Archive for the ‘Gospel’ Category

The Gospel would reverse Western moral decay and save our civilisation

May 10, 2013

Far more significant than economics and demography are problems of moral decline, cultural suicide, and political disunity in the West. Oft-pointed-to manifestations of moral decline include:

  1. increases in antisocial behavior, such as crime, drug use, and violence generally;
  2. family decay, including increased rates of divorce, illegitimacy, teen-age pregnancy, and single-parent families;
  3. at least in the United States, a decline in “social capital,” that is, membership in voluntary associations and the interpersonal trust associated with such membership;
  4. general weakening of the “work ethic,” and the rise of a cult of personal indulgence;
  5. decreasing commitment to learning and intellectual activity, manifested in the United States in lower levels of scholastic achievement.

The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. Samuel P. Huntington. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996, p.304

Do we not see all these characteristics in Britain and throughout the West?

 

An atheist calls Christians to evangelise

April 11, 2013

 I think the Christian Churches should begin dawa (proselytizing) exactly as Islam does. You need to compete, because you can be a powerful tool to reverse Islamization…

Aayan Hirsi Ali, Nomad, Simon & Schuster, 2010, p.238

And she doesn’t mean cosy interfaith chats:

The Christian leaders now wasting precious time and resources on a futile exercise of interfaith dialogue with the self-appointed leaders of Islam should redirect their efforts to converting as many Muslims as possible to Christianity, introducing them to a God who rejects Holy War and who has sent his son to die for all sinners out of love for mankind…The churches should do all in their power to win this battle for the souls of humans in search of a compassionate God, who now find that a fierce Allah is closer to hand.

ibid. p.247, 251

 

January 4, 2013

The beginning of knowledge (that the Nazis intended to murder the Jews) for the ghetto, and the clinching news for Oskar, was the return to Cracow—eight days after he’d been shipped off from Prokocim—of the young pharmacist Bachner. No one knew how he had got back inside the ghetto, or the mystery of why he returned to a place from which the SS would simply send him off on another journey. But it was, of course, the pull of the known that brought Bachner home.All the way down Lwowska and into the streets behind Plac Zgody he carried his story. He had seen the final horror, he said. He was mad-eyed, and in his brief absence his hair had silvered. All the Cracow people who had been rounded up in early June had been taken nearly to Russia, he said, to the camp of Belzec. When the trains arrived at the railway station, the people were driven out by Ukrainians with clubs. There was a frightful stench about the place, but an SS man had kindly told people that that was due to the use of disinfectant. The people were lined up in front of two large warehouses, one marked “CLOAK ROOM” and the other “VALUABLES.” The new arrivals were made to undress, and a small Jewish boy passed among the crowd handing out lengths of string with which to tie their shoes together. Spectacles and rings were removed. So, naked, the prisoners had their heads shaved in the hairdresser’s, an SS NCO telling them that their hair was needed to make something special for U-boat crews. It would grow again, he said, maintaining the myth of their continued usefulness. At last the victims were drivendown a barbed-wire passage to bunkers which had copper Stars of David on their  and were labeled BATHS AND INHALATION ROOMS. SS men reassured them all the way, telling them to breathe deeply, that it was an excellent means of disinfection. Bachner saw a little girl drop a bracelet on the ground, and a boy of three picked it up and went into the bunker playing with it. In the bunkers, said Bachner, they were all gassed. And afterward, squads were sent in to disentangle the pyramid of corpses and take the bodies away for burial. It had taken barely two days, he said, before they were all dead, except for him. While waiting in an enclosure for his turn, he’d somehow got to a latrine and lowered himself into the pit. He’d stayed there three days, the human waste up to his neck. His face, he said, had been a hive of flies. He’d slept standing, wedged in the hole for fear of drowning there. At last he’d crawled out at night. Somehow he’d walked out of Belzec, following the railway tracks. Everyone understood that he had got out precisely because he was beyond reason. Likewise, he’d been cleaned by someone’s hand—a peasant woman’s, perhaps—and put into fresh clothes for his journey back to the starting point. Even then there were people in Cracow who thought Bachner’s story a dangerous rumor. Postcards had come to relatives from prisoners in Auschwitz. So if it was true of Belzec, it couldn’t be true of Auschwitz. And was it credible? On the short emotional rations of the ghetto, one got by through sticking to the credible. The chambers of Belzec,  Schindler found out from his sources, had been completed by March of that year under the supervision of a Hamburg engineering firm and of SS engineers from Oranienburg. From Bachner’s testimony, it seemed that 3,000 killings a day were not beyond their capacity.
Thomas Keneally, Schindler’s Ark, 150

Everthing Bachner said was true. Bachner was an eyewitness. But he wasn’t believed. He wasn’t believed because people didn’t want to believe him.

People do not believe in line with the facts. People believe what is conventional, easy, agreeable to one’s own self perception and, whereever possible, without personal cost.

People cannot be argued into the kingdom of God by human reasoning and gentle persuasion. God must confront sinful man and break the fetters that bind him to falsehood. Only the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit can change a heart of stone.

Another thought – imagine how passionate Bachner would have been. He was confronting men and women condemned to die. Shouldn’t the gospel preacher be even more passionate since he confronts sinners condemned to eternal death?

