Monday, 30 December 2013

Incoherent arguments for criminalising smacking

"Because in law you are forbidden from striking another adult, and from physically chastising your pets, but somehow there is a loophole around the fact that you can physically chastise your child."

Is Ms Atkinson aware that the law also forbids you to imprison another adult in their bedroom, restrict their movements to the "naughty step", impose curfews on them, and so on?

If the ideas behind the absurd arguments of the brigade who want to criminalise smacking were followed through, then it would make parenting itself illegal. When parental powers are reduced, who takes up the slack? Answer: highly paid state officers like "children's commissioner" Ms Atkinson.

We presume that she gets up to other things too, but, as she spends her time arguing that ordinary parenting should be criminalised, the state rewards Ms Atkinson with over £140,000 of taxpayers' money every year (

Wednesday, 25 December 2013


Somehow I can't recall hearing the carol "Mary did you know?" until this year.

It's great to hear a carol that's both beautiful and has got some good theological meat in it.

This child that you've delivered
Will soon deliver you


Mary did you know that your baby boy
Is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy
Will one day rule the nations?


Did you know that your Baby Boy
Is Heaven's perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you're holding
Is the great I am

* * *

Do you know? Happy Christmas!

Monday, 16 December 2013

What Protestants should be protesting

(N.B.: I haven't read the recommended book, and so was not endorsing that particular sentence, as I suspect it advocates Presbyterian ecclesiology, which I, obviously, don't!).

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Crunch time

Ministers in the Church of England need to decide: will they continue to find reasons to be part of a "church" which blesses that which God says is grossly offensive to him? Or will they testify faithfully to Jesus, joining those "outside the camp"?

If this isn't a "line in the sand" for you, then nothing ever will be.

My personal viewpoint is that the real "line in the sand" - the fact that it is not possible for any minister of the Church of England to be disciplined for teaching a false gospel - was crossed many decades ago. That issue would be a line in the sand for deciding that I could not, in good conscience, be part of the ministry of such a church. If a church does not stand for the gospel, then it cannot be recognised as a church in good standing before the Lord Jesus Christ.

But, if you've let that pass, then here's the question: if you can tolerate false gospels and the blessing of what God says is absolute depravity, then what would you not tolerate? There's not much left, is there? Does the Archbishop of Canterbury have to personally sacrifice your firstborn child to Molech before you say "enough's enough"?

At the point that the Church of England's hierarchy is declaring that sodomy can be blessed, and you're still part of such an organisation, surely your only real line in the sand is "I can live with anything whatsoever in the wider Church of England - however false to God's truth, and however contrary to the order of God's creation or his law - as long as I personally am left in peace". Is it not so?

Friday, 22 November 2013


Are you familiar with Librivox?

We'd bought a few audio-books for our children to listen to on car
journeys and at other times from Audible... before realising how much is
on Librivox for free:

Thursday, 14 November 2013

That's only what it is made of

"I am a star at rest, my daughter," answered Ramandu.


"In our world," said Eustace, "a star is a huge ball of flaming gas."

"Even in your world, my son, that is not what a star is, but only what it is made of."
(C S Lewis, Voyage of the Dawn Treader)

Monday, 11 November 2013

A mass of hopeless contradictions

When you have a false claim to authority and the supposed special
privileges of your earthly leader, and over a millennium of history that
can be examined, you're going to end up with things like this:

Our faith should be in the unchanging, infallible Christ and his
revealed Word - not in the man-made, ever-shifting, mutually
contradictory pronouncements of a series of fallible men in Rome.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Displeased with whaaaatt?

When your theology, logically carried through, leads you into complete absurdity, then it's time to back-track.

Read this through to the end - - and see what David VanDrunen thinks God would be displeased with. Then start hunting on the floor for where your jaw dropped to.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

No, not Soviet Russia

In some countries in the world, apparently, you have to petition the government for permission to take your kids on holidays! Imagine!

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Relevant preaching

I saw this blurb for a book:
"What we hear in church on Sunday morning sometimes seems worlds away from the challenges we face on Monday morning. With lively Bible teaching and drawing on a wealth of real-life stories, (the author) shows how work was part of God's good plan for men and women - given to us so we can make a creative contribution in his world."
What this means is that the author of the book is making up for something wrong with the preaching. That's a good thing for authors to do. But what about the preaching itself? If you are a preacher or teacher in some capacity, then are your hearers in danger of coming away with this lack of understanding of what the gospel actually means for their lives?

Pondering about this whilst in Kenya led me to formulate the following 'rule of thumb'. Imagine a long-term hearer of someone's preaching. However, he is not physically present; he is listening via tapes (MP3s, etc.). He does not know ahead of time where the preacher is, or what the preacher and congregation's situation is. He does not know what the congregation's challenges are, in their cultural setting. If the preacher is a good preacher, then he should be able to work it out from listening to the preacher. i.e. It should be possible to reconstruct the daily challenges faced in the social context of the preacher's congregation, by listening to the preaching. By considering the applications, he should be able to 'reverse-engineer' the situations that they are being made to.

All this is simply to say that good preaching is applied. Actually applied; not solely in generalities which could be proclaimed equally to all listeners everywhere; but in specifics that enable people to recognise the relevancy of the message for them, today, where they are. The clothes must fit. This is a shepherd's duty; a shepherd must know his flock - not just vaguely, but closely. Of course, some applications are universal; believe God's promises, turn away from sin, etc. But what promises and what sins are particularly pressing for your time and situation? Can it be right to rarely hear anything about that, so that you come away not knowing (except in the vaguest terms) how Sunday and Monday are related?

This is part of the reason why knowing your people (for a pastor, through pastoral visiting) is important, so that you can get a much closer, less vague, understanding of the shape of their challenges. But that's another subject. My point is this: the fact that such books as the above require to be written is an indictment of our preaching. We should not fail to heed the message in between the lines.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013


This essay by Peter Hitchens deserves to be read through from start to finish:

Friday, 4 October 2013

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Albert Mohler on state schools

This is very interesting, and I am glad to read it. Albert Mohler is a significant figure amongst US evangelicals. I am not familiar enough with the US evangelical scene to know whether any comparably significant figures have gone as far as he has yet; but I am glad that he has. In reading this quote, remember that a what is called a "public school" in the US is what in the UK is called a "state school" (confusingly, in the UK, the terms "public school" and "private school" mean the same):
Is public school an option? For Christians who take the Christian worldview seriously and who understand the issues at stake, the answer is increasingly no. The number of Christian parents coming to this conclusion increases each year. We can understand the nostalgia that many Christians hold about the public schools. I spent every minute of my school life from the first grade to high school graduation in a public school. And yet, I saw the ideological transformation of the schools before my own eyes. Long ago, the public schools entered a Brave New World from which no retreat now seems possible.
The article is thought through and makes carefully argued distinctions; I recommend you read it all.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Is the Pope a Catholic?

