Posts Tagged ‘Uncategorized’

Give me credit for being a plodder

September 15, 2009

If anyone should think it worth his while to write my life, if he give me credit for being a plodder, he will describe me justly. Any thing beyond this will be too much. I can plod. I can persevere in any definite pursuit. To this I owe everything.

William Carey, Baptist missionary who learnt Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, French, Dutch and some Indian languages.

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Benefits of the gospel to South Africans

September 10, 2009

… the Church was as concerned with this world as the next: I saw that virtually all of the achievements of Africans seemed to have come about through the missionary work of the church. The mission schools trained the clerks, the interpreters and the policemen, who once represented the height of African aspirations.

Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, pp.22-23 reflecting on his life as a young man before moving to J’Burg and political involvement

Polycarp’s Martyrdom

September 9, 2009

The Roman proconsul stood by the prisoner and  asked him, if he were Polycarp. When he assented, the former counseled him to deny Christ, saying, ‘Consider thyself, and have pity on thy own great age;’ and many other such-like speeches which they are wont to make.

The proconsul then urged him, saying, ‘Swear and I will release thee; – reproach Christ.’

Polycarp answered, ‘Eighty and six years have I served him, and he never once wronged me; how then shall I blaspheme my King, Who hath saved me?’

The proconsul again urged him, ‘Swear by the fortune of Caesar.’
Polycarp replied, ‘Since you still vainly strive to make me swear by the fortune of Caesar, as you express it, affecting ignorance of my real character, hear me frankly declaring what I am — I am a Christian – and if you desire to learn the Christian doctrine, assign me a day, and you shall hear.’

Hereupon the proconsul said, ‘I have wild beasts; and I will expose you to them, unless you repent.’

‘Call for them,’ replied Poplycarp.

‘I will tame thee with fire,’ said the proconsul, ‘since you despise the wild beasts, unless you repent.’

Then said Polycarp, ‘You threaten me with fire, which burns for an hour, and is soon extinguished; but the fire of the future judgment, and of eternal punishment reserved for the ungodly, you are ignorant of. But why do you delay? Do whatever you please.’

The proconsul sent the herald to proclaim thrice in the middle of the Stadium, ‘Polycarp hath professed himself a Christian.’ Which words were no sooner spoken, but the whole multitude, both of Gentiles and Jews, dwelling at Smyrna, with outrageous fury shouted aloud, ‘This is the doctor of Asia, the father of the Christians, and the subverter of our gods, who hath taught many not to sacrifice nor adore.’ They now called on Philip the asiarch, to let loose a lion against Polycarp. But he refused, alleging that he had closed his exhibition. They then unanimously shouted, that he should be burnt alive. For his vision must needs be accomplished – the vision which he had when he was praying, and saw his pillow burnt. The people immediately gathered wood and other dry matter from the workshops and baths.

When they would have fastened him to the stake, he said, ‘Leave me as I am; for he who giveth me strength to sustain the fire, will enable me also, without your securing me with nails, to remain without flinching in the pile.’ Upon which they bound him without nailing him. So he said thus: – ‘O Father, I bless thee that thou hast counted me worthy to receive my portion among the martyrs.’

As soon as he had uttered the word ‘Amen,’ the officers lighted the fire. The flame, forming the appearance of an arch, as the sail of a vessel filled with wind, surrounded, as with a wall, the body of the martyr; which was in the midst, not as burning flesh, but as gold and silver refining in the furnace. We received also in our nostrils such a fragrance as proceeds from frankincense or some other precious perfume. At length the wicked people, observing that his body could not be consumed with fire, ordered the confecter to approach, and to plunge his sword into his body. Upon this such a quantity of blood gushed out, that the fire was extinguished.

source

Naturalism undermines knowledge

September 8, 2009

Naturalism holds that perception and knowledge are either identical with or a byproduct of the brain; they arise from the functioning of matter. Without matter’s functioning there would be no thought. But matter functions by a nature of its own. There is no reason to think that matter has any interest in leading a conscious being to true perception or to logical (that is, correct) conclusions based on accurate observation and true presuppositionsWhy should whatever that matter is conscious of be in any way related to what actually is the case? Is there a test for distinguishing illusion from reality. Naturalists point to the methods of scientific inquiry, pragmatic tests and so forth. But all these utilize the brain they are testing. Each test could well be a futile exercise in spinning out the consistency of an illusion.

