Saturday, December 31, 2005

Books read in December (4)

1. The Work of the Holy Spirit - Abraham Kuyper
Among the outstanding gifts of the great Kuyper were those of theologian, pastor and journalist. All three come together in this book written in 123 weekly sections for the Christian weekly Dutch paper, The Herald. Kuyper ranges far and wide applying theology with gerat practicality for the Christian life so that this book can be read devotionally. There are some dated references to controversies of Kuyper's time but this is a great work and I cannot recommend it more highly than saying it is among so select few books I have read for a second time. This time I read it as a daily devotional, chapter by chapter.

2. The World According to Clarkson - Jeremy Clarkson
I think this is the first time a top ten bestseller has appeared here. Clarkson sells well because I think he writes in a humorous way puncturing the balloons of folly and political correctnes that blight our lives. He is a man's man, not a new man. I can identify with him and usually agree with his viewpoint. Sometimes we differ. He likes cigarettes and 70s's rock music. i don't. He dislikes cricket which I love. I was given this as a Father's Day present and enjoyed it for a nightly chapter of bed time reading. It is funny enough to read again.

3. Cricket Sayings - No author given. Published by Marks and Spencer
A welcome Christmas present. Now i know where to look when I cannot remember where third man, silly point and deep extra cover are to be found on the field. I also learned a new word, doosra. I think though my copy of this book is likely to be loaned to visitors who want to learn about our national game, especially American friends. A comprehensive guide to the language of the great game.

4. Green Eggs and Ham - Dr. Seuss
When our children were growing up we were not really exposed to the delights of Dr Seuss. Now having learned of him from American friends I can take pleasure in reading such books to my grandchildren. Fun to read out loud, helpful for children learing to read and with a good lesson to teach. Do not refuse new food. You might just like it .

Saturday, November 26, 2005

R.I.P. George Best 25 November 2005

Simply the greatest footballer I have ever seen. I saw him receive a pass at Spurs with his back to the goal inside the penalty area. He had defenders close in eirher side. The next moment the ball was in the net. Genius. He could kick a ball like no-one else. But, sadly, he could not kick the bottle.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Books read in November (6)

1. Politics, Religion and the British Revolutions - John Coffey

This is from a doctoral thesis on Samuel Rutherford. Rutherford is seen as beloved of evangelicals for his letters and of the so called Christian Right for his Lex Rex which puts rulers under law from God. His divine right of presbytery and opposition to religious freedom for non-Presbyterians is neglected says Coffey who seeks to give an all round picture of the man.
This is a most informative work, heart warming on Rutherford as pastor but harder going elsewhere.

2. E-tales - the best and worst of internet humour

As the general standard of internet humour is nearer the pornographic than the pure, this book provides few new jokes or stories for polite company.

3. E-tales two - more of the best and worst of internet humour

Ditto, but some good puns.

4. Letters from a Lost Generation - First World War Letters of Vera Brittain and Four Friends: Roland Leighton, Edward Brittain, Victor Richardson, Geoffrey Thurlow

One of the saddest books I have ever read. Four boys from the same year in their school are commissioned in the army and all die in the First World War. First to die is Vera Brittain's fiancee. Between them there was but one kiss and many letters. Last to die was her brother. Trench warfare and the horrors of nursing the wounded are described in detail. The pain of losing a generation is all too apparent.
Read and weep.

5.The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity - Philip Jenkins

The author establishes that contrary to popular opinion, Christianity is not a European religion. Its origins are outside Europe and it was centuries before its strength was centered in Europe. The future of Chrstianity will be in Africa and Latin America. There is a global shift. Europe faces a bleak, depopulated secular future as far as its native peoples are concerned acording to present trends. Southern Christianity will be charismatic and ethically conservative. The author's prophecies are those of a demographer. He predicts increasing confict between Christians and Muslims.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Shame not Honour

Once again, supposed honour killing is in the news. Why cannot our media be accurate and call these murders what they are, shame killings? These murders are not done by honorable men but by those who see themselves shamed, usually by the liason(s) of a female in their family. Male chauvinist shame is their source, not honour.

Yorkshiremen I do not admire

I love the county where I was raised, but certain folk from there engender my ire not my admiration.

1. Guy Fawkes - I loath all terrorists, even the archetype from York.

2. Arthur Scargill - He too thought he could bring down the government but his tools were miners not gunpowder.

3. Alan Smith - When he was leaving Leeds I said I would support him wherever he went with only one club excepted. So he joined the red devils. Judas!

4. Peter Ridsdale - the man whose financial irresponsibility relegated Leed United.

5. Michael Parkinson - bland enough to be a southerner.

Deafened by Diwali

When I were a lad, it was socially unacceptable to let off fireworks on any night other than November 5th. Of course naughty boys threw bangers around before hand and let off the now banned jumping crackers. All this pales into insignificance with the deafening onslaught that disturbs every evening for weeks on end in my part of London.

Most of ot centers on Diwali, which I am told is a festival of light. I do not mind the lights. It's the bangs that disturb me. Not only me, pets are terrified and yesterday I dispensed a hypnotic mixture for a little girl terrified by these celebrations.

I welcome cultural diversity because i am a Christian who believes in mission. However this noise is in danger of bringing out the intolerant English nationalist in me. I was always against the killjoys who wanted to ban private firework displays. Now I am changing my mind.

After 400 years, some people have lost The Plot

Prize for ignorant comment of the week goes to Liberal Democrat M.P. Lembit Opik who thinks that a proposed law against the glorification of terrorism would stop people celebrating on November 5th. Could someone inform him that Bonfire Night celebrates deliverance from the popish plot, not glorification of the plotters?

This morning, the BBC radio 4 Today Programme about Fawkes. Apparently people in his native York think the plot was about religious freedom and tolerance. Catesby et al, would I am sure, if successful, have given us all the tolerance and freedom England enjoyed under the last Roman Catholic monarch, Mary Tudor. She burned nearly 300 Protestants in three years. For any start to freedom of conscience in religion, England had to wait for Oliver Cromwell

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Liberals do not understand liberty

I only ever see breakfast TV on the rare occasions I holiday in England. This week. holidaying in Devon, I saw Polly Toynbee telling viewers it was safe for the cabinet to disagree over a smoking ban in pubs because it was not a matter of ideology. Obviously in her liberal world, the idea that the state should tell people what to do for their own good is so self-evident as not to be worthy of debate. The state has a duty to make people wear crash helmets and seat belts, stop smoking and chasing animals with hounds. However it has no responsibility to protect its citizens from the folly of unrestricted gambling nor to protect the unborn child. Such is the state of statist liberalism in the U.K..

