ContraCelsum Backup

Dear Reader: Although Google professes to have a policy of free speech, there are now disturbing examples of Google peremptorily shutting down blogs on the Blogger platform espousing views which (presumably) Google wants to censor. Therefore ContraCelsum has set up a mirror blog via WordPress (http://contracelsum.com/). We update the latter weekly. If this site should suddenly go dark, you will find ContraCelsum alive and well at the above address. You may want to bookmark it now (just in case).

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Lenten Meditation

Holy Week, Day 3: Tuesday

Tuesday, March 31, AD 33.

The following video, filmed in conjunction with our book The Final Days of Jesus, features short explanations from and interviews with New Testament professors Grant Osborne (of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) and Andreas K√∂stenberger (of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) along with historian of ancient history Paul Maier (of Western Michigan University), focusing in particular on the opposition to Jesus and what angered his Jewish antagonists so much.


H/T: Justin Taylor

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

April 16

A First Book of Daily Readings

by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
Sourced from the OPC website

Take this first step

Look at nothing and nobody but look entirely to Christ and say:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness,
I dare not trust my sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus' Name;
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

You must so believe that as to be able to go further and say with holy boldness:

Hard to Believe

 Naomi Klein On a Good Day

A recent piece in the Guardian by Naomi Klein should come with a health warning:  "During reading, you may die laughing".  Naomi (the Fulminator) Klein--the ardent anti-globalization campaigner and anti-climate change warrior--has turned her attention to the latest evil to threaten humanity.  Ukraine is going to exploit its natural gas reserves by means of fracking. This is eeeeeviiiillll, says the Fulminator.

Why so?, you mildly ask   One would have thought that Ukraine, hitherto dependant upon Soviet (er, Russian) gas, would be well within its rights and prerogatives to harvest its own gas supplies using whatever means it saw fit.  Moreover, it would be wise to do so.  Since fracking is a recovery technique accepted to be safe, what's the fuss about?

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Lenten Meditation

Holy Week, Day 3: Tuesday

Tuesday, April 1, AD 33.

The following video, filmed in conjunction with our book The Final Days of Jesus, features short explanations from and interviews with New Testament professors Nicholas Perrin (of Wheaton College) and Grant Osborne (of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School), focusing in particular on the cursing of the fig tree, the cleansing of the temple, and the role of the temple in the theology and practice of Jesus. We will be releasing a new video each day this week.

H/T: Justin Taylor

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

April 15

A First Book of Daily Readings

by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
Sourced from the OPC website

Waiting on Him

To the first question about the power of God, [Habakkuk] received a positive answer. But this problem of the holiness of God is more difficult. After stating his absolutes and bringing his problem into this context, there is still no clear answer. Now in experience it is often like that. You apply the same method which has worked so well in other cases, but there is no immediate answer. What does one do in such a case?

Certainly do not rush to conclusions and say, "Because I do not understand it, therefore, I wonder whether God is righteous after all." No! ... We make a mistake when we talk to ourselves, and then to other people, and ask, "Why this? Isn't it strange?" We must do what the prophet did: take the problem to God and leave it with Him.

A Christian may be kept in this position for a week, or months, or years. It has often so happened.

Lenten Meditation

Grinding Axes in the Dark

The late Christopher Hitchens liked to frighten little children with horror stories about the evils of religion.  Often times he was more narrowly referring to the religion of Islam, but he did not hold back from the "evils" of Christianity, either.  Of all the things that offended him, the offence of the Cross of Christ was the most acute.  He wrote:
The idea of a vicarious atonement, of the sort that so much troubled even C.S. Lewis, is a further refinement of the ancient superstition [of atoning sacrifice]. Once again we have a father demonstrating love by subjecting a son to death by torture, but this time the father is not trying to impress god. He is god, and he is trying to impress humans. Ask yourself the question: how moral is the following? I am told of a human sacrifice that took place two thousand years ago, without my wishing it and in circumstances so ghastly that, had I been present and in possession of any influence, I would have been duty-bound to try and stop it. In consequence of this murder, my own manifold sins are forgiven me, and I may hope to enjoy everlasting life. [Cited by Tim Challies, quoting from Hitchen's God Is Not Great.]
Against this, the Apostle Paul provides the counterpoint:

Monday, 14 April 2014

Lenten Meditation


Holy Week, Day 1: Palm Sunday

Sunday, March 29, AD 33.

