Monday, June 04, 2007

Loneliness left alone...

Loneliness is a topic not often addressed by evangelical Christians. Yet the bible has a great deal to say on the matter.

Have a listen to this short Bible overview on the subject:

This has been copied from an old tape. Sermon given by Tony Sargent @ Worthing Tabernacle (1998) I think!

Put up here without known permission but doubtful of objection. Please comment if this is false and the file will be removed with immediate effect.

Totally Bad Manners.

Was fascinated reading one of Britain great publications on the train. Here is what the 'last word' said...

"Having good manners only works in two types of situation - when everybody is
equal, or when everybody know their place. These days both situations are
extremely rare; and we're all touchy as hell about our status."

(Extracts from The Week 02/06/2006 Is. 616 Article 'How Britain became addicted to bad manners' by William Leith)

What exactly is the 'these days' and how does one get on to a perch to see that this is only a characteristic of our 21stC society?

We are all equal but we do not acknowledge our place. We are rebels against God. The human heart would rather God was dead

This article was right in saying:

"The bloodline of bad manners is a long and distinquished one; the history
of any art form reads like a littany of transgression"
"Manners only work to the extent that people agree on them... In a world of
constant novelty, social codes break down. Our main response is to become more

Am I really naive to say "What else is new?"

Monday, May 28, 2007

In Extremis (Abelard vs. Bertrand)

Went to see the play ‘In Extremis’ @ Shakespeare’s Globe with Becca on Saturday. The play set in 12thC France depicts the battle between Philosophy and Catholic Mysticism.

I found myself agreeing with statements made by both of the protagonists. Abelard in stating that reason is a gift given by God and Bertrand in his position that we need revelation from God.

Both Characters came out badly ‘ethically’ speaking, Abelard in using his position as teacher to bed Heloise (under the age of consent) and Bertrand in his political manoeuvres.

The play (I feel) left me with a mood of ambivalence toward philosophers and mockery of the “derangement of (the) self-flagellating monks” (Time Out London 23/05/07). They were both caricatures of how these positions are perceived in today’s culture.

The question I left with is “Who do I side with? The passionate philosopher or the nutter?”

When presented like that there seems to be little choice, but is that the choice we have? Only if these caricatures are the only things we ever see…

How our society needs to hear the words of the gospel that come with power, the Holy Spirit and deep conviction that tell of how we can be those who have:

“turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10and to wait for
his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from
the wrath to come.” (I Thessaloninas 1:9-10)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Love him or Loath him?

Dawkins, everyone has something to say about him.

I have just finished reading his interview with Ruth Gledhill (Times Religon Correspondent) entitled 'God... in other words' (10/05/2007).

As I read, it became clear to me that the interview was not between two factions but between one 'Liberal Religous type' to another.

'Liberal' in the sense of wanting individuals to have the final word on truth (not God)
'Religous' in the sense of having firm convictions...

(1)Dawkins claims "Humanity is approaching a staggeringly impressively close near-to-complete understanding ... (the tradgedy is) that people are deprived of this not by misinformation or lack of education, but by deliberate distortion, by organised misinformation"
(full of conviction but firmly individualistic...)
(2)Gledhill herself writes "words have power," and echoes Dawkins thoughts on 'transcendence' (she loves the word 'numinous' too).

Their unity stemmed from a disdain for Biblical Orthodox Evangelical Christianity. The article climaxes with Gledhill's reflection:

"I'm not superstituous, but there is something faintly transcendent about Dawkins in the flesh. But I didn't tell him that of course. He'd just accuse me of making it up."

The only word I can use to describe how I viewed their opinion on life is 'sentimental'.
It seems very sad to me that those people held in such high esteem by many seem to have
a head,
a heart,
and a tongue,
in what they are saying, but no gut at all, because ultimately they are squirming away from the Lordship of the maker of the universe in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. And the majority of the UK are following them in their convictions and their ultimate destination.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


This is a video of me and my brothers fooling around along time ago. This is not for the light hearted!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Tasty Treats ...

