Friday, September 29, 2006

The Bible for Today Homepage

The Bible for Today Homepage

A good Fundamentalist site. Supports the King James Version.

Funnily Enough

When I was about nine years old, my parents introduced me to such eschatological concerns as to the Lord's coming, the Antichrist, the mark of the Beast and the battle of Armageddon. I found it all a bit scary, but I was quite fascinated by it all.

At the age of about ten, I was determined to study the prophetic Scriptures for myself, beginning with the Revelation and Matthew 24 in my Good News Bible. I also read my parents old books about Bible prophecy. They were mostly written at the time of the Middle East oil crisis and were quite sensational. Needless to say, I understood very little of what I was delving into.

I decided at that time, that when I grew up I would become a theologian and an expert at Bible prophecy.

Funnily enough, here I am a theologian studying issues that relate to Bible prophecy.

I think perhaps my early exposure to Premillennial eschatology determined the direction of my future interest in Dispensationalism and Fundamentalism.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Worcestershire Schools Serving Halal Meat

Worcester News: School Meals Meat Row

It turns out large numbers of schools in Worcestershire are serving Halal meat as part of normal school meals. For those of you less familiar with Islam, Halal meat is meat which has been slaughtered and prepared according to the specifications of Islamic ritual.

I think it makes sense to serve Halal meat in school meals. Muslim pupils cannot eat any other kind of meat.

However, I think it was naughty of the schools not to inform parents of this policy. Some people have objections to Halal meat on animal welfare grounds (the animals have their throats cut and are bled to death without anaesthetic). Also, some people have religious objections to eating Halal meat. I knew a Sikh who would not eat it and I have at least one Christian friend who considers eating Halal to be meat sacrificed to idols.

I myself feel at liberty to eat Halal meat. There is a great Muslim cafe in Worcester that sells both greasy American food and oily Indian food.

Opportunity to go to Japan

The mission agency got back to me yesterday. I am informed I have the opportunity to go to Japan for two months. They want me to see as much as possible of the country and the work there.

I phoned my supervisor to check whether taking two months of my studies would be a good idea. He thought it was an excellent opportunity and gave me his blessing.

I am very excited.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Bulgaria and Romania to join the European Union next year

It has been confirmed that Bulgaria and Romania will be joining the European Union next year. There was some talk about the possibility that their entrance would be delayed because of their ongoing problems of corruption. However, they will be allowed to join on the scheduled date, with the condition that if they do not sort out corruption, they will be deprived of some of the subsidies they would receive under the Common Agricultural Policy.

I am a Eurosceptic. However, I am also a big political realist. While Britain leaving the EU is a nice idea, it is very unlikely to happen. I believe that an enlarged Europe is the future. We must look to enlarge the EU further into the East. That way, we can help to create a Europe of Economic liberalism and prosperity.

A larger EU means a Europe of greater diversity. It means the end of bureaucratic Franco-German hegemony in the West.

Of course, the most crucial issue for EU enlargement in the short term is immigration. The government have given indications that they will exercise their right to set limits on migration from Bulgaria and Romania in the first seven years of their membership.

However, I would urge the government not to do this. All of the evidence suggests that there is not going to be a huge influx of workers from Bulgaria and Romania. The people of these countries are more likely to immigrate to Spain, Italy and Greece.

Let us take advantage of the opportunity to keep our labour market flexible and to take advantage of people from another country.

Bulgarians and Romanians could become a welcome part of our community and enrich the cultural life of our nation.

He must have had some Onions handy.

I knew very well that the downside of the prime minister's impending resignation would be having to watch him give a weepy-eyed speech with lots of sniffing.

Tony Blair gave his last speech as Labour leader at the Labour party conference today. As expected, it was full of sentiment and he got a bit weepy eyed. He is very good at this emotional stuff.

Give the man a hankerchief.

Solifidian

Solifidian

A superb Free Grace blog. Featuring answers to questions put to Professor Zane Hodges.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Keep it Coming, Cherie!

It is always funny hearing about the gaffs coming from the prime minister's wife, Cherie Blair.

The chancellor and likely successor to Blair, Gordon Brown was making an important speech today at the Labour party conference. As he spoke about what a privilege it was working with the prime minister, Cherie Blair was overheard by a journalist saying:

That's a lie!


The office of the prime minister claim she in fact said 'Can I get by?'

Southern Comfort, the favorite drink of hypocritical church-goers

In my efforts to become ever more ready to confront the errors of Jehovah's Witnesses, I borrowed from the university library the Watchtower publication, You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth. On page 186 of this book, there is a picture of a man in church with his wife next to a picture of the same man in a casino, in the company of a rather more playful-looking lady. In the front of the man is a recognisable bottle of my favorite drink, Southern Comfort.

