Friday, October 31, 2008

The Worship of Mammon, by Evelyn De Morgan



I think this picture by Evelyn De Morgan (you can tell I love her stuff) very well captures the biblical reality that the love of money is the root of all evil (1 Tim 6:10).

The most striking thing about this picture is that the head and face of the idol is obscured. The love of money dehumanizes us. It dehumanizes the one who harbours it, because it forces her to suppress her desires, passions and human feelings. It dehumanizes others because they become the victims of injustice and greed.

Many of the women portrayed in De Morgan's pictures are young and beatiful, but this woman looks rather aged. The love of money puts years on us. It causes us to look away from heaven and at fleeting earthly realities. Hence, when we love money, we invariably end up worrying where it comes from and how long it will last. Yet all we can gain from such worries are more grey hairs.

Interestingly, I have seen this picture used on a website devoted to the subject of the Nephilim (not really what the picture is about). Money has a spiritual dimension. We read in Ezekiel 28 that Satan fell because of his pride in possesion of precious stones. His heart was lifeted up because of his celestial wealth. That passage tells us of how he corrupted the earth through commerce and merchandising though this may mean spiritual rather than earthly trafficking).

Commerce is part of a system that is used by the fallen angelic powers to control man. When we see human corruption and false political and economic systems, we do not see merely the designs of man, but a cosmic system under the control of celestial principalities and powers.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Tribute to the Byzantine Legacy



A video showing the heritage of the Byzantine empire in several European flags. Set to some beautiful Byzantine chanting.

Trumpet Fanfares

While I was in north London yesterday, I happened to go in a record shop that specializes in Classical music. As it seemed like a struggling area, I felt I ought to buy at least something. Fortunately, they had those cheap Naxos Classical music CDs.

I chose something a bit different, a Naxos CD of trumpet fanfares, mostly from Habsburg Italy and Germany. It is really good. It kind of appeals to my eccentric nostalgia for the Holy Roman Empire and the Habsburg dynasty.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

As a fundamentalist I shouldn't complain about this

The sermon today was about biblical authority and compromise. The preacher insisted upon a Young Earth creation and accused those who hold to an Old Earth are compromisers who bring the Word of God into disrepute.

As one who believes in the Gap theory and who is open to the possibility of millions of years (though not committed to it), I felt a bit under attack.

As a fundamentalist I believe in militantly opposing error and defending the Word of God against compromise, so I suppose I can't complain about the preacher's strategy. However, I am pretty sure that had I been making the same point, I would have been much gentler about it.

I think views that are widely held by God-fearing preachers ought to be given a degree of respect.

One point I would certainly challenge is his argument that compromise on the age of the earth leads to liberalism. He cited the two Princeton scholars, Charles Hodge and Benjamin Warfield, who both advocated Old Earth views and identified this as a cause of Princeton Seminary's decline into liberalism. A problem for this argument would be the fact that Young Earth views have never been required at Dallas Theological Seminary (a number of different views have been taught there), yet Dallas Theological Seminary remains committed to the Inerrancy of the Word of God. While there are things that might be complained about at Dallas Theological Seminary, there is no sign that Old Earth views are dragging them towards liberalism.

What is the point of Christian Death Metal?

When I was 16, I thought the idea of Christian Death metal was great. Cool music with sound lyrics.

But what is the point of sound lyrics if all you can hear is growling and grunting?

I soon realised that it made more sense just to listen to non-Christian Death metal and pretend it was Christian.

Not so cultish

This is a surpise. I have been going to a Calvary Chapel since August and cannot remember the name Chuck Smith being mentioned by the pastor or anybody else in the congregation.

When I was going to the Calvary Chapel in York some years ago, I used to get really irritated at the way the denomination's founder, Chuck Smith was constantly mentioned by the people there. He got mentioned in the preaching quite a lot too. On those occasions when I expressed criticisms of Chuck Smith to Calvary Chapel back then, people would get offended.

Anyway, I have not heard anything about the man hear at Calvary Chapel Hastings.

Dream last night

Last night I dreamed that I read a biology text-book that referred to 'serpent-people.'

Then I met a serpent-person. She was green and scaly.

I asked the serpent-person if her people had any culture. She replied that her people had a very rich culture. I expected her to give me a long sob story about how her people were oppressed by nasty humans, so I did not ask her any more questions.

I found the experience of meeting a serpent-person rather disturbing.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bolt Thrower

In my opinion, Bolt Thrower were one of the greatest ever Death metal bands. They were from the Midlands and so were influenced by the British Grindcore/ Crustcore scene (rather than the gory Florida death metal scene). Below are a couple of songs from their classic album, Realm of Chaos(1989).



Travelling

I am doing an awful lot of travelling at the moment, because of attending job interviews in different places.

I drove to Cambridge yesterday. Fortunately, I quite enjoy driving and going on the train is not that bad either.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Arkona





Superb female-fronted folk/ black metal from Russia.

