Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Prove it

If anyone were to reduce his or her beliefs to only what is directly and explicitly stated in the Bible, then he would not be a Christian at all, but a cult member. The simple fact of the matter is that essential doctrines such as that of the Trinity or Christ's two natures are not formulated for us in the New Testament. Why Baptize Babies? Mark Horne p 11

Saturday, 27 October 2012

St George's Tron

Katie and Terry
The Herald's most recent coverage of the situation in Glasgow regarding St George's Tron.

And in case you are not up to speed on the situation here is the best place to begin getting a handle on what is going on in the Church of Scotland and the Tron's stance. 
What is happening in the Glasgow Presbytery is murkier water it seems. 

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Rust In Peace

Rustbucket (2002?-2012)
Stolen a week ago. No sign of it anywhere. 
It was a teary moment as I realised this video was the beginning and end of the Rustbucket's film career:

We've had some good times. RIP LDV. 

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Mission Praise and Christmas

Early (I know) ... but logging this for the planning ahead! And in case this is of use to anyone else. 

35 Angels from the realms of glory [youtube]
39 As with gladness
47 Away in a manger
80 Christians awake! Salute the happy morn
83 Come and join the celebration
98 Come now with awe, earth's ancient vigil keeping
102 Come Thou Long expected Jesus
105 Come watch with us this Christmas night
107 (tune ii) Cradled in a manger meanly
110 Darkness like a shroud (Arise shine)   
114 Ding Dong Merrily

116 Down from his glory 
120 Emmanuel
156 For unto us a child is born 
157 For unto us a child is born
162 From heaven you came
175 Glory be to God in heaven
177 Glory to God in the highest 
180 God came among us, He became a man
196 Good Christian men rejoice 
204 Hail to the Lord's anointed
211 Hark the Herald Angels Sing
216 He is born, our Lord and Saviour 
236 Holy Child, how still you lie
266 I cannot tell
337 In the bleak midwinter
342 Infant Holy, Infant Lowly
345 It came upon the midnight clear
393 Joy to the World the Lord has come!
425 Look to the skies (Worship the king)
451 Love came down at Christmas
491 O come all you faithful
493 O come, O come, Emmanuel
503 O Little Town of Bethlehem
535 O what a mystery I see [clip here]
537 On Christmas night all Christians sing
538 On Jordan's Bank the Baptist's cry
539 Once in Royal David's City 
588 See amid the winter's snow
589 See him lying on a bed of straw
597 Silent Night 
644 The first nowell the angel did say
652 The Light of Christ
690 This Child
693 Thou art the everlasting Word
700 Thou who was rich beyond all splendour 
713 Tonight while all the world is sleeping
714 Unto us a boy is born
740 We three Kings
749 What child is this?
752 When he comes 
764 While Shepherds Watched their flocks
928 Since the Day the Angel came
931 So many centuries of watching and waiting
959 What kind of greatness
965  Wonderful Counsellor
1045 From the Squalor of a borrowed stable
1235 What kind of throne

Other Ones: 
Thorns in the Straw 

Other Resources:

Rowan Atkinson & Section 5

The clip he refers to is here:

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Oh for 70 billion tongues (or so)!

let us always have in mind the eternal happiness, the goal of resurrection - a happiness of whose excellence the minutest part would scarce be told if all were said that the tongues of all men can say. 

Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion (2 volume set) p1004

Friday, 19 October 2012

God of the Living

Mark 12:26-27
The argument is better understood as a reflection on the character of the covenant God whom Moses encountered, a God who through his new name 'I AM' is revealed as the living God, the ever present helper and deliverer of his people. If such a God chooses to be identified by the names of his long dead servants, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob with whom his covenant was made, and whom he committed himself to protect, they cannot be simply dead and forgotten.  
... it's basis, far from being merely the tense of a verb, is in the fundamental theological understanding of Yahweh, the living God, and of the implications of his establishing an 'everlasting covenant' with his mortal worshippers.  
'God of the dead' is not a term which is appropriate to Yahweh as he is revealed in the book of Moses. 

