Archive for category Theology
Trailer for the first docuemtary ever made on the life of the Protestant Martyr George Marsh, who was burned at the stake in Chester on April 24th 1555.
Thanks to the folks at Revelation TV my first documentary “The Apostles at Paphos” has been aired on Revelation TV, Sky 581, Freesat 692, Freeview HD 228 on Friday 1st March at 8pm and Sunday 3rd March at 3pm and Wednesday 27th March at 10 am.
Keep posted with the Revelation TV listing for further schedule.
Revelation TV play some interesting stuff, so pass it on.
For more information on Revelation TV, visit http://www.revelationtv.com/
On 22nd January 2013, I attended a lecture at the Manchester Theological Society by Alex Jacob. The lecture was on the topic of Mr Jacobs book “The Case for Enlargement Theology”.
This polemical lecture explored the relationship between Christianity and her mother religion ‘Judaism’.
Although the lecturer did not put too fine a point on it, Alex Jacob briefly refuted the somewhat inconsistent and popular doctrine of ‘Replacement Theology’.
As always, a question and answer period was offered after the lecture. Many at this point made statements rather than ask questions. Cannon Andrew Shanks asked a question and made a rather problematic yet interesting statement during that session. The point was that in his position he would argue that the 21st century person cannot live by the standards set by St Paul since “we are at a different point in history”.
Obviously, if I am taking this point correctly, it would not involve ‘all’ the standards of St Paul, since many of those standards are still relatively common, common sense, but some of them. The question would also be that many Anglican’s claim we should live according to the words of Jesus, which when consistently studied, are not contrary to the letters of St Paul.
However, in the natural and the historical, that is according to the natural man I could be inclined to agree with the statement by Cannon Shanks? But according to the spiritual man, I could not agree. The reason would be according to my knowledge, understanding and experience of the Holy Spirit and His power to cause a man to live not by bread alone (the natural) but by the Spirit and the Word.
That in order to obey the spiritual we must transcend the natural.
However, following from this line of thought, I would like to add that when an interesting comment or point is raised to me, I often ponder it for a long time.
Being a Christian within the 21st century and maybe not even the Christian I would like to be, I struggle with sin. It is an awful and difficult thing in many ways to be a committed Christian and to live in a 21st century city where modern conveniences and fleshly delights are ever before my sin. The question then haunts me like a ghost; How does a Christian live in modern times according to the standards set before us in the New Testament?
The answer must be ever continual flowing grace from God.
In February I visited the town of Skipton in North Yorkshire with my wife and children and the ancient Holy Trinity Church which dates to around the turn of the 14th century and contains 15th century alterations.
Within the Holy Trinity Church there can be found what is known as “the Anchorites cell”. Apparently this cell dates back to the middle ages and was used by a female Anchorite.
For those who may not know, an Anchorite was a person who withdrew from the world and lived alone in a cell for the rest of that person’s natural life. The word itself stems from the Greek, meaning to withdraw. It is a form of the monastic life.
In the Anchorite cell at Skipton, people were permitted to visit the Anchorite in the cell which was attached to the church. He or she spent the rest of the natural life in this cell in prayer and also offering advice to any visitors.
Food was given through a small window of which the Anchorite had a view of the altar.
The proposed challenge for those today is to spend time apart from the world to meditate and to pray and in this sense the Anchorite’s cell is just as important today as it was in history, only the application is different.
The question is does a person need to cut themselves off from the world in order to live the Godly life? The answer is no. It cannot be yes or there would be no Christian witness in the world. Thus, as the Christian slogan says, be ‘in the world but not of it’ the matter is obviously clear. But even better than that Paul in Romans 12: 2 instructs us be none-conformists in the sense of not conforming to this fleshly world and in Galatians 5: 16 he gives us the means to do this, “walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh”.
How then do we walk in the spirit? The answer is in the meaning of verse 13, ‘Freedom’ and not the freedom to do as you wish, but freedom within, freedom from sin.
The answer can be found in Jesus, “Look unto me all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11: 28
Look to Jesus wherever you are and not to yourself and you will be delivered from yourself.
Jews in Israel are now claiming that they are re-building thee 3rd Jewish Temple. This is a huge isssue, since many Biblical scholars and theologians believe that God is going to re-establish His Old Covenant sacrifices when the re-building of the so-called 3rd Jewish temple in Jerusalem is complete.
