Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Should Prostitution be Illegal?

a) No?
b) Yes?
c) Sometimes?
d) Not sure?

Watch the video below for the A* answer (insightful and biblically faithful) + to help you understand what the proper limits of the State are... Worth its length in coffee strength.

Uncivilized Eastern instincts

It takes a great deal of Christianity to wipe out uncivilized Eastern instincts such as falling in love at first sight.

Rudyard Kipling in Lispeth

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Misleading distinction?

If it is the case that "we are not justified by believing in justification by faith but rather by believing in Christ" (Acts 16:31; Romans 10:13) is there any meaningful way in which we can say that there are some beliefs that are essential and some that are non-essential? If as implied by the quote above, that there are some who are utterly clueless/mistaken on the issue of justification but who will still make it to glory, then isn't it better to identify those who are orthodox by another criteria: culpable verses non-culpable ignorance of the truth. In other words, if the Church were to have an Acts 15 type council to determine if someone/a church is outside the faith or not, I think a more helpful criteria to adjudicate on this, would be to examine if the person/church was excusably ignorant of doctrine "x" rather than trying to determine whether the doctrine they deny fits into the nebulous category of essential/non-essential. This prevents individuals/churches from the double standards of sitting high and mighty over others on matters they deem important whilst ignoring/trivialising other so called 2nd order issues which the Scriptures speak rarely but nevertheless clearly about e.g. that the drink served at communion should be wine and not grape juice; that having children who are unfaithful should disqualify one from being an elder; that Capital punishment is mandated and endorsed in Scripture and so on. I suppose another way of putting all this is to say that everything which Scripture teaches (explicit or implied) is binding OR as Someone once put it until heaven and earth disappear not the smallest letter, nor the least stroke of the pen will by any means vamoose

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Franklin's funky aphorisms

Better slip with foot than tongue.
No man e’er was glorious, who was not laborious.
Three may keep a Secret, if two of them are dead

From his Poor Richard Almanack. Not bad eh?

Friday, 27 May 2011

Only heterosexuals can be married...

...because only heterosexuals can perform the central act that is necessary to the establishment of marriage. Homosexuals can't be married for the same reason that bolts are useless without nuts -- key equipment is missing.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Questions to a baptist [1]

With the recent arrival of the kipling, questions inevitably arise about the status of our little munchkin and in particular, whether it is right (or not) to give him the sign of the covenant: baptism. Now if any of you reading this know me well, you'll be aware that I'm a Firm paedobaptist (yes the captial "f" is intentional) so this post is not an indication of my wobbling on that issue rather it is an opportunity to converse, engage (and hopefully convert) you baptists to affirm the biblically warranted practice of baptising covenant children. I'll do this by posing various questions on this blog on different biblical passages that point to the validity and requirement of fully welcoming our children as members of God's household. As a friend at college used to say often: "just read the Word - it's all in there." I agree - the baptism of infants is clearly proclaimed in Scripture and thus I am not one of those who think that this is a small intramural issue that we can happily disagree about as we chew our cigars and drink port - No! I'm actually convinced that on this issue, our baptist brothers are in error and regularly pray that they will be delivered from this serious sin of omission. Ok enough background, Now to our first question...

Dear Baptist,

Genesis 6 describes Noah as the only righteous person in his generation (6:9) and yet, it is not just him who is saved but he and all his family (6:18; 1 Peter 3:20). Do you think God still works this way? Does he still operate this household principle of calling the head but also choosing to save their whole household? If yes (and the answer is yes) why the objection to baptising our children?

Monday, 23 May 2011

All say "Glory"!

The heavens declare the glory of God. Creation constantly talks about its Creator. Giant African elephants and carrots and dung beetles and fields of grain and cumulonimbus clouds all conspire together. They are constantly practicing their lines, rehearsing their parts, putting on their costumes and touching up their makeup. They take turns on the stage of the universe, under the lights, like six year olds in their first grade play. “He’s THIS big,” they seem to be trying to say… this powerful, this glorious.

Taken from this wonderful marriage sermon.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Pagan does Truth in Love well

Given the impending visit of President Obama to the UK, the Beeb has released a pre-recorded interview with Andrew Marr conducted earlier this week. Understandably, the interview focusses on the Middle East and the Taliban although Marr manages to elicit during the interview Obama's take on our Sovereign ("She symbolises what is best about the UK"). The interview is as you'd expect of these stylised TV moments - bland and prosaic - the kind of offering you'd expect from many BST commentaries! Now rewind to a few days ago when Obama held an interview with PM Netanyhu to discuss the so called "Peace Process" to see how one can speak clearly/firmly/truthfully whilst still remaining cordial and engaging. This really is a model that we Christians need to emulate when having dem discussions on such hot potatoes as the place (or not) of women in leadership, Creation/Evolution, the seriousness of the Lord's Supper, Church discipline and so on. So to get a glimpse of how the World can teach us something on speaking truthfully in love, just listen to the Jewish pagan below address the President of the US.