The Power of God’s Word

May 16, 2011

One of the most dramatic examples of the Bible’s divine ability to transform men and women involved the famous mutiny on the “Bounty.” Following their rebellion against the notorious Captain Bligh, nine mutineers, along with the Tahatian men and women who accompanied them, found their way to Pitcairn Island, a tiny dot in the South Pacific only two miles long and a mile wide. Ten years later, drink and fighting had left only one man alive–John Adams. Eleven women and 23 children made up the rest of the Island’s population. So far this is the familiar story made famous in the book and motion picture. But the rest of the story is even more remarkable. About this time, Adams came across the “Bounty’s” Bible in the bottom of an old chest. He began to read it, and the divine power of God’s Word reached into the heart of that hardened murderer on a tiny volcanic speck in the vast Pacific Ocean–and changed his life forever. The peace and love that Adams found in the Bible entirely replaced the old life of quarreling, brawling, and liquor. He began to teach the children from the Bible until every person on the island had experienced the same amazing change that he had found. Today, with a population of slightly less than 100, nearly every person on Pitcairn Island is a Christian.

The Gospel sanctifies as well as saves

June 5, 2010

When we speak of the centrality of the gospel we refer to the fact that every aspect of our salvation stems from the gospel. We mean that the gospel is truly the power of God for salvation in that it is through the gospel we are called, regenerated, converted, sanctified, and finally glorified. We mean that Jesus Christ, God come in the flesh, as he lived, died and rose again, gave meaning to all history and human existence. We mean that the gospel is the only means we have of beginning, continuing, and persevering in the Christian life . . . . When we approach sanctification as attainable by any means other than the gospel of Christ–the same gospel by which we are converted–we have departed from the teaching of the New Testament.

Goldsworthy Trilogy, 2008, p.171

Too late

November 9, 2009

Air France’s Concorde crashed shortly after take-off from Paris’ CDG airport in July 2000.

As the investigators sought to discover the reason for the accident, they scoured the tapes of the pilot’s conversations with the control tower. His last words, as he fought to save his stricken aircraft were, ‘Too late.'”

Many will say with regret when they meet King Jesus on Judgement Day, ‘Too late’. Too late to repent; too late to receive the free gift of salvation; too late to believe; too late to do anything to avert destruction.

No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main

October 20, 2009

No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

John Donne, Meditation XVII, English clergyman & poet (1572 – 1631)

Why Science arose in Christendom

October 11, 2009

It was not that there was no order in Nature for the Chinese, but rather that it was not an order ordained by a rational personal being, and hence there was no guarantee that other rational personal beings would be able to spell out in their own earthly languages the pre-existing divine code of laws which had been previously formulated. There was no confidence that the code of Nature’s laws could be unveiled and read, because there was no assurance that a divine being, even more rational than ourselves, had ever formulated such a code capable of being read. One feels indeed, that the Taoists, for example, would have scorned such an idea as being too naïve to be adequate to the subtlety and complexity of the universe as they intuited it.

Joseph Needham on why the society that invented printing, gunpowder, the compass etc. did not give rise to modern science. See Science and Civilization in China, CUP, 1954, vol.2, p.581, and Needham, Joseph The Grande Titration. U. of Toronto Press Toronto 1969 p. 327

The plain exhibition of the doctrines of the Gospel was exceedingly offensive to many of (Henry Martyn’s) hearers

October 9, 2009

The plain exhibition of the doctrines of the Gospel was exceedingly offensive to many of (Henry Martyn’s) hearers. Nor did the ferment thus excited subside quickly, as it often does, into pity or contempt. He had the pain very shortly after, of being personally attacked from the pulpit by some of his brethren, whose zeal hurried them into the violation, not only of an express canon of the Church, but of the yet higher law of Christian charity, and led them to make an intemperate attack upon him and upon many of the truths of the Gospel. Even when he was himself present at Church, Mr. ______ spoke with sufficient plainness of him and of his doctrines, calling them inconsistent, extravagant and absurd; drawing a vast variety of false inferences from them, and thence arguing against them — declaring, for instance, that to affirm repentance to be the gift of God— and to teach that nature is wholly corrupt, was to drive men to despair — that to suppose the righteousness of Christ sufficient to justify, is to make it unnecessary to have any of our own. Though compelled to listen to this downright heresy; to hear himself described as knowing neither what he said, nor whereof he affirmed — and as speaking only to gratify self-sufficiency, pride, and uncharitableness, — “I rejoiced,” said this meek and holy man thus unjustly aspersed, “to receive the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper afterwards — as the solemnities of that blessed ordinance sweetly tended to soothe any asperity of mind; and I think that I administered the cup to ______ and _______, with sincere good-will.”

The Life and Letters of Henry Martyn, John Sargent, Banner, 1985, p.154-155

The policemen tell me that the public houses are nearly empty, the streets are quiet and swearing is rarely heared. Even old quarrels were ended begun by the Penrhyn quarry strike

October 3, 2009

In Bethseda, December 20th 1904, one minister said, The policemen tell me that the public houses are nearly empty, the streets are quiet and swearing is rarely heared. Even old quarrels were ended begun by the Penrhyn quarry strike.

David Lloyd George, in extolling the effects of the (Welsh) revival (1904-5), compared it to a tornado sweeping over the country and bringing in its train far-reaching national and social changes.

E.Evans, Welsh Revival of 1904, pp.110, 114, 115

Bookshops complained of the inadequacy of their supply of Bibles. The coal miners were transformed by the sound of praise in the place of blasphemous oaths. The public houses were empty of rowdy customers and the homes were full of joy and singing. The pit ponies wouldn’t respond to the miners’ commands so accustomed were they to the orders being associated with blasphemous oaths.

ibid., p.105