Many pre-milliennial theologians employ 2 Thessalonians 2: 2-12 to proclaim that antichrist will do this? But the problem is that this re-establishment of old covenant sacrifices is based upon one interpretation of Daniel 9, which claims that Daniel was prophesying that at the end of days, antichrist will set up and image of himself in the new temple at Jerusalem and will briefly put an end to sacrifices which have been re-established by a levitical priesthood.
However, despite the controversy which surrounds escatological interpretations, it is clear that Daniel 9 is a prophesy concerning the coming of Christ, who, according to many modern scholars, put an end to sacrifice and offering in the middle of the Jewish week and not Friday, as many claim to be the day in which Christ was crucified. However, the problem remains that the building of a 3rd temple in Jerusalem is not a mere matter of theological interpretation of the scriptures, or problematic only because the levitical priesthood does not exist anymore and cannot be reinstated by any priesthood, but, it is a problem regarding the Red Heifer.
According to the Bible, the Red Heifer was a bull used by levitical priests in accordance with the Law of Moses as part of the ritual sacrifices for the so-called cleansing of sin. These requirments are found in Numbers 19: 1-22, which is contained in the Bible and in the Torah and cannot be broken by anyone accept God Himself. So the problem remains, that there is no longer a pure Red Heifer anymore. The Red Heifer genetically gained white markings sometime over the last 2000 years or more. The white markings now found on the Red Heifer make it impossble for the laws of purification to be fulfilled according to the word of God. Jewish scholars and pre-millennial theologians have got a problem. Nothing other than a pure Red Heifer at the age of 3 can be a satisfactory offering (Genesis 15: 9)
So until a pure Red Heifer comes along, there is no signal for the end of days and the sooner people realise that the re-building of temple was made complete in the followers of the Lord Jesus, who are the Temple of the Holy Spirit, then the better for all of us.
In John Rylands Library, Manchester UK, we have the oldest fragment of the New Testament to date. During an age of critical modern scholarship and its heavy critique of Biblical texts, we have a great testimony in direct contrast to many critical claims of modern textual scholars.
Many claim that the New Testament accounts were written much later than they actually were, and when I see this fragment as I do on a regular basis, its surviving words never cease to amaze me. They are a pure testimony to the reality of the absolute identity of Jesus Christ, son of God, who was and is, and is to come, “The Truth”. Not ‘A’ truth, but ‘The’ Truth.
The Greek fragment, of John 18: 31-33, on the recto reads as follows;
“the Jews, “For us it is not permitted to kill
anyone,” so that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he
spoke signifying what kind of death he was going to
to die. Entered therefore again into the Praeto-
rium Pilate and summoned Jesus
and he said to him, “Thou art king of the
The Greek fragment of John 18: 37-38, on the verso reads as follows,
“a King I am. For this I have been born
and (for this) I have come into the world so that I would
testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth
hears of me my voice.” Said to him
Pilate, “What is truth?” and this
having said, again he went out unto the Jews
and said to them, “I find not one
fault in him.”
Is it not amazing that the oldest fragment in the world of the New Testament, dated possibly earlier than 100 AD and no later than 150 AD, speaks of such a great testimony to the word of God? Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Matthew 24: 35.
This is certainly true.
I have long held to some early church statements concerning my personal faith and regard many of them as very Biblical and foundational.
Some early church creeds are not like the more modern creeds such as the “Synod at Dort” and the “Westminister confession of faith” which go beyond the foundations of the faith and into varying debatable and maybe even none essential doctrines.
However, much of what I find in these early creeds of Christendom are totally contrary to the many doctrines found in the church today, including a popular and growing doctrine which is logically connected to the hardcore Calvinistic doctrine of “Double Predestination”.
The Council of Orange dating to 529 AD says the following; “We not only do not believe that any are foreordained to evil by the power of God, but even state with utter abhorrennce that if there are those who want to believe so evil a thing, they are anathema” (The Council of Orange. Conlclusion. 529 AD)
The problem today is that many young Theologians who are influenced by the revival of Puritan books such as Owens “Death of Death” and some Calvinistic/reformed doctrinal books, are embracing doctrines which are not quite right, yet sound right when connected to other doctrines and certain passages of scripture.
Thus, in my posting this text, I would like to add that if any of my readers or your friends and fellow Christians hold to this doctrine condemned at Orange then you would be wise to re-think yourself. As written in scripture; “Take heed unto thyself and unto doctrine; for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee” 1 Timothy 4: 16
The Aleppo Codex is a complete Hebrew manuscript of the Old Testament and dates to around 930 and is available online for you to view and study.
Please take some time to look at this amazing preservation of the original Old Testament.
Click the link to visit the website: http://www.aleppocodex.org/