This used to be the classic hypothetical question, which required no answer.

No longer. The new Roman Pope just keeps on speaking, and the question keeps on coming up:

Q. Your Holiness, is there is a single vision of the Good? And who decides what it is?
A. "Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is Good."

Q. Jesus in his preaching said that agape, love for others, is the only way to love God. Correct me if I'm wrong.
A. "You're not wrong. The Son of God became incarnate in the souls of men to instill the feeling of brotherhood. All are brothers and all children of God. Abba, as he called the Father. (Continues).
If you put your trust in the merits and guidance of the supposedly never-changing church of Rome, instead of in Christ and his Word alone, then you must be finding this new Pope's teaching very confusing. Good! Follow that thought. See where it leads!

And this is unbelievable:
Q. But just a few days ago you appealed to Catholics to engage civilly and politically.
A. "I was not addressing only Catholics but all men of good will. I say that politics is the most important of the civil activities and has its own field of action, which is not that of religion. Political institutions are secular by definition and operate in independent spheres. All my predecessors have said the same thing, for many years at least, albeit with different accents.
Compare the line I highlighted in italics with this:

"[It is error to believe that] The Church ought to be separated from the State, and the State from the Church." Pope Pius IX, The Syllabus of Errors, 1864, Section VI, "Errors About Civil Society, Considered Both in Itself and in its Relation to the Church", #55.

"For many years at least" - is this an implicit concession that the Popes from the beginning of the Papacy until the 20th century were universally wrong on this question? What are the implications of that?

Monday, 16 September 2013

The complete works of John Bunyan

Tim Challies has a nice little biography of John Bunyan, and lists his three most well-known works.

In fact, Bunyan's complete works are available for free on Kindle. I'm occasionally plodding through them on a Sunday afternoon. The only annoyance is that it's not indexed - so to find a particular work, you have to either hunt and hope, or go to Amazon to view the index page of the printed edition to get some help.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Equals, responsibility

Tim Challies asks what disposable time plus disposable income ought to equal for Christians.

His answer ("opportunity") isn't terrible, but it misses the mark. He nearly gets there - his wording in unpacking what "opportunity" means mentions "stewardship". But stewardship isn't primarily about opportunity; it is about responsibility. The Biblical answer is "responsibility": "Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more." - Luke 12:48. When the Master gives you ten talents, and not just five or one, he holds you responsible for ten talents, not just five or one. That thought ought to make a lot of us as Western Christians at this juncture not so much be excited at the opportunity, as tremble at the waste.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

God's wonderful law

When I browse skeptical websites, I get the idea that the law of God as expounded in the Old Testament (at greatest length in Deuteronomy), is mostly about the eating or non-eating of prawns, and killing people. So much for the fruits of free thinking and rational inquiry.

When I have the pleasure of reading God's wonderful law, I find a book so rich and practical for the problems of everyday life. As a book of case law it is not comprehensive in the sense of describing every possible scenario (which is what legalists want). Rather, it is varied and full in demonstrating how righteousness, love and wisdom combined to deal with the realities of daily living in God's glorious but now fallen world.

There we find the rich and the poor, the worker and the idle, the prospering and the down-and-out. There is the aggressor and the aggrieved; the judge who is tempted to twist justice; the man surprised by circumstances and the man deliberately plotting evil. There are the young children, the soon-to-be-adults, the newly-married, the long-married, the widowed, the single, the old and the dying. And so on.

It is said that "everything old is new again". Many situations in life surprise us with their complexity. There's always a new twist on an old conundrum. And yet, the more I read, the more I found that God knew it all already, and gave us the guidance we needed - we just didn't know it. How many issues have we had to wrestle through the out-workings of; how many temptations have sought to lead us astray; how many times have we suspected that we've done wrong by someone else... and it was all there, all the time, in God's law, explaining to us how to relate to our neighbour/wife/son/employee/etc., in a loving, generous, righteous and merciful way.

Sorry, skeptics - I'll take God's liberating law any time over the man-made tyranny of a new law being passed every 3 hours (or 2,700 new laws every year) into which our rejection of God's wisdom has been plunging us in recent times. The law of God can be read in a single sitting. There's not enough hours in the average day to read the laws that were passed during it - and what of those passed before you started the exercise? If I and the secularist each get to enjoy a good prawn curry after reading the laws of our preferred Lord, then the secularist will die of starvation. I shall be tucking into the second course and thanking God for it before he's got past the pre-amble.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Secularist dishonesty

Secularist atheists are always seeking to enforce their values on others. Unlike Christians, who will a) openly confess that we would be delighted for everyone to embrace Jesus Christ, and b) we recognise others' rights to disagree, secularists are a) deceitful and b) coercive. Their routine method is not to set up their own secularist institutions to compete with Christian ones, but to enter secretly, lie, work to take power, and then enforce the new values on everyone else.

The take-over of Girl Guiding and enforcement of a humanist oath, replacing a theistic one (to be "true to oneself" and serve the "community" instead of loving God and being faithful to the Monarch) was an example of this. For a), they lyingly claimed that it was about inclusiveness (but, since when was enforcing a humanist oath inclusive?). For b), read this to the end: There you'll see that it's about coercion, not inclusivity: it's the secular humanist way or the highway. Notice the blatant hypocrisy of the new leaders of Guiding quoted in the last three paragraphs: those who don't recognise the new values are free to leave. That is apparently in stark contrast to the old values, which the entry-ists felt themselves completely free to first ignore and then replace!

What's the take-home message for Christians? Don't believe the myth of secular humanist "neutrality". It's a temporary guise until they gain power... after that, it's time for the boot stamping on your face. You can see the same in the sphere of "gay rights"; "tolerance" was a temporary myth until they had the upper hand. The switch is already well underway: you won't hear much of tolerance from now on, but only of "guaranteeing universal human rights everywhere, regardless of what the bigots think". When you hear talk of "neutrality" and "inclusiveness", you need to start counting the spoons.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Why I am a Christian

I don't know what causes you to be found on this website today, or who you are... but whoever you are, I wanted to post a brief answer to a question, with the hope that it might help you.

Why am I a Christian?

A question like that can get an answer on more than one level. Human beings are complex, and life is complex. There's my family and cultural history. There's my understanding of Christianity now, and the reasons why I now find it more intellectually and emotionally satisfying than any of the alternatives. In a Western context, we'd probably need to spend some time discussing various objections to Christianity, and why when examined they don't hold water. An answer that really got to the heart of things would not start with me, but with God, and with Jesus Christ.

But in this answer I don't really want to give a history of my life or an account of Christian teaching or answers as such. Those things are all important in their place. But, I want to explain why I need to be a question, and why you do too. Why must I be a Christian? When I ask that question, I remember a short exchange between Jesus and his disciple Peter, recorded in the Bible in the book named "John", in the 6th chapter:
From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?"

