to be a solicitor. I had just finished my degree in theology and had no idea what to do. I had begun to detest the thought of being an academic. Academics are usually Left-wing and do almost nothing to benefit society. Unfortunately, I think God has made me to be an academic. I do not think there is really any other career that I am better suited for. Doing Law seemed a good way to make a career in the real world.

Unfortunately, I realised I did not have the hear to complete all the study necessary. I want to live in the real world. I wanted to work, to marry, to live an independant adult life. Unfortutely, that is not any easy thing for people of my generation to do until they about 27. It is very hard to escape adolescence these days. I planned to spend the rest of my life doing mundane low-paid office jobs.

I met a girl at Church and formed a relationship with her. She was a couple of years older than me. She had a lot of emotianal and psycological problems. Her faith was very immature and she was a little worldly. I made compromises for her worldliness. A bad idea. I was convinced that God would grant me a wife and I thought she would be the right person. We got engaged.

Not long after we got engaged, I lost my job. Thinking about a marriage is very stressful when you have no job and getting another one is impossible. My fiance was completely incapable of dealing with stress and this was bad news for her. Then, my father lost his job. This added more stress to the picture.

In the spring of 2004, we postponed our engagement indefinitely. After that our relationship just kept deteriorating over the next six months. We were still engaged until last New Year, and then we just gave up seeing each other. We both hated the time we spent together.

Postponing our engagement indefinitely had meant that I had time to think about my future. I started my PhD course. The Lord blessed me with a really excellent part-time job. I still find it hard to believe that I found this job and am still working there.

The stress of being unemplyed and my rotten relationship had taken its toll. in the summer of 2004, I had lost weight, was feeling very low and afflicted by mouth ulcers. If things had carried on as they had any longer, I am sure I would have had a nervous breakdown.

I believe with absolute conviction that my unemployment was the Lord's chastisement, His disciplien of those he loves. I needed to return to theology and I needed that engagement to end.

While I was going through this chastening, I thought the only way through was to be more devout. I did lots of fasting and Bible study. My Christian friends had told me that I needed to purify my life from Science Fiction and Fantasy. I reasoned that if I got rid of anything that had any remote connection with the Occult or Fantasy, then the Lord would start blessing me and solve my problems. Unfortunatly, this was not the Lord's plan. I needed this chastening and no matter how many books, videos and CDs I destroyed, it was the relationship that needed to end. We sometimes have to learn the hard way. God's discipline is not easy.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Carey's Journal

Carey's Journal

A good blog by a person who evidently likes Lisa Gerrard's music as much as I do.

Humans and Angels: How Similar are We?

Angels have bodies that are not that dissimilar to that of humans.

Bodies in Heaven: Angels and Humans

Another study in Biblical cosmology examining the nature of angels.

Christmas: Maybe Because We are British

Going back to the post on the Christmas Tree, I had a lot of comments. Thanks all of you for reading that post and commenting.

I notice that only two bloggers agreed with me, Ruth (wholeheartedly- thanks) and Libbie (with reservations). It is interesting that both these ladies are British, like me.

I wonder if perhaps living in a more secular society than the USA (believe me, it really is), with an apostate state Church makes us less inclined to wholeheartedly endorse Christmas and all its trappings.

On the other hand, the Evangelical theology of myself, Libbie and Ruth is not characteristic of Evangelical theology in Britain. British Evangelicalism is domminated by Anglicanism, Charismatic theology and compromise. British Evangelicalism is far less conservative than its American counterpart. The average American Evangelical would be considered in Britain to be very fundamentalist. It is far easier for Fundamentalists and Conservative Evangelicals in Britain to feel like outsiders and aliens.

Prime Minister's Question Time Today

Sorry to keep on about British politics, but I just watched Prime Minister's Question Time, live from parliament. David Cameron, the new Conservative leader gave a brilliant performance.

Every week, the prime minister has to answer questions put to him by members of parliament. The leader of the main opposition party gets to ask him several questions. Previous Conservative leaders have been very bombastic and confrontational, making head-on attacks on Blair's policies. This always resulted in the Conservative leader and Blair trading snidy comments at each other.

David Cameron totally changed the rules of the game. Instead of attacking the prime minister, he expressed his support for the prime minisrer's plans for education reforms, encouraging him to be bolder. Blair was completely thrown by this new tactic and seemed really uncomfortable. He tried to get Cameron into an argument, but Cameron would not be thrown.

