Disasters and death
I was brought up on a farm near the town of Forbes in central New South Wales in Australia. In the past week many people had to evacuate their homes in Forbes and other towns due to a flood in the Lachlan River. This flood reached similar heights to the record floods in the 1950s.
In the last few years we have had major droughts, bushfires (wildfires), pandemics, and floods in Australia. People’s lives and livelihood have been devastated and there has been a financial crisis. Disasters like this are unexpected – they can catch us by surprise. The Bible says that disasters are warnings (Appendix).
Two reasons to praise God
God deserves our praise and worship because He created the universe and everything in it (Rev. 4:11). This should be obvious (Rom. 1:19-20). Creation is huge and complicated. Scientists will never understand it all. It looks like it’s been designed. And God not only created matter and energy, He also created the laws of science and mathematics. So, He’s the source of everything that’s good. (more…)
Todays’ weather brought to you by God
Tsunamis, floods, and bush fires are no joke. In 2021 it was estimated by Deloitte that natural disasters cost Australia over $38 billion a year and this will nearly double by 2060. The real cost, however, is more than a financial one, many people and animals lose their homes and even their lives when a major disaster strikes.
So what should we think about the weather? Is God really in control? Most of us are comfortable asking God for good weather for our next sports game or outdoor event – we may even thank God for a perfect sunny day. But when it comes to bad weather, who’s to blame – infamous weather systems like El nina or God? And who can we go to about these disasters? (more…)
The Biblical solution for racism
Racism is discrimination or prejudice against a people group. “People group” includes grouping according to skin color, nationality, citizenship and ethnic or national origins.
Racism has justified slavery, colonialism, apartheid, forced sterilisations and annihilations of peoples. It has been the basis of the Nazi ideologies and of the programmes to exterminate Jews and other “inferior peoples”. According to Wikipedia, “Racism has played a role in genocides such as the Holocaust, the Armenian genocide, the Rwandan genocide, and the Genocide of Serbs in the Independent State of Croatia, as well as colonial projects including the European colonization of the Americas, Africa, Asia, and the population transfer in the Soviet Union including deportations of indigenous minorities.” (more…)
“The Uluru statement from the heart” and racism
A message from Martyn Isles of the Australian Christian Lobby.
“The Uluru Statement from the Heart” (see Appendix) is an invitation to the Australian people from First Nations Australians. It asks Australians to walk together to build a better future by establishing a First Nations Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Constitution, and the establishment of a Makarrata Commission for the purpose of treaty making and truth-telling. (more…)
Is “Acknowledgement of Country” showing respect or affirming paganism?
A message from Martyn Isles of the Australian Christian Lobby:
The “Acknowledgement of Country” has exploded in workplaces, public places and events right across Australia (see Appendix). How should we respond to it? There are many more serious practices associated with indigenous cultural recognition like smoking ceremonies, calling up spirits (which has been happening at some public events) and all that kind of thing. Presumably people can see on the whole that those are bad ideas and best not to participate in. But “Welcome to (or acknowledgement of; see Appendix) Country” is less clear. It’s not immediately apparent to everybody, but I have given it quite a bit of thought and those thoughts have led me to the point where I have now made a conscious decision to avoid saying it. Some will say I’m over-cautious, but let me explain to you why I’ve made that decision. It’s not out of any prejudice to indigenous people. Quite the contrary, it’s because I’m not convinced that it’s the right thing to do and if it’s not right, then it’s not right for anyone. That’s the whole point of finding out what is right and what is wrong. It’s for everyone. (more…)
God saved the Queen
“God Save the Queen” has been the anthem of Britain for the last 70 years; the phrase used as an expression of patriotism and royal support. But what did the Queen need saving from? Did she need saving from republicanism, from the decline of the Commonwealth, from foreign invasion, or the collapse of her own family? In her own words, Queen Elizabeth II explained she needed saving from something far more insidious and universal than outside enemies. “Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves—from our recklessness or our greed,” Queen Elizabeth said during her Christmas message in 2011. This remarkable woman, who has since her passing been described as dutiful, faithful, servanthearted, forgiving and stable, recognised that she still needed saving from her own sin. (more…)
Was Queen Elizabeth II a true Christian?
