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The blog of me
Interests: music
Recent Activity
who? is now following Charlie Peacock
Jun 17, 2010
Thought the candidates did really well GV, good stuff :) I can think of one strong example of the folly of the civil right to free speech...
Toggle Commented May 2, 2010 on Which Party? at GadgetVicar
That's powerful stuff Gadgetvicar, thanks for posting!
Toggle Commented Mar 18, 2010 on St Patrick's Breastplate at GadgetVicar
who? is now following The Typepad Team
Mar 15, 2010
3 grand to close a street? Why don't we just set fire to a van?
Toggle Commented Feb 17, 2010 on Gibson Street Gala at GadgetVicar
Toggle Commented Feb 8, 2010 on Do We Really Need The Apple iPad? at GadgetVicar
"Does Leviticus - if you look at it *objectively*- really differentiate between merely ceremonial,local laws and binding moral ones to the extent assumed in the Church or is this something *imposed* on the text by later Christians? I'd argue the latter." Depends what you mean by "imposed". These differentiations were "imposed" on the law by Jesus himself, even if he did not use names for their categorisation. Same for the apostles. This article seemed to sum it up quite well: "Our answer is that we are doing what the New Testament does, namely reflecting back on the Old Testament from the perspective of Christ’s finished work. Furthermore, we are forced to reflect on the New Testament examples in which certain laws are set aside – such as the dietary laws and the sacrificial system – while others are rigorously enforced – such as the moral laws of the Ten Commandment[s]. There is a logic at work that is not seen in the Old Testament because it is the work of Christ that produces this logic."
Toggle Commented Feb 5, 2010 on Not Just Idle Words at GadgetVicar
I agree with you GV (no surprise). Ryan, I think we touched on this subject a while ago, so I'll open it up here: You are right, OT Judaism does of course have a concept of Grace, as outlined in God's provision in the sacrificial system especially. NT Wright I believe deals with these issues regarding how we are to understand the Pharisees in Jesus' day in great detail. The point is that they did not have some simple works-based-salvation religion. Rather, they had an extremely sophisticated one, which was equally redundant but harder to expose (though Jesus had little trouble in doing so). It wove in threads of grace, substitutionary name it. The tools they had to work with were nothing less than the revealed word of God. They knew a lot of facts about their religion, but hadn't pieced it together correctly. They blinded people with science. Their problem was that they didn't understand the correct emphasis. They didn't understand the full extent of the implications of what they had learned. Many of them ended up practising a sophisticated religion which left no room for repentance and humility before God. No personal accountability, no "relationship". It's a trap which is easy for all religious believers to fall into, even this side of the cross, and one risk which Jesus was keen to highlight. How sophisticated and difficult to discern it was: even some of those those who *prophesied* and did miracles in God's name will be told "I never KNEW you"! Circumcision of the heart is what we need. I think the folly you talk of in "simplistic sola scriptura style reading approaches" is in the "simplistic" nature, not in the "sola scriptura". That we do not advocate "stoning gays" or "treating women as property" does not mean that we have simply picked and chosen which OT laws (moral, civic and ceremonial) we're most comfortable with keeping. That is a superficial premise, and a common Liberal error. This issue is clouded by the fact that many Christians do not know exactly why certain laws are no longer applied, (or at least cannot articulate it) and often as a result draw erroneous conclusions about why these distinctions have been made. Even despite this mass-ignorance, we should not be trying to promote a religious approach which seeks to somehow consolidate that ignorance into something meaningful. "Lots of people don't understand this, so let's capitalise on that to make up our own rules". There are legitimate, biblical justifications for the current orthodox approach to OT law. Have you read any academic works which systematically explain this approach which you often denounce? It would be good to understand the basis and extent of your objection.
Toggle Commented Feb 5, 2010 on Not Just Idle Words at GadgetVicar
"Still think you're wrong though" Ah well, I guess my work here is done :)
Toggle Commented Feb 3, 2010 on Missed The Shack at GadgetVicar
The point is really the same though: the central "thing/factor/component/experience/implication" which God has ordained to appeal most to human beings. If you regard "God loves you" as the most appealing thing about Christianity, any evangelistic response to this runs a dangerous risk of placing the focus in the wrong place, and that makes people think Christianity is primarily about developing a higher esteem for ourselves. I don't want to diminish the impact of the phenomenal truth that God does indeed love his children. But the manner in which that truth is communicated is actually very important. Having said all of that, though, I acknowledge that God does not depend on human beings to orchestrate the fullness of divine revelation. The Holy Spirit does that, and deigns to use us despite our imperfect understandings and sinful tendencies. Therefore we should be keen to seek the best possible truth and not settle for certain truths sugar-coated with error. So the fact that you bought The Shack for a number of friends does not mean you have done a bad thing. God uses many different things to bring people to himself. To get people thinking about God, better The Shack than a Barbara Cartland novel.