Cameron's strategy is to get Blair to be as radical in his new reforms as possible, so that Blair will depend upon Conservative members of parliament to vote his reforms through. This will hopefully cause the more Left-wing Labour members to rebel against the prime minister. It is very clever.

Prayer is the Soul's Sincere Desire

1 Prayer is the soul's sincere desire,
Uttered or unexpressed;
The motion of a hidden fire
That trembles in the breast.


2 Prayer is the simplest form of speech
That infant lips can try;
Prayer the sublimest strains that reach
The Majesty on high.

3 The saints in prayer appear as one
In word, in deed, and mind,
While with the Father and the Son
Sweet fellowship they find.


4 O Thou by whom we come to God,
The Life, the Truth, the Way,
The path of prayer Thyself hath trod,
Lord, teach us how to pray.

James Montgomery

I think this is a really nice hymn, even though it is a bit sentimental.

I think one of the things that most characterises a Christian is that they live a life of prayer. Believers pray and they are usually conscious of their need to pray more.

Of course, it is only a regenerate soul that desires to pray. To the worldly man, there is nothing more foolish than prayer. The world says 'You do not know there is a God, and if there was, why should he want your prayers?' But this betrays their failure to appreciate the truth, that God is a personal God who desires a realtionship with us. Thus, he desires our prayers.

Facing Jail

I posted a while ago about the teenage girl in Worcester who nearly escaped having to wear an electronic tag because 'it would look stupid with a skirt'.

She has admitted assault but denies grievous bodily harm. She is likely to go to jail.

The Conservative Party has a New Leader

As expected, David Cameron was chosen yesterday to lead the Conservative Party. I do not really trust him. He is not right-wing enough for my taste.

On the other hand, it is exciting to have someone new and fresh leading the party. He will be very different from previous leaders. The big advantage of David Cameron is that despite his lack of experience, he has a powerful 'nice-guy' image that is totally removed from the stereotype of 'nasty' Conservatives.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Buildings in Heaven

A Bible study on Biblical cosmology demonstrating that Heaven is a physical place.

Not Practical Where I Work

In many Japanese offices, staff and visitors remove their outdoor shoes and change into slippers. This seems absolutely absurd to British people. However, I think that it is quite sensible. In my experience, nearly all offices have really dirty carpets.

However, I realise this would not be practical in the office where I work part-time. People continually cross between the office and the warehouse. It would not be a good idea to wear slippers in the warehouse.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Crib Scenes

Sorry to keep on about Christmas, but this blog is my personal soapbox.

I think Crib Scenes are the worst aspect of Christmas. At Christmas time, even some Evangelicals buy little models of Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus. To me this is so horrible. Has anyone out there read the Second Commandment?

Every Christmas in Worcester they set up these statues of the holy family outside the city hall. I suppose at least in the USA, it is probably unconstitutional to put religious images outside a government building.

Crib Scenes stink of the same disgusting idolatry that you get in Catholic countries, where the statues of the Virgin and other saints are carried about through the streets.

I am sorry to get so angry (I really am a calm, steady, peacful sort of person), but I just hate this stuff. I think it is so disgusting to see Christianity mixed with idolatry. It really upsets me to see Evangelicals accepting this stuff as nice. It is not nice, it is spiritual corruption.

Homosexual Civil Partneships now Legal in Britain

From today, same-sex couples can now register to form civil partnerships in Britain.

When such behaviour is tolerated in a land it can only expect to see God's judgment. I really must hurry up with my PhD course and get out of here.

In my experience, most people believe that such behaviour is wrong and disgusting. They would be ashamed for their children to behave that way, but they would never admit it for fear of being accused of bigotry.

Why should we tolerate such behaviour? If these people think that what they do is decent and good, they are either insane or utterly corrupt morally. If a man would do the awful things that homosexuals do, we can only expect that he would steal, take drugs or murder people.

There is only one penalty in the Bible for such deeds. Death.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Return of the Sacred Grove

My parents have put up their awful Christmas Tree. The sacred grove is back.

Christmas Trees make me really nervous. They just seem so overtly heathen.


For those who have never read Jeremiah 10 before, have a read:

1 Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:

2 thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.

3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.

4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

5 They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.

6 ¶ Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.