I wonder if the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society received any money from the makers of Southern Comfort for advertising their product?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Wonderful and Unexpected News

A while ago, I mentioned that the Japanese government was trying to bring in legislation to force school teachers to sing the national anthem (which is practically an hymn to the emperor). A group of liberals and Christians challenged this legislation as violating the constitutional rights to freedom of conscience.

A Tokyo court has thankfully ruled that the government's policy was indeed a violation of the constitution. This ruling was something of a surprise in that the Japanese court has rarely challenged government policy in the past.

This is welcome news given the tendency of the present Japanese govenrment to support nationalistic Shintoism. It seems that Japan's excellent record of religious freedom will continue for now.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

73% of Parents Smack their Children and Oppose any moves to Ban Corporal Punishment

Times Online: Majority of Parents admit to Smacking Children

I was delighted to read in the Times newspaper today that seven out of ten parents in the UK use corporal punishment on their children and oppose any moves to ban smacking.

While so-called 'child experts' have formed a noisy lobby against smacking, the majority of parents it seems have the sense to see that children need discipline.

As yet physical chastisement is still permitted in the UK and the government has no intention of changing that.

This is ultimately a question of civil liberties. Do parents have the right to make decisions about how they bring up children or must they bow to the superior wisdom of the experts?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I say Keep the Doors Open!

John Reid, the British home secretary made a speech today where he implied a change in government policy toward immigration from new entrants into the European Union.

The government has so far had an open door policy to those East European countries that have joined the European Union. However, he has suggested that temporal restrictions may be imposed on immigration from Bulgarian and Romania when they join the EU.

I think this would be a very disappointing move. Britain has benefited considerably from pursuing an open door policy on immigration from Poland. Immigrants from Bulgaria and Romania might also be able to fill skills gaps in the labour market.

It is doubtful that immigrants from Bulgaria and Romania would come to the UK in the same numbers as have come from Poland. Poland has signficant historical links with Britain via the Second World War (Bulgaria and Romania sided with the Germans). By all accounts, Romanians and Bulgarians would prefer to go to Italy and Spain for the warmer weather.

I think it is simply populism that has motivated John Reid's speech. John Reid is a strong contender for the leadership of the Labour party when Blair resigns. While Reid has not announced that he is standing for the top job, he is almost certainly the only man who has a credible chance of standing against Gordon Brown, the presumed successor to Blair.

Military Coup in Thailand

I heard about the coup in Thailand from my mother before I had even put the news on.

I was a little surprised. But then they have had a number of coups in military governments in the past. It is more a part of their political culture.

I would urge readers to pray for peace and a restoration of stable government in Thailand.

It will be rather interesting to see if these events have any effect on the huge number of British tourists who visit Thailand. It will be a disaster for Thailand if tourists are scared off.

So the Thai military want to get rid of their prime minister. I wonder if Gordon Brown, our chancellor and would-be-prime minister, has been inspired.

I rather liked the Thai prime minister. He looked like a very nice friendly chap.

J.N. Darby on Separation and Unity

John Nelson Darby wrote:

"Here I might close my remarks, having developed the great, though simple, principle, flowing from the very nature of God, that separation from evil is His principle of unity. But a difficulty collateral to my main object and subject presents itself. Supposing evil introduces itself into this one body so formed actually on earth, does the principle still hold good? How then can separation from evil maintain unity? And here we can touch on the mystery of iniquity. But this principle, flowing from the very nature of God, that He is holy, cannot be set aside. Separation from evil is the necessary consequence of the presence of the Spirit of God under all circumstances as to conduct and fellowship. But here there is a certain modification of it. The revealed presence of God is always judicial when it exists; because power against evil is connected with the holiness which rejects it. Thus in Israel God's presence was judicial; His goverment was there, which did not allow evil. So, though in another manner, it is in the church. God's presence is judicial there- not in the world, save in testimony, because God is not yet revealed in the world; and hence it plucks up no tares out of that field. But it judges them that are within.

Hence the church is to put out from itself the wicked person, and thus maintains its separation from evil. And unity is maintained in the power of the Holy Ghost and a good conscience. And indeed, that the Spirit may not be grieved and the practical blessing lost, saints are exhorted to look dilligently lest any man fail of the grace of God. Amd how sweet and blessed is this garden of the Lord, when it is thus maintained and blooms in the fragrance of Christ's grace. But, alas! we know worldliness creeps in, and spiritual power declines; the taste for this blessing is enfeebled, because it is not enjoyed in the power of the Spirit; the spiritual fellowship with Christ the heavenly Head decays, and the power which banishes evil out of the church is no longer in living exercise. The body is not sufficently animated by the Holy Ghost to answer the mind of God. But God will never leave Himself without witness. He brings home the evil to the body by some testimony or other- by the word or by judgements, or both in succession- to recall it to its spiritual energy, and lead it to maintain His glory and place. If it refuse to answer to the very nature and character of God, and to the incompatibility of that nature with evil (so that it becomes really a false witness for God), then the first and immutable principle recurs, the evil must be separated from.

