[first published in the monthly congregational “Notes” for April, 2017.]
Among the ancients, as with many today, the idea that there is something spiritual about us that lives on after we die was quite acceptable, even if just what happened after death was largely the focus of speculation. Given that the Bible tells us that God breathed life into humanity in a way that differed from all other living things, we should not be surprised that some vestige of this awareness remained after the Fall. We should also not be surprised that their ideas are so wrong, although we can see the “reasoning”. What did the evidence say? Bodies decay. They get old. They “rust”, die and smell! They can be torn apart, dissolved into the ground, or burned to ashes. If there was to be a place of eternal bliss, some place where humanity dwelt with the gods, then…continue reading
[First published in the monthly congregational “Notes” for March, 2017.]
In the space of less than a generation standards of public morality have tumbled in ways that no-one would have imagined. The Australia many of us have known since birth has gone and apart from a mighty work of God (for which we always pray) is not likely to return in our time. It is as if we have been invaded and taken over by a foreign power because the public space in our nation is now very much under the control of an ideology hostile to the gospel with its own thought police and spies to report all ideas opposed to the new secularism. Anything highlighting the exclusivity of Christ is frowned upon, or shouted down in the name of anti-discrimination. We have been subjected to an intellectual coup, (mostly bloodless apart from the wicked bloodshed of abortion) and…continue reading
[first published in the monthly congregational Notes, for February, 2017.]
I have been somewhat surprised at the sudden energy devoted to American politics in the Christian blog-o-sphere and on social media, even from within Australia. In some comments Trump seems the epitome of evil and [amazingly] Mrs Clinton the personification of virtue and dignity!! Yes, Trump can present as coarse and megalomaniacal but the danger is that our culture has deceived us into thinking that sin is worse when it is crude or impolite! Sinful people will do sinful things (despite Trump saying he has no need to ask forgiveness!) but we must not forget that “suave” sins are no less heinous and some-times even more so than those which are “in your face”. All sins, even those we consider polite and understandable, are “in the face” of God.
Ahasuerus (Esther 1:1) or Xerxes I as he is known…continue reading