Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Is your Church involved in Hope 08?

video
'The vision for Hope 08 is that the whole church goes to the whole nation for a year and beyond and that we tell our country about Jesus, with our words, because we believe in preaching the gospel of the cross of Jesus Christ, but with our lives, because we want to say that believing in Jesus changes our lives - we can't if our lives don't look different!' (Mike Pilavachi: founder of Soul Survivor)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Grandfather for the second time!

I know many wouldn't believe I am old enough, but on Saturday evening I became a grandfather for the second time. Yesterday I went to hospital to see Sophie. It was a God moment and I confess that as I held her in my arms I shed a couple of tears at the emotion of it all - she is absolutely beautiful! How can anyone look at a new born baby (her complex design, her amazing form, her her staggering beauty) and deny that God exists or not want to praise him?

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside and then out;
you formed me in my mother's womb,
I thank you, High God - you're breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration - what a creation!
You know me inside out,
you know every bone in my body;
you know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculptured from nothing into something.
Like an open book you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I'd even lived one day.

Psalm 139: 13 - 18 (The Message)

(photo to follow!)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Good evangelism?

video

Well what do you think? Try and put aside the fact that the evangelist is American. What (if anything) is good? what (if anything) is not so good about this evangelist's style? How is the student reacting to what is going on here? What do you think the outcome of this conversation will be?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Old Testament: Truth or Fiction?

I’ve been thinking today about the people in the Old Testament. There are many people in our churches today who question the inerrancy or infallibility of the Bible. We are too often told that the great people of the Bible such as Adam and Eve, Noah, Jonah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, the Prophets etc are not people of history. This certainly wasn’t the view of Jesus. His use of language when referring to Scripture can only conclude that Jesus believed that Scripture was the authoritative Word of God and that these people were historical figures. Jesus points out that it was the Holy Spirit that spoke the word of God through the writers of the Old Testament. Quoting Psalm 110:1 in Matthew 22.43 for example, Jesus said ‘‘How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls (Jesus) ‘Lord’? ’’

Abraham:

Jesus said about Abraham:

  • ‘ Before Abraham was born I am’ (John 8:56-58)

The crowd wanted to kill Jesus for saying these words – if Abraham was thought to be imaginary in those days – their reaction simply doesn't make sense.

Moses:
is repeatedly referred to by Jesus as ‘the giver of the law’:

  • ‘Moses said, ‘Honour your father..’’ (Mark 7:10)
  • ‘What did Moses command you?’ (Mark 10:3)
  • ‘Moses permitted you to divorce …’ (Matt 19:3)

Quite clearly, a fictional character could not be the giver of the Law or utter words that would be understood by real people as a command to them to act in a certain way. A made up person equally can not permit a real person to divorce. This would be nonsense!

Jonah:
Jesus clearly was of the mind that even Jonah was an historical character. Matthew 12:41 records Jesus as saying:

‘The men of Nineveh will stand up on the day of judgement, with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah and now one grater than Jonah is here’ (Matt: 12:41)

As Preowne comments: (Obadiah and Johan: Cambridge: 1894) Are we to suppose Jesus to say:

that imaginary persons who at the imaginary preaching of an imaginary prophet repented in imagination, shall rise up in that day and condemn the actual impenitence of those his actual hearers?’

The Law and the Prophets:
These too were seen as God’s word and actual people. Jesus continuously declared that he came to fulfil the (imaginary?) Law and the prophets

  • 'Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law and the Prophets ...' (Matt 5:17)
  • ‘this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets’ (Luke 11:50)

Jesus made similar comments about Adam and Eve and Noah ('As it was in the days of Noah') of Isaac and Jacob and many more. If those of Jesus’ day and more seriously Jesus himself respected these people as historical figures, who did as Scripture says they did, who are we as Christians some 2,000 years later to contradict Him?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

New Commons push for an end to Britain's blasphemy laws

An MP will this week seek to bring an end to Britain's controversial blasphemy laws - as a broad cross- section of believers, humanists and civil rights campaigners continue to argue that they are unnecessary, repressive and outdated.

Today British Humanist Association (BHA) and the comedian Stewart Lee urged MPs to vote for the abolition of the offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel when it is considered by the Commons at the instigation of Liberal Democrat MP Dr Evan Harris.

Report from Ekklesia: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/

Question: To abolish or not to abolish?

(please feel free to comment (and or vote in the poll at the bottom of this web page)



Friday, January 4, 2008

Please please do not leave this blog without having seen this video!

video
This video is part of 'Hope 08's ' initiative. If you never view anything else on this blog
I urge you to watch this!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Bishop Alan’s Blog: Spy vs Spy?

Bishop Alan’s Blog: Spy vs Spy?

When it comes to spy cameras, we scorn when it seems to be intruding on our lives, but when it results in a prevention of terrorist activity we tend to breathe a sigh of relief. That said, people may be (consciously or otherwise) anxious of a future power misusing spy cams to the point that "It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself--anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide." (1984)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Do you recognise this imprisoned community? (A vision as I walked round the streets of Huddersfield)


AN IMPRISONED COMMUNITY

'Look around you', the Lord was saying, 'Look around you, what do you see?'
I looked and I saw BARS. Lots and lots of bars. Horizontal bars, vertical bars, everywhere!
The first sets of bars were on houses
and shops
AND THE LORD SPOKE TO ME OF THE PRISON OF MISTRUST

The next two
set of bars were more subtle, in order to hide their call to incarceration:

The first
vertical lines on a window that made up the shape of two nude ladies (not pictured). It was an erotic bar. The second behind the bars that formed this shop window - a cool looking dummy complete with shades and a casual top that portrayed casual sex as a means to love and peace and joy.

God reminded me of a bar chart in
the papers the previous day that dispelled these lies - it was a chart showing 500% increase in sexually transmitted diseases.

But still that dummy screamed out at
me: 'I want to make you into my own image!'

But God showed me that that image was as plastic and as im
prisoned as the dummy itself.





Bars which surrounded these steps which were totally covered with trash spoke of a throw away community, which doesn't even care for life itself (thoughts of this las year's murders in Huddersfield came to mind: of children and youth as well as adults).

'LOOK, LOOK VERY CAREFULLY!', SHOUTED GOD.

AND GOD SHOWED ME THAT THE STEPS WERE HEADING DOWN, DOWN, DOWN INTO THE VERY PIT OF HELL ITSELF!!








The next set of bars were those holding these t-shirts, with the words 'get your head into gear' (street name for drugs) and 'LSD'.





They paid no heed to the imprisonment of the youth living at the bottom of these bar surrounded steps, a couple of blankets and a bag of smack - his only possession:

Did the tears that poured down my face at the sadness of it all belong solely to me? Or can we record once again that:

Jesus Wept?