Toggle Commented Feb 2, 2010 on Missed The Shack at GadgetVicar
Hi Billy. Sorry I don't have time to debate this point by point (my day off ends now!) but perhaps someone else will charitably step in and help clarify some of these issues.
Toggle Commented Feb 1, 2010 on Missed The Shack at GadgetVicar
Not thinking of Lee Strobel, no. And stop banging on about the trilemma, nobody is talking about it here!
Toggle Commented Feb 1, 2010 on Missed The Shack at GadgetVicar
Hi Jen. I would argue that "God loves you" is not the central message of Christianity. There is a message which is even more profoundly moving, even more powerful, even more inspiring in a way that recruits and satisfies both the emotions and the intellect fully.
Toggle Commented Feb 1, 2010 on Missed The Shack at GadgetVicar
Hi Billy, the point is that you ARE worshipping. But your definition of worship is so narrowly tied to certain characteristics (bowing/chanting, perhaps) that you don't realise you are doing it. Worship is about what you accord most value to. You might suggest that to you nothing has any objective value, but of course your life itself demonstrates something quite different. It's impossible not to serve somebody or something. You serve what you love. My evidence that God created us to worship is that I experience the greatest "peace that passes all understanding" when I worship God. Of course that is not evidence that you can bank on, because worship occurs on an individual basis first. So until God is revealed to you, you cannot experience that same worship. You will always be worshipping something else until you find sufficient reason to worship God. But those reasons will be individual reasons. The only reason to take that seriously is the evidence of Christians whose lives reflect the transformation that comes from this relationship. But that is of course not evidence that it is true, merely evidence that it is worth taking seriously. "One could also argue that when christians disagree, it is because there is no truth guiding them. Rather than being in error, they are simply unguided." Indeed. Or perhaps that disagreement and conflict between Christians (and in general) is part of God's plan too. The bible certainly supports this proposition. My personal experience of conflict also supports this proposition. Regarding what you say about the first commandment... God sets his commandments knowing full well that human beings cannot keep them. This is part of his work in making us realise our dependence on God, and our position before him. When we turned away from God, we decided we didn't need him at all. The law served to bring into sharp focus the fact that we are incapable of attaining the standard necessary for perfection. There is one of two responses to this: 1) you can resent God for it and despise his offers of Grace, and choose to remain your own object of worship. 2) You can accept God on his terms, humble yourself before him, repent of your sin and ask him for wisdom to understand his ways. The bible teaches that God will honour the second kind of response, and my own experience testifies to it sufficiently for me to be able to trust in it completely.
Toggle Commented Feb 1, 2010 on Missed The Shack at GadgetVicar
That there are certain contentious parallels in pagan mythology is actually much less of an issue than you are making it. If you want to debate the historicity of the gospels, do it with historians, such as those I have linked in other responses.
Toggle Commented Feb 1, 2010 on Missed The Shack at GadgetVicar
"One could also claim that pondering, seriously, issues of authority and the implication of the fact that history hardly supports the contention that scripture has one simple meaning accesible to all would, also, lead to Rome. But is that a reason to avoid such questions?" Was that a question?
Toggle Commented Feb 1, 2010 on Missed The Shack at GadgetVicar
I'd be very wary of any Christian who suggested that we only read the gospels. But it's equally important that we have the bible explained to us (by human teaching and in the spirit of God himself...this is the bible's own model for ensuring scripture is explained correctly). Jesus himself taught and corrected false understandings, fundamentalism in its various guises, imbalanced emphasis etc... "Once you read the gospels though, you realise they dont pass the simplest tests of verifying their claims." You seem to imply that they are fictional stories whose historicity is easy to undermine. I strongly disagree with the sentiment. An introductory book you might be interested to read is Mark D Roberts' "Can we Trust the Gospels": and many academic issues you might have on that subject could be expertly addressed on his blog There are many such respected sites and authors out there who would contest your assertions. Reclaiming the Mind is another one I warmly recommend where a wide range of topics are covered in great academic detail.
Toggle Commented Feb 1, 2010 on Missed The Shack at GadgetVicar
The pagan method is to design a God which reflects your cultural outlook. You think you are doing something good and worthwhile, serving something outside yourself, when in fact you are deifying your own beliefs and effectively worshipping yourself. It's the folly of Christians and non-Christians alike, and a primary technique the devil has to keep your attention away from the glory of the One True God. The first two commandments highlight why that is extremely Not Cool.
Toggle Commented Jan 31, 2010 on Missed The Shack at GadgetVicar