Further, the unity which is maintained after such separation, becomes a testimony to the compatability of the Holy Ghost with evil: that is, it is in its nature apostasy; it maintains the name and authority of God in His church, and associates it with evil. It is not the professed open apostasy of avowed infidelity; but it is denying God according to the true power of the Holy Ghost, while using His name. This unity is the great power of evil pointed out in the New Testament, connected with the professing church and the form of piety. From such we are to turn away. This power of evil in the church may be discerned spiritually, and left when there is the consciousness of inability to effect any remedy; or if there be an open public testimony, it is then open condemnation to it. Thus, previous to the Reformation, God gave light to many who maintained a witness to this very evil in the professing church, apart from it; some bore testimony and still remained. When the Reformation came it was openly and publicly given, and the professing body or Romanism became opnely and avowedly apostate, as far as a professing Christian body can, in the Council of Trent. But wherever the body declines the putting away of evil, it becomes in its unity a denier of God's character of holiness, and then separation from the evil is the path of the saint; and the unity he has left is the very greatest evil that can exist where the name of Christ is named. Saints may remain, as they have in Romanism, where there is not power to gather all saints together; but the duty of the saint as to it is plain on the first principles of Christianity, though doubtless his faith may be exercised by it. 'Let every one that names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.' It is possible that he that departs from evil may make himself a prey; but this, of corse, makes no difference; it is a question of faith. He is in the true power of God's unity.

Thus, then, the word of God affords us the true nature, object and power of unity; and, in so doing, it gives us the measure of it, by which we judge of what pretends to it, and the manner of it; and, moreover, the means of maintaining its fundamental principles according to the nature and power of God by the Holy Ghost in the conscience where it may not be realised together in power. It nature flows from God's; for of true unity He must be the centre, and He is holy; and He brings us into it by separating us from evil. Its object is Christ; He is the sole centre of the church's unity, objectively as its Head. Its power is the presence of the Holy Ghost down here, sent as the Spirit of Truth withal from the Father by Jesus. Its measure is walking in the light, as God is in the light; fellowship with the Father, and with His Son Jesus, and we may add, through the testimony of the written word- the apostolic and prophetic word of the New Testament especially. It is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets (of the New Testament), Jesus Christ Himself being the corner stone. The means of maintaining it is putting away evil judicially if needed), so as to maintain, through the Spirit, fellowship with the Father and the Son. If evil be not put away, then separation from that which does not becomes a matter of conscience. I return, if alone, into the essential and infallible unity of the body, in its everlasting principles of union with the Head in a holy nature by the Spirit. The path of the saints thus becomes clear. God will secure by eternal power the vindication, not here perhaps, but before His angels, of them who have rightly owned His nature and truth in Christ Jesus.

I believe these fundamental principles are deeply needed in this day, for the saint who seeks to walk truly and thoroughly with God. Latitudinarian unity it may be painful and trying to keep aloof from; it has an amiable form in general, is in measure respectable in the religious world, tries nobody's conscience, and allows of everbody's will. It is the more difficult to be decided about, because it is often connected with a true desire of good, and is associated with amiable nature. And it seems rigid, and narrow, and sectarianism to decline so to walk. But the saint, when he has the light of God, must walk clearly in that. God will vindicate His ways in due time. Love to every saint is a clear duty; walking in their ways is not. And he that gathers not with Christ scatters. There can be but one unity; confederacy, even for good, is not it, even if it have its form. Unity, professed to be connected with the clerical principle, because that is needed to maintain unity, when the Spirit is not in power, and in fact, takes its place, guides, rules, governs in its place, under the plea of priesthood, or ministry, owned as a distinct body, a separate institution: it would not hold together without this."

Taken from Separation from Evil: God's Principle of Unity in Collected Writings of J.N. Darby vol.1, p.362-365

Key words: J.N. Darby, separation, unity, Plymouth Brethren, church discipline, putting away evil, Exclusive Brethren

Would the Liberal Democrats do that?

An interesting question in British politics is whether the Liberal Democrat party would be willing to form a coalition government with the Conservative party.

It is higly likely that the next general election will see an hung parliament (no overall majority), in which case a coalition might be necessary.

