Monday, 19 January 2015

Monday quote

Authority naturally flows to those who take responsibility. Authority routinely flees those who seek to blame others.

Douglas Wilson.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

The name of God

Some men worship the sun god. Some worship the moon god. Others worship the god of the harvest, the gods of the weather, the god of fertility; gods of love and gods of power, gods of life and gods of death, gods of justice and gods of war.

I worship the Creator God: the Most High God. He made the sun, the moon, the plants. He made all the gods.

Who is this God?

The Creator God? Yes. But he existed before the sun shone, or the moon ruled the night. Before there was lightning and thunder, and water to make the plants grow. Before the earth and sky were made. Even before there was light and darkness.

The Most High God? Yes. Though he made all the gods. Before there were any angels he was God. He existed before the principalities and powers; before the cherubim and seraphim; before any creature to whom men bow.

He is Creator God but he was God before he made creation. He is the Most High God but he was God before he made the gods. Before anything was he was God. Who is this God? What do we call this God? What is his name?

Before anything God existed. He has always existed; he exists now; he will always exist. His name is
I AM

Monday, 12 January 2015

Monday quote

Believing in Jesus counts for very little until belief becomes obedience.

Trevor Geddes

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Faith and works

Faith is contrasted with works when we suppose that somehow our behaviour merits God's grace. It doesn't. But to suppose that what we do does not otherwise matter is false. God saved us to do good works. The work we are to do is either general commands (eg. show hospitality) or specific tasks that God has for us. This is why James says that he shows his faith by the works he does (Jam 2:18). His works are not salvific, but they demonstrate his salvation. We must not think works are unimportant, or optional for the Christian. Dallas Willard writes in The Spirit of the Disciplines.
We have simply let our thinking fall into the grip of a false opposition of grace to "works" that was caused by a mistaken association of works with "merit". And history has only made things worse. It has built a wall between faith and grace, and what we actually do. Of course we know there must be some connection between grace and life, but we can't seem to make it intelligible to ourselves.
In fact, to not do the good works we are commanded to do is disobedience. Obedience is a necessary component of the Christian walk. Redeemed men cannot walk in disobedience. To walk in disobedience is to not be included in the elect. But to try and earn our salvation by doing good works is a failure. We cannot be completely righteous and and righteous acts do not atone for our sin. We need righteousness imputed to us. As John says, Jesus is the atonement for our sins yet,
Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. (1Jo 2:4-6)
Lest this seem impossible, God gives us grace, and grace comes before obedience. God delivered the Israelites from slavery before they were given the Law. We receive Christ's salvation before we are to walk in obedience to him. But just as many died in the desert because of disobedience, so we should also tread carefully lest we be wanting (1Co 10:12; Eph 5).

Monday, 5 January 2015

Monday quote

Still, if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not so costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival. There may be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no chance of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.

Winston Churchill (1874–1965).

Monday, 22 December 2014

Monday quote

I think one of the most intense dangers to modern Christianity is the assumption that sin is wrong because it harms someone.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

Monday, 15 December 2014

Monday quote

Many of the leading postmoderist ideas borrow much of their imagery and not a little of their social prestige from scientific notions of relativity, uncertainty, and incommensurability.

Garrett Green, Theology, Hermeneutics, and Imagination.

Monday, 8 December 2014

The sun shines and warms and lights us and we have no curiosity to know why this is so; but we ask the reason of all evil, of pain, and hunger.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

Sunday, 7 December 2014

On changing theology after backsliding

People change their theology in large and small ways. This may be due to increased understanding, though it may also be in part relate to where they worship, their Christian friends, and what they read.

There are some who leave the church and then return. Some of these people may blame poor theology as a reason for them to backslide for a time. They leave the church rejecting one belief and return espousing another. Although bad theology is a possible contributor to backsliding I am not inclined to give this claim much weight. We have various people becoming more serious about Christ adhering to opposing theologies: there are Arminians who become Calvinists, and there are there are plenty of "recovering Calvinists"; I read of creationists becoming evolutionists and vice versa; some change denominations.

Granted, not all people significantly changing their theology have had a time of backsliding, and some theological positions are more biblical than others; yet as a reason for turning from Christ I increasingly see theology as a minor issue and rebellion and sin as a much greater issue. The Protestant who leaves God and returns as a Catholic probably was wanting to go his own way when he left the church, and those around him who encouraged him back may have been Catholic. Thus his return has to do with the beliefs of those around him at the time he is repenting. Still better a God-honouring Catholic than a rebellious ex-Protestant. (I say this as a Protestant who believes that Protestantism in general is more theologically accurate than Catholicism).

It is not that I think that truth is unimportant; the truth does set us free. But if your theological struggles coincided with your rebellion perhaps you should consider your former beliefs in greater depth.


Monday, 1 December 2014

Monday quote

“Intersectionality,” the study of “intersections between different disenfranchised groups or groups of minorities.” In other words, it’s a game of one-upmanship to determine who belongs to the largest number of intersecting victim groups and is therefore the most oppressed.

Robert Tracinski.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Monday quote

It is a mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

Aristotle

Monday, 17 November 2014

Monday quote

Increasingly, I’m coming to the conclusion that a government that doesn’t “Kiss the Son” isn’t supposed to work.

Mark L. Ward.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Freeze fracking

Despite the benefits of cheap fuel from fracking, it requires a lot of water and the waste water subsequently needs to be treated. Research is looking into using liquid nitrogen which is available on site and does not need treatment or disposal after use.
Researchers at the Colorado School of Mines claim they have developed a method to unlock hydrocarbons trapped in shale with using any water at all. They are seeking to perfect Cryogenic fracturing, which replaces water with searing cold liquid nitrogen (or carbon dioxide). Used at temperatures below minus 321 Fahrenheit, it is pumped underground at high pressure. Once it comes into contact with the heated, pressurized shale, a reaction occurs which caused the shale to crack open and creates fissures through which the hydrocarbons can gush out.
Nitrogen liquefies at –196 °C.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Monday quote

Except over a very narrow field of thinking, chiefly touching questions of strictly personal conduct, we Christians in the modern world accept, for the purpose of mental activity, a frame of reference constructed by the secular mind and a set of criteria reflecting secular evaluations.

Mark Noll (1946–), The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Monday quote

It seems to me that you only pardon the sins that you don’t really think sinful. You only forgive criminals when they commit what you don’t regard as crimes, but rather as conventions. You forgive a conventional duel just as you forgive a conventional divorce. You forgive because there isn’t anything to be forgiven.

GK Chesterton, The Secret of Father Brown.

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