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Books read in October (6)

1. Gladstone - Roy Jenkins

Gladstone we are told would have chosen a career in the Church of England but his father wanted him to go into politics. Jenkins reckons him to be not only the oldest of prime ministers but also the greatest and the most committed Christian to hold that office.

I found this a fascinating study from which I learned much I never knew. Gladstone was a Scot by descent. His father made the family fortune in part from slave plantations in the West Indies. The great orator, Eton and Oxford educated spoke with a Liverpool accent and there are sound recordings of his voice. A great scholar and reader, he read over 20.000 books in his long life. They included the latest novels of the day.

Gladstone went from Tory to Liberal. This biography tells us much about the development of politics in Britain but I believe it would be improved by the inclusion of a time line relating events to the wider flow of contemporary history. Jenkins tells us little of contemporary events unless Gladstone was directly involved. I think Jenkins assumes the reader knows history and has a very extensive vocabulary. You need a dictionary as companion volume.

The one point where Jenkins is weak is in a sympathetic understanding of Gladstone's faith. But he can be memorable as in, "For Gladtsone, idolatry began at Calais".

2. To Know and Serve God - A Life of James I. Packer by Alister McGrath

This biography of the foremost evangelical Anglican theologian is also a history of evangelicalism in England from the 1940s to the 70s when Packer left for Canada. The writer is sympathetic to Packer and his theology. Packer represents the depths of reformed Anglicanism. The Church of England may now be wider in its evangelicalism but it is so so shallow compared with Packer.

The genius of Packer is well described as a man who can make theology heart warming as did Calvin, and convey it in a way the person in the pew can understand. Co-belligerence with Roman Catholics against liberalism is explained as being without compromise of Packer's Protestantism.

Read it and be thankful for what God has done through Packer and others in the last half century.

3. Scripture and the Authority of God - N T Wright

Refreshing and perplexing is how I found my first experience of reading the new Bishop of Durham. God's authority is excercised through Scripture is his thesis. I do not think he would add a Reformation sola, alone there, or would he? No, I think not. Wright gives us a good survey of how Scripture has been used and misused in church history. His ctitique of Enlightenment rationalism is a joy to read but I am not clear how he gets both liberals and fundamentalists to be heirs of Enlightenment.
He gives examples of what he considers misreadings of Scripture from both left and right. I only fall foul of one of his condemnations, believing capital punishment by the state is required by Scripture. Wright rules it out because he says many Church Fathers did. An appeal to tradition?

I understand from this what the good bishop does not believe but I think he could have clarified to us just what his belief really does mean. Perhaps the post-modernism he critiques so well has left him averse to giving a new creedal formulation for today concerning the authority of Scripture? Perhaps I need to read him again and more slowly. One thing I would have to look for is whether or not he ever uses the term evangelical in his work.

Revealed truth does need to be restated to meet the needs of the 21st century but is it to much too ask for a concise formula on Scripture, and the authority of God, preferrably one that could be used liturgically to confess the faith once delivered before the watching world?

4. Mission After Christendom - David Smith

It is not often one gets to read the work of a friend. David and I were contemporaries as missionaries in Nigeria, but about 600 miles apart, though we did visit one another on vacation being kindred Calvinist spirits. David went on to academic prowess. I receded into pharmacy.

A book to be recommended for its analysis of the shift in Christian witness from the West to the developing world. I was surprised to find that David is an art critic as well as a theologian. I think Hans Rookmaker would have been proud of him. Art and missiology for the price of one book.

The author looks at how secularisation, pluralisation and globalisation all challenge mission today. This is a must read for anyone involved in cross cultural communication of the gospel. That is all of us who want to be Christian witnesses for our hearers really are from a different culture though they be our contemporaries and fellow country folk.

5. The Age of Revolution: Europe, 1789-1848 - Eric Hobsbawm

Lauded as arguably our greatest living historian says the cover. Well I am a party pooper. Hobswawm is only great if you are a fellow traveller with the discredited philosophy of Marxism. He makes no attempt to hide his ideology and the anti-Christian prejudice that goes with it. How else can you write on the side of the common people and ignore the work of Shaftesbury in reforming the lot of factory workers?

Hobswawm assumes too much of his readers. More biographical detail would help. This is basically economic history with addenda. Economics makes his world go round. It is not a riveting read. He is immensely learned but not a gripping writer.

  6. The Age of Capital, 1848-75  - E.J. Hobsbawm

I read this book during a week in Romania. Around me I saw what an age of communism does. Why I wonder should an intelligent author be so critical of capitalism? It is his a priori it seems that Marxism is good and would solve the inequalities of the world. Now we know better. But old Marxists it seems do not have fading commitment to error.

Hobsbawm knows everything about economics but his grasp of religion is no more than atheistic prejudice. Christianity is irrational. Revivals of religion may be promoted by cholera we are told. Hobsbawm 's messiah is Marx. Rest assured, Karl and his ideology will not rise again save in the groves of academe, far from reality.

Hobsbawm ignores Christian contributions to the history of the period. for example, Holland's Anti-Revolutionary party gets no mention, nor does the Christian motivations behind Gladstone's liberalism.

Erudite but boring prose as in his previous volume. The Guardian says this book sparkles on every page. Only perhaps if you compare it with a left of centre newspaper.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Visiting Timisoara

This week I am in Romania as the guest of Hope Presbyterian Church, Timisoara where I preached on Sunday. This is my second visit to Romania and once again one is struck by the poverty of the country and the warmth of the welcome.

I was very pleased to be invited here, the place where the 1989 revolution started that led to the fall of the Evil Empire. In Revolution Square one can still see the bullet marks above MacDonalds. ( for myself I would use more explosives to rid Europe of this culinary menace).

The square is dominated by the Orthodox cathedral. I find Orthodox churches beautiful outside but mere ornate superstition inside.
We walked to see the Hungarian Reformed Church, where the pastor, Tokes, was the focus of the start of the 1989 rising. Unfortunately we were not there when it was open for viewing.

Nevertheless it is good to be close to such a witness that God brings down kingdoms and that there is only one kingdom that will last for ever. Hail King Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Books read in September (4)

1. K.I.S.S. Guide to Dreams - Lisa Lenard

Lots of theories about dreams and what you may learn from them. A really eclectic mix from ancient and modern thought on dreams. Oh for a Joseph to pass on true interpreation!