But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." (verses 66-69)
At its heart, being a Christian means believing that Jesus of Nazareth is "the Son of the living God", and the "Messiah" (God's appointed King and Deliverer, who came from heaven), and being a follower of Jesus means submitting to him as king in our lives. There's a lot to unpack in there, but for now I want to focus on one important part of it.

As a follower of Jesus, the question "Do you also want to go away?" will come up a lot. Following Jesus is tough. It means living according to his teachings, not our feelings or desires. It's tough inside, because we'll soon find out that we're not the people we should be, or imagined ourselves to be. It's tough outside, because there are many other agendas in the world than Jesus'. Standing up for Jesus often brings trouble.

But when that question comes up in my heart and mind, I find it always followed by Simon Peter's answer. Where else would I go?

For one thing, of all the things I can doubt, I can never doubt that, deep down, I've got a basic problem of being corrupt. Human nature is corrupt, and "what's wrong with me" is not just temporary "slip-ups" or "mistakes" or "things I didn't really mean". No... I find that the Bible's description of humanity - including me - as being wrong *at root* is totally accurate. There's not just something wrong with what I occassionally do, or think... there's something wrong with me. I am what the Bible calls a sinner. Being selfish, being proud, being blind to other people and their needs and problems, and being so very slow to think about or seek after my Maker are all things that come naturally to me - even before they result in other particular wrongs that I do. I know, deep down, that that feeling that I in myself am not right is not just false guilt, or society making me feel to be something that I'm not. No: my sin is as certain a fact as I can lay my hands on anywhere in existence. I'm more sure that my sin and guilt exist than I am sure than you exist!

Perhaps you can persuade yourself that your conscience and the guilty it reminds you of corresponds to nothing real at all. It's just some weird by-product of evolution. I find that totally unbelievable. Evolution cannot even begin to explain how there is an "I" - a feeling, thinking, desiring, rejoicing, hurting, alive being, somewhere in "here", self-conscience, looking out in to the world. Stories about how genes can replicate are nice; but evolution can't deal with the most basic fact of your existence: that there is a you. We are not just bodies; we are souls. The ways we live always, every day, testifies that we believe that. Even the most angry of atheists still behaves, all the time, as if his personal existence is real and matters - that he's not just an empty, soul-less machine.

Who can take away my guilt? Who can forgive what I've done wrong in this world which I didn't make, but which God did?

The answer that I've come to learn is "Jesus Christ, alone". Muhammad did not die in my place, offering an innocent life to God to take away the guilt of mine. Buddha had a human nature every bit as wicked as mine. The wisdom of Socrates is, at the end of it, only wisdom about what someone ought to do - and can say nothing about how to deal with what I have already done, or about how to access a power to do the good that I already know I should be doing. Whenever I look at other religions, I find them telling me what I ought to do, or ought to have done. Christianity is radically different, because it tells us that what we do doesn't cut it... but that what Jesus Christ has already done and completed is more than enough... and that he gives it all to us a free gift. When God looks upon the followers of Jesus, he doesn't see all their evil - he sees the perfection of Jesus, and the perfect price that Jesus paid on the cross when he was crucified to take away all our wrongs.

If Jesus of Nazareth is not the Rescuer, whose death on the cross cleansed away my sin, then we have to face the fact that there is no Saviour. We're going to die without God's forgiveness. We're lost. We deserve God's anger and his punishment, and are kidding ourselves if we try to argue otherwise. We need Jesus. There's no other candidate. To whom else shall we go?

Why am I a Christian? Ultimately, because Jesus Christ the Rescuer brought about a day in my life when he showed and persuaded me that what he'd done on the cross when he did, perfectly met my need before God as a sinner. He showed me that his resurrection from the dead meant that he could supply me with all the heavenly power I'd need to be his follower, through thick and thin. He made me to understand that I could not work my way up in to heaven - but that he'd simply forgive me out of his amazing kindness.

Why am I still a Christian? Because he's kept those promises, and many more. He's helped me to grow. I'm not what I ought to be - but I know that I'm not what I was. I know that there's nobody else like him. Why would I not want to be a Christian? Where else would I go, either now for a relationship with the living God, or in eternity when I have to stand before God and have my life judged by him?

What Jesus did to me is what Christians call "conversion". It's not just an intellectual thing. It's the whole person. It's a whole new life from him and with him, day by day - and carrying on into eternity.

I thank you for reading, and hope that you'll seek it out and find that life too.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Is democracy over-rated?

Roger Scruton is not a Christian, but is a thinker who has often offered penetrating critiques of some of the absurdities of the shibboleths of the leaders of the modern secular West. Here's another - published, somewhat surprisingly, by the BBC:

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Christian ignorance

Do those who come to your church, whatever else they do or don't know or understand, come away knowing about the sufficiency of God in Jesus Christ, the eternal God, humiliated, crucified, risen and ascended?

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

The royal baby versus nonsensical gender drivel

By being born, the royal baby has managed to expose one of our contemporary Western absurdities.

Now as background we remark that before his birth, various politicians were promising to change the laws of succession if it was a girl, so that it would be guaranteed (should it survive long enough) to maintain its position as third in the line to the throne, regardless of whether any boys were born after it.

By being a boy, royal baby made all of that redundant.

But hang on a minute... how do we know that royal baby is indeed a "he" ? After all, it hasn't told us so.

You see, the thought-leaders of society had been telling us that gender is a social construct. It's only loosely, if at all, related to the body. Whether you're male or female is a personal choice, apparently. Hence, men can marry men. Whether they're sexually complementary has nothing, supposedly, to do with their bodies. Two women can raise a child as mother and father, so we're told. The present history of various countries (a bill is before the governor's desk in California to this effect, having passed through the legislature) shows that next on the agenda is to allow self-proclaimed women (who are really men) to choose their own locker-rooms, toilets, and sports teams - because allegedly to do otherwise would be to endorse outmoded gender stereotypes. It would be to oppress them.

Oh, whoops. The cat got out of the bag again. When you're talking nonsense, it's hard to be consistent.... at some point, the fact that you know the truth which God impressed upon creation will keep getting out. It turns out that you can look at the royal baby's bits and know that it is a "he", after all, even before it decides to tell us about it.

Why pornography is not a freedom-of-speech issue

Pornography is inherently degrading. The nature of watching other people involved in sexual activity is by its essential, unchangeable nature, defiling.

For the government to restrict pornography is not like the government restricting the discussion of political ideas it disapproves of, or banning all kitchen knives because once Johnny waved one at a friend. Neither discussion, or kitchen names are essentially and necessarily degrading by their very nature.