The following video, filmed in conjunction with our book The Final Days of Jesus, features short explanations from and interviews with New Testament professors Doug Moo (of Wheaton College Graduate School) and Andreas K√∂stenberger (of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary). We will be releasing a new video each day this week.

H/T: Justin Taylor

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

April 14

A First Book of Daily Readings

by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
Sourced from the OPC website

The Beatitudes: a wonderful harmony
... All Christians are meant to manifest all of these characteristics.

Not only are they meant for all Christians, but of necessity, therefore, all Christians are meant to manifest all of them.... It is not right to say some are meant to be "poor in spirit," and some are meant to "mourn," and some are meant to be "meek," and some are meant to be "peacemakers," and so on. No; every Christian is meant to be all of them and to manifest all of them, at the same time.

A Great Oxymoron of the Age

Christian Socialism

We have recently read R. H. Tawney's, Religion and the Rise of Capitalism. (London: John Murray, 1923).  Being published in the period historian, Richard Overy has called the Twilight Years [The Twilight Years: The Paradox of Britain Between the Wars (New York: Viking/Penguin, 2009)]), Tawney's work is significant in that it cannot help but reflect the radical, revolutionary changes taking place in the intellectual and spiritual history of Britain and the West at that time. (For a summary and interaction with Overy's Twilight Years, readers can refer to a series of eight pieces, published in Contra Celsum in early 2010, the first of which can be found here.)

Tawney was both a professing Christian and an ardent socialist.  In these days, when socialism has become thoroughly secular, racked with the deadly sins of avarice, envy, and covetousness, "Christian socialism"  ranks amongst the seven most infamous oxymorons of the modern world, along with "Christian capitalism".

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Moscow

All Stove In

Posted on  

Andrew Sullivan should receive real credit for saying, as he did, that if the treatment of Brendan Eich is what the gay rights movement is all about, then he, Sullivan, wanted to be dealt out. Eich is the Mozilla CEO who was forced to resign because he donated money a few years ago in defense of heterosexual marriage, which is to say, marriage. In a tweet the other day, Andrew said, “The hounding and firing of @BrendanEich disgusts me – as it should anyone interested in a tolerant & diverse society.”

For those who are opposed to this sort of business, they will have many opportunities to register their dissent. There will be a steady stream of them. As I put it the other day, in this Tolerance Parade, the elephants just keep on coming — ow.ly/vprzA

This stand means that Andrew is not a hypocrite, and I am glad for it. When I debated him a while ago, he said that he would be opposed to some of the things that we opponents of same sex mirage were predicting would come from all this. And good to his word, this incident shows that he meant what he said. He is no hypocrite. If Andrew comes to read this, an honest well done from me.


But the fact that he is not a hypocrite does not keep him from being a patsy. He is like an idealistic revolutionary who labored for years to overthrow the czar, only to have Lenin, three weeks after the revolution, send around a couple of the boys to put a bullet in his head.

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

April 14

A First Book of Daily Readings

by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
Sourced from the OPC website

If you tarry till you're better
You will never come at all!


There is a very simple way of testing yourself to know whether you believe that [we must look to Christ and Christ alone]. We betray ourselves by what we say.... I often had to deal with this point with people, and I have explained the way of justification by faith and told them how it is all in Christ and that God puts His righteousness upon us.

I have explained it all to them, and then I have said, "Well, now are you quite happy about it; do you believe that?" And they say, "Yes." Then I say, "Well, then, you are now ready to say that you are a Christian." And they hesitate. And I know that they have not understood. Then I say, "What is the matter; why are you hesitating?" And they say, "I do not feel that I am good enough."

At once I know that in a sense I have been wasting my breath.

Memorial Stones

Humble Heroes of the Faith

Missionary endeavour and the acceptance of the Gospel by Maori have been pretty much air brushed out of recent accounts of New Zealand history.  Secular humanism is a trick the living of our day are attempting to play upon the dead.  We Christians have a duty to ensure that the past is not lost.  To that end, Keith Newman's Bible and Treaty: Missionaries Among the Maori--A New Perspective [London: Penguin Books, 2010] is a much needed corrective to the current whitewashing. 

Contained in Newman's book is a gripping story of one Taumata-a-kura, an East Cape, Ngati Porou tribesman.  He had been taken as a slave during a raid by the northern Ngapuhi tribe, but in the early 1830's found his way to the mission school at Waimate, where he learned to read and write, and was instructed in the basic doctrines of the Gospel.  He eventually made his way back to his family and tribe.
One account describes the reunion of Taumata-a-kura with his people as "aioio ana te noho a te iwi" (black with people who hung onto his every word).  Ngati Porou believed he had been lost forever but now here he was, as if he had returned from the dead.  Rumours of his return, along with his message of an "atua hou" (a new god), had reached up into the Waiapu Valley before he even set foot in his homeland.  [Newman, p. 118.]