The previous Liberal Democrat leader, Charles Kennedy was adamant that he would never form a coalition with the Conservatives. It was his ambition for the Lib Dems to become the official opposition, a very unlikely prospect.

However, the current leader Sir Menzies Campbell (Ming) is inclined more to the Right of the party. It is possible that he might make a deal with the Conservatives in the event of an hung parliament. Especially given that the Conservatives are becoming more liberal under David Cameron.

A good deal hinges on the results of the vote today at the Liberal Democrat party conference on whether or not to cut taxes in the unlikely event of their coming to power.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Incredible Coincidence

Both Jenson and I posted links to the National Trust on the same day. His was in a post about his holiday, mine was on a post on Shoes Off at the Door, Please. What a coincidence.

Is this a sign? Is the Lord calling me to the Calvinism of the 1689 Baptist Confession? Am I going to become a Spurgeon-quoting member of the Metropolitan Taberncacle? Or is the Lord going to awaken Jenson to the theology of Zane Hodges? Will Antonio be featuring on Jenson's blogroll one day?

Or is it just that we British bloggers post about similar things?

End of Leftist Rule in Sweden

Finally, after 30 years, the Left has been voted out of government in Sweden. A Centre-Right party has been voted into office.

Of course, the party that is now in power is very moderate (it is actually called the Moderate party) and unlikely to make big tax cuts or signficant changes to the bloated Swedish welfare state. However, a Centre-Right government is better than a Centre-Left government.

The Swedes seriously need to do something about their welfare state. Putting such a huge tax burden on citizens makes no economic sense whatsoever.

The Moderate party leader has been compared to David Cameron, the British Conservative party leader. I only hope Cameron leads the Conservatives to the same sucess at the next election.

By the way, Sweden is a country where everyone takes their shoes off at the door. Swedes might not have much sense politically, but they sure take care of their wood floors.

Immigration Boosts Church Attendance

Surveys have found that immigration has significantly increased the attendance figures of many churches in Britain.

So immigration is good for the church in Britain. As I have argued before, immigration from Eastern Europe provides a demographic counter-balance to the growth of Islam in western Europe. Not to mention the many Christians from the Phillipines (subtle hint to Angie) and Chinese-speaking countries.

Of course, a major part of this growth is Polish Catholics. However, Roman Catholics are often very responsive when confronted with the true Gospel of grace.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Street Preaching Today

I was on my own again. I preached a short sermon on Thomas' encounter with the risen Christ.

As I finished preaching, I encountered Craig, a guy I often bump into. He follows Taoism, the ancient religion of China, though he could just as easily be called a New Ager.

We had a really long conversation, as we tend to do. He occasionally got a bit agitated talking to me. While he accuses me of arrogance, I think he is very arrogant himself. He believes that he is on a far supeirior path to everybody else because of his spiritual 'cultivation.'

It is very difficult to communicate with Craig. His worldview is so different to mine. He thinks in a completely different way. I look to facts, he looks to mystical experiences.

I think the fact that I keep seeing him is a preperation for going to Japan. While Taoism is quite different to the Buddhism of Japan, there is the same problem of a very alien worldview. It is far easier to communicate the Gospel to a Jew, a Muslim or a pseudoChristian than a follower of an Eastern religion.

I am Sick of hearing about Junk Food and that Big-Mouthed Jamie Oliver

In the UK there has been so much discussion in the last year about the poor quality of food being served in schools. This was a brought on by a high-profile media campaign by celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver. The success of his campaign is a great testimony to James' words about the power of men to control all manner of beasts, but their inability to control their tongues (Jamie Oliver seems to have difficulty communicating without profanity).

As a result of Jamie Oliver's campaign, the government has brought in legislation that will eventually ban the sale of potato chips, fizzy drinks and candy in schools. Taking effect from two weeks ago, schools must now serve healthier food, with french fries only being served once a week.

I was delighted to hear about a revolt in a school in Rotheram against this policy:

Mother's Junk Food School Run

A group of mothers (who appear to be of working-class extraction) have responded to their children's disgust at the healthy food now being served in their school. They have got together and are daily taking orders from their children at lunch time. They then collect the greasy food their children want from the local Fish and Chips shop.

I love the comment of one of the mothers involved:

“This is all down to Jamie Oliver. I just don’t like what he stands for. He is forcing our kids to become more picky about their food. He can feed whatever he wants to his kids but he should realise that other parents think differently.”


I have to say I cannot approve of the actions of these women. It is important for children to eat healthy food and if I was a parent of children at that school, I would be a little annoyed. However, people in this country are obsessed with food and paranoid about it. It is refreshing to read of people who are proudly proclaiming that they do not care at all about healthy eating.