2. Fields of God: Football and the Kingdom of God by Mark Roques, Jim Tickner

This has to be the most original Christian book I have ever read. Full marks to the authors for producing a book to link Christian faith with the beautiful game. This book is theologically profound and erudite about football too, racy and very colloquial.. It is written from a reformed evangelical perspective giving us no mere gospel presentation but a look at creation, the cultural mandate, the flow of redemption history and the coming of the kingdom with realised eschatology. This is done with everything illustrated from the soccer world. Here you will meet soccer heroes and villains and marvel to ponder how the game would be if played according to the way of the kingdom of God.
Here is Christian faith that touches all of life. Pietistic, here called Platonist Christianity, is exposed as short-changing the full message of the kingdom.
If you love the gospel and football, this book is for you. If you want to know how to use the contemporary scene of football for sermon illustrations, here is a gold mine. I think it has evangelistic potential too.

3.Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899 - 1981) and Twentieth-Century Evangelicalism - John Brencher

John Brencher writes, "That he, like all men, had feet of clay does not affect my view that Martyn Lloyd-Jones was unrivalled as an expository preacher in the twentieth century. That I was able to sit under his ministry at Westminster Chapel from 1950 to 1959 and intermittently for the next nine years was an experience which has had an extraordinary effect upon my life and ministry and, for better or worse, has not wholly ceased today.

I would echo , That he, like all men, had feet of clay does not affect my view that Martyn Lloyd-Jones was unrivalled as an expository preacher in the twentieth century. That I was able to sit under his ministry at Westminster Chapel from 1964 to 1967 and intermittently in various places for the last years of his preaching was an experience which has had an extraordinary effect upon my life and ministry and, for better or worse, has not wholly ceased today.

Donald MacLeod wrote that M L-J was "arguably the greatest British preacher since the Reformation". I would concur. Whifefield in the 18th century seems to have been the greatest orator, but his printed sermons seem to lack much substance. Spurgeon was the Prince of Preachers, a wonder of Victorian England, but he was not the careful expositor we heard in M L-J. I believe I have heard at least one better expositor but never an oratorical preacher to surpass "The Doctor".

Brencher's is a far more critical work than Iain Murray's biography, but great men have great faults, and I believe Brencher is more open on this matter than Murray.

Foremost in Brencher's criticism is the aftermath of the 1966 Evangelical Alliance address when evangelicals were call to leave mixed denominations, As a result the influence of The Doctor is seen to have declined among evangelical Anglicans and others who stayed in their various denominations. brencher believes The Doctor deliberately wanted to make his stand, alone if necessary, contra mundum; at least contra the British ecclesiastical world. He marginalised himself post 1966.

For myself, a lesser criticism is the one most relevant personally. Brencher says the Doctor ran Westminster Chapel more like a consultant's surgery than a local church. As a student who attended the chapel but was never invited to stay for any sort of after-church fellowship nor challenged to join as a church member, I have to say The Chapel under the Doctor failed me as a young Christian. If I learned a great deal about preaching from those years, I learned nothing about vital church life.

Macleod is also quoted as saying that The Doctor, "functioned as the Cardinal Archbishop of evangelicalism ". I confess at the Westminster Conference I saw him being deferred to as such when R T Kendall gave his paper asserting that particular redemption was not part of the teaching of Calvinism according to Calvin, but a later, next century development. When it was evident that kendall had the chairman's approval, most listeners seemed to follow suit out of deference to the Doctor.

However, Brencher's book is among that select few books I have made time to read more than once.

Brencher is a Baptist and in part his criticism of the Doctor's administration of the sacrament may be coloured by this. But as a Presbyterian I too am unhappy to read what he did. Preaching was so exalted as THE means of grace that the sacraments seem to have been downplayed.

One factual error which Murray also makes is to state that the Doctor's first sermon in Wales was in Newport. Murray's index says this was Newport, Gwent, which is now in Wales. but when the doctor preached and when I was born there it was still in Monmouthshire, England.

Brencher seems to me to contradict himself stating there were many students from different countries and races at the Chapel, than saying there was a general absence of young people between 16 and 25. Did Brencher only see post-doctoral students? I for one was aged 18 to 21.

But I want to end on a positive note. The book reminded me of that unforgettable preaching I once enjoyed. I shall never forget his sermon the Sunday after Aberfan., or his reference to the fall of Nkruma and the toppling of his blasphemously inscribed statue. Great preaching for which I continue to thank God.

4. D Martyn Lloyd-Jones: Letters 1919-1981

Insight into the life and character of The Doctor from his correspondence. He had a very formal style in his letters, ever the consultant physician of souls. His love for his mother, wife and daughters comes across very strongly .

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Boom Boom

Some things in life irritate greatly, like people who drive with the bass booming out of their car stereo. I confess to retaliation if they are next to me at the traffic lights. I turn up BBC Radio 4.

But even more irritating are radio stations broadcasting speech and putting boom boom noises in the background. LBC 1152 initiated this and BBC Radio London have followed suit. I complained to the former and did not get so much as a reply. When I want news or traffic reports I do not want it accompanied by BOOM BOOM!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

God and disasters

I am reminded of what happened when I was a student in London in the mid 60s.

I attended Westminster Chapel, a formative part of my theological education, hearing Martyn Lloyd-Jones, IMO the greatest preacher in the UK in that century.

The Doctor rarely referred to contemporary events in his expositions, but when he did it was all the more memorable.

It was a Sunday evening so the text was in Acts. I have forgotten what it was but not the gist of his stunning comments on the disaster at Aberfan the week before. There in his beloved Wales our preacher knew so well, the slag heap from a coal mine had slipped down a hill side and covered the school below killing many innocent young children.

The preacher said people ask why dd God allow this. He said why should they hold God responsible when humans were responsible, depositing mining waste where they knew there was a spring of water at the site. Why should God protect people from irresponsibility when they have rejected him? He said he knew Aberfan well. It had been blessed sixty years before in the Welsh Revival but now the chapels were empty. If people turn their backs on God, why should he protect them?

It was stunning. At the time I though he was hard. No-one else was saying this.

But I soon came to see he was right. The slag heap should never have been there. God's common grace usually protects us, the just and the unjust, day by day. But if his providential protection is withdrawn, we see the effects of sin in a fallen creation and in fallen lives in all its horror.

My sympathies and prayers are with the people suffering in Luisiana. Now is the time to call upon the Lord.

May we admire Rahab?