Queen Elizabeth was the world’s most famous woman. She was depicted in award-winning films such as The Queen and the popular Netflix series The Crown.
One of the prayers at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral service began, “We give thanks to God for Queen Elizabeth’s loyalty to the faith she inherited through her baptism and confirmation, and affirmed at her coronation; for her unswerving devotion to the gospel; and for her steadfast service as Supreme Governor of the Church of England”. But are these indicators of a true Christian? (more…)
Queen Elizabeth’s funeral service
The State Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Extracts from the Order of Service at Westminster Abbey on Monday 19 September 2022. The service paid tribute to the Queen’s “remarkable reign and lifetime of service”.
Jesus said to her [Martha], “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die” (Jn. 11:25-26NIV, see Appendix A). (more…)
Sin bin Sunday
Yesterday was called “Sin bin Sunday” by the Sydney news media. Seven players were sent to the sin bin (Appendix) in a game for the first time in Australian Rugby League history. (more…)
The logic of cause and effect
We live in a cause-and-effect universe. Every effect has a cause. It is common sense. And the scientific method is based on cause and effect. Logic is the study of correct and incorrect reasoning (Appendix A)
If A causes (or implies) B, then A is the cause or antecedent and B is the effect or consequent. This means that A is necessary for B. It can also be referred to as a conditional statement, “if A, then B”. (more…)
Be who were born to be, a child of God
What would your ideal parent be like? This question may feel a bit awkward or even painful to answer, but I invite you to consider it for a moment. If you’re anything like me, your character list of the ideal parent might go something like… caring, gentle, wise, compassionate, capable, stable, fun. Then, if I was really going all out with a wish list I might add powerful, rich and well respected. (more…)
The Frankfurt declaration of Christian and civil liberties
People are beginning to wake up to the rise of totalitarianism. Civil liberties and human rights were taken away during the COVID-19 pandemic. This declaration has been prepared by Christian leaders from Europe, America and South Africa.
Christians, against the abuse of power
In the course of human events, it sometimes becomes necessary for people of good faith to speak out against the abuse of power. This should be done only after serious and prayerful deliberation, and even then, in an attitude of humility and with respect for the authorities that have been established by God. Such protest should be expressed in the hope that civil authorities who are found to be eroding rights and liberties may yet fulfill their responsibility as their rightful guardians. (more…)
Jesus put Nazareth on the map
Raised by a single mother in a New York City housing project, Ursula Burns worked hard at school. After graduating from high school, she earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. She worked as an intern at printing company Xerox, before being hired permanently. She rose through the ranks to become CEO in 2007-2016, earning the distinction of being the first black woman to lead a Fortune 500 company. So her background didn’t limit her career.
A change in status
Nazareth was a small farming village between the sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean Sea. In about AD 30 when Nathanael was told that Jesus was from Nazareth he asked, “Can anything good come from there” (Jn. 1:46NIV). But why did Nathanael say this? Was Nazareth insignificant, isolated, remote and outside the mainstream of Jewish life? Were most of the people poor? Or was his skepticism, scorn and derision inter-town rivalry – Nathanael was from Cana (6km north of Nazareth)? (more…)
Lord’s Supper rebuke
Pain is part of our body’s warning system. If you touch something hot, it hurts so you automatically pull away before it does much damage. And chest pain (angina) is the most common warning sign of a heart attack. Pain is an alarm and warning signal to the body. It indicates that something needs our attention.
In 1 Corinthians 11 there is a description of the Lord’s Supper (v.23-26), followed by a rebuke (v.27-32). (more…)
Many scientists believe scientific theories religiously
This post comes from Dr Jay Wile.