I think it is time people stopped making such a fuss about what food children eat and start asking why so many schools are failing to teach basic Mathematics and English language. Or why schools are unable to control the discipline of children. With teachers being physically attacked by children, the food served in canteens seems pretty low-priority.

I very much doubt that children in the 1930's had particularly healthy food for their lunches. While it is true that their is a rise in child obesity, in almost every other way, children are healthier that they were thirty years ago.

Jamie Oliver admitted that he would like to see schools banning packed lunches. At the end of the day, this is about control. It is yet another example of the government trying to micro- manage society and engineer it according to the ideas of so-called child experts. Parents are continually being starved of control over child rearing.

Warning: Child Experts can be Toxic

Warning: Child Experts can be Toxic

Excellent article by Janice Turner in the Times newspaper.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Fundamentals for the 21st Century, edited by Mal Couch

When I heard about this book, I knew I would have to get it.

We actually get the word Fundamentalist from The Fundamentals, a series of articles, orginally published in magazine form. They were edited by R.A. Torrey. These articles defended basic Evangelical doctrine as well as the reliability of Scripture. They were a grand response to the rise of Liberal Christianity. The authors were from a range of denominational backgrounds, Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist, Episcopalian, etc. Some of the writers would never be considered Fundamentalist today, some of them being Postmillennial and advocating Theistic Evolution. They are available in a one-volume edition edited by Charles Feinberg and Warren Wiersbe.

The Fundamentals for the Twentieth Century, edited by Mal Couch, is an updated set of Fundamentals for a new century. While the writers of the origanal Fundamentals were very diverse, the writers of these Fundamentals are all separtist Dispensationalists of the IFCA variety. Well-known writers include John Walvoord, Robert Lightner, Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Tim LaHaye and Henry Morris.

The new Fundamentals cover much of the same subjects as the old Fundamentals, particularly the authority of Scripture. However, there is far less material dedicated to exposing higher criticism. While corrupt unbelieving Biblical criticism is still with us, it is not the cutting issue it was at the beginning of the Twentieth Century. Hence, there are articles on religious pluralism, mysticism, abortion, the family, civil disobediance and Israel. Sadly, there is no article dedicated to atacking Popery (there were two in the original Fundamentals). It is sad that apart from the KJV-Only movement, Dispensational Fundamentalism has largely abandoned an explict Anti-Romanist polemic. Most Dispensationalists these days deny that Mystery Babylon is Popery, arguing that the orginal city of Babylon will be rebuilt (a position that Darby firmly rejected).

Unlike the original Fundamentals, these articles take a clear and explicit Dispensational stand, endorsing the Pre-Tribulational rapture. With regards to soteriology, I was very pleased to see a firm rejection of Lordship Salvation (unsurprising, given the stance of Mal Couch's Tyndale Seminary) and a favourable view of Zane Hodges' position on repentance.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Discussion with a Charismatic

I had a discussion with a guy at my church who held moderately Charismatic views.

I always feel strange discussing this issue, because I used to be Charismatic. It is my background; where I have come from.

My key question for him was, 'If I have a prophecy today, why can I not write it on the blank page at the back of the Bible?' Or in other words, if there is prophecy today, how can we be sure that the Scriptures are complete?

He was unable to give an adequate answer. He cited the warning against adding to the book in Revelation 22. However, it could be argued that this refers only to the book of Revelation, as the Mormons argue. If there is prophecy today, why not another addition to the canon?

He insisted that prophets today could not reveal new doctrines. However, he could provide no Scriptural support for the notion that prophets would cease to give doctrinal revelation or for the distinction between capital P Prophets and lower case prophets.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

J.N. Darby on Responsibility for the State of the Church

John Nelson Darby wrote:

"But we have no need to insist on this scriptural notion of the unity of the whole system from its beginning to its end. The question is very simple and of the greatest solemnity. Is the church responsible for the state in which it is found, or can it say, like Jeremiah 31:29: 'The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge'? An infidel, speaking of himself, may say: If I have inherited the bad condition of Adam, it is no fault of mine: I suffer from it, but I am not responsible for it. God, in the government of the worl and of His people, does not judge thus; He treats man as responsible, and He acts towards His people, as considering them to be responsible for the state in which they are found. They have been themselves in the evil; they are partakers in it. His grace may deliver one individual or another from the eternal consequences of sin, but those consequences are none the less certain for the human race. Grace may deliver children of God from the order of things which is going to be judged, so that they be gathered into the barn at the time of harvest (Matt 13:30); but they are taken away from the coming judgment, because the church is responsible.