When we worked in Nigeria,Christian folk there had no
ethical problem with Rahab's lie. They had a problem
with what the spies were doing going to her house :-)

Our problem here is an apparent conflict between the
commands not to kill and not to bear false witness. To
give up the Jews to the Nazis might be seen as some as
not to be murder, but I am not among them.

I worked with a doctor from Denmark who told me that
when the ocupying Germans asked Danish doctors for
lists of Jewish patients they said they had none. She
said the question of the lie being sinful was
irrelevamt. Saving life took precedence over
absolutising truth telling.

I have to say, if i was a fugitive from murderers I
would not want to hide among Christians who were not
prepared to mislead murderers to save me. Murderers
have no right to the truth if they want to use the
truth to kill.

Rahab's was an admirable act because she is commended for her faith. It was faith in the God of the covenant which led her to protect the spies. We may question her means of doing so, but she did not have the ethical instruction we do. Neither was she living in a peaceful society with habeus corpus and no death penalty. She was different, and in different times.

Applying present day understandings to historical situations is foolish. Look and see if they were approved or not by their contemporaries. Which contemporaries criticised Cromwell in Ireland or flogging in Nelson's navy? We have our understanding of ethics today, but the past is a different country.

Similarly, I am reluctant to use this as a basis for contemporary ethics except to say I think it does say something about deception in times of war or when the lives of others are murderously threatened.

I wonder if brethren who absolutise the command on false witness to the detriment of saving life would consider it absolutely wrong for police and intelligence services to engage in under cover operations? e.g.

And what about the court oath? No I am not talking about oaths being prohibited but swearing to tell the whole truth when you are neither required nor allowed to tell the whole truth, only to answer the questions put to you truthfully.

The Ashes Dilemma

I have a terrible dilemma. My wife had surgery last week and hopes to be well enough for me to take her to a family wedding 200 miles north next saturday, 10 September.. .I hope she is well enough to go ...But I have a ticket for the game at The Oval. It cost me 40 ukp. On eBay f it may be worth 200 ukp. If I have to take my wife to the wedding I will sell it to a friend for face value but the money is not the dilemma. I want my wife well and see the game. She wants to be at the wedding and not feel guilty.

I am praying that she is well and I am gracious. I could also pray that it rains all day but in London, not the north of England. If there is no result due to rain over the five days, England wins the series ... but we want to win the last game too.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


To believe that God has a purpose yet for ethnic
Israel, as I do, is not necessarily to be a Zionist.
Lubavich, ultra Orthodox Jews are not Zionists. They
believe in no restoration to the land until Messiah
comes. Similarly, I believe Scripture teaches no
restoration to the land except for a repentant
covenant people. Israelis are not such a people. They
reject the covenant which is now in Christ. So the
State of Israel is not according to prophecy and
deserves no special consideration as part of God's
purposes. Christian support of Zionism is the biggest
stumbling block to evangelising Muslims. It should be
the cross, not Israel, that is the stone of stumbling.
I believe that Jews are both under the blessing and
the curse of the covenant.

Their continuing existence as a diaspora for 1935
years, unique in history, is testimony that God has
not left off his covenant blessings to them.

Their continuing persecution for all these years is
evidence they are under the covenant curses for
rejecting Messiah.

ANTI-SEMITISM. It is for understanding it.

In common with all nation states I believe they have a
right to an existence in secure borders. I would apply
the same reasoning to Kurds and Armenians.

So I think they have to come to some peaceful
agreement with the Palestinians. But I am no Solomon.
Even he did not have wisdom enough to cut up the
baby, only to say it should be cut up. But I mean it
and he didn't.

I am British. With the island next to us as one of our
problems it does not become me to say how to divide up
Palestine. I do have more positive suggestions about
uniting Ireland :-)

BTW, part of the trouble with Iraq is that it is not a
nation state but an artificial construct like many
former colonies.


First I will state my bias in this. I am a pharmacist who was taught that homeopathic medicines have no rational basis, for just when the dilution is so great that it is doubtful if anything of the active ingredient remains, at that level it becomes potent.

Like my late professor, I regard homepathic specifics, i.e, medicines, as nothing but sugar. I will not recommend nor stock them for sale. The one good thing about them is their freedom from side effects.

OTH homeopathic practitioners say they treat patients not diseases. Their holistic approach and time taken to listen are both very firm positives in the healing process.

But we all know people who absolutely swear by wonderful cures from homeopathy. I suggest it is from the consultations not the medicines which can be no more than placebos.

As to other alternative medicines, they range IMO from the proven, acupuncture, to the plain scatty, crystal healing, with many things in between.

Desperate diseases require desperate remedies. I would have to be very desperate with the failure of allopathic medicine before I tried some of the alternatives.

Bad and worse terrorists

A comparison is often made is saying Islamist and Irish terrorism are similar.

Far be it from me to defend people of violence on either side of the Northern Irish sectarian divide, but neither party there broadcasts video messages with religious banners behind them. They act in the namer of Nationalism or Unionism under the banner of Irish tricolour or Union flag. They fight in the name of politics not religion. They are not given to suicide missions (except by hunger strikes for a time). By and large they gave warnings and did not bomb their own people.

I hesitate to draw this conclusion, but comparing them with the Islamists I see some mitigating Christian influence among the men of violence from N Ireland.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Books read in August (13)

1. Jack Charlton - The Autobiography
Big Jack, Leeds and England legend. 629 league appearances for Leeds, a record unlikely to be broken as the days of one club players have gone. From poverty in a famous football family to becoming world famous, Jack tells a fascinating story, particularly in relation to his younger brother, Bobby. Bobby had the natural talent. Jack was the grafter. How they grew up and drifted apart is a fascinating read. Also the memories of the great managers, Revie and Ramsey.
What I was surprised to learn was Jack's assessment of the hard men, Hunter, Tommy Smith et al as clean players and the likes of Giles as dirty.
Fascinating to read about the technique Jack pioneered of getting in the way of the goalie at corners.
A man's man. A blunt Geordie. Great footballer.

2 The Cube and the Cathedral - George Weigel
Weigel is an American Roman Catholic theologian who has the gift of being a compelling author. He is very readable. He gives a penetrating analysis of the European decline into secularism. How, he asks, can the EU produce a proposed constitution that ignores European Christian culture, jumping from the classical world to the Enlightenment as if nothing significant happened between them.
He describes a Europe facing a demographic and therefore economic and political crisis. This will result from a negative birthrate, except in non-indigenous, especially Muslim populations.
His sources though appear to ignore Protestant scholarship, especially the Reformed contribution of Kuyper and his heirs in combating revolutionary secularism.
The diagnosis is acute, but the treatment is, I fear, not the one that will work. He wants a return to the Roman Catholic Church and Thomist thought. It is not a surprise then, that he ignores the long history of Roman Catholic opposition to political pluralism. He wants to see Europe converted to Christianity again, but his Christianity seems to centre more on the Pope than on the gospel of grace. However this book is a valuable call for Christian re-entry into the public square and a warning against secularism and its consequences.

