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Some more of other people's blogs

Marriage is under attack in the UK by those promoting adultery as entertainment, am I really a reactinoary old prude for thinking that should be stopped quickly?  Loren argues that Paul was converted rather than called which is interesting and I thiknk depends largely on how you understand conversion and religion.  Meanwhile the decade of the Atheists is over, but what will come next?  i would like a decade of really really good pie shops opening in my local neighbourhood.  Steve asks how true do we need the Bible to be?  But I wonder how much we can rely on history to make some of those decisions given how much of the data is still underground and how little survives in any form.  But in case it never occured to you, it didn't me, Goliath's helmet was an important historical clue.  And it should be noted that even the most happening lively active church can be lonely and we need to make the effort to spend time in each other's homes, but that would be hard if you go to "commuter" church.  Bon appetit!

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Why Dr Charles Stanley is not a biblical preacher

Unusually for me I was watching the tele early on Sunday morning and I caught an episode of Dr Charles Stanley preaching on his television program. Now I know this guy has come under some criticism for his personal life, and that is not unimportant, but it is also not something i can comment on, not knowing the facts. His preaching is however something I can comment on, at least the one sermon I did watch.

He started off by reading 2 Timothy 1:3-7. Which is a passage from the Bible, so far so good. He then spent the next 30 minutes or so talking about his mum and what a great example of a Christian mother she was. Now nothing he said or suggested was wrong, but none of it actually came from scripture, least of all the scripture he read from at the beginning. It was a lovely talk on how Stanley's mother raised him as a Christian despite considerable difficulties and it contained many useful nuggets of advice on raising Christian kids. All very nice, it might have made a nice…

That one time Jesus got the Bible wrong

It's so typical isn't it? You are preaching all day long, training your disciples, sparring with the Pharisees, encouraging the poor and down trodden, healing the sick and casting out demons, all day, day after day, and even when you go up a mountain to get a rest the crowds hunt you down and follow you up, and then the one time you get a bit muddled up with some of the details of a biblical text . . . that is the one they write down in the first gospel - verbatim. At least Matthew and Luke had the good sense to do some editing. But Mark, he always had his eye on giving the public the "historical Jesus" whoever that is supposed to be . . . warts and all. Thanks a lot Mark!

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I think that where codes-and-calendars end times theology is dangerous, is that it can give a sense of false growth. We read a theory online, or hear it from some bible teacher, and we come to think that we have mastered an area of our faith. A bit like levelling up in a computer game, or Popeye after he’s eaten some spinach. At worst, we begin to believe that we’ve taken a step that other Christians have not; that we’ve entered an elite class of Christianity.