Therefore, from a Christian perspective, all arguments connecting attempts to regulate pornography to freedom-of-speech or state-overreach issues are bogus. They belong in the same category as arguing that if the state is allowed to forbid murder, then our freedoms are lost because the next thing you know they'll be banning scrapping in the playground. And just because they probably already have banned scrapping in most playgrounds, does not mean that we or anyone else should want to repeal laws against murder.

We need to both be clear that state-overreach is a real and increasing problem for godly living in our days, whilst equally avoiding falling into the ditch on the other side of the road: becoming radical anti-statists. The Bible is certainly neither. The state can, and should, penalise everyone involved in the production of inherently degrading material, and no issues of privacy or free "speech" or state over-reach are presented if it makes their transmission unlawful. (Though the current uproar has been caused by discussion of what you do or don't have to tick in order to receive it, rather than any proposal to actually make anything at all illegal. Obviously many commentators I've read online do protest far too much).


Sunday, 21 July 2013

The elephant in the room - he's still there...

In the present US big news story of the murder trial of George Zimmerman, for the fatal shooting of 17-year-old black American Trayvon Martin, I presume no competence to either endorse or contradict the verdict of the jury. They have listened to the evidence, examined it, and pronounced.

I note the post-trial comments of one juror, who says that both young men made mistakes, and that they both failed to lower the pressure and walk away when they could have done.

Looking at various accounts, I note various records of Martin's life, detailing a growing number of signs that he was heading off the rails. To repeat - that does not indicate what actually happened on the night he was shot, one way or the other. But there is a prima facie case that his being in the wrong place, at the wrong time, involved in the wrong thing (and at the risk of being boring, that does not decide one way or the other the question of whether he was unlawfully killed or not, or what Zimmerman's motives were or weren't) was not a random event. Regardless of the ethics of the final bullet, there's enough in there to say that this was a young man who needed direction and authority, and who wasn't getting it - and that had he, then he could very likely still be alive today. Read his Wikipedia page: When I see a pattern like that, I know now, from the Bible, to hone in on one question - where was that young man's father? And the answer always comes back the same - he wasn't there. Trayvon Martin grew up largely with a mother, and without a father - up until the point where his mother could no longer handle him.

And then this leads to the observation which comes up again and again in so many contemporary tragedies. Whilst the politicians on either side are all making their political speeches for their political purposes... once again, they're all ignoring the elephant in the room. The pattern in Trayvon's life is not random - it's predictable. Trayvon Martin grew up largely, as a disproportionate number of young black American men do, mostly without a father. He needed a father to guide him, and to provide strong paternal love and discipline. He didn't get it. If he had, then he might not have been in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with an unwisely aggressive attitude.

The Bible teaches us that the family is the foundation of a strong, stable society. But you can't both have that, and so-called "free love", radical individualism, abortion-as-contraception, and reject role relationships. It's not just one racial group, but an entire society - politicians preaching these new values, and people readily and gladly accepting them - that has welcomed the elephant into the room. One of the appalling results of direction-less, angry young men who don't know how to walk away from trouble when it crosses their path. The elephant in the room is still there, and sadly, many more will be trampled underfoot by him in the months and years to come. Don't buy the politicians' lies - that with cleverer economics and more the state providing more and more of its care, that we can make up for the deficiencies brought in by the sexual revolution. We can't - without repentance and revival, the whole society must eventually and inevitably perish. What a need there is at this time for true Christians to shine a light and show that it can be very different.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Beware the desire to be rich

The Roman Catholic Church remains unreformed

This article reminds us that the essential doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church remain the same as they were before the Reformation:

One of the fundamental absurdity of Roman Catholic doctrine asserts itself again. If the Pope has power in his hands to remit the time that people spend in Purgatory, and if he can grant large remissions in return for trivial acts, then why does he do so so infrequently? Does he not care?

And secondly, why do these remissions normally come, not in exchange for acts genuinely useful to fellow human beings, but for acts that testify to the importance of Rome? As in the days of Tetzel, so today - in the article above, indulgences are not offered for alleviating anyone's suffering or improving their lot in life - but for climbing steps in Rome, or following the Pope's media output.

The doctrines of purgatory and imagined Papal powers to release people from are a big spiritual fraud. Their effect is to dissuade people from looking to the final, complete, glorious sufficiency of Jesus Christ and his finished work on the cross, given freely to all who come to him. Instead, they cause their followers to lower their eyes from him and instead put them onto the works-based, Rome-centred treadmill of conditional grace. Be warned.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Responding to "gay marriage"

The Christian Institute, in this paragraph, remind us that Christians need to be not just loving, but also clear and truthful in their responses when confronted in the future with people falsely claiming to be in "marriages":

Parliament can’t change what is hard wired into the nature of our existence. They could pass a Bill saying the moon is made of cheese, but it doesn’t make it so. Marriage remains the union of a man and a woman, whatever the politicians say about legal marriage. Marriage pre-dates British law, and it will carry on into the future.
In the future, British law will have one definition of marriage; and faithful disciples of Jesus will have a significantly different one. That is unfortunate, and will cause various difficulties; but that will be how it is. The line is drawn; the wheat and the tares will now be able to be more clearly distinguished according to which side of it they are found growing on.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Signs of the times...

He is only 26 ... which may be ‘getting on a bit’ in terms of tennis, but back in the real world, is still pretty young to get hitched.

I make no comment on Andy Murray personally, but it's interesting to hear someone saying that 26 is "pretty young" to get married, as mainstream media comment.

In the contemporary West, it appears that permanent teenager-hood is the ideal held out to us. It begins at about 8, as school, media and sadly often parents push you into it prematurely; it can either end somewhere just short of 40 when you hear the fertility clock ticking, or it can extend permanently into a very sad (as in, pathetic) old age (think of: ugly, silly old men strutting around stages with guitars like they did in the 1960s or 70s). The media actually holds that out as an ideal to aim for - still rocking at 70, yeah!

But... striking cool poses in the newspapers (for the select few) is no compensation for investing your life in something that tells for future generations (look at the family lives of those ageing rockers, and you'll want to run a mile...), or for eternity.

Permanent immaturity is not praiseworthy; the fact that so many think it so is a sign of the darkness of mind that God has judged our decadent societies with.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Cultural defeat

This timely quote from T E Hulme has been repeated by Peter Mullen on Cranmer's blog today:
“We have been beaten because our enemies’ theories have conquered us. We have played with those to our own undoing. Not until we are hardened again by conviction are we likely to do any good. In accepting the theories of the other side, we are merely repeating a well-known historical phenomenon. The Revolution in France came about not so much because the forces which should have resisted were half-hearted in their resistance. They themselves had been conquered intellectually by the theories of the revolutionary side. An institution or a civilisation is beaten only when it has lost faith in itself, when it has been penetrated by the ideas that are working against it.”
I have been reflecting on this matter somewhat in recent months. What does cultural defeat look like? Part of it is when your enemy's ideas have penetrated so widely and deeply, that you actually adopt, practice and teach them without even knowing it. Apply that thought to Bible-preaching churches in the UK today. The mantras of personal choice, the individualistic way of life, acceptance of non-Christian, secular education, the lack of distinction between father and mother within a family, the lack of respect by children for their parents, the belief in the state as universal provider and problem-solver, the love of an easy-going, entertainment-based culture, the worship of triviality and of "cool": are these basic outlooks and features significantly less prominent inside Bible-preaching churches than outside of them? In former times, the unbelieving paid at least lip service to Christian truths, and went along with them - today, instead of exposing and refuting them, many British evangelicals follow the beliefs and practices of secularists. That's what cultural defeat looks like.