Friday, 11 April 2014

Letter From the UK (About Looking Back)

How did the IPCC’s alarmism take everyone in for so long?

Climate scaremongers are still twisting the evidence over global warming 

4:16PM BST 05 Apr 2014

When future generations come to look back on the alarm over global warming that seized the world towards the end of the 20th century, much will puzzle them as to how such a scare could have arisen. They will wonder why there was such a panic over a 0.4 per cent rise in global temperatures between 1975 and 1998, when similar rises between 1860 and 1880 and 1910 and 1940 had given no cause for concern. They will see these modest rises as just part of a general warming that began at the start of the 19th century, as the world emerged from the Little Ice Age, when the Earth had grown cooler for 400 years.
They will be struck by the extent to which this scare relied on the projections of computer models, which then proved to be hopelessly wrong when, in the years after 1998, their predicted rise in temperature came virtually to a halt. But in particular they will be amazed by the almost religious reverence accorded to that strange body, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which by then will be recognised as having never really been a scientific body at all, but a political pressure group. It had been set up in the 1980s by a small band of politically persuasive scientists who had become fanatically committed to the belief that, because carbon dioxide levels were rising, global temperatures must inevitably follow; an assumption that the evidence would increasingly show was mistaken.

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

April 11

A First Book of Daily Readings

by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
Sourced from the OPC website

The porches of Prayer

I know a number of Christian people who have a universal answer to all questions. It does not matter what the question is; they always say, "Pray about it." ... What a glib, superficial, and false bit of advice that can often be; and I am saying that from a Christian pulpit.

You may ask, "Is it ever wrong to tell men to make their problems a matter of prayer?" It is never wrong, but it is sometimes quite futile.... The whole trouble with this poor man [Psalm 73] ... was that he was so muddled in his thinking about God that he could not pray to Him. If we have muddled thoughts in our mind and heart concerning God's way with respect to us, how can we pray? We cannot. Before we can pray truly, we must think spiritually. There is nothing more fatuous than glib talk about prayer, as if prayer were something which you can always immediately rush into.

Improving the Citizens

Ve Vill Make You Free

There has been a bit of aog'nghast in certain quarters in the United States recently.  It turns out that a previously highly regarded chap called Brendan Eich was recently appointed CEO of Mozilla--an internet browsing software company--but was subsequently forced out because he was a pariah.  His crime?  Years ago he was guilty of donating some money to a political campaign in California to restrict the institution of marriage to adult males covenanting with adult females. 

That meant he could not serve as the CEO of an internet browsing company.  He was guilty of thought-crimes.  Eich was forced out for his political and ethical opinions.  The supine Board of Mozilla surrendered faster than Baltic Ukraine, and with less fuss and bother.  All this, in the "Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave"--a sentiment which must now be understood in the wider context of a herd of lemming-like creatures rushing for the cliff.  To be fair, some public homosexuals have expressed shock, horror, and outrage--and good on them.  Andrew Sullivan, for example, who campaigns for the recognition of homosexual marriage wrote: “The hounding and firing of @BrendanEich disgusts me – as it should anyone interested in a tolerant & diverse society.”  Bill Maher, who has publicly ridiculed even the suggestion that homosexuality may be immoral, spoke disconsolately of a "gay mafia":
I think there is a gay mafia. I think if you cross them, you do get whacked. I really do. TheBlaze
Satirist H. L. Mencken commented on this kind of thing from a broader perspective:

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Foolish Politicians, Nannies and Wowsers

Prohibition Redux

The old adage from George Santayana runs, those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.  A corollary is the proverb, a hundred blows on the back of a fool make no impression (Proverbs 17:10), but a word to the wise is sufficient. 

History has illustrated and taught repeatedly that when the state overreaches to ban or criminalise something as contraband (all for our own good, of course), criminals get richer and stronger.  It happens every time.  When governments overreach to ban tobacco and cigarettes, or tax them out of existence, it becomes, in the words of Yogi Berra, deja vu all over again. 

This, from Breitbart London:

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

April 10

A First Book of Daily Readings

by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
Sourced from the OPC website

Let all the people praise Thee!