And for good measure:

2 Chronicles 31:1
Now when all this was finished, all Israel that were present went out to the cities of Judah, and brake the images in pieces, and cut down the groves, and threw down the high places and the altars out of all Judah and Benjamin, in E'phra-im also and Manas'seh, until they had utterly destroyed them all. Then all the children of Israel returned, every man to his possession, into their own cities.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Fish Symbol is Pagan

Is this really a symbol of Christianity or is it a sign of apostasy?

Jesus the Fish God?

Origin of the 'Christian' Fish Symbol


Is this symbol in the Bible? More to the point, where in the Bible do we find Christians using signs and symbols?

It is interesting that the biggest fans of the fish symbol are Charismatics, with all their doctrinal confusion. Lets throw out all these dubious symbols, logos and crazes.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Is This Thing Serious?

One of my parents old books, that I have appropriated, is a 'Living Bible-Study Reference Edition'. 'Study Reference Edition'? Is this serious? Did people actually do serious Bible study with a Living Bible?

The study notes are Dispensational and conservative. But in a Living Bible? 'Study Reference' my foot.

Christmas Shopping

Believe it or not, this Hislop-reading, Jeremiah 10-quoting, 'Xmas is Saturnralia and Santa is Moloch' pronoucing Fundie goes Christmas shopping every year.

This year I have done it fast and speedily. I got all the presents for my family from just one supermarket today. I might get some other presents for my friends, but I spent so much money (some of it on food and drink for myself, I must confess).

I went to a really up-market, expensive supermarket called 'Waitrose'. As I love food and drink, I got all my family food and drink for presents. As they love food and drink that should be alright.

I felt very rich and sophisiticated shopping in Waitrose with a trolly loaded with fine food and drink. Us English folks are so shallow; we all really want to pretend to be upper-class, though we never admit it.

Afterwards I visited a Christian friend and his sister who lives nearby. He is a great guy, if a little eccentric. He gave me lunch of Chicken and White Wine soup with some added spices. I also tried some Japanese Green Tea at his house, which was rather nice.

The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, is Ended

The day Thou gavest, Lord, is ended,
The darkness falls at Thy behest;
To Thee our morning hymns ascended,
Thy praise shall sanctify our rest.

We thank Thee that Thy church, unsleeping,
While earth rolls onward into light,
Through all the world her watch is keeping,
And rests not now by day or night.

As o’er each continent and island
The dawn leads on another day,
The voice of prayer is never silent,
Nor dies the strain of praise away.

The sun that bids us rest is waking
Our brethren ’neath the western sky,
And hour by hour fresh lips are making
Thy wondrous doings heard on high.

So be it, Lord; Thy throne shall never,
Like earth’s proud empires, pass away:
Thy kingdom stands, and grows forever,
Till all Thy creatures own Thy sway.


This is a really nice hymn, one of my favorites. Is it not a wonderful truth that 'the voice of prayer is never silent'? At every hour of the day, even while I am fast asleep, my brethren in other parts of the world will be wide awake in prayer. What a precious thought!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

National Service is an Abomination

I am very concerned. Conservative leadership candidate David Cameron has said that he is in favour of voluntary national service for school-leavers. Well, voluntary maybe for a while, but how long before it became compulsory? Even if it was not compulsory, I daresay there would be pressures to do it, such as getting better university places afterwards.

National service was abolished in Britain att he end of the 1950s. After the Second World War, young men had been required to serve two years in the army, navy or air force. In many European countries, such as Finland, young people have the choice of either serving a brief term in the military or else doing community or environmental work.

National serice, whether military conscription or community service, is essentially state slavery. The state tells young people-

'You will either join the armed forces, look after old people or pick up litter or else you will go to jail.'

Jail for what? Jail for excercising free choice. National service gives the state the power to determine the destiny of every individual. It is a denial that man is made in the image of God and responsible to Him foremost.

National serive is completely contrary to the principles of God's word-

Deutoronomy 20:5-9
'And the officer's shall speak unto the people, saying, What man is there that hath built a new house, and hath not dedicated it? let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, an another man dedicate it.
And what man is thehe that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not yet eaten of it? let him also go and return unto his house, lest he die in battle, and another man eat of it.
And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her.
And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say, What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? let him go and return unto his house, let his brethren's heart faint as well as his heart.
And it shall be that when the officers have made an end of speaking unto the people, that they shall make captains of the armies to lead the people.'


So conscription is forbidden. The warning against kingship:

1 Samuel 8:11-18
'And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; ans ome shall run before hsi chariots.
And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.
And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks and to be bakers.
And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your olive yards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.
And he will take your menservants and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.
He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.
And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day.'