James W Sire

THE UNIVERSE NEXT DOOR by James W Sire, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois, pp.93-94

Ideas have Consequences: Anti-Semitism

August 24, 2009

Should the Jew, with the aid of his Marxist creed, triumph over the people of this world, his Crown will be the funeral wreath of mankind, and this planet will once again follow its orbit through ether, without any human life on its surface, as it did millions of years ago. And so I believe to-day that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator. In standing guard against the Jew I am defending the handiwork of the Lord.

Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

1. But the Jewish people, each made in the image of God, are ‘the handiwork of the Lord’

2. His belief in the will of God contradicts God’s revealed will to ‘love your neighbour’. This is the worst case scenario of where subjectivism takes you.

3. Ideas have consequences.

Judgement – Your sins will find you out

August 22, 2009
A FORMER leader of the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan was yesterday convicted of ordering the firebombing death of a black civil rights activist that rocked the US south in 1966. Four trials in the 1960s had ended in deadlocked juries. A FORMER leader of the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan was yesterday convicted of ordering the firebombing death of a black civil rights activist that rocked the US south in 1966. Four trials in the 1960s had ended in deadlocked juries.The jury deliberated just over two hours before convicting Samuel H Bowers (73) of arson and murder in the fiery death of Vernon Dahmer. Prosecutors say he was killed for his efforts to help blacks to register to vote.

There was no immediate indication as to whether Bowers would appeal against the verdict, which carries an automatic life term.

Members of the Dahmer family, including his widow, Ellie, hugged after court was dismissed.

Earlier this week, Mrs Dahmer gave emotional testimony of how their home was set afire in the middle of the night and how her husband died in her arms hours later at a hospital.

Prosecutors say Bowers dispatched two carloads of his White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan to Dahmer’s Hattiesburg area home and business. Dahmer remained in his burning home, holding off the Klansmen while his family escaped out a back window.

The Independent, 22/8/98

The Judgement may be delayed, but it is certain.

“…behold, you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out.”  Numbers 32.23

Democracy – founded in a Christian doctrine of humanity

August 6, 2009

Since all people bear God’s image it is reasonable that all should be involved and have a say in the decisions of government.

And because all are fallen there need to be checks and balances upon government so that power is not concentrated in one person or institution who may abuse that power. Because people are fallen they must be accountable for their actions and not trusted blindly.

Because people bear God’s image they are worthy of protection by the law. Because they are fallen man needs that protection from men.

Jim Gourlay

Israel was elected

August 5, 2009

How odd of God to choose the Jews

Ogden Nash

Deuteronomy 7.6-8 …The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. 7 It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, 8 but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery…

So predestination and election are not New Testament concepts only. God is an electing God who always saves on the basis of election as Romans 9.11-13 (looking back to Genesis) makes clear.

Effective (or Effectual) calling

August 5, 2009

Effective calling is an act of God the Father, speaking through the human proclamation of the gospel, in which he summons people to himself in such a way that they respond in saving faith.

Wayne Grudem, Sytematic Theology, p.693

In distinction from effective calling, which is entirely an act of God, we may talk about the gospel call in general which comes through human speech.  This gospel call is offered to all people, even those who do not accept it.  Sometimes this gospel call is referred to as external calling or general calling.  By contrast, the effective calling of God that actually brings about a willing response from the person who hears it is sometimes called internal calling.  The gospel call is general and external and often rejected, while the effective call is particular, internal, and always effective.

ibid.

Poverty and Lack of Education not the causes of terrorism

August 5, 2009

The man who captured Daniel Pearl (US journalist murdered in Pakistan), Ahmed Omar Sheikh, attended a UK public school and the L.S.E. He was a highly educated British Pakistani, yet he was associated with al-Qaeda and Harkat ul-Mujahideen.

cf. also the 9/11 leader, M. Atah, who was well educated and from a wealthy background.