Observations on life; particularly spiritual

Posts tagged “bible

Sin bin Sunday

NRL players going to the sin bin in Sydney on 11 Sep 2022Yesterday 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…)


Lord’s Supper rebuke

Chest pain is the most common warning sign of a heart attackPain 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…)


What the Bible says about nature

Hopetoun falls, Queensland AustraliaNature 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

We had to turn around 180 degrees to reach our destinationIn 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

Strangest thing - Jesus will returnThe 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 Psalms

Earth DayNature 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

Rosalind Picard - Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the MITThis 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…)


Strangest thing – Jesus rose from the dead

Strangest thing – Jesus rose from the deadThe 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…)


Pray for justice, mercy and peace

Pray for justice, mercy and peaceWhen a maternity hospital is bombed; when a 55 year old woman with multiple sclerosis has to be carried from her home to escape shelling; when a 5 week old baby is shot dead with his family as they try to drive to safety… What words are there?

Whatever our political views, whatever our beliefs or our circumstances, in all of us something cries out in protest against the horror of the vulnerable and innocent people of Ukraine suffering. (more…)


Christians discovered and invented science

Isaac Newton has been described as the greatest scientist of all timeA common view is that there is a perceived conflict between Christianity and science. But this is erroneous because Christians discovered and invented science.

This post is based on a book by Dominic Statham.

Science

Scientists seek to gain knowledge of the laws which govern how the natural world works. They describe these laws rather than explain them. For example, we don’t know what gravity is or why there is attraction between positively and negatively charged particles although we can describe these behaviors. And science can’t tell us where these laws come from. (more…)


Distant starlight and the biblical timeframe

The Bible makes it clear that the creation of the heavenly bodies was just as miraculous as the creation of the first peopleThis post comes from Dr Don Batten of Creation Ministries International.

The following question is often directed to Christians, ‘How can you believe in a straightforward biblical time-frame and explain distant starlight?’

The ‘problem’ is formulated thus:

  • The biblical time-frame is about 6,000 years since creation (“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”, Gen. 1:1)
  • There are stars that are millions and billions of light years distant that we can see. Travelling at the speed of light, the light from those stars would take millions or billions of years to travel to Earth, depending on the distance, so that we can see them.

(more…)


Natural selection is the opposite of Darwinian evolution

Natural selection can be proven to be true by the definition of the wordsThis post comes from Dr Jason Lisle of the Biblical Science Institute.

Natural selection is often claimed to be the mechanism by which Darwinian evolution occurs. And yet the scientific evidence shows that natural selection is actually the opposite of evolution.

What is Natural Selection?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines natural selection as “a natural process that results in the survival and reproductive success of individuals or groups best adjusted to their environment and that leads to the perpetuation of genetic qualities best suited to that particular environment.” Other dictionaries and biology textbooks also support this definition. Basically, natural selection is the principle that organisms that have traits well-suited to their environment tend to survive and reproduce in greater numbers than organisms with traits that are not well-suited to their environment. In extreme cases, the organisms that are less suited to their environment are driven to extinction. (more…)


No one knows what tomorrow will bring

No one knows what tomorrow will bringHave you ever had to walk in the dark? I mean when it’s can’t-see-your-hand-in-front-of-your-face dark? For those of us not used to it, walking in the dark can be slow and scary. We may have an idea of a destination but we can’t always be sure we’re going in the right direction. We desperately search for something familiar or a sliver of light to guide us. (more…)


Just war principles

Civilians fleeing the Ukraine - more than 3 million fled the country after a month of warThis post comes from Bill Muehlenberg’s commentary on current issues, “Culture Watch”.

In a fallen world, war, the use of force, bloodshed, violence and aggression will always be with us. And that is because sin is always with us. So the believer knows that God established civil government to help curb violence and injustice, and maintain a modicum of peace and order. (more…)


Biblical geology

Channelized runoff from the Flood carved canyons & valleys - e.g. Spider Rock in Canyon de Chelly, Arizona. If these valleys formed over millions of years, this spire should not be there and there would be more tallus beneath the cliff.sThis post comes from a book by Oard and Carter (2021).

Biblical geology is much more sophisticated than skeptics both inside and outside of Christianity assert. Over 60 years of research, often published in technical journals as well as popular books and magazines, have produced an impressive body of evidence. Sloppy examination of creation science, and their biases, often cause secular scientists, old-earth creationists, and theistic evolutionists to grossly misrepresent the nature of the debate and the quality of evidence supporting the historic Christian view. (more…)


The Bible is for our time, but not about our time

The Bible was written for us, but not to usThis post comes from Michael Bird, a theologian who lives in Melbourne, Australia.

