Monday, 31 May 2021

The Good Book, part three

Culture has shifted, and shifted fast. In 2015 in the USA, same-sex marriage was declared a constitutional right and legalised in all 50 states. The President, Barack Obama, was an enthusiastic supporter of this, but when he was running for his first term in 2008, he said he believed marriage was between a man and a woman and was not in favour of same-sex marriage. To say such a thing now is to declare yourself a dinosaur, a bigot and a hater.

Thursday, 27 May 2021

The Good Book, part two

In the first Good Book post we looked at the subject of slavery, and saw that the Bible does not affirm or encourage the slave trade – it is decidedly against it. Another subject that causes people to think the Bible is an immoral book is the slaughter of the Canaanites in the time of Joshua. It is portrayed as an act of genocide – a tribal deity commanding ethnic cleansing. The image is disturbing, but it is distorted.

Friday, 9 April 2021

It is finished

I imagine many victims of crucifixion just before they died would have gasped, “It is finished.” They had tried to overthrow Rome, but their efforts were in vain. However, they wouldn’t have used the word Jesus used. He didn’t use a word that merely signified the end of something, but rather the accomplishment of something. It was a cry of victory, not a sigh of defeat. The word He used could be translated, “Fulfilled”, or “Paid”, or “Completed”.

The fear of death and the death of fear

Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (Hebrews 2:14-15)

Someone has said that this world is a dangerous place – you won’t get out of it alive. Death is a reality we all must face, and yet, so many bury their head in the sand, and refuse to think about it. It doesn’t have to be that way. The fear of death can be replaced by the death of fear.

Thursday, 18 March 2021

The Good Book?

It used to be that the Bible was known as the “Good Book”, and those who believed it were viewed by society as moral people. Society has changed, and there is an increasing number of people who say that the Bible is an evil book and those who believe it are immoral.

Friday, 12 February 2021

Irrelevant Relevance

I was listening to a liberal theologian talking about how Christians need to give up this obsession with the resurrection, because we live in a scientific age in which people don’t believe such things. He said that if we want to be relevant to the society we have to stop insisting on scientific impossibilities like a bodily resurrection.

Monday, 18 January 2021

Them and us

 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:18 (KJV)

We live in a time when many people are obsessed with divisions.

Thursday, 31 December 2020

A call to join the resistance

          …as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing

2 Corinthians 6:10

A little way off at the foot of a tree sat a merry party… “What is the meaning of this?” asked the Witch Queen. Nobody answered.

“Speak, vermin!” she said again. “Or do you want my dwarf to find you a tongue with his whip? What is the meaning of all this gluttony, this waste, this self-indulgence? Where did you get all these things?”

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Enemy-occupied territory – that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage.

Mere Christianity

Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labour of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls – yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

Habakkuk 3:17-18

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Christmas Savings

“Christmas” and “saving” aren’t words that we immediately link together. “Christmas” and “spending” or “Christmas” and “debt” seem to fit better, but really Christmas is all about saving.

Friday, 20 November 2020

Abraham & Isaac

Genesis 22 is a chapter that puzzles and offends many people. God tells Abraham to sacrifice his son, Abraham is about to do it, then God steps in and stops it. Why would God be so cruel to Abraham and Isaac? What does it say about a God who would ask for such a thing, or Abraham who would do it? What would a Christian do if God asked the same of them? Do Christians think it’s noble to kill your son if God says to? Can God command anything? If we isolate the chapter from its biblical and historical context then it understandably leads to these troubling questions, but that’s not because we’ve understood what’s going on, but rather we’ve misunderstood.