Guardian: A cap on immigration is not the answer

Guardian: A cap on immigration is not the answer

by Diane Abbott

'Our legislation has never been more draconian – what does Phil Woolas hope to achieve with his call for stricter limits?'

A numerical limit on immigration is just absurd and unworkeable.

Daily Telegraph: Conservatives should welcome John McCain

Daily Telegraph: Conservatives should welcome John McCain

by Tim Montgomerie

"I don't pretend that the war on terror is won. That's why we need the 44th President to be as strong as the 43rd. We need another "Dark Knight" who will take the unpopular decisions that will keep us all safe. That includes the widespread use of surveillance, a willingness to work outside do-nothing multilateral institutions such as the UN, and pursuit of the doctrine of pre-emption."


Ignore the misleading comment about Russia attacking Georgia- Georgia started that one with its attack on South Ossetia.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Haircut

I had a haircut today.

I can't decide whether my regular haircut makes me look more like a member of the Hitler Youth or a Mormon missionary.

Russia Today: Immigrants the scapegoats of economic woe

Russia Today: Immigrants the scapegoats of economic woe

'With the financial crisis raging, and the threat of recession looming, the British government says it can’t support immigration at its current level. Political analyst John Bourke looks into the implications of the move.'

It is nice to see Putin's propoganda machine (Russia Today, not this blog) tackling the subject of British politics.

I agree with this feature; the government's talk about cutting immigration is utterly stupid. I like this comment:

"So let’s try to understand how this might work then. In order to keep the country’s population manageable, the brokers and economists from the City will now move out to the countryside to pick lettuce at seven pounds an hour. In the meantime, this will allow us to ship back home all the Eastern Europeans doing these jobs now?!"


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bringing my body into subjection








It is October. November is approaching. I am still wearing cropped trousers and flip flops.

Then again, the weather has actually been quite bright for October.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Hope in the Prison of Despair, by Evelyn De Morgan



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.

3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

4 and patience, experience; and experience, hope:

5 and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.


2 Thessalonians 2
16 ¶ Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,

17 comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Intermediate Beings



In his dream at Bethel, Jacob saw a stairway between heaven and earth, with angels passing between the one realm and the other.

In the dream, angels seem to act as intermediaries between heaven and earth.

In Scripture, God often acts through the intermediary of angels. Often it was angels who gave divine revelation. Often it was angels who carried out divine judgment, smiting the army of the Assyrians or pouring out the vials of God's wrath upon the earth.

I believe that angels are the agents of God's providential control over creation. I believe that the cosmos is fundametally hierarchical.

Nature is full of hierarachy. Likewise, God has created a hierarchy of beings that exercise government over the created world, sustaining the laws that undergird the cosmos.

God is the 'father of lights'. All light originates from Him. Yet His light is mediated to us through the lesser light of the sun. Yet it seems that the light of the sun and the stars is communicated through the angels, those beings of light in the heavenlies.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Guardian: Moscow's plan for a common future

Guardian: Moscow's plan for a common future

'Russia has come up with an idea that could resolve conflicts in the Caucasus and across Europe. So why won't the west listen?'

Article by Adrian Pabst

Monday, October 06, 2008

Times: Britain decides against a new lower limit for drink-driving

Times: Britain decides against a new lower limit for drink-driving

"Britain is to become the only European country that allows motorists to have at least one alcoholic drink and still be legally fit to drive."

Good. Changing the law would have resulted in the closure of hundreds of country pubs and the criminalising of thousands of decent motorists.

Will Palm Boy give me any libertarian brownie points for this?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Fearfulness: What I hate about the Right

A recent psychological experiment found that people with Right-wing views are more inclined to be fearful than people with Left-wing views. The experiment measured their physiological reaction to various scary images.

While experiments like that have to be taken with a pinch of salt, I thin it is probably true that Right-wingers tend to be fearful and panicky. There are things that those on the Left get heated up about, such as globalization and nuclear weapons, but opposition to such things by Left-wingers more often seems built on anger and resentment rather than fear.

I really hate this tendency among conservatives to get into a moral panic about all such things. In fact, I think this tendency is so widespread amongst conservatives, that I actualy find it hard not to dislike right-wingers in general. I shall give you a list of typical right-wing phobias:

- Immigrants are taking our jobs.

- Immigrants taking up council housing (dream on).

- Single mothers

- Social workers are trying to destroy families.

- The European Union are trying to destroy Britain.

- Gay people control the police.

- Asylum seekers are scroungers and crooks.

- The government is trying to abolish Christmas.

- Declining birthrates spell the end of European civilization.

- Britain is going to become an Islamic state.

- The police are about to start persecuting Christians.

- There will be more Muslims than Christians in the country in ten years time.

- Political correctness is out of control.

- China is going to dominate the world.

- Genetic modification of crops spells the end.

- Russia is about to start a new Cold War.

- The streets of Britain are out of control.

- Sex trafficking is as common as booze cruises.

- Drugs

- Young people.

- The sky is falling.