I enjoyed this book. it is a good read and I believe a timely warning.

Some years ago i read a book which said only three faiths had an eschatology of victory so were in contention for world domination. They were Christianity, Islam and Marxism. (The author discounted those varieties of Christianity with a pessimistic eschatology as pietistic and not interested in the world beyond preaching the gospel). Now that Marxism is gone as a serious contender, the future is between Christianity and Islam. This though is very different IMO than the conflict between the secular , the decadent West and Islam. Both the author reviewed and I, together with zealous Muslims are appalled by the decadent, secular West.
(BTW I use secular in the sense of godless or not influenced by religion, not in the sense that there is in all life, including that of the believer, a dualism of secular and religious)

3. The Ultimate Book of Useless Information - Noel Botham

Great fun and not really what its title says. It will be of great use for compilers of trivia quizzes. Here you find tha answer to which is the only London tube station not to contain any of the letters in "mackerel".
However there are factual errors. e.g. Boston is not the only place where a plane flies over a car over a train over a boat. Brunel's Three Bridges, Southall, was there long before Boston's bridge.

4. Among God's Giants - J I Packer

A great book on the Puritan vision of the Christian life. Packer is a good writer and a real expert on his subject, especially on Baxter, the subject of his doctoral research. Here we learn why the Puritans were spiritual giants. A book to challenge contemporary evangelical pygmies.

5. The Cross Centered Life - C J Mahaney

A short but very valuable and practical book on keeping the cross, the centre of the gospel of grace, at the centre of the Christian's life.

6. The Puritan family - Edmund S Morgan

This is one of a very select group of books, those I have read twice. How Puritan society was structured in 17th century New England. Innovative people, the Puritans, who introduced civil marriage and legal divorce. Teenagers were sent to other families for discipline through the difficult years. Morgan's big criticism is that the Puritans only really evangelised in the family and tried to breed a covenant people. A valuable work describing how godly people sought to construct a godly society.

7. The Mission - Dana Priest

A reporter wries on the American military and its involvment in Afghanistan, Nigeria, Colombia, Indonesia and the Balkans. Tensions between the military and the politicians are chronicled as well as the work of ordinary soldiers. A good insight into how hard it is to be the world's policemen.

8. Breaking the Code - Gyles Brandreth

An inside view of the Major government from a new MP who became a whip. An entertaining read and who's who of political Britain before New Labour. Brandreth appears to have been the complete political pragmatist with no principle other than political advancement through party loyalty. Witty, but spoilt by too much sexual innuendo.

9. The Search for Significance - Robert S McGee.

"We can build our self-worth on our ability to pleae others, or on the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ". These words on the cover sum up the message of this excellent practical book This is practical Christian cognitive therapy with a work book included. I would recommend it to all Christians, especilly those troubled by anxiety, depression or other such problems.

10. Creating a Christian Worldview - Peter S Haslam.

This is an exposition for the contemporary world of Abraham Kuyper's Princeton lectures on Calvinism at the end of the 19th century together with a biographical introduction to the great Abraham.

11. Abraham Kuyper a Centennial Reader - edited by James D Bratt.

Writings from Kuyper from 1869 to 1904. Sections are Church and Theology, Politics and Society, Culture and Education. Read the Netherland's great renaissance man first hand.

12. A History of Evangelicalism, Volume 1, The Rise of Evangelicalism, The age of Edwards, Whitefield and the Wesleys - Mark A, Noll

This is the most heart warming book I have read in some time. It is an academic history of the age of Edwards, Whitefield and the Wesleys, 1730s - 1790s, but it is not a book that is written from the naturalists chair. Noll believes the Holy Spirit was at work in this great period of revival in the English speaking world. Here is its history brought to life, Whitfied in his early twenties preaching New Birth to thousands, even tens of thousands at a time in Boston and Cambuslang. It is an English speaking world story except that it starts with the influence of the Moravians, continental pietists who were at the time without equal in their missionary endeavours, especially among black slaves in the Americas.
Noll gives us the historic context but not as much of the social setting as one finds in "England before and after Wesley". I would have liked to have known more about evangelicals and the American War of Independence.
Evangelicals are defined in short as those who were more concerned to preach the gospel of grace, to see new birth than to see conformity to established church structures. They were concerned for the social implications of the gospel but it was not their primary focus. That was on people being brought to new life in Christ through the gospel.
Strengths and weaknesses of the major figures are given though I would have like to have seen mention of Wesley being the first evangelical Arminian in the English speaking world. One learns more of his theological inconsistencies form Roy Hattersley.

13. A Twentieth Century Testimony - Malcolm Muggeridge

In the mid 80s I did a locum week in the Robertsbridge pharmacy where Mug was a customer. The owner told him of my interest in his work and to my great suprise when Mug came in the shop he invited the whole family to tea with him and Kitty. So to see their home pictured here brings back good memories.
It is a delightfully photograhed testimony to a life changed by faith in Christ. Not the place to find a really clear gospel presentation, but a delightful momento of a great communicator and Christian.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Books read in July (9)

1. The Gunpowder Plot - Antonia Fraser
Detailed account by a RC historian of our first real terrorist plot. See my post "On terrorist plots" below

2.Robert Murray Mccheyne - David Robertson

McCheyne died in his 30th year but in a short ministerial career he made a lasting impression on Dundee where he was a Presbyterian minister.
This new biography is no hagiography but an account of a man struggling with illness, depression and other trials yet living a holy, Christ-centred life of evangelism and devoted pastoral care. Revival came to his church while he was away on a missionary survey of Jews in Palestine.

We are given questions and a prayer at the end of each chapter to bring home lessons from this short but blessed life. An unusual but helpful innovation in biography.

3. The Great Divide - The Failure of Islam and the Triumph of the West.

Not a book your Muslim friend will like as it pulls no punches about the false prophet and his religion, how it has been spread by violence in the past and today. Totally partisan and at times I think a bit simplistic and inaccurate. e.g. On the Atlantic slave trade he says it was started by the British. No, the Portuguese were the first European slavers. He says nothing about the white slaving of the Moors, a surprising omission. But it is a corrective to the "Islam is a religion of peace brigade." Its aim is world domination.