We should all have a consuming passion that the whole world might come to know God [as the ever-present One who will never leave us nor forsake us] ... The Psalmist in Psalm 34 invites everybody to join him in "magnifying" the Lord. What a strange idea! ... At first sight that appears to be quite ridiculous. God is the Eternal, the self-existent One, absolute and perfect in all His qualities. How can feeble man ever magnify such a Being? How can we ever make God great or greater (which is what we mean by magnify)? ... And yet, of course, if we but realize the way in which the Psalmist uses it, we shall see exactly what he means.

He does not mean that we can actually add to the greatness of God, for that is impossible; but he does mean that he is concerned that this greatness of God may appear to be greater amongst men.

Rarities

The Sport of David-Brenting

The instinctual sympathies of the media in New Zealand are statist--that is, generally the media, with few exceptions, favour more state intrusions, controls and beneficences than less.  Given that predilection, it is not surprising that the media and the Commentariat in general lean Left and are comfortable with giving left-wing parties and causes a supportive shove. 

Therefore, when the Left turn against left-wing parties, such as Labour, something significant is churning beneath the surface.  We have discerned in recent weeks the sport of David-Brenting the Labour leader, David Cunliffe in national media.  As our readers will know, the David Brent character in the hit show, The Office, is the past master of cringe comedy--the most cruel and cringe-causing lines, the only relief to which is embarrassed laughter.  The media appear to have cottoned on to this, and are goading Cunliffe to deliver David-Brent-like utterances which cause the entire nation to cringe. That Cunliffe appears serious only exacerbates the "cringe".  It is the media's version of a blood sport.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Letter From Australia (About a Caravan of Doom)

Caravan of gloom slowing down

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

April 09

A First Book of Daily Readings

by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
Sourced from the OPC website

Get right at the center

Let us now see what the gospel has to say about life. The first principle is that face to face with the problems of life there is only one thing that needs to be examined—namely, the eye, the center, the soul; ... the light of the body is the eye; the only thing that needs to be examined is the eye, for if the eye is single, the whole body will be full of light. But if the eye is evil, the whole body will be full of darkness; ... our Lord goes on to add the solemn warning [Luke 11:35], "Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness." ... How direct is [the gospel] in its approach! ... It comes at once to the heart of the matter.

This direct simplicity is perfectly illustrated ... in an incident which followed immediately after our Lord had spoken the above words. He went in at the request of a certain Pharisee to dine in his house and at once sat down to meat. The Pharisee observing His act was surprised, marveling that Christ had not first washed before dinner.... [Our Lord] turned to him and delivered a stern denunciation of the Pharisees and their ways and views.

Looking Out For Orphans and Widows

Walking in the Footsteps of the Almighty

One of the most neglected ministries of Christian households is adoption.  We struggle to understand why this might be the case.  After all, adoption is at the heart of the Gospel, of the Christian faith.  Without it, none could be saved.  God is the infinite adoptive parent.  The Trinity is the infinite adoptive family.  Yet, for some reason, the Christian community is not all that geared up to adopt children--we, who, ourselves, are all adopted.  God is the One who takes up the solitary and puts them in families (Psalm 68: 5,6).  God is the One whose eye is upon the orphan and the widow. But His people?  Not so much.

When Christians adopt orphans they are walking in, and after, the steps of God Himself.  We thus rejoice with the Dyer family whose adoption of Jendah has finally been recognised by the New Zealand government.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Moscow

Noahic Clickbait


So no, I haven’t seen the movie, and no, this is not a review of it. Aside from that resulting in a couple of hours that I couldn’t get back, there would be the problems caused by the possibility of me writing a review of an Aronofsky film that might run counter to the analysis of soi disant hipster film dude critics. And, as everyone knows, one of my top priorities is to keep those guys from looking at me in scorn and contumely. So a review is really something I cannot risk — risk emotionally, I mean.

Noah Running
Me, avoiding the theater.

But one good thing about the movie is that — as a number of people have pointed out — everybody is talking about a Bible story. That’s something, right? Well, maybe. The possibility exists that we might talk about it all wrong, with our latter case being worse than the beginning.

And that brings me to the focus of my labors this morning. One person on Twitter has been having a little bit of fun with my view that the setup for the Noah story was the fact that “angels get it on with our wimmin,” and so, thought I, why not? As the spelling of wimmin might indicate, this view of mine can easily be represented as being worthy only of those who go up to the high mountain meadows of Tennessee in order to chase the powers of the air with butterfly nets. So let’s talk about it, shall we?