PS. If you're not into setting the context etc and would like to get straight into the fun, just fast foward to the 7minute mark. Enjoy...

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Astonishingly good mimic

You wouldn't believe it if somebody told you the sounds that this bird makes so there - watch this...

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Ye Bishops, look away now

In the midst of controversy, the apostle Paul declared that those who wanted to require circumcision of the Gentiles were "false brothers" (Gal. 2:4). He says that they were "dogs," "evil workers," "mutilators of the flesh" (Phil. 3:2). He doesn't go so far as to call them Episcopalian bishops, but he certainly comes close.

Via: He Doesn't Call Them Episcopalian Bishops

No area untouched

These past few months, I've been thinking a bit about the place of children in the Sunday service - should they stay for the whole thing or be hived off mid flow for their entertainment classes sorry Sunday School. One of the questions that immediately arises in grappling with this question, is the issue of Scripture's sufficiency. Does the Bible speak clearly on this issue and is one able to establish if it is right/wrong/wise/unwise to have the types of services common today where the people of God are split up so as to receive - apparently - age appropriate training. Pondering this whole of sufficiency I was recently reminded of this brilliant quote by Van Til:
The Bible is thought of as authoritative on everything of which it speaks.  Moreover, it speaks of everything.  We do not mean that it speaks of football games, of atoms, etc., directly, but we do mean that it speaks of everything either directly or by implication.  It tells us not only of the Christ and his work, but it also tells us who God is and where the universe about us has come from.  It tells us about theism as well as about Christianity.  It gives us a philosophy of history as well as history.  Moreover, the information on these subjects is woven into an inextricable whole.  It is only if you reject the Bible as the word of God that you can separate the so-called religious and moral instructions of the Bible from what it says, e.g., about the physical universe (Cornelius Van Til, The Defense Of The Faith).

So what does the Bible teach about the validity of Sunday Schools? With my hand on the Word, I'm hoping to soon find out and if you have any wise words from Scripture, please let me know.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Husbands: Happy & Holy

Husbands should try to make home happy and holy.  It is an ill bird that fouls its own nest, a bad man who makes his home wretched.  Our house ought to be a little church, with holiness to the Lord over the door, but it ought never to be a prison where there is plenty of rule and order, but little love and no pleasure.  Married life is not all sugar, but grace in the heart will keep away most of the sours.  Godliness and love can make a man, like a bird in a hedge, sing among thorns and briars, and set others to singing too.

It should be the husband’s pleasure to please his wife, and the wife’s care to care for her husband.  He is kind to himself who is kind to his wife.  I am afraid some men live by the rule of self, and when that is the case, home happiness is a mere sham.  When husbands and wives are well yoked, how light their load becomes!  It is not every couple that is such a pair, and more’s the pity.  In a true home all the strife is who can do the most to make the family happy. — C. H. Spurgeon, John Ploughman’s Talk, pp. 79-80.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Did Bipolar make me do it?

A practical and profound answer to this pertinent question...

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Calvin the unromantic

Over at Steve Jeffrey's blog, there is a competition to elicit what sorts of things you'd say to Calvin, when you meet him in glory. If one of your entries gets chosen, you'll receive a free copy of Doug Wilson's latest book, A Study Guide to Calvin’s Institutes. What would you ask Calvin?

Here is my latest entry:

Did you ever mention to Idelette your criteria for what you looked for in a wife:

"This is the only beauty that allures me: if she is chaste, if not too fussy or fastidious, if economical, if patient, if there is hope that she will be interested in my health."

If "yes" eeeeerm how did she take it?

Have a go of this competition here

Monday, 9 May 2011

No encore

There is nothing wrong with making mistakes. Just don’t respond with encores.

Source: Unknown.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Obama forgetting something?

One of things that Obama said as he was announcing Osama's death on Sunday was:
"America can do whatever we set our mind to - that is the story of our history"
The following day at a White House press event he said:
"Today, we are reminded that as a Nation there is nothing we can't do, when we put our shoulders to the wheel"
Eeeeerm isn't this forgetting Someone important? Be warned O ye Obama!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Monday, 2 May 2011

Osama's death: What next?

Osama bin Laden will have a bit of a surprise this morning: no lakes of wine; no endless stream of virgins; no pat on the back from his inspirational prophet; no utterance from Allah of ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant” (in Arabic). No, today he stands in the fearful presence of YHWH, and the wages of sin is death. Osama Bin Laden has committed one or two sins of some considerable magnitude, was quite unrepentant, and did not accept Christ as his Lord and Saviour. His Grace therefore suspects that things might be a little warm for Osama today. His lake of wine will be a lake of fire: his tongue will burn and his thirst will never be quenched. The only virgins he’ll meet will be the worm variety, for the pit of Hell is a place of decomposition and destruction; of weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Sobering stuff eh?

Read the rest here and then please pray for any Muslims you know to repent and so escape this agonising fate.