Those who understand the formation of our universe using the Big Bang model are forced to believe that the vast majority of the universe is made up of material about which scientists know absolutely nothing. As shown in the picture, to believe in the Big Bang model today, you must believe that all the matter involved in all the experiments done by all the scientists in history makes up only about 5% of the universe. 72% of the universe is composed of dark energy, a form of energy that was completely unknown until the 1990s and is so far undetectable and not understood at all. The other 23% is made of dark matter, which is matter that we cannot see because of the limitations of our experimental capabilities. Scientists have been trying to detect dark matter for decades, but so far, nothing has been found. (more…)
What the Bible says about nature
Nature is made up of atoms and molecules that we can see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. It is essential for living, providing such things as air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat, and materials to use from farms, mines, forests and factories.
Nature is a part of creation. The definition of some terms used in this article is given in Appendix A. (more…)
Repentance – turning around to follow the true God
In 2013 a friend and I walked through Glenbrook Gorge in the Blue Mountains to Lapstone Rail Station. I had a map to follow. Outside the gorge we reached a junction, but I didn’t know where we were on the map. So I didn’t know whether the station was towards the left or the right. We walked right towards the north for about 15 minutes and then repented (turned around) because we realised that the station was probably towards the south! We had to turn around 180 degrees to reach our destination. As we wasted at least half an hour because of this mistake, I decided to get a mobile [cell] phone so I could use a GPS like Google maps to show where I was on the map. (more…)
Strangest thing – Jesus will return
The day of reckoning – it’s an exciting moment in the movie or TV show we’re watching. Finally the wrongdoers get exposed, the evil monster is overpowered and defeated, justice is served. It appears to be a universal longing played out in film and television across cultures and time. We also hope for a judgement day in the real world as we watch televised court cases about abusers, big corporations causing harm in the interest of making money, corrupt politicians using their power for personal gain and the actions of despotic dictators. But when it comes to a universal, ultimate day of reckoning we’re not so keen. The Christian doctrine of a final judgement day is often seen as archaic, incompatible with a loving God or just plain laughable. (more…)
Nature includes the air we breathe, the water we drink, the places and wildlife we love. Nature can inspire Christians to praise and worship God. But nature can turn unbelievers from God – there is no mention of God on Earth Day. And unbelievers can see nature as a god that they can become obsessed with.
The psalms were songs used by the Hebrews to praise God. Nature psalms praise the Lord as the creator and sustainer of the physical universe (Estes, 2005). God is separate from nature because He created it. This made Jewish beliefs different to the common beliefs of ancient times that various objects in nature are divine. Just think about the gods of Egypt, Canaan, Greece and Rome. The theological description is that God is “transcendent”, which means He is independent of the creation. But the creation (nature) is also sustained by His mighty power; He sustains “all things by His powerful word” (Heb. 1:3NIV). And the creation (nature) declares (shows) God’s greatness (Ps. 19:1). (more…)
Two scientists who left atheism for Christianity
This post is based on two articles by Dr Jay Wile.
Professor Rosalind Picard
Rosalind Picard (1962 – ) is a Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who invented a new branch of computer science called affective computing. Picard was raised an atheist, but converted to Christianity as a young adult. When she was a school student she believed that smart children didn’t need religion. So she promoted atheism and dismissed people who believed in God as uneducated. (more…)
God’s glory for all to see
A look at Psalm 104
I had an uncle who lived at Katoomba, who was an avid bushwalker (hiker) in the Blue Mountains. When I was young, I made a bush walk near our house on a farm. It had a sign at the beginning and included a bridge across a hole I had dug in the ground. Maybe it’s not surprising that bushwalking (hiking) is one of my hobbies. (more…)
Strangest thing – Jesus rose from the dead
The existence of another dimension. A character with the ability to influence and change the physical world without physical force. A powerful evil monster out to kill. These are the elements of a science fiction narrative. But what if there is truth in them?
The message of the Bible is pretty strange. It talks of a spiritual dimension – angels and demons and an all powerful, all knowing God in control of it all. This spiritual dimension is generally unseen by us ordinary humans with our physical eyes. But the Bible records a special time in history when the supernatural burst into the world in the very natural form of a new born baby. Jesus’ birth, life and even His miracles are recorded in numerous ancient historical accounts. Turning water into wine. Healing a paralysed person with only His words. Bringing a man who has been dead for four days back to life. This is not the kind of thing we see outside of science fiction and fantasy. (more…)