The Bible is for us. It is the principal source for how to believe and behave as disciples of Jesus Christ. The Bible exists for us to have a God-centered view of creation, to understand God’s providence in history, to hear God’s promises, to know God’s words of warning and encouragement, to have the words of Jesus, to hear the apostles’ testimony about Jesus, and to look ahead to the kingdom in all its future fullness. The private and public reading of the Bible is for us in the sense that it is for our training, our edification, our transformation, and our encouragement. The Bible is for us since the Bible enables God to speak to people across the tide of history, through our manifold cultures and languages, and in a way that truly transcends human differences. Whether you are a second-century Christian in Rome, a fifth-century Arab Christian in the city of Tikrit, or a twenty-first-century believer in Zimbabwe, the Bible is God’s word for you, for them, and for us today. The Bible is for us, yesterday, today, and until the end of the age. (more…)


Meet your maker

Meet your maker before you meet your makerThough we don’t live like it, death is a sure thing. I often take walks amongst the beautiful gardens and graves of the cemetery I live near. Thousands and thousands of headstones and memorial plaques lay quietly in various stages of abandon. Each represents another human who was once living and breathing like me. Right now death seems like something that happens to other people, but one day the sum of our lives will also be etched on a headstone for others to pass by. And then? (more…)


The Lord’s Supper – a visible sermon

 Toasts are generally offered at times of celebration, like wedding receptions or New Year’s EveA toast involves raising a glass and drinking in honor of or to the health (or goodwill) of a person or thing. It shows your appreciation of them or wishes them success. Toasts are generally offered at times of celebration, like wedding receptions or New Year’s Eve. A toast is a custom or habit that is part of our culture.

The Bible tells us that the Lord’s Supper is how we are to remember the death of Jesus Christ. The bread and wine symbolize the death of Christ. (more…)


Be encouraged, not discouraged

Protest to stop Russian aggression in UkraineWith war in Europe and floods in eastern Australia, there’s plenty to be discouraged about. But did you know that there is also plenty to be encouraged about?

In Thessalonica

The letter of 2 Thessalonians tells Christians how to face difficult times, in this case it was facing false teaching. The key verse is 2:15 which says, “stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you both in person and by letter” (NLT). That meant to follow the teaching given by the apostles, which is now in the New Testament. (more…)


COVID fear

There is considerable fear and anxiety about COVID-19Yesterday there were 35,000 new cases of COVID-19 in New South Wales, Australia. And it was 38,600 today. The World Health Organization has warned of a “tsunami of cases” of COVID-19 (from Omicron and Delta variants) around the world.

This post comes from Tony Payne who lives in Sydney, Australia.

A lot of Christian pixels have been spilt over the past several weeks about vaccination, conscience, the weaker brother, civil obedience, the freedom to gather, the desirability of not excluding anyone, and more besides. (more…)


You are welcome here

You are welcome hereIt was Christmas Day. I was in Kathmandu 10,000 kilometers from home. I knew no one. I didn’t understand the language everyone was speaking around me. The food, the gestures, the smells were all new and strange to me. Yet I clapped along to the songs, in which I understood only one word, with a sense of belonging. The word was Yesu – Jesus. Because of Jesus these strangers were also my brothers and sisters. They welcomed me. They shared their Christmas lunch with me. They invited me back to their homes with warm smiles and enthusiasm. (more…)


Synonyms of the Lord’s Supper

Synonyms of the Lord’s SupperThe Lord’s Supper is described in the Bible in the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) and the books of Acts and 1 Corinthians. These were all written between about AD 45 and AD 63 (Appendix A). Where do the synonyms we use for the Lord’s Supper come from?

At the last Passover before Jesus died (about AD 30), He told His disciples to eat the bread and drink the cup of wine “in remembrance of me” (Lk. 22:19NIV). Although there is no name for the Lord’s Supper in these gospels, some people call it “the Remembrance Service” or “the Memorial service”. (more…)


The relationship between voluntary assisted dying, suicide and murder

A "Voluntary assisted dying" (VAD) protestA vote on the NSW Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) Bill 2021 in parliament has been delayed until next year. The Bill intends to, “create a safe framework for people who are in the final stages of a terminal illness and who are experiencing cruel suffering that cannot be relieved by treatment or palliative care to be provided with the choice to die peacefully, with dignity and surrounded by loved ones” (NSW PRS, 2021). NSW is currently the only state in Australia that doesn’t allow terminally ill people to seek medical assistance to end their own lives. VAD is defined in Appendix A. (more…)


Genocide of the Midianites?

"Battle of Gideon Against the Midianites" by Nicolas Poussin 1626Does the Bible support genocide, violence and war? In the Bible God tells the Israelites to destroy the Midianite nation. I have received a comment about the military threat of the Midianite nation, “Why couldn’t they (the Israelites) spare any (Amalekite) captives? At least those who wouldn’t be a military threat in the future like the Midianites?”

After the death of Sarah, Abraham married Keturah, and Midian was one of their sons (Gen. 25:1-4; 1 Chron. 1:32-33). Midian’s descendants were called Midianites or Ishmaelites (Gen. 37:27-28; Jud. 8:24-26). They settled in “the land of the east (of Canaan)” (Gen. 25:6NIV). And they are thought to have worshipped many gods, including Baal-peor and the Queen of Heaven, Ashteroth. (more…)