On which note, this headline popped up in the Telegraph at around the same time: Welby calls for Church to join the sexual ‘revolution’. The piece goes on to claim that the Archbishop is now planning to outsource relationships education in Church of England Schools to Stonewall. It finishes with Stonewall slapping him down and making it clear that they'll require a much larger dose of penance before they will even consider granting him absolution. When the foremost apologists for what God calls "abomination" disdain your attempts to curry their favour, even whilst you sacrificially offer up your young to appease them, you can be very sure that you're doing it wrong.

Are evangelicals in the UK, defeated? Yes; because we have not been faithful to the truths that were delivered to us plainly in Scripture. Is Jesus defeated? That's not possible - he's the Risen one; alive from the dead. His resurrection power is already unleashed in this age and this world. The solution begins with turning again to him.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Where God dwells

- Everywhere (he is omnipresent)
- Throughout heaven and earth (Jeremiah 23:24); yet beyond them too (for when they were not, he was - Genesis 1:1)
- In heaven (Matthew 6:9 - "Our Father, who art in heaven..."); meaning the "third heaven" (2 Corinthians 12:2), i.e. the (to those of us in this life) unseen world of glory that is presently veiled and inaccessible to us
- In former times, visibly via the "Shekinah" (glory cloud) in the tabernacle and temple (Exodus 40:34).
- Within the hearts of the humble and lowly (Isaiah 66:1) - ultimately, those who have been humbled and mourn for sin, and trust in Christ - in those he dwells by his Spirit (1 Cor. 6:15).
- In the midst of the people of God, the church (1 Cor. 3:16)
- In all his fulness, in Christ (Colossians 2:9)

Where are the parents?

"In an outspoken intervention, the Education Secretary warned that many households were being turned into guesthouses with “fleeting” fathers playing a bit-part in children’s lives and young people being left to fend for themselves." -

Decades of secularist intervention to weaken the family (and thus increase the power of the state, against which strong families are the final bastion), via easy divorce, promotion of promiscuity, encouraging mothers to abandon their roles as home-makers, denigration of fatherhood (patriarchalism! evil!), relentless promotion of individualism, the progressive take-over of more parental responsibilities via providing more and more government "services", and the ruthless indoctrination of children in the values of secularism, individualism and "claims-my-rights-from-the-state" mentality have led to this situation. The weakness of family life in the West is not an accident, but the deliberate intention of the 1960s radicals who correctly realised where the seat of opposition to their plans lay.

One wonders whether Mr. Gove is blind to this (he recently voted for "gay marriage", so it appears that his voting hand has little idea what his other hand is thinking), or realises it but knows that saying it is unspeakable heresy amongst the elites (with whom it would be to advocate a "return to the 1950s", which is a code-phrase for "return to before the sexual revolution, i.e. enter hell"), or is merely paving the way for the secularist solution, which is that the government then claims more powers to intervene over families under the guise of "solving" the problems caused by the previous interventions.

Things you thought belonged to you... (like, your bowels)

One of our themes on this blog in recent times has been the rise of the State Almighty, the State as divine - all-powerful; able to decree whatever it wishes into being (We can print money out of nothing! Men can marry men! The unborn are not human until we find it convenient for them to be!); able to claim ownership of anything and everything within its physical territory. When there's (in modern imagination) no God, the must (because to truly have no God is not possible) instead be Big Brother, who loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.

On which note... the Welsh government has just advanced a new ownership claim. It has a wonderful plan for your after-life, too.

You may have thought, up until this point, that one of the things which you certainly did own, and which the state was not likely to claim automatic rights to, was your body. You perhaps lived under the delusion that your heart, liver, lungs, skin, bones, etc., would not, by any law, be presumed to be the state's property. You imagined that you would never need to spend time taking explicit steps to "register" them as not the state's property. That went without saying.

Wrong, wrong, wrong: Yes, even your small bowel.

Notice too the gaping hypocrisy of secular politicians here. When it comes to abortion - where two individuals are involved, mother and baby - the politicians a) declare that there's only one individual involved (the mother) and b) declare that she has a fundamental, inalienable right to do with her own body as she wishes (including hacking to pieces the baby's body, or vacuuming with such power that it breaks into small pieces, etc.). And that "right" is apparently inviolable and sacred. But when it comes to this question of organ donation, that's all dropped. Didn't really mean it, ha, ha, ha! Keeping the government out of wombs? Nope - the secular state claims even bones and skin as its own - quite literally.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Motherhood and fatherhood

This article (linked below) makes (amongst others) a good point that should be made more. Specifically, the idea that "same sex marriage" is the same as (actual) marriage implies that both mothers and fathers are dispensable. i.e. The roles of fatherhood and motherhood are optional/replaceable. Since (according to proponents) two men, or two women, can equally well bring up children as a father and a mother, therefore both motherhood (if the two happen to be men) or fatherhood (if they are women) are unnecessary. You don't need a mother; two fathers can suffice. You don't need a father; two mothers can suffice. You don't need to a home in which you experience the inter-relation of the sexes whilst you grow up. This brings out more clearly the link between "same sex marriage" and the radical sixties teaching that gender is merely a social construct - that a man can be a mother, just as he can be a wife, etc. We force them to stop arguing vacuously that "it's all about lurrve, we luurrrve each other so why shouldn't we marry?" When those implications are more clearly spelled out, more people will realise what an absurdity the idea of "same sex marriage" is. Thus we should do so.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013


This article (not from a Christian viewpoint, and without having any deep analysis of the problem (or even recognising it as a problem at the deeper level)), captures the radical cleavage between the modern view of humanities and science:

Nancy Pearcey analyses the fundamental contradiction and analyses it from a Christian point of view really well in her "Saving Leonardo" -

Since the Enlightenment, sciences and the humanities have headed on radically contradictory paths. Science = certain, indisputable, universal truth. Humanities = nothing can be known, and perhaps nothing can even be communicated.

This feeds into the modern Western state of affairs, where Christianity (being assigned to the 'humanities' side) is treated as personal, private (weird) subjective preference (that hence has no relevance for fields such as the making of law); and secularism and atheism, assigning themselves (rather arbitrarily) to the 'science' side, demand to be treated as universal, public truth (and hence should rule the roost).