Thats what I call national service. When a people give away their liberties to the state, they end up regretting it later. A people get the government they deserve. If you let the government get to big, do not be surprised if they take away your daughters to be cooks (or litter pickers).

National service is economically wasteful. It requires taxpayers money to sustain the bureaucracy involved. People doing national service are not economically useful; they create no wealth in the short term and the long term economic benefits are doubtful.

Lets be wary of these bright ideas from Europe.

People Not Places

Yesterday I realised my real attitude to travel and tourism. I realised I am much more interested in people than in places. I fyou tell me about your holiday, I would be much more interested in hearing about the sort of people you met than in the places and things that you saw.

When I went to Helsinki, it was wonderful to see the places that I had heard about. However, I was much more fascinated in the Finnish people and how they were so different from British and other nationalities. I spent little time before the trip reading my guidebook to places in Finland, but when I borrowed a book from the library on Finnish culture, I read it from cover to back.

I think my lack of interest in places explains why until the last year I have had so little interest in travel. As a tourist, it is easier to see places rather than people. The reason I was able to learn so much about Finnish life when I visited Finland was that I was staying with a resident. Had I stayed in a hotel or youth hostel I would not have learned as much.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Time for Some Disclaimers

I feel disturbed by the willingness of Evangelical Christian preachers and writers to shower praise and churn out quotations of CS Lewis without giving any warning about the fact that he was not Evangelical and not always very sound in theology. I have read very few books on spiritual warfare that do not quote CS Lewis' comment about the two dangers of either not believing in Satan or being fascinated by him.

Now, I do not want people to think I do not find CS lewis at all helpful. He made soem good points and his Chronicles of Narnia are always a pleasure to read. However, when recommending CS Lewis, it is necessary to make clear that there were many faults in his theology which can seriously mislead a Christian who is lacking in sound theology. As Lewis' books are probably most useful to Christians who are more immature there is the question of whether his non-fiction works should be recommended at all.

The serious flaws in Lewis' theology:

-He did not satisfactorily affirm Penal substitutionary atonement.
-He had no real doctrine of Justification, which is at the heart of the Gospel.
-He did not believe that the Bible was entirely the Word of God, holding that it contained errors of both fact and morals.
-He accepted the theory of evolution.
-He believed that false religions could lead to salvation.
-He was quite comfortable with Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.
-He spoke in positive terms about paganism.

I once mentioned the faults of CS Lewis' theology to a Pentecostal man. He warned me against judging other Christians. However, this man regularly criticised other Christians for not being pro-Israel enough and often made attacks against 'Replacement Theology'. Even he sometimes felt the need for attacking unsound theology.

I think the real reason for the unwillingness of preachers and Christian writers to mention Lewis' faults is sentimentality. We have all read the Narnia books and love them; nobody wants to criticize the man who wrote them. Well, I wish more Christians would have the courage to put a big disclaimer on CS Lewis.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The Wrong Sorrow

Last night I felt really lonely. I just cried and cried. I just felt so unhappy.

After going to sleep for a while, I woke up and remembered that I had sinned against the Lord by neglecting to do something. I had gone for months without feeling any sorrow or guilt for this wicked omission. What right had I to weep over being lonely without the slightest trace of sorrow for leaving this thing undone? The Lord is most gracious to me, an undeserving sinner.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Against Traditionalism

Time for a post on aesthetics. I think Christians should beware of an aesthtic sensibility that is focused on ethnic traditions of one's own culture.

I am really uncomfortable with the kind of nationalistic, Romanticist aesthetic that delights in the traditional dance, music, dress and history of one's own culture. Christians should shun such cultural movements. Why? Firstly, because they create deep identification with this world. If I am a nationalistic, patriotic Englishman, I am grounding my identity in my native culture and am making it an object of affection and uniting myself to it as an object of loyalty. As a Christian I am united to Christ and to His body, the Church, who should find their identity in heaven with Christ. The Church is not of this world, it must maintain an identity that is separate from it. Therefore, we as Christians must beware patriotism in its identification with nations.

Secondly, such an aesthetic is exclusive because only those who belong to that culture can truly participate in it. Romantic cultural nationalism can go hand in hand with agressive, violent nationalism, as seen in the Fascism of the Second World War. In Christ, people from all nations become one in the body of Christ, in which there is neither Jew nor Gentile.