The church is in a state of ruin; it has ceased to bear testimony to the glory of Christ, as it ought to have done, and as it did indeed at the beginning. When I come to the discovery of this sad and overwhelming truth, I feel my responsibility; and I think it is enougth to put the qustion thus, in order to reach the conscience of those whose ear is open to the voice of the Holy Spirit, and who have at heart the glory of Christ. To abide faithful, under the conviction, is the means of being able to enjoy a safe shelter in Him who keeps His own for glory, whatever be withal the circumstances in which they may be found. Nevertheless, this will not prevent God from manifesting that He has looked upon this dispensation as being responsible, when He will put an end to it by judgment. And if God has given a testimony as to this (and He has done so), does not the responsibility already lie on us? Here it is that Romans 11 finds an important application.

Are we responsible, and are we to be judged as such, if after having been warned we are walking in that which the Lord is going to judge? The solution of this question must of necessity act upon those who entertain the hope of re-establishing the church; for they deny at the very same time both its unity and its responsibility, in order to satisfy those few small bodies they have formed. Hence these two questions are very closely connected, and I attach importance to the question of the formation of churches, because it is linked with that of our common responsibility.

My desire is that we may indeed remember that we are responsible for the state in which we are found, and not for the acts of the Christians before us, although these acts may have helped in bringing on that state of things. The church as a body has been placed on earth to glorify the Son of God. Alas! it must be owned with confusion of face, that the church does not glorify Him now. The word of God shews us that there is a solidarity or rather an accumulation of responsibility, and that we inherit the sin of those who have gone before us in a corse of departure from God, when it is a question of His government with respect to a dispensation. 'Thy first father hath sinned,' says Isaiah (Isa. 43:27). 'Yeah, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch,' says Stephen (Acts 7:43), alluding to the sin of Israel in the wilderness, 'and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.' The Jews undergo to this day the consequences of the sin which they committed in the wilderness, of all those which they have sice added thereto, and the measure of which they have filled up by putting to death the Lord Jesus."

Taken from Remarks on the State of the Church in Collected Writings of J.N. Darby, volume 1, p.237-238

Squashed Spider

I found a spider squashed into my mattress this morning. I must have gone to sleep on top of the poor thing.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Severance

It was my last day at work today. I accepted payment instead of notice of my redundancy.

It was not much fun going to work knowing that I would not be there again.

My employers have been very nice to me. Getting rid of me was clearly a very difficult decision for them to make (they sometimes seem like quite naieve people who do not like to be hard on people). They wanted to keep me on, as they really appreciated the fact that I always arrive on time, am polite to customers and have become pretty familiar with the company. But they need somebody who can show those qualities five days a week, not two or three.

The cheque I received at the end of the day was very large. It was more than I earned marking exam papers and more than the pay I get in two months.

It included this months wages (including a lot of overtime) two week's severance pay, an extra two week's pay and the holiday pay I never took.

I am very confident that I can fund myself for the rest of my course, provided I stay in my parents' good books. But taking another part-time job remains an option. Spending all my time studying at home could drive me crazy.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Shoes Off at the Door, Please: This Week's NATIONAL ETIQUETTE AWARD

Shoes Off at the Door, Please: This Week's NATIONAL ETIQUETTE AWARD

Our award to countries in which removing shoes in homes is the norm.

Oh, what a Saviour that He died for me!

Oh, what a Savior that He died for me!
From condemnation He hath made me free;
“He that believeth on the Son,” said He,
“Hath everlasting life.”

Refrain

“Verily, verily, I say unto you;
Verily, verily,” message ever new!
“He that believeth on the Son” ’tis true!
“Hath everlasting life!”

All my iniquities on Him were laid,
All my indebtedness by Him was paid;
All who believe on Him, the Lord hath said,
“Hath everlasting life.”

Refrain

Though poor and needy, I can trust my Lord;
Though weak and sinful I believe His Word;
O glad message! Every child of God
“Hath everlasting life.”

Refrain

Though all unworthy, yet I will not doubt;
For him that cometh He will not cast out:
“He that believeth,” oh, the good news shout!
“Hath everlasting life.”

Refrain


Definitely the best Gospel hymn out there.

Arno C. Gabelein and the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion

I obtained a copy of 'The Conflict of the Ages' by A.C. Gabelein the other day. On the cover it said 'uncensored.'

Uncensored is very appropriate given that the book makes reference to the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. The Protocols is a document which reveals a secret plan, allegedly by senior Jews, to corrupt and destroy Christian civilization. Today it is generally believed to be an anti-semitic forgery. Regardless of whether it was a forgery or not, the book has inspired the pogroms of Russia, the Nazi holocaust and the vandalism of countless Synagogues by skinheads. Today, the book is mostly printed in Arab and Muslim countries where it used as evidence for a Zionist conspiracy.