Christians need to understand more of the implications of Christ's universal Lordship in both creation and redemption, and avoid this split-brain approach to reality.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Debate in secularist societies

Let's leave aside the politics of any of the policies discussed in that article. My aim is not to be political, but to address issues of Christians living in secular societies, and how we can try to understand how they work and respond to them.

Secularism is relentlessly conformist. Those who jettison doctrines of God, the soul, grace and depravity, often find it hard to understand how any reasonable person can disagree with them. The room for Christian ideas of sphere sovereignty, liberty of conscience, and the like, get gradually squeezed out; what's left is the state. The history of atheist and secularist states in the 20th century demonstrates the awful reality of that thesis in bloody detail. For the secularist leaders (whether in state or media or wherever), you're not allowed just to be wrong (in one's opinion); you must be mad or evil; and hence in danger of the gulag or the asylum.

That's what we see increasingly from the secularist elites (who are mostly political leftists) in the UK government and media, as exemplified in the above article (I noted that the idea that men can marry men was not rated for its lunacy factor).

Look at some of the things that the author things are at the extreme end of lunacy (to pick out a few):
  • To make it mandatory for prisoners to serve the full custodial sentence handed down by a court.
  • To allow for capital punishment for certain offences.
  • To allow smoking in a separate ventilated room in a private members’ club if a majority of club members approve.
  • To provide for a tax allowance for married couples.
  • Rules for the appointment of a temporary or new Prime Minister in the event that a serving PM is temporarily or permanently incapacitated.
  • To restrict access by foreign nationals to public services for which no charge is made.
  • To restrict the height, number, location and subsidies of wind turbines situated offshore within 20 miles of the coast.
I make no comment on whether I think those are good, bad or indifferent ideas. The point is that the writer of the article does not do so either. He doesn't think they're ideas at all; they are manifestations of insanity, of lunacy. They suggest a diseased mind that needs treatment - not a possibly thought-out position that one could hold a principled debate with.

To secularists, all right-thinking, intelligent people agree with them. Others are mad or evil. As education and the media in the UK becomes more secular, more and more people are growing up assuming that Christians are so bigotted or brainwashed that you they're not to be debated with - they're to be ignored, stigmatised or clamped down on, depending on the situation and your predilection. That's a situation that Christians themselves will need to be increasingly aware of as it moves from partially jokey (I think) articles in newspapers to employment tribunals, appearances before Human Rights Commissions and the like. Google for how these kinds of things have played out in Canada if you want to see more of how it goes.

How much is enough?

Newspaper headline spotted, concerning the new governor of the Bank of England: " Mark Carney: golden chance for return to prosperity beckons".

What is prosperity? The UK is one of the richest nations that ever existed, now (I believe we presently have the 6th highest GDP worldwide) or in history.

You would not know this from the media. The media would have you believe that we're currently experiencing deep lack and that our ruin lies at the door.

How little an appreciation of our global and historical context we have. Like the horse leech's daughter mentioned by the prophet, all we can cry out is "More! More!". How much will be enough? When will we say "That'll do. Now I will give my heart to something else than the pursuit of greater prosperity."

The problem is, though, once you give your heart to the pursuit of your own comfort, it won't give it back.

Let it be Christ's instead; and if you've already given it, plead for him to take it back. Then you'll never say "I don't possess enough"; you'll say "I possess Christ; infinite riches; I just need to know him more".

Friday, 21 June 2013

Sex education

Should we more concerned that:

a) The state thinks that it is the "uber-parent" who should provide sex education to children, at all?


b) That it thinks that the only problem with showing schoolchildren a video of other people having intercourse is that the children weren't old enough? (At what age should children, young people, adults or anyone at all be doing that?). On which note, from last year:

Fidelity is optional

From a recent email circular from the Christian Institute:
Fidelity is optional

The Government maintains that same-sex marriage is the same as traditional marriage. But there are massive differences even in their own Bill. For example, during a debate in the House of Lords it was pointed that there are no laws about adultery or consummation for same-sex couples.

The Minister's reply was breathtaking. The Government said fidelity is not required for any marriage - it is up to the couple to decide for themselves whether they are faithful or not.

That completely shatters the argument of the Prime Minister, that same-sex marriage would extend the values of commitment and stability to a wider group in society. Instead, it enshrines an 'anything goes' concept of marriage, and enforces it on society.
That's what we call "giving the game away". "Gay marriage" isn't driven by the values that drive traditional marriage; it's driven by the 1960s sexual revolutionary values that have been progressively destroying it. The architects of "gay marriage" aren't doing it because they love marriage; they're doing it because they want to destroy it. Don't believe me? You should:
"In October Peter Tatchell celebrated 40 years since the formation of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF), a radical anti-family movement.

The ultimate goal of the group, as stated by its 1971 manifesto, was to destroy the nuclear family."
When we hear from people that they support "gay marriage" because they are conservative, wish to support marriage, etc., then this springs to mind.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

The country we live in

I emailed the Girl Guides concerning their change of pledge, and part of the canned response contained this:
Those who participated in the consultation felt that ‘to love my God’ did not truly reflect the society we live in.
Few truer words were ever spoken.

The question is, though, whether the Girl Guides should "reflect the society we live in", or attempt to improve it. The vision of the original founders was unmistakeably the latter.

Note, though the implicit appeal to the great god demos in the assumption that the former is best. All hail the people!

Not a word of quarrel

"Christ assures the soul of a full and hearty forgiveness, quenching the flaming wrath of God by his blood. No, says Christ, upon my warrant come in; you will now find my Father otherwise than you imagine: he hath declared himself satisfied at my hands, and is willing to receive you, to be heartily and thoroughly friends; never to hear a word more of the quarrel that was betwixt you; to grant a full oblivion."
Today's quote (from Robert Leighton) from a great website -

Funding corruption

This piece - - has a section which highlights one of the central absurdities of the UK government's aid policy.

The Western aid industry sends enormous amounts of money to corrupt kleptocrats in Africa in the name of ending hunger. But, for this it claims only credit for ending hunger. It utterly disclaims that its money has anything to do with entrenching the power bases of corrupt kleptocrats.

Meanwhile, the hunger diminishes at an astonishingly slow rate, given the enormous sums involved - unlike many countries in the world that the West didn't target for its beneficence - whilst corruption continues and grows apace.

What's wrong with this picture? And why is Western governments' basic response "the best thing at this point is to do more of the same"?

The root of the answer to that question, as to why they don't intend to change, is that in their post-Christian apostacy, the West no longer either believes in the truth about corrupt human nature, or has any ultimate solution to it. As materialists, our only answer to what can be done about the fire is "more fuel!"