4. London The Biography - Peter Ackroyd

A comprehensive historical survey of our great city done topically rather than chronologically. Recommended as preparatory reading for all visitors who like history. As of this month, a new chapter might be apposite.

5. Vital Christianity - The Life and Spirituality of William Wllberforce - Murray A Pura

Not an historical biography but an account of Wilberforce's spiritual life. He was a man who believed he could accomplish nothing unless he daily walked close to God.

6. Marching on Together - My life with Leeds United - Eddie Gray.

Reliving the glory days with one of Revie's legends. How have the mighty fallen since his concluding words in 2002 that Leeds have the potential to be in the same bracket as Arsenal or the red devils :-( Not even the same league now.

7. Wild at Heart - John Eldridge

A good friend gave me this as he was so impressed by it as to buy a number of copies to give away. I can see why my friend loved the book. It is about the need for Christian men to be masculine. My friend was for many years beset by the conviction he was transexual. God freed him to be a masculine man. It is also good on why men like pornography.

That men have become emasculated and feminized is IMO self evident. How to be a Christian male without being a macho chauvinist is well taught in this book.
But I am still left with a question. The author was arrested by these words. " Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go and do that, because what the world needs is people that have come alive." - Gil Bailie.
When it comes to guidance, should I base it on what I want to do with my gifts or should I seek to know what God wants for me through his providence?

8. Infidels - A history of the Conflict between Christendom and Islam. - Andrew Wheatcroft

Starting with an account of the great sea battle of Lepanto between the galleys of Europe and the Turks, the author surveys the whole of the history of conflict with Islam up to the present day. He perceptively put Christendom not Christianity as a participant in the conflict which today ends with a secular West versus Islam.
The author has some Christian family history but little sympathy with the faith. He is a secularist who rightly says the Enlightenment never reached Islam. But his only appeal is then to reason, ever the inadequate refuge of the liberal, for the reform of Islam. He has no concept of a spiritual battle taking place and criticizes those who do. I do though agree that the word crusade should have no part in the evangelistic vocabulary of Christians today.
He regards G W Bush as a sincere Christian who is not a master of communication, hence some faux pas in talking about the response to Islamist threats.
I also enjoyed the book for filling me in on the history of Spain and Islam as well as conflict in the Balkans.

9. Emancipation and Apologetics: The formation of Abraham Kuyper's Anti-Revolutionary Party in The Netherlands, 1872-1880 - Mckendree Langley

This is a 1995 doctorate thesis. I heard the author lecture in London on Kuyper so bought his thesis.

The context for Kuyper is given in analysis of the Enlightenment and its political manifestation, the French Revolution. This rejection of God's rule is shown to be critiqued by Burke, Lamennais and van Prinsterer before Kuyper gave practical political response to secularisation.

The biographical part recounts Kuyper's education, conversion and the development of his worldview with Christ the king over all of life, including politics. Here is a principled, not a pragmatic approach to politics, a Protestant Christian democratic response which led to the ARP, a party whose rise the author charts. The ARP eventually shared power in co-alition governments with Roman Catholics and provided several of the country's premiers, including Kuyper, but that is to go beyond this volume. Kuyper is shown to be a man of vital evangelical faith who could work in politics with those he would not tolerate in his church fellowship.

Kuyper always stressed antithesis as part of his apologetics. In politics the antithesis is between Christian thought with God supreme originating government as against the Revolution's view of government deriving from the social contact where the voice of the people has replaced the voice of God.

Kuyper is shown to have clear stated Christian principles underpinning his politics, though the practical outworkings will always have a pragmatic aspect to accommodate the needs of the age. Like all of us Kuyper was a product in part of his age. He was a Victorian patriarch, a big man with accompanying big faults which the author does not shrink from critiquing. The age is distant form ours. When Kuyper set out on his political journey the electorate was only some of the male property owners. Kuyper wanted the franchise extended to heads of households and to have proportional representation.

Education gave the first impetus to Kuyper. He campaigned for Christian schools to receive the same state recognition and funding as secular ones. Eventually he founded a free university too.

Kuyper's political career was made possible because of his gifts in another sphere, journalism. The thesis shows how Kuyper communicated his message through the newspapers The Standard and The Herald which he edited. Much of this thesis comes from the author reading The Standard. We must be grateful that he has culled so much for those of us who cannot read Dutch and made it available in this form.

Kuyper was criticised for being a theocrat but he repudiated any state establishment of Christianity, teaching political pluralism with firm separation of church and state. It is sad that so many Christians and non-Christians alike cannot distinguish separation of church and state from separation of faith and politics. The latter was anathema to Kuyper.

However I question how far Kuyper took his antipathy to the establishment of religion by the state for in the Dutch colonies he wanted the government to promote Christian mission and disadvantage Islam.

Kuyper is shown to be an admirer of Gladstone's politics and this now stimulates me to read more about the Grand Old Man whose churchmanship was very different from Kupyper's.

The thesis is available from UMI Dissertation Services,

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The French Trip

Yesterday we went on a Dover - Calais day trip, mainly to eat lunch in France. An excellent meal was had with wine and coffee, E52 with tip. Piece de resistance the starter. Oysters were off so I had the mussels, all 84 of them! Vive L'Entente Cordiale!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Dover Castle

Visited this historic castle today.
We started at the garrison church, definitely a Saxon building from 4th to 6th century. But it has Roman stones and there may have been Christian worship here from the second century.

The castle is Norman with a 12th century keep. It has been garrison from the 11th century to the 1980s. Its greatest moment was being the command centre for the 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk. Getting over 300,000 besieged soldiers out of France was regarded as a miracle at the time. We saw the secret WWII tunnels which directed the efforts of all military services in the area as well as housing a hospital. In the Cold War they were to house the regional government after a nuclear attack.
Called at a vineyard on the way back to Canterbury and bought some excellent English wine, after sampling of course.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Full steam ahead!

