Sunday, 25 December 2022

Friday, 16 December 2022

Lead us not into temptation

“Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” - Luke 22:40.

From this we can infer that the person who thinks lightly of entering into temptation, is a person who thinks lightly of sinning. If we are commanded by Jesus to pray against entering into temptation, then can we then lightly enter into temptation?

Tuesday, 20 September 2022

Sauron is alive and well, and writing Guardian editorials

One of the great insights of Tolkien in the "Lord of the Rings" triology is that those who are corrupted by their thirst for power and desire to re-make the world in their own image cannot understand the motives and actions of those who aren't. They misunderstand and misinterpret what's going on, because it is beyond their self-limited way of interacting with the world. They can't foresee the way that others who aren't similarly corrupted will act, and are baffled when they do things that would never enter their own minds.

On which note, the above link is to the Guardian's editorial on the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. Sauron is apparently alive and well, and drawing his salary these days from that particular periodical.

Monday, 7 March 2022

Don't "invest" in Bitcoin

Luke Plant does a great job of explaining why nobody, and Christians in particular, should be investing in so-called crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin, which are neither genuinely net-beneficial inventions nor genuine investments, but in practice simply marketing hot-air schemes to profit the early "investors" (i.e. people at the top of the pyramid) at the expense of the later ones (i.e. the suckers at the bottom), with various other intrinsic costs externalised to other people:

It's too common when something new arises for one set of people to reflexively say "it's bad" without examining it, another set to uncritically say "it's good" because they see opportunity to profit, and another group to then  arbitrarily declare the supposedly nuanced wisdom of "we must distinguish the good from the bad, it is a mix". Sometimes, an invention is actually bad (without it being relevant as to whether that badness was intentional or not), and the nuanced position is the one which gives you the explanation of why it's bad. Luke has done a good job of that in the above articles.

Saturday, 1 January 2022

The year of our Lord 2022

A happy new year to you. May our ambition in 2022 be to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever" (2 Peter 3:18).

What will 2022 bring? God knows - and God does know. And he knows that it will be good for his people, to accomplish his goal of conforming them to the image of his Son. 

"Those who have ears, let them hear," is ever his word to us. He speaks, and he tells us to take up the cross and to follow him; to rejoice in difficulties because they teach us patience and ultimately to find joy in his eternal love to us; to understand that this world is full of vanity, but that he has prepared an eternal kingdom for those who love him, through the death and resurrection and ascension of he for whom all things are, Jesus Christ. We keep filtering this message through our own false ideas that we are owed a life which is reasonably comfortable, that suffering should have a limit which is reached quite soon and then must pass away, that any sort of radical measures in serving Christ would be over the top and aren't really called for, and that it is quite reasonable to indulge our sinful natures to some extent day by day.

One thing that a new start - day, month, year, etc. - gives to us is the reminder that his mercies are always new. Despite all that folly and slowness, yet he still seeks patiently again to teach us the lesson: take up the cross and follow Jesus, through the cross, to the grave, to the eternal glory. Die to self, and you will live with him. That's the only route, and that is the route, and if we keep plodding, we will get there, through his mercy.