It is remarkably ironic that while people often attack Dispensationalism for supporting Zionism, an influential classic Dispensationalist like A.C. Gabelein championed the same anti-Zionist suspicions as Muslim fundamentalists.

BIBLE GUIDELINES FOR CLOTHING

BIBLE GUIDELINES FOR CLOTHING

Article by Bruce Lackey

The Street Preacher's Home Page

The Street Preacher's Home Page

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

It Finally Happened

After two years it finally happened. I was told by my boss today that I am to be redundant. For those of you in Yankland, that means I am being laid off. Of course, in England we have lots of labour law, so I am sure to receive at least the minimum statutory compensation for my loss of job.

I am surprised that I lasted this long. I am sure I would have got rid of me much quicker if I was the boss.

They decided they needed somebody to do my job full-time, not part-time and so they have somebody starting next week.

It may not be such a bad thing. I have thought about giving up my job so I can focus on study. It did put me in a gloomy mood for the rest of the day. Rejection always hurts.

I think I would rather not get another job. I can afford to carry on my research full time. However, my parents might not approve of this. They might be concerned about my spending so much time on my own.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Shoe Shopping

I went to buy a new pair of shoes today. I made the last pair last a long time, but they were wearing out.

I am very predictable. I went to Clark's to buy them (where else for sensible, no-nonsense shoes?). I wanted a pair of black-leather lace-ups. It took me less than ten seconds to decide which pair I wanted, and those were the ones I bought. They were very conservative and respectable looking.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Stagg Chilli

When I was at university, I used to enjoy a lot of Stagg Chillies. However, in this house, we do not eat a lot of canned food. With my parents being away, I had the perfect opportunity to enjoy a tin of Stagg Chilli. This evening I had a Stagg Silverado-Beef Chilli. It was nice.

Do you agree with this Statement?

"Apart from the Bible, commentaries are the most important books for Christians to read."

Discuss

Saturday, September 02, 2006

J.N. Darby on the Character of Ministry

John Nelson Darby wrote:

"What a source of ministry is now opened to us! The love of God in Christ towards poor sinners, but this love, fulfilled in the glory which was consequent upon the death of the Son of man, who had descended into the lowest depths of man's misey, had there glorified God, and was now Himself glorified as man. In what a position is ministry thus placed! It is, indeed, the ministry of the Spirit and of righteousness; for if the love of God be the source and the subject of it, the righteousness of God accomplished in the glorifying of the Son of Man who had glorified Him upon earth, and who had more than re-established all that glory of God (which was falsified, and in appearance, belied by the victory of Satan, and the ruin introduced into God's creation), this righteousness becomes also its foundation. And because of this glorification of Christ in power, there was also healings and miracles attached to this ministry- at least, it is one reason for them, for miracles were likewise a confirmation of the most important part of it, namely, the life-giving word.

But they were also a testimony to the victory of the Son of man over Satan, and to His right of blessing over creation, notwithstanding all the evil which is there discovered. A time was to come when all this evil would be removed; but that period was not yet arrived. Nevertheless, He, who was to accomplish it, was exalted, and was manifesting, in the midst of the evil, this power in man. Thus, the prince of this world, he who was the mover of the evil found therein, was shewn to be judged; and this is why miracles were also called the powers or miracles of the world to come (Heb. 6:5); because then all this evil will be subjugated and arrested by the presence of the Son of man; and the miracles were a sample of this blessed result, a sample wrought by the Holy Spirit come down from on high. In this respect, it is indeed but a poor exhibition of the glory of the Son of man that we present before the world. May we, at least, have the wisdom to acknowledge and confess it.

But these things were, it is true, only accessory. The principal thing was the testimony borne to the love of God, to the victory of the second Adam, and to the work which He had accomplished as man- a testimony borne by the word, by that word which had created, which sustains, which quickens unto eternal life, which nourishes the renewed soul, and which reveals all the glory of God- the word, of which Jesus is the living fulness.

Considered as ministry of the word, the ministry which manifested the presence of the Holy Spirit, manifested at the same time the sovereignty of God, the miraculous power of Him who was sent, and the extent and activity of grace.