Today we went on the Kent and East Sussex Railway from Tenterden to Bodiam and back, steam hauled both ways.
For the first time ever we traveled first class. We were in a Victorian engineer's observation car. I sat outside on the observation platform for most of the first leg. It was smoky but the sight, sound and smell of steam power is uplifting. Why is no other form of transport as stirring as a steam locomotive? Granddaughter Sahara loved it too.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Gloria in excelcis Deo

Last night Katy and I went to a concert by the Berkshire(USA) Choral Festival in Canterbury Cathedral Quire.
We heard Handel's Coronation Anthems and Vivaldi's Gloria in a place built 700 years before these composers lived. Wonderful music to the glory of God in a magnificent setting. I did not listen with any attention to the thirds composition sung, Pergoliesi's Salve Regina. I read a hymnbook instead. I do not participate in mariolatry. Theology limits my musical taste.
There was also something unreformed about the Quire too. It is separated from the nave by an ornate rood screen which I presume survived the Reformation iconoclasm which removed such barriers to the common people observing all the eucharistic rite.

Friday, July 22, 2005


Yesterday friends were emailing on hearing about the explosions and telling me they were praying.

But this was the first day of the Ashes. My attention was on Lords ( and the work have to do). Yet another English batting collapse caused me more anguish than failed bombs.

However, in serious mode, I thank God for his proidential care and observe that the devil and his progeny are not so clever after all.

Mr G McGrath is though :-(

Canadian contractual sodomy

Other people call it gay marriage but it is neither gay nor marriage, hence my title.

Sad indeed. England is protected from this, IMO, by the C of E being the established church. This means that its clergy have to marry those in the parish if they so request. Too many clergy would object to same sex unions ( I will not call them marriage for they are not) for such a law to be workable. So instead we have civil registration of same sex unions, a clever English compromise which gives the homosexualists almost what they want but protects the established church from direct involvement.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Incredible Sulk

Ted Heath is dead. IMO the worst British PM of the 20th century for he got us into the EU by misrepresenting it as a mere economic union, not the political monster it was always intended to be.

Heath fell from power because he misunderstood the public mood over his confrontation with the miners. He then sulked because Maggie became leader of the Conservatives. He was singularly lacking in graciousness. She paid warm tribute to him on his death. In life he rejoiced when she fell from power. Benn described Heath as to the left of Blair. That was his trouble. His idea of Conservatism was so far to the left that the party needed Maggie to shift the whole centre of Brotish politics. When Heath first met the newly elected MP Blair he said that Blair did not look or sound like a Labour MP. So perhaps Ted was a better prophet than PM.

Funny, but neither Heath not Maggie sounded at all like their origins. When they got on in politics they sounded like the toffs surrounding them.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

London defiant

You come to place your bags of hate
On bus and train, you made us late
Yet we'll be back again tomorrow
We'll carry on despite our sorrow

Your bags of hate caused some to die
Yet we stride out strong with heads held high
You'll never win, we will not bow
You can't defeat us, you don't know how

This London which we love with pride
Is a town where scum like you can't hide
Don't worry we will hunt you down
Then Lock you up in name of Crown

We're London and we're many races
Just look you'll see our stoic faces
We all condemn your heinous act
You will not win and that's a fact

We'll mourn our dead and shed a tear
But we will not bow to acts of fear
You're out there somewhere all alone
There's nowhere now you can call home

Olympics ours we've won the race
Your timing then a real disgrace
Our strength you'll find remains unbowed
We're London and we're very proud. /2005/07/shame-embarrassment-t ime-to-wa...

From the Bard

To-morrow toward London back again,
To look into this business thoroughly
And call these foul offenders to their answers
And poise the cause in justice' equal scales,
Whose beam stands sure, whose rightful cause prevails.
-- William Shakespeare, 2 Henry

In perspective

We mourn the bombing deaths but in 2003, the last year with available figures on average 87 unborn babies were killed in London every day.

News from France

The AP and UPI reported that the French Government announced yesterday
that it has raised its terror alert level from Run to Hide.
The only two higher levels in France are Surrender and Collaborate.

The raise was precipitated by a recent fire which destroyed France's white
flag factory, effectively disabling their military.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Keeping the peace

Our political leaders have intelligence advisors who
must brief on the real nature of Islam, but the
politicians talk up a religion of peace because they
want civil peace not unrest. It does not take much for
the ignorant to disturb the peace. A Sikh Temple has
been attacked in Leeds in the wake of the London bombs

Joe Public is blind to the true nature of Islam
because he is ignorant of the Koran and history, to
say nothing of the non-reporting of Christians being
persecuted today in Muslim lands. He also, usually has
contact with Muslims who keep the peace and do not
push their faith in a way he finds unacceptable.

Here, Joe Public is indifferent to religion so has no
pride in a Christian cultural heritage. Over 70% will
declare in the census that they are Christian, but
they do not protest when told we live in a
multi-cultural, multi-religious society. They ignore
the fact that this is only true in some urban areas
and that constitutionally, England is a Christian
country. No-one tales pride in the latter fact.
Non-Christians ignore it and most Christians find an
established religion an embarrassment. However, one
will find both Muslims and Jews who will prefer the
present condition to the de facto establishment of a
secular public square, (as in the US), that would
result from altering the position of the Church of
England here.

But to sum up, we have as a nation turned away from
the Living God and the terrors we face are part of the
judgement in store when his grace is removed. In a
fallen world, a peaceable society is not the norm.
Evil should not surprise us. If God;s common grace is
removed, chaos ensues.

Added comments 16 July

These men were British Asians or Caribbean. British
they be but not English born and bred. There has been
little questioning of the English way of life, since
despite the trumpeting of how multicultural we are the
English still retain their quiet modest air of
self-confident superiority (I generalise and am not
speaking about real Christians here). OTH the obvious
reason that the bombers were not more affected by our
civilised values is that they were Muslims and most
Muslims are from poor, uneducated rural-origin
families in Pakistan or Bangladesh who do not
integrate with the majority culture.

Islamic ideology produced
suicide bombers and Islamic theology has to fisd a way
of dealing with them.

I believe that we must examine this as God withdrawing
his common grace which preserves order in society and
restrains the effects of sin. Here, in judgement,
God's restraint was partially withdrawn and we see how
sinful sin is.

It may have some significance that they went for the
transport system, like in Madrid, and not for some
capitalist symbol like in New York. Personally I find
myself uncomfortable in The City (the financial
centre) as it is full of temples of mammon dwarfing St
Paul's which used to dominate the sky line.

Yes I see judgement on London and a necessity of
Christians to show grace to their Muslim neighbours.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Who can sort this problem?

The best Muslim comment I heard on the bombings was from someone on BBC Radio 4's Today programme. I did not catch his name but he said that just as only whites will defeat the BNP ( far-right anti-immigration British National Party) SO ONLY MUSLIMS CAN DEFEAT THIS TERRORISM.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The proposed UK law on religious hatred

This law has one aim only. It is to keep Muslims loyal to the government of Blair's party. He has lost thousands of votes over Iraq. He needs to keep Muslims' votes. No-one except Muslims support this stupid law. No other law has united homosexual activists, comedians and Christians.

