Tag Archives: History
Asking the right questions about what “Son of God” means
What does it mean when Jesus says he is “Son of God”? Jesus claimed to be God’s son. He claimed to be both equal and subservient to God. This mystifies theologians today, because they find it hard to reconcile these two things. It isn’t supposed to be that hard. Let us ask not how Jesus […]Read More
Will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? – Luke 18:7
Persisent Prayer – An illustration I just found this audio. I recorded it twelve months ago, and kept it switched to “Private” in SoundCloud. It reveals part of what I have been praying all that time. Some of these things are now beginning to take place. I pray about a few things. Some are yet […]
What’s Your Story?
God’s Story, and your place in it. The Universe is a Story. It is the Story of God, His Creation, and His plans for that Creation. Those plans include two parts, although these are two sides of the one “coin”: the redemption of all that is of God, and the destruction of everything else. You […]Read More
Christian Assurance, Apart From the Law: A Defence Against the Judaisers
Judaisers A ‘Judaiser’ is someone who insists that a believer in Christ must join the Covenant of Moses, which was ratified at Mt Sinai around 1300BC. The Apostle Paul was routinely persecuted by Judaisers, who were scandalised that Paul’s non-Jewish (“Gentile”) converts were not being circumcised. The Judaisers are back. There is a whole movement […]
Ishmael: In the Abrahamic Covenant, or not?
Ishmael: Sidestepped or Sidelined? Abraham is the Patriarch who was chosen by God to be the ancestor of the People of God. Ishmael was Abraham’s eldest son. When Abraham was given the sign of his covenant with God, circumcision, he circumcised Ishmael into that covenant. But subsequent text in the Bible raises some questions as […]Read More
A Fraud: The so-called Constantine Creed
Holiness: It’s not a process.
What is “holiness”? The term “holiness” conjures ideas of piety and moral uprightness. In fact, the word translated as “saint” from the New Testament is literally “holy person”. So we might well imagine very religious piety. Sanctification is a word based on the same Greek root word as “holy”. It means making something holy. Modern commentators will […]Read More
The other side of the “No Smoking” sign: discrimination by Social Cleansing
Is this Social Cleansing? I’m a non-smoker. Indeed, I am even an ex-smoker, and I support the principle of removing cigarette smoke from the lives of those who don’t smoke. But the recent (1st Feb 2013) ban on smoking in some of the public spaces in Ipswich has made me uneasy from the start. Today […]
The Angels at Christmas time: What’s with that?
Why is there so much about angels in the Nativity narratives of the Bible? The Biblical account is a narrative. It is constructed in the form of a story. So if the whole story of God is being told through the history of God’s dealings with creation, who is the story for? Who is the […]Read More
Original Sin: The Original Meaning
Original Sin, the meaning revealed… without even mentioning sex! Original Sin is a doctrine completely separate from any notion of sex or sexuality. The Church has managed to confuse those ideas in most unhelpful ways throughout history, but I won’t be doing so here. So if you’re in the mood for a salacious, sexy romp […]
The Book of Job: (not so?) Friendly Advice
What does the Book of Job say about counselling our friends? A key message of the Book of Job is that, when someone is suffering, there may be things going on that we are unaware of. Rather than badger the person to amend their behaviour, or drag them into a theological debate, we should comfort […]Read More
Religious Freedom: Do Christians need to relearn it?
Freedom of Religion: A Christian EthicFreedom from religion? Some non-religious people think that the constitution provides for “freedom from religion”. It most certainly does not! It provides for freedom of religion. And it’s a vital freedom. So much so that what might seem to be a home-run for the Christian cause, which violates the freedom of […]Read More
Genesis 2:2-3 – Why God rested
Why did God rest? We often ask our Biblical texts questions that they were not designed to answer. This can be ok sometimes, and it can yield information that is good and helpful. But at other times it can result in us reading the text in ways that were never intended, potentially obscuring or even […]
Homosexuality: The Stumbling Stone of Modern Christianity?
Christian, why is it so hard to love homosexual people? Christian churches have developed a series of dogmatic teachings that culminate in Christians wearing T-Shirts bearing the theologically inaccurate statement, “God Hates Fags”. No wonder many Christians find it hard to reconcile this with their spiritual discernment, which prompts them simply to love and accept […]
The Psychological Gospel
Can the Gospel be described in Psychological terms? The Gospel is not a matter of psychology. It is a message about the Kingdom of God: “Jesus is Lord”. But the contemplation of this, and the comprehension of it, can have profound psychological effects on the person concerned. This is because it matters that Jesus is Lord. It […]
Isaiah and the theme of Hiddenness In the Book of Isaiah there is a notable theme describing a kind of “hiddenness”, which refers to spiritual blindness and deafness by the people. It is a fascinating theme, and often misunderstood. This is a little journey through the Book of Isaiah tracking on this particular theme.Read More
Is the Bible actually “the word of God”?
In what sense is the Bible, “the word of God”? This sounds like a simple question to answer, but it is actually a long-running and very heated debate amongst Christians. Many claim that the Bible is “the word of God”, but they often mean different things by that statement.
Mass confusion as theological jargon creeps back in
The new “Plain English” Missal: Easier to understand… if you know Latin. Last year, the English Missal of the Roman Catholic Church wording was “updated”. In one place, the words “of one substance” were replaced with the far less well-known term, “consubstantial”. Consa-what? Even my spell-checker doesn’t reckon that’s a word! But don’t worry – […]
An Encounter with a Modern-Day Cultural Man
Bennelong: One Man, Two Worlds I have a (dear) friend who grew up as a young boy learning many of the Indigenous Australian ways – bushcraft, stories, hunting, and so forth. I had the opportunity to interview him as part of an anthropology assignment, and in the process I became his student. For some cursory background […]