Some Christians attempt to resist this conclusion by arguing that in eternity the nations maintain a distinct identity, pointing out Revelation 21:24. It is certainly true that God has a distinct programme for the nations. They will indeed maintain separate identities for all eternity. It is part of God's plan since the Flood to create separate nations. However, to use this argument in favour of Christians identifying with their national and ethnic identity is to confuse dispensational differences. The nations will be blessed with earthly blessings in the Millennium and after. However, the Church is an ethereal, heavenly people, that will be translated out of the earth to dwell with Christ in heavenly bodies. There is no indication that Christians will maintain their ethnic and national identities after their resurrection or glorifaction.

Against traditionalism, I would argue that Christians should adopt an aesthetic sensibility that is essentially modernist. Romanticism looks to the past as a mythical golden age, it lacks a true future hope. In contrast, Christians look to the future as a source of hope and delight. Therefore we should not favour aesthetics that are built upon a longing for the past (as some Christians do with their delight in nostalgia, be it for the Middle Ages or for Scottish Covenanters). We are a people of the future. Is there a better example of modern architecture than the New Jerusalem in which God's heavenly people dwell in eternity? We amy certainly look to the past for examples of good tasste and art, but let us not exclusively do so and let us beware exclusively doting upon the culture of our own lands.

Lazy Theology

I get really irritated when some Christians attempt to dodge the issue of election by adopting a really vague position. You hear Christians say things like:

"The Bible teaches God's sovereignty in election and Man's responsibility and free-will. We will never understand these truths before eternity."

I appreciate that there are issues that may not be resolved and which we will never grasp the full depths of God's sovereignty before eternity. However, I think most people who make statements like the one above (a Calvinist might say that, but thats not all she would say) have avoided thinking clearly and carefully about the issues involved and examined carefully all that the Scriptures teach on election.

Questions I would ask the Both-Arminians-and-Calvinists-are right-ists include:

-Is election primarily to salvation or to privilege and position?
-Is election conditional upon faith?
-Is man able to respond to the gospel without regeneration?
-Is there any mediating agency in regeneration?

To avoid searching the Bible for answers to these is sheer laziness.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Eastern Europeans Please Come to Britain (Not all Right-wingers are Xenophobes)

According to the news today, there has been an increase in Eastern European migrant workers claiming child benefits. This means not all of them are single workers, but some of them are bringing families and children.

Some people will be worried about this, as immigration does bring with it problems. However, I for one would like to see an increase in East Europeans in this country. They seem like conservative, hard-working people. An increase in East Europeans would also provide a demographic balance to the rapid growth of the Muslim population in Britain, even if it means more Roman Catholics. East Europeans also tend to customarily remove their shoes at the door.

Nuclear Generators

It does look likely that Britain should build some nuclear generators. However, it is pretty certain that the prime minister is going to tread very softly on this issue.

I am disappointed that the two Conservative candidates have not spoken out clearly on this subject. To challenge the prime minister's hesitance would have been a good way for either David Davis or David Cameron to show some leadership.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Anvil and Fire

Anvil and Fire

Another good Christian blog.

Get Rid of GCSE Coursework

Public criticism has been made today of the role of coursework in school examinations (age 15-16). I quite agree with them. It is far too easy to cheat on coursework, as opposed to exams. Pupils can get help from their parents, from the internet and even from the teacher. It is not a fair system.

The other problem with coursework, I would argue, is that it can easily be marked on the basis of presentation, which tends to put girls at an advantage (they always seemed to produce neater work). Coursework also puts us Dyspraxics at a disadvantage, as we always tend to fall down on presentation.

Sermon on the Mount

I think that the Dispensational view that the Sermon on the Mount is not a rule of life for believers, but rather a call to Israel to repent, is brilliant. I love this view because it is so offensive to the pious. You get lots of people who are quick to claim that they live their life by the Sermon on the Mount, but they do not come an inch close. Likewise, Christian Socialists are quick to take the teaching out of context to promote their own warped view of economic relations.

The Sermon ont eh Mount is law, not grace. To preach the the Sermon on the Mount as a rule of life is to encourage either hypocrisy or legalism.

Mary and Prophecy

Psalm69:9
'For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.'


All Christians agree that this is a messianic prophecy fulfilled by Jesus. However, is the previous verse not also part of the prophecy?:

v8
'I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children.'


If this is a messianic prophecy it blows away Mary's supposed perpetual virginity.

