Friday, 31 December 2010

Praying I don't go liberal in 2011

Sounds very much like what St Paul's wrote in 2 Timothy 1:7-8.

To which I say (and pray): Please God, keep me from be a liberal in 2011 and always help me to boldly nail my colours to the mast on issues such as headship and submission in marriage, the tragedy of women's ordination to the ministry, the pervasive hostility to genuine masculinity/femininity as expressed in things like women being drafted into combat roles in the military and men abandoning their God-given leadership roles in the Church/family/state, homosexuality as a gross sin and the unbiblical translations of the Scriptures, which pander to the heresy of feminism...
Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer

Is there anything else that I should have on list and what are you praying for 2011?

The woman language translator

Friday, 24 December 2010

Two quotes of the week (as it's Christmas)

Those who construe the gospel as a limited set of propositions which, if affirmed in a repentance-free and abracadabra-like fashion, will get one's sorry butt into heaven may discover, at the end of the day, that this is not where their sorry butt actually went.

- - - - - - - - - - - 

When the story of the collapse of academicky evangelicalism is finally written, compromises on these sexual issues will be right at the center of the autopsy. The coroner will have circled that business with a red pen.

Via: The Reformed Card and Gift Shop

Thursday, 23 December 2010

A cracking review of Piper's God is the Gospel

One of the best books I have read in a long time was John Piper's God is the Gospel. As soon as I was done, I started right over at the beginning, and am reading it again now. It is required reading (especially chapter two) for all those believe that gospel purity can be accomplished by means of setting up a tiny little evangelical kennel, in which the gospel will be required to be a yippy dog thoroughbred. No, the gospel is as wide as the character of God Himself, and is therefore something which encompasses heaven and earth, and all that they contain. This is not to say that everything is the gospel, but it is to say that the gospel pervades everything. This includes, as it turns out, the sex lives of upscale urban professionals . . . who will almost certainly find a plain statement of this cosmic reality as judgmental and offputting.

Via: The Reformed Card and Gift Shop

Thought for the day: Is Tescos/McD good for us?

Why is growing ten thousand acres of wheat and thereby driving down the price of a loaf of bread in impoverished nations considered exploitation (of the land and the consumer)? Why are fast-food laws justified as a protection of the people from the exploitation of corporations (when [cheap] menus are about the only reason why it’s practically impossible to starve in this country). Via Agnoticism and Agriculture

What do you think?

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

O Lord, I'd like some global warming!

This morning on BBC Radio 2, there was a discussion on whether the UK has descended to being a 'third world' country, given the inability of our authorities to handle the recent snowfall. In and amongst all the discussion, one very important issue was noticeably absent: how the bitterly cold spells in recent winters accord with the widely accepted theory of global warming. I must say, I've had my doubts about this global warming lark and to be honest given the stress in recent winters of getting up most mornings and spending 20-30 minutes trying to clear the drive, defrost the car etc, I've started crying out "O Lord, won't you send me a Mercedes Benz some global warming"

Friday, 17 December 2010

Quote of the week

...asking the rich to pay a greater percentage of their income than the poor is unjust. Property rights are an excellent measure of liberty. If I lessen one man’s right to his property, then I have made his liberty less. To let some men keep all their liberty (or property) because the state arbitrarily decides they have “too little” and to take liberty from another man because the state decides he has “too much” is unequal treatment under the law.

Via: God Bless Us Every One

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The Joy of Stats/How could anyone not be Post-mill?

Full stockings deserve a thank you

When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?

From GKC (not me the other one!)

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Safe sex?

Well that is not really an option for the Christian... Because...

You cannot have a romantic Pride and Prejudice life with a base soul or with protection. Burning romance demands absolute commitment and trust with the result that it can never be safe sex. It is never for sale. A cupid you can buy is no god at all and married love is divine if it is anything. When we meet the other sex we sense the possibility of a union like that known only to gods.

There is no real marriage outside the Church of Jesus Christ for this reason: God is the end of marriage, for only an eternal and infinite God can contain the explosive fecundity that can come when the two halves of the Image of God are united and made one. A great reason to become a Christian is that only in Christ’s Church can the male and the female find completion in each other.

Via: The Last Romantic? Why Marriage Will Endure

Funky way of introducing Isaiah 9

Monday, 13 December 2010

Quote of the week

His holiness is the pinnacle of all His attributes. The seraphim do not cry out, Patience, patience, patience, or Righteousness, righteousness, righteousness. Rather, they cover their faces and feet and cry out Holy, Holy, Holy. As white light is the sum total of all the colors in the spectrum, so holiness is the sum total of all that God is like.

Image of the week

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Fermentation Highlights: Squirrels love sharing

A few months ago, I was introduced to a bohemian/creative/stimulating Journal called Fermentations. Earlier today after a most hearty lunch from the dear darling wife, I got reading one of the back copies. Much like good wine/a refined palate takes time to acquire so too this Journal requires a bit of getting used to but, aaaah... the delights that come as a result! The opening essay in the third issue, written by the brilliant Brad Belschner has so much good stuff that over the next few weeks I will put down some quotes here. Take this for starters:

Survival of the fittest gets too much airtime, Just look outside, or go on a hike. Most creatures in nature live not by out-competing the others, but by cooperating with them. By and large symbiosis is the rule in nature, not competition. 
Consider the squirrels and nuts. Trees aren't in competition with squirrels over their nutes; rather, they make their nuts especially for the squirrels. Squirrels hide nuts and bury them, which propagates the trees far and wide. That means more nuts for the squirrels, which means more squirrels, which means more trees, and so on. The giving multiplies. Squirrels depend on trees, and trees depend on squirrels.

