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Category Archives: History
As I anticipated, our Harvest Festival had a significant section on failure of harvests in poor countries and how we need to help, in this case focusing on Uganda – a country where, but for providential circumstances, I might have worked. I voiced my reservations about the anthropocentrism of harvest thanksgiving nowadays in my previous blog, and I won’t labour the point. What I will mention, though, is another near-universal theme in the kind of video we were shown – that it is the poor who are already feeling the brunt of climate change, witness the increasing droughts being experienced by farmers in Uganda.
Our friend Levi introduced me to Rene Girard, whose writings on the way that crowds become mad, set in the context of the Christian message, certainly have something to say about the present experience of cancellation, censorship, and a lot more.
We left the last blog post with a simple “toolkit” from Genesis 1 which, whilst it may not “define” man in the way Aquinas sought to do, certainly describes him theologically in a way that enables us to interrogate the archaeological record for biblically human origins.
I’m not a pacifist, though I own up to two periods of pacifism; the first as young teen, when I was in considerable need of inner peace (to which Christ was the eventual answer), and the second during the nuclear escalation of the 1980s, when the idea of mutual annihilation seemed, as it does now, worse than the alternative of rolling over and becoming Soviets.
Months ago I was put in touch with Rob Rowe, who has a YouTube apologetics channel based in Australia. I heard nothing until yesterday, when on a couple of hours notice he set up a livestream to discuss The Generations of Heaven and Earth, which together with Q&A lasted over two hours. Fortunately I hadn’t forgotten too much of what I’d written.
For Christians (and Jews and others) seeking to maintain the historicity of a first human couple, Adam and Eve, there are really three broad ways to proceed. My aim here is to cast doubt on one of them, from a biblical standpoint, and so I’ll break the usual pattern of such discussions by stating my own position first, and then leaving it to one side!
The Puritans are (and always were) misunderstood as believing that they were morally or spiritually purer than their fellows. But in fact their basic tenet was rather that there is such a thing as “pure religion,” in the sense of the original gospel of Christ and the apostles untrammeled by syncretistic additions from other religions. This, of course, was the basis for the Protestant Reformation. It is (as the first of Martin Luther’s Wittenberg theses stressed) a religion of repeated repentance leading to constant assurance of salvation.
Whilst my internet connection was down last week, I missed being able to research the Easter missile strike on a village church in Komyshuvakha, Zaporizhzhia oblast, in Ukraine. The Presearch search engine (allegedly private, but evidently programmed for MSM) only gives me pages upon pages about the dastardly Russian outrage, all of course taken uncritically from official Ukrainian sources. That’s the consensus, then, but “the majority is always wrong,” and it just takes a little thought to prove that to be so in this case.
The word from my pastor is that our church will be basing its Sunday teaching for the next few months on Genesis 1-11 – the “Protohistory” (in Gordon Wenham’s usage) or, to quote another OT scholar, “the Old Testament of the Old Testament.”
A segment by Tucker Carlson notes how few of the American public, relatively speaking, see the significance of recent news events like the Chinese-mediated rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia, not to mention the alliance now formed between China and Russia. As Tucker points out, we are actually witnessing the end of American (for which, in practice, read “Western”) hegemony in the world. He’s not wrong about the complacency, yet I remain surprised. It seems to me that the very blindness of governments and people alike to this, which resembles Belshazzar’s partying complacency on the eve of defeat by the Medes in Daniel, or indeed Jesus’s analogy between his own … Continue reading