defeatists are already beaten

Evangelical defeatism in matters of public theology is a failure of biblical and historical perspective. Lacking that perspective, British evangelical defeatists are riddled with white and Christian guilt and are marked by parochial and pessimistic self-loathing and suspicion. They offer their hands to the humanists' handcuffs and their children to their indoctrination centres, making loud assurances that the last thing they would want to do would be 'to impose their morality' on others. 
Evangelical defeatists begin to twitch if someone mentions too loudly in public that the Bible is God's infallible and sufficient Word, that Blair and Brown and Cameron and the rest of them are idolatrous high priests of the greatest false god of modern times, the state, and will one day be on their knees before King Jesus, and that the task the Lord Jesus Christ has given the church is to subdue the earth an fill it, that is, disciple the nations. 

(A Higher throne: Evangelicals and Public Theology p86-87)

Friday, 12 October 2012

Ig nobel

An amusing and astute piece by Iain Martin: 
Giving the EU a peace prize is at best premature, like knighting Sir Fred Goodwin in the middle of the mad boom. We have no idea how the experiment to create an anti-democratic federation will end. Hopefully the answer is very peacefully, but when Greek protesters are wearing Nazi uniforms, and Spanish youth unemployment is running at 50 per cent, a look at history suggests there is always the possibility of a bumpy landing.

The Gospel is good news because ...

We must always remember that: The Gospel is not admired in Scripture primarily because of the social transformation it effects, but because it reconciles men and women to a holy God. Its purpose is not that we might feel fulfilled, but that we might be reconciled to the living and holy God. The consummation is delightful to the transformed people of God, not simply because the environment of the new heaven and the new earth is pleasing, but because we forever live and work and worship in the unshielded radiance of the presence of our holy Maker and Redeemer. That prospect must shape how the church lives and serves, and determine the pulse of its ministry. The only alternative is high-sounding but self-serving idolatry.  Carson at The Gospel Coalition

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

suffering as stirring

... the wicked, under pressure of affliction, execrate God and blaspheme; the good, in the same affliction, offer up prayers  and  praises. This shows that what matters is the nature of the sufferer not the nature of the sufferings. Stir a cesspit, and a foul stench arises; stir a perfume, and a delightful fragrance ascends. But the movement is identical.  (p14 City of God (Penguin Classics)

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Authority and Minority

So the Reformation's preaching of the Gospel brought forth two things which were secondary to the central message of the Gospel but nonetheless were important: an interest in culture and a true basis for form and freedom in society and government. The latter carries with it an important corollary, namely, that 51 percent of the vote never becomes the final source of right and wrong in government because the absolutes of the Bible are available to judge a society. The 'little man,' the private citizen, can at any time stand up and, on the basis of biblical teaching, say that the majority is wrong. so, to the extent to which the biblical teaching is practiced, one can control the despotism of the majority vote or the despotism of one person or group. 
(p 110 How Should We Then Live?: The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture - Francis Schaeffer)

Teaching them ...

What should we teach our children (given Deuteronomy 6 and Ephesians 6)? 

Here is the curriculum of one Christian school in the States (Logos).
It is a bit 'foreign' to me and tantalising ... I keep wanting to know 'what is that' and 'how do they do that?'. But I am grateful for them sharing this and that I live in an age of the internet that means even this is available to me. 

I have also been directed to sonlight this week and again there is a huge lot of help here as we begin to plot our course for the next years! 

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Harvest Thanksgiving

I love this invite. It is as far from having a feel like Tipton as is possible to be. 
Yet it reeks of what 'Harvest Thanksgiving' should feel like! 
With the Lord's help we'll be thanking him in Tipton on Sunday for this years Harvest (!) and for all his goodness to us in many ways.  
If you are 11-14 years old you get an invite with a slightly different feel