Found some tasty treats recently:

Studying Mark 8:11-21. Both the Pharisees and the disciples don't get the feeding of the four thousand:

To the Pharisees stubborn verdict on Jesus already (Mark 3), We see that:

1. Jesus presence is sufficient (for us to know who he is)

To the Disciples immediate self concern, We see that:

2. Jesus identity is clear

It is blindingly obvious but they need a miracle to see it. They need healing of their spiritual blindness. This word says to us:

Have we already decided who Jesus is? (Stubborn Pride)

Are we too concerned with our own wellbeing to see who Jesus is? And especially the astounding claim his worksmake about him? (Introversion)

If so we need to heed what we learn here and look to the Jesus come into human history to be the bread of life for us. Him who by taking our judgement on the cross and gives us life in his resurrection if we turn to him.

Don't be blind.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Knowing and Having

Recently been reading:


"He is there, He is not silent." By Francis Shaeffer

It is technical in its detail but I never felt lost (even if a bit confused!) Certain parts of his writing felt really true about how I can feel sometimes about the world around me. He says after the work of Rousseau, Kant and Kierkengaard...

"Young people today live in a generation that no longer believes in the hope of truth as truth ... rationality is seen as leading to pessimism. We can have mathematical knowledge but man is only a machine"

"Man is only the machine; man is only a zero, and nothing has any real meaning. I am nothing - one particular amoung thousands of particulars. No particulars have meaning, and specifically the particular of myself. I have no meaning; I die; man is dead"

Sounds depressing yet my Faith in God has been built up because as much as we feel this way it turns out we can't live this way, simply because 'He is there, He is not silent'

To the Christian there is no problem of knowing because we believe he is there and he has spoken. Schaeffer articulates this well and I cannot recommend this book highly enough (as apparently the foundation of most of his work).

Recently I have been looking at Gods Word to us in Genesis in the account of Jacob and Laban 30:25-31:55.

God is with his people (Gen 30:25-43).

His people are distrusting idolators (Gen 31:1-21)

Yet ..

God protects his people (Gen 31:22-55)

Laban comes after Jacob as he has run away. Gods people are keeping hold of there idols - Rachel nicked Labans. Yet God protects them because he is with his people (31:42). All other gods and idols are shown up to be of value little more than that of a pack of tampons!

I Praise God that he is with those that trust him. I Repent of idolatory that is useless.

Schaeffer tells us there is no problem of knowing our world because there is a God. In the Lord Jesus Christ we can have him with us for eternity. We can have him who is with us protecting and providing for us and will bring us through to his New Creation!

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

What did you think of (blank)?

Got this from workshops. One of the Church workers put it together and it seems to be very useful to start thinking through a Christian approach to any art whether film or music or whatever else ...

(N.b If I am breaking any publication rules posting this please notify and I will delete this post!(Think it is ok though!))


Remember: when it comes to a worldview (see James Sire, The Universe Next Door, IVP) the following questions are important?

What is ultimate reality?
What is the nature and meaning of history?
What happens after a human’s death?
What is the human predicament? What is its solution?
The following questions help us to engage better with contemporary film, music, and literature. Some questions, to be sure, lend themselves better to one medium than others. Still, the notion of worldview issues is the aim of asking any question.

To which, I add my own further questions:

Does this worldview (explicit or implied) describe the universe we already know?
Does this worldview describe the ‘you’ and ‘me’ we already know?
Is it consistent with itself?
Is it liveable?

So, therefore:

From what you can see and tell, what do you think are the director’s, author’s, or performer’s, presuppositions?
What questions and issues does the ‘work’ raise?
What light, or answers, or insights does the work offer concerning these issues?
Does the work say anything about ‘truth’? What understandings of ‘truth’ emerge from this work?
What truths (in this case, from the Christian notion of true truth) are revealed in this work?
What view(s) does the work present as to who men and women are?
What criteria does it seem to reveal regarding being human? Does it tell you anything about what it means to be human?
What views are offered concerning human relationships?
Is there any view or philosophy of what is history?
Does the artist require us to make any intellectual or moral somersaults to accept the work’s worldview and conclusions?
Can you see any overall thrust to this work? Have you been rubbished or built up by this work?
Bear in mind:
The weight of supposedly lightweight films, books, music or cultural events increasingly crushes or weakens the knowledge of truth, history, morals, and virtues.

GJ McGrath

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