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Showing posts from November, 2013

Extinction in a generation?

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Have a read of this report from the Daily Telegraph: ‘Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, warns Christianity “a generation away from extinction” in Britain. Clergy are now gripped by a “feeling of defeat”, congregations are worn down by “heaviness” while the public simply greets both with “rolled eyes and a yawn of boredom”, he said.’

Lord Carey goes on to say how in particular ‘we’ have let down young people and that we must deploy ministers to get children and youth back into church.

There’s much here to admire. Lord Carey may no longer be Archbishop of Canterbury, but it still takes courage for such an establishment figure to point out just how bad things are. But he’s quite right: Christianity is a generation away from extinction in the United Kingdom. This is something both very old and very new.

Let me explain.

On the one hand, this is a very old truth. Christianity is always a generation away from extinction. This was true just after Peter preached in Acts chapter 2 a…

Design, the Designer, and a Singing Lion

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Design, the Designer, and a Singing Lion Neo-Darwinian evolutionists of our day do not deny that the natural world has many characteristics that give the appearance of design. They call this a case of “apparent design,” denying that it is “actual design”; in other words, the depth, complexity, and integration we observe in nature simply looks like the product of an intelligent designer but they aren’t. Rather, they are the outcome of purposeless natural processes that have been plugging along, unguided, for eons. (A naturalistic orchestration Richard Dawkins has called the “blind watchmaker.”)By contrast, Intelligent Design proponents observe the appearance of design in nature and attribute it to an intelligent agency. I spend much time pondering how the same observations in nature can produce such drastically opposing viewpoints concerning the origin, complexity, and diversity of life. Nothing strikes me as more absurd than seeing the world as a fortuitous accident, claiming that th…

The Joy of confession: No good for God

A poor sinner once wrote to his preacher with these words:
Dear Sir, Someone always told me to look where I want to go. But the question is where do I want to go. I know as a christian the answer is I want to go to Jesus. I should look to Jesus. But do I really want to go there. In my more spiritual time, when I had little of the world in me, and I had the beauty of Jesus in my soul, my answer would have been I want to look to Jesus to be exactly like him. To go where he is. But now, I have nothing but sadness in my heart because of my sins. Jesus is far gone from my sight and I am really apprehensive to go where he is because he might say to me those terrible words, 'depart from me ye cursed of my father.' I tell you Sir that I am worse than those who have been diagnosed with depression, for mine is a spiritual depression, a long recession in God's economy. But I do have those moments when I see sunshine through the small holes of my prison. At times, a little rain simmers…

A question to charismatic churches

In his (John MacArthur) book, Strange fire, MacArthur asks those who are part of Charismatic churches to ask themselves these questions:

1. Why does the modern version of speaking in tongues parallel pagan worship practices? (This came in the context of him quoting an orthodox priest who queried that, "If the possessed voodoo priest says: 'shiri-bo-bo-bo-boh' in a staccato stammer over his black whisk he holds, and the possessed Christian born-again Christian rattles: 'shla-ba-ba-bah-shlabalika' over his Bible, what can be the difference.")

2. How can a God of order be honored by confusion and disarray?  (This question comes in the context of given an account of an event that happened in a pentecostal prayer meeting in which a "Spirit-filled" woman fell down in ecstasy and knocked over a boy who was speaking in tongues. After crashing into the pews, the boy got up, nursing a bloody lip, and lamented, 'Oh why?' in his own native language). How …

Love, a confusing emotion

For Gerad, love was a confusing emotion. One day it satisfies and on another day it strips his heart bare. He wanted out sometimes and he would often say, 'Love is too hard.'
Often she would call him and tell him time and time again her problems. She would constantly despair of the disorder of her soul as incurable. He always offered her his ears and even more, he always made his shoulders available for her to cry on. 
But his heart was crumbling too. 
Bottling up everything, especially his own problems had reached its limit and Gerad knew that at any minute everything could spill over. 
But Gerad loved her.
Gerad knew that love offers life. It lightens the dark moments and his presence always made her smile. He tells himself that love covers a multitude of sins whenever she forgets to ask about him and his troubles. It was always about her – so self-centered. He always took a sigh to swallow his own madness and always, always focused on her.
His love was a love that gave but neve…

Where have all the Godly Men Gone?

Where have all the godly men gone? These days I ponder that question with increased frequency and concern. If the lack of godly men were only a matter of personality or ministerial preference, then little would be lost. Such is not the case, though. The church is in great need of awakening and renewal; and, in the spirit of Richard Baxter, its greatest need might well be godly men. Not that long ago, “man of God” was a common and honored descriptor in the church. The phrase ranked alongside “great preacher,” “brilliant theologian,” or “gifted writer” in frequency and surpassed them in value. Now, it seems as though the designation “man of God” has gone the way of the bus ministry and the youth choir—a largely passé referent to a bygone era of church life. It is as though someone snuck into the shopping mall of the Kingdom and changed all the price tags, upsetting and inverting God’s value system. We have increased the mundane and ancillary aspects of Christian ministry, all the while…

The writtings of Sunny Caane - On death's doors

Men must live their lives as if death may come at any hour. With this view should incline them to live their lives with all seriousness leaving nothing half undone. Everything must be completed, everything that can be attended to must be attended to, for at any hour, death may strike her fatal blow. But men are far from this wisdom. Only a few have this perspective in their hearts, but many are friends of vanity and of time.

I have many times thought that death's hands was knocking on my door. But when I opened the door, it was but the wind against my roof. At times I sigh and at other times relieved because I was not ready to die. For to die unprepared is to die with fear.

I feel now as the man with the ten thousand talents worth of debt. I am on my knees pleading, 'have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.' But we know that such large debts can only be paid back if one has the means to a large fortune. For even if I was to work four hundred years, I should ne…

Only one thing

Only one
can unlock
the key
to my heart.
Death.

There is
one thing
      at
the end
of a
lonely road.
Death.

K.Oni



Miscellanies 89: We shall never get it quiet right

It is true that we shall never get it quiet right until the earth is made anew. After the April showers comes the blooming flowers of May. We see here only the shadow of the throne, but there we shall see it absolutely. Here we are still under the tutelage of faith, there we shall see with our own eyes.
Saints will cry here, but there, no weeping shall ever fall on nature's ears. It is a paradise that our weary feet is voyaging to, but here we must bear a little while with the thorns that pricks our pilgrim's feet. It is true that men here are more ready to conceal their lust, but there, there shall be nothing to confess.
So while we live here in great anticipation of our future glory, we must be full of love and honesty. We must be ready to reveal our defeats than to hide our shame. We must be ready to mourn for our speck than to make known by gossip the huge log in our brother's eyes. We must be ready to have a tremendous patience with the church, for you see, that whilst…