The Girl Guides change their pledge

Let's give this a good fisking:
In one of the biggest changes in the organisation’s 103-year history, the promise to “love my God” is to be replaced with a more individualistic pledge to “be true to myself” and to “develop my beliefs”.
1. That's very much in keeping with the times: God is replaced by self; self is the new God. Unfortunately self is a lousy god - because self, being born in sin, is the problem. The problem can't be the solution. Serving ourselves is a tyranny; serving the true God who is greater than and beyond us brings freedom and hope.

2. "Develop my beliefs" ...
i. What if my beliefs are wrong? Does that matter?
ii. Or evil? Does that matter?
iii. This is still parasitical on Christianity. It's assumed that in a civilisation founded upon Christian assumptions, "my beliefs" will still be reasonably close to Biblical teachings.
And a patriotic commitment to serving their country is to become one to the “community” in the oath taken by Brownies and Guides when they join the organisation.
1. Very multi-cultural.
2. What if my community's cultural aims are mistaken or evil?
3. How ironic that the more secularists destroy our sense of community (How many folk today have idea who their next door neighbours are? Or care?), the more they bring in the mere word as an empty platitude.
But in a consultation which attracted almost 44,000 responses Guides made clear that they wanted to retain a public expression of allegiance to the Queen, who is also their patron.
A pledge of allegiance to the Queen can be retained because the Queen, being a ceremonial figurehead, makes no demands of us, and does nothing to us if we fail to meet any standards. So in our irresponsible, self-serving age it's hardly a surprise that people are happy to still make promises to the Queen.
The rethink followed the appointment of the group’s new chief executive, Julie Bentley, the former head of The Family Planning Association, who described the Guides as “the ultimate feminist organisation”.

"Family planning" is the Newspeak euphemism for what in Oldspeak would be termed "'Family Prevention', or at times 'Family Liquidation'".
Moreso, "feminism" is what in Oldspeak would be called "masculinism", i.e. the idea that women can only be fulfilled when they become men. As such, historically Guides was the very antithesis of a feminist organisation.

Gill Slocombe, the Chief Guide, said the changes would make the promise less “confusing” and easier for the organisation’s 550,000 members to take with sincerity.
“I honestly think the Baden-Powells would have approved, they were so free thinking and good at thinking in terms of people’s needs,” she said.
a) In other words, God is not relevant to peoples' needs... because none of us needs life, breath or existence, or his providence in any particulars such as food, clothing, not to mention anything beyond those basic things...

b) Riigghttt... the Baden-Powells were "free-thinkers" (a code word for secularists/atheists), so they decided to set up explicitly theistic organisations that required every member to take an oath of loyalty to God... hmmmm...

... meanwhile, back in reality, as noted here, "To the founder, Lord Baden-Powell, it was as much a peril for a young man to avoid as gambling, drunkenness, swearing or the wiles of the opposite sex."

c) Ms. Slocombe thinks honestly that the Baden-Powells would have agreed with her, because as a good member of the Party, she has been into Room 101 where she was taught to believe that only stupid or evil people disagree with the Party's Doctrines. As such, it follows as easily as night follows day that every intelligent or sane figure from every age would Certainly Agree With Us, were they still alive today. Secular humanists can't cope with principled differences of opinion. Everyone must think like they do, or be stupid or evil. No alternative. Disagree? O'Brien can see you now.
“I don’t know whether it is radical I just think it is fantastic that our members have come up with a promise that they feel they can confidently say and feel that they can keep.”
Since “be true to myself” and to “develop my beliefs”, when de-weasalised, just means "I'll do what I feel like doing", I don't doubt that few people will have trouble with keeping that pledge. But how is that fantastic? It reads not far from the dictionary definition of selfishness.
She said she was also “delighted” that, despite the reference to God being dropped, there would still be a spiritual dimension to the promise and that the Queen would continue to be a focus of unity.
Since God is the one Spirit who made us, there is no spiritual dimension without God. So this is just a weaselly way of saying "we can still keep our consciences quiet because there's some kind of ultimately meaningless god-speak-lite in there. But thankfully it's not to do with any God who demands anything specific of us that we don't want to do".
Among responses to the consultation, one young girl wrote that she felt like she was “lying to the Brownies” by making a promise to a God in whom she did not believe.
Great. So the policy of the Brownies is now to be determined by what's acceptable to self-confessed liars.
Stephen Evans, campaigns manager at the National Secular Society, said: “By omitting any explicit mention of God or religion the Guide Association has grasped the opportunity to make itself truly inclusive and relevant to the reality of 21st century Britain.
1) Ah, the secularists - always ready with their tiresome "truth depends on what time's on the clock" sound-bites. No need to present a reasoned argument for your beliefs - just assert endlessly that the calendar requires them, and patronise people who dare to differ.

2) Note that the premise "it's the 21st century" has no connection whatsoever with conclusion "God is not relevant", any more than it does with the conclusion "a man can marry a man/horse/slice of Wensleydale" or indeed with the conclusion "God is completely relevant".

3) God maintains Mr. Evans, the Guides, and everything else in existence. I'd say that's fairly relevant.

4) There's nothing inclusive about requiring would-be Girl Guides to take a humanist oath. "Be true to myself" and "develop my beliefs" is not a "neutral" pledge. It's a pledge to make oneself the central reference point of reality - the place that should be occupied by God. That's excluding people who aren't atheists.
"The new secular promise can now be meaningful and relevant to all guides and potential leaders, whatever their beliefs – and sends a clear signal that Girlguiding is equally welcoming to all girls."
That's more honest - it's a secular promise, not an inclusive one. Not everyone is a secularist; only a small, loud minority are. "Girlguiding" [sic] has has only just become equally welcoming to all girls if we mean that it has become more equally welcoming to some than to others.
But Andrea Williams of Christian Concern said: “It sounds like jargon from a consumerist self-help manual completely at odds with the true ethos of the Guiding organisation which was set up to encourage belief in God and a corporate identity, not about individualism but to understand what it really is to be part of a community.”
Now there's a woman who wasn't brainwashed by secularism and feminism. Hallelujah!
David Landrum, advocacy director of the Evangelical Alliance said: "No doubt, the Girls Brigade will be the main beneficiaries from this erroneous decision, because as the growing poplularity of faith schools attests, parents will always seek to provide religious rather than secular humanist values for their children."
Let us hope so.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Taking responsibility

This link contains matters which impinge upon party politics, but my point is not political:

The sentence I want to highlight is this one:
Mr Clegg said the report made for "sobering reading" and he took responsibility for the failings.
The latter part of that is not a direct quote, but the direct quote appears to be here:
"And as Leader of the Liberal Democrats I take responsibility for that. That’s why we’ve made a number of big changes in the party in recent years and why we must and will do more."
I can't help noticing - and, to repeat myself, this appears to be a phenomena across the political spectrum, rather than confined to Mr. Clegg's party particularly - how the words "I take responsibility" have changed in meaning in my short lifetime.

