The Nonsense of Christmas— Part One

angels

Risking the possibility that I might be called Scrooge, I am going to muster up my courage and hope that it might be useful to do some demythologizing of Christmas. Christmas today is of course a time off from work where one tends to spend time with one’s birth family or extended birth family, having done far too much shopping, and then far too much eating, while spending time with those who are supposed to be our loved ones, and sometimes are.That is what normally happens for many f … [Read more...]

A Diet of Worms

worms

Subject: Four worms in churchA minister decided that a visual demonstration would add emphasis to his Sunday sermon.Four worms were placed into four separate jarsThe first worm was put into a container of alcohol.The second worm was put into a container of cigarette smoke.The third worm was put into a container of chocolate syrup.The … [Read more...]

Five Factors which Changed Church History

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Scholars have often debated why it is that the church of Constantine’s period looks so very different in various respects from the earliest church. What were the factors which led to the change or transformation of the early Christian movement, so that by the time we get to Constantine and thereafter the roles of men and women in the church have changed, and indeed the church becomes much more like an OT institution than one like what we find in the letters in the NT itself? While it would be … [Read more...]

Richard Watson on Biblical Prophecies

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‘We are not to suppose that our view of the future, even after the most attentive study of the prophetical books will be perfectly distinct and satisfactory. There is a moral necessity that prophecy should be surrounded with a certain haze and indistinctness. Man is to be the instrument of executing the decrees of Heaven; and it is the principle of Divine government to offer no violence to his moral agency, and a peculiar glory of infinite wisdom to accomplish its purpose by his free volitions. I … [Read more...]

More on Lightfoot and his Legacy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVSYVKrsdiE&index=3&list=PLLS0Lg51WigfB2YiOgfyrhwpo48zMEpLpHere are all six little videos Todd Still and I have done on the first volume of the Lightfoot Legacy, in this case, on Acts. … [Read more...]

Schoenbrunn Palace— a Nice Little Hunting Lodge

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Ah, the lifestyles of the rich and famous, or even worse, the rich and royal. Schoenbrunn Palace was the summer residence or hunting lodge for the royal family that ran the Habsburg Empire. It's just a little 1441 room Rocco abode, humble in every way, which first opened for business in 1699. The story is 'tres recherche' and yes it has to do with Palace envy, in this case Versailles, where the Austrian princess Marie Antoinette, married off to the Louis XIV sort of family, dwelt and incited … [Read more...]

Two Jurisdictions in One United Methodist Church?

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One of the recurrent suggestions about how to resolve the impasse in the United Methodist Church, which is now getting a great deal of consideration as something to be proposed to the General Conference in 2016 is the two jurisdiction proposal. This particular post will not deal with some of the merits of the proposal (yes there are some), but with the serious flaws in any such proposal.POINT ONE: Two jurisdictions will of course require two different Disciplines, not only on the … [Read more...]

WORD UP!

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One Lone Word Can Be True.God’s Yes, Makes All Things New.Two Words Too, Like ‘I Do’.Can Change A Man Through And Through.Sad Or Glad Up Or Down.One Word, Smile One Word, Frown.Seek Now And You Will FindTrue Words Heal Or They BlindWord Made Flesh We Have Seen.Touched, Felt For Word Has Been.This My Flesh This My Blood.Truth We Ate, Did Us Good.So We Share The Cu … [Read more...]

‘The Theory of (almost) Everything’ (except God)

theory

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUayjO_KgsQIt was 1996 and I was on sabbatical in Cambridge working on my Mark commentary. It was the Easter season and 'A Brief Theory of Time' was still selling well (it came out in 1988). I was at the Sunday performance in King's College of the Bach St. John's Passion, and there on the first row was Stephen Hawking in his wheel chair. I knew of the stories about his infidelity to his wife, due to his affair with his therapist/nurse. I also knew of … [Read more...]


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