Neat eh?

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Don't squint at one thing

Over the last few years, I have undergone some major changes in my theology. The biggest change I think was my embrace of paedobaptism... It's hard to put to words how big a change this has been... I can still remember the anger and confusion I felt when I discovered that there were Christians in the CU who believed it was right to baptise babies - aaaaaarrrgh! And then look at me now - not only am I happy to baptise babies but I think that my baptist friends who eschew this doctrine, are guilty of the sin of omission. I have in other words become a zealous evangelist for the paedobaptist position sometimes forgetting that I once batted for the other side and almost coming across like it's either my way or the highway. Which leads me nicely to G Campell Morgan whose birthday is today. He was (according to Wikipedia) an evangelist, preacher and a leading Bible scholar. Perhaps more familiar to us is that Morgan was the pastor of Westminster Chapel in London. One of the challenges Morgan faced during his ministry was how to keep Christian unity when the polarization between Liberals and Fundies was increasingly taking root. In the light of these divisions G Campell Morgan observed that

a phase of truth is not the whole of Truth. I do think that is important. I need not stay to stress it, but so many men I have known have squinted at one thing, and seen nothing else! There are some men who think that if you do not say something about the premillenial Coming every time you preach, you are unsound!

and then he gives this joke

A good brother, a Baptist, gave out his text one morning — “Adam, where art thou?” and then said, “There are three lines we shall follow. First, where Adam was; secondly, how he was to be got from where he was; thirdly and lastly, a few words about baptism” !

which leads him to conclude

Some of the worst heresies in the history of the Christian Church have been truth, distorted out of proper proportion and balance and relationship. I have striven, therefore, to remember that a phase of truth is not the whole truth.

And the moral of the story: don't squint at one thing. I reckon this is one of my biggest dangers as an Ordained Minister - haranguing the parishoners with one hobby horse after another. I need therefore to constantly remember that even though I've gleaned an apparently new truth in Scripture, I still ought to be humble, patient and charitable in my dealings with fellow Christians. Thanks for the rebuke G. Campbell Morgan.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Dem dour Puritans!

Is what the world tells around tells us. And for proof, consider the following images

And yet, everyone once in a while, someone comes along with something that blows that view completely out of the water. As for example this:

"The Puritans recovered the biblical teaching that the marriage bed was to be honored and not just tolerated. They gave themselves to the married state with a strong commitment, and one of their great contributions to our culture was the establishment of the view that romantic and erotic devotion was sustainable within the covenant of marriage. In discussing this, C.S. Lewis once commented that the exaltation of virginity was a Roman Catholic trait, and 'that of marriage, a Protestant trait' . . . The Puritans taught that sexual love within marriage was not only lawful, it was supposed to be exuberant and passionate" (Beyond Stateliest Marble, pp. 46-47). via Blog & Mablog

Ah! So not so dour after all...

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Think Sovereignty, Think Dominoes

God has a whole universe to run, and just imagine the trillions of details He has to dovetail in order to make things turn out according to His plan. It would be lunacy for me to begrudge an interrupted slumber when I have no idea of the carefully positioned dominoes involved here.#

Via: Incident at Motel 6

Monday, 6 December 2010

Christmas carol playing of the week

Quote of the week

Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be. 

Thomas a'Kempis

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Thought of the day: Are pensions bad?

So some of you know that I'm a BIG BIG BIG fan of small government. In sum, I think that the Government should concentrate on security (protecting people's property) and justice (punishing the evildoer). There are lots of practical reasons for this view but the key one for me is that Scripture (which should be our primary and final authority in all of life) doesn't seem to indicate that the Government has any business poking its fingers in things not security and justice. So there I was with my somewhat 'extreme' views minding my own business when I came across the following

Which got my mind thinking - when exactly did the idea of pensions as they are widely understood today originate? Now as you know, such a question requires a reliable and credible source of knowledge so where best to turn than that great font of knowledge - Google! Here, I discovered, that the pension system we're familiar with today is only 102 years old! In fact if we were to be properly accurate we would have to say the modern state pension is more like 62 years given that it was tagged on to Sir William Bevereidge's beastly creation, the NHS (but that's another story!)

My question for now is, where in the Scriptures is the State exhorted to take money from its citizens so as to provide care once we're in retirement?

Friday, 3 December 2010

But I want it all

The Economist divides the Anglican Church 2010 into the following:

(click on the image to enlarge it)

The thing is I'm struggling to identify precisely which column I fit into...

As with the high church folk I believe in historical continuity and like vestments ritual, Latin, beauty and music
As with the Liberal Catholics I believe in flexibility and like vestments, beauty and music
As with the low church crowd I believe in hellfire, 'heaven', sin and like Discipline and the Bible
As with the Charismatics, I believe in miracles and like Exuberance and the Bible
As the broad church crew, I believe in reason and like do-goodery (I think!)
As with the traditionalists I believe in the Queen and like the KJB and the 1662 Prayer Book

Hmmmm so what am I?