This ministry was carried on, whether among the Jews, or, as in the case of Cornelius, among the Gentiles, by the gift of tongues: Galileans, Romans, speak all kinds of languages. Man becomes only an instrument in the hand of God- of the Holy Ghost sent down from on high. He it is who guides, rules, and acts: but He does this in order to convey the testimony of the glory of the Son of man to all men; and in order, while speaking to them of the wonderful works of God in the languages in which they were born, to draw their hearts by a grace which had come even unto them, toward the power there manifested; and, at the same time, to assert the rights of the last Adam in grace over all men. This, while commencing with the Jews, evidently addressed itself to the entire economy of the Gentiles. The judgment of God had seperated the nations by confounding their languages, so that they were reckoned by languages, families and nations (Gen.10 and 11); and in thus seperating them, He had established the bounds of the people, according to the number of the children of Israel, Deut.32:8. The time for putting an end to all this had not yet arrived; but the grace is brought in, and takes the rule, in this state of things, among the Jews, who were, after all, the most wicked of all the nations. A testimony appears, which uses the very fruit of sin to shew that grace was reaching men just where the Holy Ghost enables Jews to speak all languages, by which men and the hearts of men were divided in consequence of the judgment of God against the pride of the renewed earth.

The subject of this ministry, although the circumstances which accompanied its exercise might manifest to an instructed eye the sovereignty of God, the rights of the Son of man over the nations, as well as His grace towards the Jews who had rejected Him- the subject of this ministry was, at the commencement, solely the glory of the man Jesus raised from the dead- a glory, which was to be the centre and rallying-point of souls saved by the operation of grace, and formed into the body, the church- a church which thenceforward was to be instructed and governed by this same Spirit.

Jerusalem, which had been for so long a time the beloved city, not having submitted itself to this testimony to the glory of Christ, lost the glory of being any longer the centre and fruitful source of evangelical administration. Her citizens had sent a message after the King who had gone to receive His kingdom, saying they would not have Him to reign over them. And, upon the death of Stephen, the whole church is dispersed, "except the apostles." Thereupon, God, who ever finds in evil the opportunity of displaying some grace more glorious than that which had been defaced, raises up, independently of the work at Jerusalem, an apostle born out of due time, who was neither "of man nor by man"; and reveals at the same time, this unspeakably precious truth, of which this apostle, thus called, becomes the great witness, that the church is one with Christ glorified in heaven- that she is His body, which He nourisheth and cherisheth as His own flesh. Thus disappeared that which Peter had announced to the Jews, namely that Christ would return to them in grace, as to a people subsisting before Him. And thenceforward, we have to do with the hopes which are identified with Christ in the heavens, with the marriage supper of the Lamb, with the union of the Bride and Bridegroom in heaven. The return of Christ here below entirely in judgment- although for the deliverance of the remnant. This is a point of progress in the ministry and administration of the church, of which the results are very perceptible to us.

Consequent upon the full revelation of the union of Christ and the church, we find, in the writings of the apostle Paul, a much greater development of those gifts of the Holy Spirit- in connection with the position of him who, as a member of 'the body of Christ', might posess this or that gift. The same principles, however, are found practically set forth in the writings of Peter."

Taken from On Ministry, in Collected Writings of J.N. Darby Vol.1

Legacy in Books

I attended the preaching class at church this morning.

There were two boxes of books put out that had belonged to an elderly sister who had recently died. We were free to help ourselves.

Most of the books were of the Banner of Truth Calvinistic variety. There were numerous volumes of Martyn Lloyd Jones' exposition of Romans. The pastoral assistant was pleased to get his hands on a copy of Louis Berkhof's Sustematic Theology (I had read that twice- it is nice to be better read than a Calvinist).

I took the only Brethren book there, a commentary on Jeremiah by E.H. Broadbent. I had wanted to get hold of a commentary on Jeremiah. I also took 'Secrets of the Christian Life' and a commentary on Phillipians by F.B. Meyer.

Yahweh, Yahwah, Yahawah, Yahovah, Yaheveh, Yehaweh, Yehowah, Yehowih, Yehwih, Yahuweh, Yahueh, Yahuah, Jahveh, Iabe, Iahueh, Iehouah, and Jehovah

What is His Sacred Name or True Name?

Article by Vicky Dillen

Friday, September 01, 2006

Dyspraxicfundamentalist- Bible Prophecy: Does Anybody have any Arguments for the Pre-Tribulational Rapture?

Dyspraxicfundamentalist- Bible Prophecy: Does Anybody have any Arguments for the Pre-Tribulational Rapture?

If you do, please share them on my Bible Prophecy blog.

Expanded Links

I installed some new links to blogs.

Jon Lee's Evangelical Musings has some great- Gospel-orientated material from a consistent Free Grace perspective.

Free Grace Network, likewise, does a great job of promoting the Free Grace view.

For another perspective on things, we also have Jonathan Moorhead's From the Head of the Moor which is one of my favorite Calvinist blogs (other great Calvinist blogs include Libbie's Musings of an English Muffin and Earl's Metaschema).

I have also linked to Gordon Cloud's Heavenly Heartburn. Gordon is a very warm-spirited chap who writes some great devotional material. I also enjoy his weekend surveys.