Previously, "taking responsibility" was connected with ideas like "I have disgraced my office / position, and therefore should offer to vacate it, or am now vacating it, so that someone else can properly honour it".

In modern parlance, when someone says "I am taking responsibility", they increasingly appear to mean little more than "I am saying the words 'I am taking responsibility', I hope you like them." When I hear the words, I am left asking "How are you taking responsibility? What is this taking of the thing upon your shoulders and carrying the can for it going to mean in practice?", and the answer seems to come back "that was it, actually." In Mr. Clegg's case, he conflates "taking responsibility" with taking action to avoid doing the same again. Two very different things. Making reparation and reforming are two distinct concepts in justice. I take responsibility for my errors when I endure the righteous demands of justice concerning them - not merely when I try to not make the same errors again in future.

I am thankful that when Jesus Christ graciously took responsibility for my sins, it was something more substantial than words. Not mere words, but costly blood. He paid the penalty; he satisfied the demands of justice. He did something to make things right again. When he said to the Father that he would take responsibility for the sins of the chosen, covenanted people, that cost him - and being the true leader, he didn't flinch from what that really meant. Thankfully our salvation is not in empty words, but in deeds and power.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Read and shudder

" All serious Conservative thinkers grasp that only <blank> can embody all those ideals which bind us together, and which count for so much more than mere self-interest."

What was the blank?

Answer: it was "the state". I hope that sent a shiver down your spine. Does the 20th century have anything to tell us about the practical outworking of that belief?

Note: the writer wasn't saying that all serious Communists believe this, or that all serious Socialists believe this, which is what we'd expect to hear. (The latter might still be disputed, and I hope it would, but we'd be more likely to hear it).

Note: he doesn't say that the state has a role to play in representing the ideals that bind us together. He says that the state actually embodies those ideals, and that the state only embodies those ideals. Families? Church? Communities? Nope. The state. Hail Caesar!

Throughout the article, Conservative is capitalised, so I hope that the writer believes it's only the members of his political party think this, rather than those who'd be more broadly "conservative" (in terms of believing in the rule of law, and in the need to "conserve" the positive aspects of our cultural heritage, in which Biblical Christianity has been a dominant force). I fear, though, that he actually believes more than that, and it should make you shudder that we now have an intellectual climate in which serious writers actually believe that nobody serious could disagree with statements like that.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

An example of allegedly "feminist" thinking

As a further case in point of the kind of thing I was talking about before, consider this article:

Note that both those involved in the meeting discussed, and the contrarian commentator, share the same underlying assumption.

That is, that women being successful in something worthwhile in life basically means women running businesses; or at least, running them alongside other things. But definitely running businesses, whether doing more or less than that.

But what if that's not the telos of womankind? What if motherhood is actually a higher calling than running a business?

That's unthinkable heresy to most modern feminists, who also appear to be functionally materialists - they believe that the economy, the economy, the economy, and its engine - entrepreneurship - are the keys to fulfilment and meaningful existence.

But what if that's actually an appallingly reduced view of femininity, and of the purposes of human existence? Because, according to the Bible, it is. Motherhood is the highest vocation within daily life that a woman can be called to. I realise that to feminist ears, I just said "the highest calling that a woman can be called to is only the terribly low and inferior one, of motherhood - unlike men, who have the much higher, better calling of running businesses". I said nothing of the kind, and neither does the Bible; and both men (comparatively few of whom in modern times are entrepreneurs, and not a few of those who do wonder why they previously believed it was such a wonderful position to be in) and women should be very grateful for it.

Feminism = women can be men so that men don't have to be

Point well made: "empowering women" has often been talk deployed by the men in power in order to abdicate their own responsibilities:

Case in point: Andrew Brown in the Guardian rails against "patriarchy"; what he apparently means is that he is in rebellion against the fact that God made him a man, with a man's roles and responsibilities.

True feminism would be about encouraging and aiding women to be women, rather than persuading them to be men.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

This is what denying Jesus Christ looks like in practice

The Archbishop of Canterbury opposes the government's "gay marriage" bill. The above is his speech to the House of Lords doing so. So far, so good.

But on what grounds does he oppose it?

Is it against the divinely instituted order of creation? Does it break God's law? Is it sinful? Is it contrary to the commandments of Jesus Christ and his apostles? Is it likely to displease God, and bring his wrath upon our nation, or upon any individuals on the Day of Judgment? Does it contradict the doctrine of the Bible, or of the Archbishop's church (the state church)?

If any of those criteria apply, then the Archbishop didn't consider any of them actually worth mentioning. No... he opposes the "gay marriage" bill because of the various internal inconsistencies and absurdities in its drafting.

We're used to hearing that politicians have to be careful about raising "religious" concerns, or treading on the toes of the national church, etc.

None of those concerns apply when the Archbishop of Canterbury speaks. He is the official, appointed representative, whose raison d'etre in the House of Lords is that he represents precisely such concerns. His very job there is to let others speak about the politics and the problems in the drafting etc. His job is to speak to the non-secular concerns. His role is to unfold the mind of God concerning the unvarying principles of what marriage is and isn't. The Archbishop just abdicated his primary responsibility, in public, in the very kind of hour that he is supposed to speak up upon.

Sad, sad, very sad, and various other things besides. Will any of our evangelical brethren in the Church of England seek to bring disciplinary charges for this? Will they now uphold their own responsibilities that came upon them when they decided to be ordained in such a far-gone denomination, protesting that they could do so in good conscience? I'm not holding my breath, because their invarying policy to date has been to keep their heads down for as long as they can.

Engage the culture through the lens of Genesis

Friday, 31 May 2013

It's not the economy, stupid

"The ONS has found that being married is 20 times more important to a person’s well-being than their earnings, and 13 times more important than owning a home."

There's nothing there

A certain "there's nothing there" quote came to my mind whilst I was last preaching as an illustration of the point I was making at the time. I had no idea who said it. Apparently, this paragraph contains the answer:
"Do you know the author Jack Higgins? He’s a world-famous author and one of the leading novelists of our time. I know him because he was born in Belfast. Go to and put in Jack Collins, and you’ll see 90 or 100 references to books he has written—he’s a multi millionaire. He lives on one of these channel islands; I think its Guernsey, a tax haven. Jack Higgins is not his name; it’s a pseudonym. He was asked just fairly recently what he wished that someone had told him when he was younger. Here’s a man who has everything and lives on an island off shore to keep the money that he has because he’s got so much of it. And do you know what he said? He said, “I wish someone had told me that when you get to the top, there’s nothing there.” "'s_SERMONS/John/John%20vol%201/07bJohn.htm
But if you get to the top, then there's everything there; there's Christ there.