I am sick and tiered of Blair's version of what it means to be a Chritian politician. May God give us a 21st century British Abraham Kuyper!



A firm faith in the universal providence of God is the solution of all earthly problems. It is almost equally true that a clear and full apprehension of the universal providence of God is the solution of most theological problems. B. B. WARFIELD

This belief helped me travel on the Tube today. That's the London subway for you who speak a diferent English.

I do not often use public transport. When I do it is usually to go into central London as I did today for the cricket at the Oval. Best day in the sun I have ever spent at cricket. Pity about the result.

Bring on the Ashes!

The thought and the act

I think one can distinguish between temptation,
entertaining temptation in the mind and then acting
out the temptation.

The first is no sin. We are all tempted as was our
Lord. Many of us entertain adulterous of homosexual
temptations. We are then adulterous or homosexual in
mind. This is sin but it is not as serious in
consequences as the act. Looking at porn is not a
ground for divorce. Adultery is.

The act makes one a confirmed adulterer or homosexual
sinner. But one can seek forgiveness, find it and be a
forgiven adulterer or homosexual.

When is a homosexual not a homosexual? When he does
not commit homosexual acts of entertain homosexual

I finish with my favorite quote on the subject from an
unusual but respected source.

It would encourage clear thinking on these matters if
persons were not characterised as heterosexual or
homosexual, but as individuals who have had certain
amounts of heterosexual experience or homosexual
experience. Instead of using these terms as
substantives which stand for persons, or even as
adjectives to describe persons, they may be better be
used to describe the nature of the overt sexual
relations, or of the stimuli to which an individual
erotically responds.
Sexual Behaviour in the Human Male Kinsey et al 1948

Death penalty

I am afraid the lack of the death penalty here upsets
me. I watched the first half of a programme about the
bombing of the Grand Hotel Brighton, but switched off
the second part as I could not bear to watch a freed
murderer speaking about his crime. IMO Blair et al
have a lot to answer for with the Good Friday
Agreement "get out of jail free" card. There can be no
peace built on injustice.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

With friends like these

Thousands of US military personnel based in the UK
have been banned by commanders from travelling to
London in the wake of Thursday's bomb attacks.
Personnel, most of them from US Air Force units at RAF
Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath, in Suffolk, have been
told not to go within the M25 motorway.

Family members who are from the US are also being
urged to stay away.

The US air force said the order had been made in the
interests of the safety of its troops.

'Safety paramount'

Most of the 12,000 US personnel in the UK are based at
Mildenhall and Lakenheath.

"We are concerned about the safety of our folks and
are trying to do what we can to protect them," RAF
Mildenhall spokesman Matt Tulis said. -

I knew this two days ago when a US major told me about
the ban and him ignoring it. He told his CO that his
family home and church were here and he was visiting.

In the past I have viewed with contempt the cowardly
tourists, mainly US and French, who would not come
here because of perceived threats to their safety.

To the US military i would say, "C'mon guys. Who is
standing with you in Iraq? Get off base into London
and show an example."

As for me, I am travelling on the Tube today to see the cricket.

Monday, July 11, 2005

A new experience

My youngest is learning to drive and for the first time I am supervising a learner driver. It seems she is moe nervous than me though all I can control is the handbrake. yesterday she went round the block, today church and back. She has pssed her theory test. The driving one is in September. Her elder siblings all pased first time as did their mother. It took me thre attempts to get my license in 1969.

She is growing in confidence with less stalling. I was incensed by a thoughtless bus driver who hooted her when she stalled in front of him at lights.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

On terrorist plots

I have just finished Antonia Fraser's The Gunpowder Plot and see interesting present day parallels. The conspirator's were a small minority of a minority religion in this country who believed that killing their persecutors together with their RC co-religionists was a justifiable political act. The majority population could argue that the terrorists' religion supported such actions, though the majority of that faith denied it.

It took a long time, centuries, for the majority population to be convinced that this minority faith could be a loyal part of this country and so freed from civil disadvantages. AFAIK RCs have only one remaining civil disadvantage, royal succesion is denied them! The roal family must still profess the "reformed religion of the Church of England".

I think it requires a big effort from British Muslims to convince some of us, the majority population, that they are to be trusted as loyal subjects of Her Majesty, comitted to democracy. Bush and Blair may tell us Islam is a religion of peace, but as we study it we find otherwise.
OTH we do find our Muslim friends to be peacable people. But only in proportion to their political secularisation do we find them peacable. Islam knows no separation of religion and politics.

Gettting the hang of blogging

I see there is a league of Reformed bloggers,

I am still finding my way on how to post here, but for shameless self promtion,from,

Graham J Weeks M.R.Pharm.S.
10201 quotes 654 topics 2452 authors indexed 903 links / Our church Daily quotes

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Wembley Stadium

This afternoon we visited the new Wembley Stadium being constructed about three miles from our house. It is to seat 90,000 and due to open next May. The Aussies building it are losing money.
The arch over it is spectacular but I do not know why it is not vertical. I think they should have put two rides in it; a slow one for the view, a fast one for the thrill.

People ask me where is this Perivale, Greenford where you live. answer, half way between Gujerat (Wembley) and the Punjab (Southall). If they ask if i have been to India I say, only in Southall.

Return of the lost blogger

A year away as I had trouble seeing my blog on my mac. It has now crashed and is to go for repair. Now I am on my daughter's state of the art G5 and have found this again.

This week I took a couple of days off work to attend a course on my hero, Abraham Kuyper, at the London Theological Seminary. It is part of a degree course run by Westminster Theological Seminary.

The Gospel versus the Revolution could now be my sig. Our teacher, McKendree Langley taght us the background to Kuyper was the French Revolution, the first true revolution to change the world. Christendom was overthrown. man was put on the throne in place of God, reason in place of revelation. Kuyper formulated a Christian political response to this with his Anti-revolutionary Party in the Netherlands. It was a principled pluralistic response. He rejecteded any establishment of Christianity as theocratic.

Our teacher came to us to dinner last night. A great encouragment to have fellowship with a conservative Kuyperian. He tells me there are progressive Kuyperians who want the worldview without the spirituality of the great Abraham. I think they call themselves neo-kuyperians.

Now to prepare for sporting humiliation as I watch The Lion's third test. At least we play clean by comparison with the All Blacks whose fouls seem invisible to referees.