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

April 08

A First Book of Daily Readings

by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
Sourced from the OPC website

We look to Christ—to Christ alone

God accepts this righteousness of Christ, this perfect righteousness face to face with the Law which He honoured in every respect. He has kept it and given obedience to it; He has borne its penalty. The Law is fully satisfied. God's way of salvation, says Paul, is that. He gives to us the righteousness of Christ.

If we have seen our need and go to God and confess it, God will give us His own Son's righteousness. He imputes Christ's righteousness to us who believe in Him, and regards us as righteous, and declares us and pronounces us to be righteous in Him. That is the way of salvation, the Christian way of salvation, the way of salvation through justification by faith. So that it comes to this. That I see and I believe and I look to nothing and to no one except to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Triumphant Irrelevance

The West Does Not "Get" Islam

The usual world-view applied to the Islamic wars in the West  is, unsurprisingly, Western.  Wars such as the Syrian civil war are understood through Western glasses, which see the "real" conflict as fundamentally secular, non-religious, focused upon political struggles over power and of who is going to rule, and not infrequently with a Marxist chaser thrown in--poor versus rich, possessed versus dispossessed.  It is assumed that issues of freedom, democracy, free elections, the rule of law, and so forth, are intrinsic to the struggle.

Western diplomacy presupposes that all these Western pre-occupations are the "real issues" and seeks to persuade, cajole, bribe, and threaten accordingly.  If the Sunni rebels are "freedom fighters" they have our support.  If the Shi'ite Alawites are authoritarian tyrants, they become a Western opponent, if not an enemy.

Rarely does the role and critical contribution of Islam come into consideration.  The explanation for such a glaring omission is straightforward.  In the West's worldview, religion is an irrelevance.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Lenten Meditations

True Truth and Real History

As we approach the season of Passover and the once-for-all-delivered-to-the-saints Atonement, here is an interesting piece on the actual date of Messiah's crucifixion.

Justin Taylor refers us to an article recently published in First Things, which discussed the evidence for the exact date of Jesus' death. 

April 3, AD 33

In our new book, The Final Days of Jesus: The Most Important Week of the Most Important Person Who Ever Lived, we assume but do not argue for a precise date of Jesus’s crucifixion. Virtually all scholars believe, for various reasons, that Jesus was crucified in the spring of either a.d. 30 or a.d. 33, with the majority opting for the former. (The evidence from astronomy narrows the possibilities to a.d. 27, 30, 33, or 34). However, we want to set forth our case for the date of Friday, April 3, a.d. 33 as the exact day that Christ died for our sins.

To be clear, the Bible does not explicitly specify the precise date of Jesus’s crucifixion and it is not an essential salvation truth. But that does not make it unknowable or unimportant. Because Christianity is a historical religion and the events of Christ’s life did take place in human history alongside other known events, it is helpful to locate Jesus’s death—as precisely as the available evidence allows—within the larger context of human history.

Among the Gospel writers, no one makes this point more strongly than Luke, the Gentile physician turned historian and inspired chronicler of early Christianity.

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

April 07

A First Book of Daily Readings

by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
"Now we can all live like this!"(Olive Schreiner)

... All Christians are to be like this. Read the Beatitudes, and there you have a description of what every Christian is meant to be. It is not merely the description of some exceptional Christians. Our Lord does not say here that He is going to paint a picture of what certain outstanding characters are going to be and can be in this world. It is His description of every single Christian....

[It is a] fatal tendency to divide Christians into two groups—the religious and the laity, exceptional Christians and ordinary Christians, the one who makes a vocation of the Christian life and the man who is engaged in secular affairs. That tendency is not only utterly and completely unscriptural; it is destructive ultimately of true piety and is in many ways a negation of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

There is no such distinction in the Bible. There are distinctions in offices—apostles, prophets, teachers, pastors, evangelists, and so on. But these Beatitudes are not a description of offices; they are a description of character. And from the standpoint of character, and of what we are meant to be, there is no difference between one Christian and another....

Read the introduction to almost any New Testament Epistle, and you will find all believers addressed as in the Epistle to the Church at Corinth, "called to be saints." All are "canonized," if you want to use the term, not some Christians only. The idea that this height of the Christian life is meant only for a chosen few and that the rest of us are meant to live on the dull plains is an entire denial of the Sermon on the Mount and of the Beatitudes in particular.... Therefore let us once and for ever get rid of that false notion. This is not merely a description of the Hudson Taylors or the George Miillers or the Whitefields or Wesleys of this world; it is a description of every Christian. We are all of us meant to conform to its pattern and to rise to its standard.

Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, i, pp. 33-4

“Text reproduced from ‘A First Book of Daily Readings’ by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, published by Epworth Press 1970 & 1977 © Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes. Used with permission.”

Thankfully We Live in an Enlightened Age

A Warning to Jews and Lepers

Atmospheric calamities provoke ignorant fears.  Scapegoats must be found.  In the early 14th century, Europe was troubled by very, very bad weather--somewhat akin to what the UK, Europe, and the United States have experienced over the past eighteen months.
The summer of 1314 was uncommonly cold and wet in Europe.  Crops rotted, harvests were late, and alarmed authorities placed price controls on farm products and firewood.  All these were routine disasters that had happened many times before. 

The awful weather of 1314, however, was just the beginning of a succession of catastrophes.  Bad crops seldom happen two years in a row, but the weather in 1315 was even worse than during the previous year.  Heavy and incessant rains caused flooding that smashed dikes.  Rising rivers destroyed villages.  Violent storms crashed onto the coasts [c.f. the floods and storms in the UK this winter, Ed.]  The tragedy stretched from Scotland to Italy and from the Pyrenees to the homes of the Slavs.  Food prices rose over fivefold and starvation was widespread.  Even that was not the end.  The weather wreaked havoc once again in 1316, causing the worst famine in European history.  People ate cats, rats, insects, and animal droppings, and then, lacking anything better, dug up corpses in the burying grounds.  Epidemics and violent crime were widespread.  Bloody and public self-flagellation was common.  Scapegoats--Jews, lepers, noblemen--were murdered without hesitation.  [Peter L. Bernstein, The Power of Gold: The History of an Obsession (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2000),  p.97]
Some observations spring to mind.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

April05

A First Book of Daily Readings

by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
Sourced from the OPC website

My Father knows

Our Lord says, "Our Father which art in heaven"; and Paul says, "The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." ... It is vital when we pray to God, and call Him our Father, that we should remind ourselves ... of His majesty and of His greatness and of His almighty power; ... remember that He knows all about you. The Scripture says, "All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do." ... It is not surprising that, when he wrote Psalm 51, David said in the anguish of his heart, "Thou desirest truth in the inward parts."

If you want to be blessed of God, you have to be absolutely honest; you have to realize He knows everything and that there is nothing hidden from Him; ... as the wise man who wrote the book of Ecclesiastes put it, it is vital when we pray to God that we should remember that "He is in heaven and we are upon the earth."

Then remember His holiness and His justice, His utter, absolute righteousness; ... whenever we approach Him we must do so "with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire" [Hebrews 12:19].  That is the way to pray, says Christ; ... never separate these two truths.

Letter From America (About Facing the Truth)

Doctor’s Conversion From Atheism to Christianity 

Inspiration for a Central Character in Major Hollywood Film

 
 

Martin Yip is one of the main characters in “God’s Not Dead,” the Christian movie thatstunned observers with its impressive performance at the box office about a student who debates an atheist professor on the existence of God.  Yip’s character, an atheist who converts to Christianity after meeting protagonist Josh Wheaton on campus, is actually based on a real-life doctor who went through a similar experience decades ago.

Dr. Ming Wang, an eye surgeon in Nashville, Tenn., was studying in the U.S. when he became a follower of Jesus.  His story, captured in the 2013 book “God’s Not Dead” (the book preceded the film), began in China, where he grew up with parents who taught at a medical school, according to the Tennessean.
Watch Wang share his story on TBN below:

More Histrionics. More Noise Please. We're Desperate.

The Way of the Fool

The IPCC has published its latest broadside in a flailing attempt to get its fictitious anthropogenic apocalypse back on track.  It's got to the stage when it is becoming amusing.  We are now in the denouement stage of the plot.  We are in clear and present danger! shrieks the siren.  All kinds of calamities are about to fall upon the human race if the global temperature rises by between 2 and 4 degrees in the next one hundred years.  Case and argument is weak.  Shout louder. 

Excuse us.  Pardon.  Two degrees.  That hardly sounds like a calamity.  No, well, the script used to read eight to ten degrees, but the scaremongering and Chicken Littling has been toned down just a bit, especially since global temperatures have shown no signs of going up over the past fifteen years--despite carbon dioxide disgorgement continuing on its merry way over that time.  But in order to get action, a calamity of some sort must be concocted.  A "clear and present danger" must be manufactured from somewhere to make governments and the poor suckers they govern get in line.

Whilst the apocalyptic orchestra has toned down the volume, it has increased the screeching.  No harmonies or melodies in sight.