Thursday, March 29, 2007

Nuclear apologetics

I've just finished listening to a set of lectures by Greg Bahnsen on defending your faith. First class stuff. Get them and listen to them - I'd post them for you, but they're copyright!

So you'll have to buy them yourself, but they're well worth it - somewhere in the region of £1 each. There's ten of them, but why not buy the first couple and see what you think.

Here's a suggestion - buy the first two and get a group of you together and listen to them, and talk about it.

You'll get them here

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Another Voice - Money will spit you out

I was talking to a local businessman who works in the retail sector. He voiced his concerns about the way Irish people regard money at the moment. He sees people racking up holidays, homes, cars and luxury items and he wonders where they are getting the money. In business he increasingly comes across those whose credit cards are being declined when they go to purchase.

We live at a time where banks, manufacturers and advertisers couldn’t care less about the people their products are aimed at. We used to be customers, now we are simply consumers. They tailor their products, not to meet our needs, but to feed our greed. So we buy items with money we don’t have, to do something we don’t need, only to find a newer and better model released next week.

Money is a cruel master. It so easily enslaves those who get a taste for it and for what it brings. Money enslaves us by making us work harder, work longer and work when we should be with our family. It makes us envy those who have what we haven’t. And we won’t be satisfied until we get it, and when we get it we’ll find that it doesn’t satisfy.

The problem is that money is a substitute – our hearts are wired to seek something that will fulfil us and our needs and desires. Money looks like a likely candidate but it can’t take the strain. It will ultimately disappoint. And when it has sucked you dry it will spit you out, either broke, or dissatisfied with all your toys.

When we try to fill a God-shaped hole in our souls with a thing-shaped object there will always be gaps where dissatisfaction seeps through.

Our hearts are wired for something bigger than money; not so much some thing as some one. God is the only master who won’t disappoint, chew up and spit out. He is the only master who doesn’t say “give, give” but instead says, “I will lay down my life for you”. On the cross God says “I’ll pay, I’ll bring you into happiness – don’t go running after it, let me bring it to you: eternal happiness that no-one can take away, that won’t devalue, deteriorate or be superseded.”

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal” – Matthew 6:19-20

Friday, March 16, 2007

Random rant on prayer and pronunciation

I was reading Dan Phillips' post here on people mumbling and mangling Jesus' name.

It brought to mind a few thoughts of my own - one backed up by the mighty Pyro leader himself in the comments section of Dan's post.

minor rant
As Phil put it "The possessive of Jesus' name is spelled and pronounced the way I just wrote it." Ministers and pew sitters alike pay attention - it's Jesus' and when you say "Jesus' disciples" it sounds just like "Jesus disciples" not "Jesusiz disciples".


Slightly more important Rant
When you pray consider these three things:
  • Leave out the word "just" as in "Lord we just want to just ask you to just help us"
  • Think about the Trinity when you pray - I don't know how many times I've heard, "Dear father, we just want to thank you for loving us enough to come and die for us". God the Father did not come an ddie for us, that was God the Son.
  • Also - please don't try to be so calvinistic or whatever it is that you don't actually ask God for whatever it is you want - "Lord pray for so and so who's sick and we ask you to do your will for him, and we know that you will do your will, so we ask you to do your will." It's almost as if we are afraid to ask incase we dont get it and people, us or others, will say "God didn't answer your prayer". Or perhaps it's because we know that God has a secret will and we don't want people to think we dont know it. I don't know
What I do know is this - Jesus tells us to ask whatever we want in his name - over and over again 8 times plus another 3 from the apostles. It's ok to be specific and to ask for specific things. Of course we understand that God will do what is best, but shouldn't let it handicap and mangle our prayers because we are so conscious of sounding right to other theologically astute folks.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Thou shalt not pass round copyrighted mp3's or rip someone else's cd's

Tim Challies has an excellent post on copyright and mp3 and software. Go read it.

As it gets easier and easier to copy music and swap files, Christians need to realise that if you haven't paid for it, and don't have permission to give it away then to do so is stealing.

How many people's hard-drives/mp3 players are filled with music they didn't pay for?

I remember talking to a Christian young person who proudly told me that he downloaded all his software from the internet and bypassed the security with cracks. He then offered to get me the latest desktop publishing software.

It's called stealing, and God forbids it.

Its easy to do. And we can excuse it so easily. I sometimes borrow a cd and rip it to my ipod to listen to and see if I want to buy it. But months later it can still be there. It's time to dump or buy.

So if you need to, repent and clean out your hard-drives.