It is strange how persistent the doctrine of Mary's perpetaul virginity has been in Protestant circles. Even the Scofield Reference Bible argues that James is a cousin of Jesus (the same person as James, son of Alphaeus).

Monday, November 21, 2005

Worldview

Worldview is a great buzzword to use in Christian circles. If you are discussing something with a group of Christians and you want to seem intellectual, just drop in the word worldview. Everyone will then know that you are being intellectual.

Bundaberg Australian Root Beer

It was absolutley lovely. It tasted similar to the root beer that I have tried so far. Delightfully medicinal.

I do seem to blog about food and drink a lot. I just enjoy eating and drinking. Stereotypically, nervous, thin men like me have little interest in food and drink, unless they are alcoholics. I guess I am not a stereotypical thin, nervous man.

Reindeer Salami

The Reindeer Salami that I brought back from Finland was wonderful (ihana in Finnish). You would probably not have guessed what meat it was if you did not know, but it was very nice. It was smoked, so I suppose it would not be something to eat too often (eating smoked food increases the risk of cancer). I wish I was in Finland, even with the cold weather.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Free Grace Theology: The Death that Christ Died and its Purpose

Free Grace Theology: The Death that Christ Died and its Purpose

Period After Church Services

The period after Church services is always really depressing. You are supposed to stand around drinking tea and talking to people. These conversations are always short and impossibly shallow. The people you talk to always forget everything you say to them. These days I make little effort ot get into conversation; it just seems a bit pointless. I tend to stand around wondering how long I should stay.

I suppose being Dyspraxic, social occasions like this are difficult. Dyspraxics tend to find it hard picking up social conventions and also find it difficult to follow conversations.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Advent Calendar

Would you believe it? My mother bought me a chocolate-filled advent calendar. It has pictures of the 'Simpsons' on. She also bought a Barbie-themed advent calendar for my sister (who is 23) and an Incredibles-themed advent calendar for her partner (who must be about 27). I think at the age of 24, I am perhaps a bit old for openning advent calendars.

My parents till insist on my leaving out a big sock every Christmas Eve, and then filling it with small presents, always including an orange and some Chocolate money.

I must get back to reading the 'Two Babylons'...

Friday, November 18, 2005

Root Beer

I sometimes get free samples from work. This week there was a crate of bottles of Root Beer in my boss' office. I decided I really wanted to try one, so I dropped a hint. I said 'Are you going to be selling that Root Beer?'. She said 'Should we?'. And, as I had hope, she let me take a bottle to try.

I am really looking forward to trying it. It is made in Australia. I have tried the Root Beer that they sell in Sainsbury's Supermarkets, but I doubt that tastes like the real thing.

Excommunication and Marital Separation

The most disturbing thing about that Raven/ Taylor Exclusive Brethren is their rigid insistence on the separation of married couples in the event of one spouse being put out of fellowship. Even the Jehovah's Witnesses are not so rigig as to enforce marital separation in these circumstances.

This was not the position of John Nelson Darby, the foudner of the Exclusive Brethren:

Darby said:
'Take a wife who's husband is put out. It may seem awkward, but her action is not keeping company with him as a case of will; it is a matter of subjection to authority.' Notes of Readings on 1 Corinthians, Collected Writings Vol.26, p.220

Darby is typically opaque here. I take that to mean that a wife does not remain with her husband because she wants to and loves him, but because she is subject to his authority, which the excommunication does not cancel.

Darby is clearer in another set of readings in the same volume:

'The separation applies to everything. Not to those who are married; we have instruction elsewhere about such, not to leave the one the other: "for what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?"' Notes of Readings on 2 Corinthians, Collected Writings, Vol.26, p.347

So, Darby does not appear to take the position that excommunication must lead to maritial separation.

Early to wed may make marriage happy, survey says

Interesting. A lot of people think you should marry later in life, to be more financially secure and to be more mature for such a big decision. But is that really a good idea?

While, I cannot speak from experience, I think there are disadvantages to delaying marriage. More exposure to temptation. The danger of building up one's expectations of marriage too high. Also, by prolonging singleness, one may get too used to it and find marriage a big shock.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Addressing God as 'Thou'

I must be one of the few Christians under the age of 30 who addresses God as 'thou' rather than 'you'. I do have a friend who usually prays to God as 'thou', except when he is preaching from the pulpit (for some reason). He might just be about 29, but he has probably reached 30. Even Christians who are very conservative and who read the King James Bible who address God as 'you'.

Now, please do not expect me to judge anyone who does not do this. The Bible does not make the disitnction between an address for God and an address for men in the singular. So, I cannot tell you that you should do this. That would be legalistc and wrong. However, I think the old practise of retaining the use of 'thou' for prayer was good; it maintained a sense of reverance. I think is rather a shame that the you/thou distinction in general has been lost in everyday speech in English. I therefore want to hold on to it when I pray and recognsise that there is one God and to address Him as such.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Tagged Anyway

Just a follow-up on the post about the teenage girl who got out of having to wear an electronic tag because she liked to wear skirts. She breached bail a second time, the silly girl. She has now been tagged. Apparently she went to the magistrates court in trousers this time. She is facing charges for assault.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Wordy Tracts

I find it odd that my fellow evangelists seem to favour veryy wordy tracts. Tracts that are popular with evangelists either have a long piece of text or else a large number of Bible verses. The problem is most people on the street will not spend much time reading a tract. I think the most effctive tracts are those with a very, short punchy Gospel message and just a couple or so Bible verses. Am I being too pragmatic? Obviously, very literate people will spend time reading a long tract, but I do not think this is the case with most people.

Is Cleanliness Next to Godliness?

Cleanliness is next to godliness. Is this old proverb true?

Against

-It is not in the Bible.
-Lots of godly people are not always very clean or keep their homes clean.
-It leads to a judgmental attitude.
-Christian ministry, for example, mission work, can often involve getting dirty (horror of horrors).

For (of course)

-Being judgmental is bad, even over more serious matters than cleanliness.
-If your body is God's gift, should you not keep it clean?
-Just read Leviticus if you think being clean does not matter (but do not forget dispensational differences).
-Living in a dirty house is very unhealthy. Can one be godly without being concerned about one's familiy's health?
-The statement does not say that cleanliness is godliness, only that it is the next best thing. The practical benefits of cleanliness speak for themselves.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Naughty Behavior

Some people say the riots in Paris are because of poverty. I say it is just because they are naughty. 'Poverty' sounds like an excuse.

Salami

The best thing about Europe, in my opinion, is salami. There is a whole continent full of the stuff- German peppered salami, pink Danish salami, French Saucission, Salami Milano. So much to choose from. When I went to Helsinki, Finland, I brought back a Reindeer Salami. I have not tried it yet. I am sure it will be nice.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Worship at my Congregation

At my Church (part of the Federation of Independent Evangelical Churches) we sing a mixture of modern choruses and hymns accompanied by singers and a few musical instruments. It is peculiar how the Church combines very conservative, moderately Reformed theology with contemporary worship. The pastor once said:

"I know that we get the worship right here when somebody afterwards complains after the service that we sang too many choruses and somebody else complains that we sang too many hymns."

With respect to the pastor, this is not a good attitude. Is true worship about pleasing different groups of people?

Sold Out

A good Christian blog.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Was Cain Eve's First Child? (by Special Request)

I would suggest that Eve may have been pregnant at the time of the Fall. This child must have been a daughter, as Cain was the first son of Adam and Eve. We are not told, however, that he was the first child that Eve bore. We know that Adam and Eve had daughters, one of whom would have been Mrs. Cain.

Now it is possible that a daughter was conceived in Eve after the Fall before the birth of Cain, but I would suggest that she may have been pregnant when the Fall happened. My reason for thinking this is that the Fall happened pretty quickly. Some Puritans suggested that the Fall occurred on the sixth day, demonstrating the wickedness of man in falling so quickly. However, it appears that everything was still good on the Seventh day when God rested. So, the Fall must have happened a day or two after Adam and Eve were created.

It may be that Adam and Eve delayed the consumation of their marriage for some reason (figuring it out?), but given that God had commanded them to be fruitful and multiply, they would presumably have got on with it.
As the world was at the height of fertility, it surely seems likely that the first marital act would have resulted in conception. So, I would suggest that Eve was already pregnant with a daughter by the time that Satan tempted her.

There is the problem of the effect of the Fall on this child. She would have been conceived in innocence without the taint of sin. However, she must have received both the guilt and fallen nature of Adam after the Fall. Therefore sin must have been communicated to her either through the womb or else supernaturally through Adam's spiritual headship. As the curse was communicated to the whole creation, I think there is no real problem with the guilt of Adam being communicated to the future Mrs. Cain (or Mrs. Abel) even though she had already been conceived.