Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Diary 26 to 28 Feb 17 - awaiting surgery

Sunday 26th - I ruined Debbie's beauty sleep getting her to drive me to the hospital for an injection to prevent DVT  during surgery (thrombosis). It was only after I agreed on Friday to three hospital visits for injection I realised we had helpful nurses in the church who would have saved us the journeys. But I was able to be back for adult Sunday School at 10 where our speaker was a Presbyterian pastor fromWarsaw. His talk on John a Lasco, father of the Reformation in Poland was most informative. The he preached and came to us for lunch. Once again it was an internationals lunch with other guests from USA, Italy and Ireland. In the evening I expounded Genesis 1 at the Immigration Removal Centre.

Monday 27th Katy drove me to the hospital for the injection. The surgeon was doing his rounds and told us that he may do a smaller operation with a stay of one night only. It all depends on what he sees on the ultrasound scan of the cancer. From St Mark's I went to Ealing Hospital for a regular appointment in urology. Two drugs and staying off all caffeine has not done s lot except dry my mouth. Bt I was able to ask the consultant why urology at St Mars's also wanted to see me. To my surprise he was able to bring up on his screen the MRI at St Mark's last week and he showed me a small abnormality on one kidney which he said is what the St Mark's consultant would be investigating to see if that might be malignant. In the evening we had a good session meeting planning future ministry and dates for prospective new elders submitting their papers for presbytery examination.

Tuesday 28th. Another injection first thing followed by an ultrasound scan of the cancer. Having an enema then a probe inserted for 15 minutes where the sun don't shine was not pleasant. It revealed cancer near the colon wall and I was told it was up to the surgeon whether he would do minor surgery from below to remove the cancer or longer surgery to take out part of the colon too. In the afternoon I heard I was to be admitted Wednesday for surgery on Thursday and home Friday. So minor procedure it is.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Complaint to BBC

Fatima Salaria – its second Muslim executive to take control of its faith-based output and serve as the new commissioning editor for religion and ethics. I believe this is totally inappropriate in a  Christian country. Muslims are a minority. A Muslim's understanding of what the Christian majority want cannot be adequate. To have a Muslim in charge of Songs of Praise, well you might as well have an atheist. I regard this appointment as BBC bias towards Islam. - I await response

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Diary 23 to 25 Feb 17

Thursday 17th Had my second colonoscopy in two weeks at St Mask's Hospital, Harrow. I had injections for sedation making this time a less uncomfortable experience.I was encouraged by the surgeon's conclusion that I do not need to have all the colon removed for that would have necessitated a stoma (bag). He says the polyps  (non-malignant growths) were mainly in the lower colon so he will recommend removal of that when the cancer is removed. That was Thursday morning. In the afternoon I had a community cardiologist appointment in Hanwell. The consultant said my heart condition was not a cause for concern at present but he continues to want regular monitoring. This follows my treatment for cardiac arrhythmias in Hammersmith Hospital about 8 years ago.

Friday 23rd Katy took me back to Northwick Park Hospital Harrow. It shares a site with St Mark's and I was there for a second MRI scan, this time liver and kidneys. It involved about 45 minutes in the scanner with about eight times instructions to hold ones breath for about 15 seconds at a stretch. When we returned from Nigeria in 1982 MRI was an experimental procedure in some London hospitals. Now this hospital alone has three suites of scanners. Next I was at the ophthalmic clinic in Hanwell where I was told I had incipient glaucoma so now it will be eye drops every night. Back home I did something never done before. I gave the lawns their first cut of the year, an event usually done in early April.

Then  I had a call from St Marks telling me I was being booked for an ultrasound scan of the tumour next week.What I did not expect was to be told of an appointment for a pre-surgical assessment. Even more surprising was to be invited to come back to the hospital that afternoon which I did. The assessment took a nearly three hour stay. I was told to expect surgery next Wednesday. I was also booked in for earlier procedures, injections of anticoagulant, echocardiogram and consultation with stoma nurse. It is all happening. Well I hope it is. We will be getting a five day ticket for hospital parking. This day cost us £13. NHS is free at the point of need but not its car parks.

Saturday 24th, A quiet day enjoying seeing wins for LeedsUnited, Scotland and Ireland then an enjoyable quiz evening at Holy Cross, Greenford.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

23 Feb 1758 Jonathan Edwards-a fatal inoculation

by davidtmyers
Trust in God, and you shall not fear
The subject of today’s historical devotional was not a Presbyterian, but in the closing days of his life and ministry on earth, he was the president of the foremost Presbyterian college in America. Jonathan Edwards was born into a ministerial families in 1703. Trained in the home, he entered into scholarly pursuits by attending Yale College at age 13. In the latter portion of his collegiate training, the Holy Spirit convicted his heart and convinced him of his need of Jesus Christ. He received Jesus as Lord and Savior at that pivotal time. Graduating from Yale in 1720, he continued his studies for the gospel ministry. When a congregation in what is now the New England area of our country became vacant, he went as the pastor in 1729, following his father-in-law as the minister. It was there under the preaching of the Word, including the famous sermon “Sinners in the hands of an Angry God,” that the Great Awakening movement came to the church and area. Over three hundred souls were awakened to their sinfulness and brought to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Jonathan Edwards was not only effective as an awakening pastor, but through his writings, the then known world of Christendom was challenged as to the authority of God’s Word in the life of the church and the sphere of culture. He was America’s foremost apologist, or defender of the faith. Even in the midst of church controversy, such as developed in that Northampton congregation over the issue of qualified participants of the Lord’s Supper, he did not allow his departure to stop him in his ministry. He evangelized among the native Americans for six years in the Stockton, Massachusetts area.
It was in 1758, that a delegation came from the College of New Jersey, with an offer to become the president of that Presbyterian school of the prophets. After some objections were answered satisfactorily, he did accept the offer in January of 1758 and became associated with what would later become Princeton University. As smallpox was present in the area, a noted physician came down from Philadelphia on February 23, 1758 to inoculate President Edwards and two of his daughters. Edwards was inoculated with pus from a patient with smallpox, a practice of the time called variolation (variola=smallpox virus). Vaccination using coxpox virus (vacca=cow) came about 40 years later. Edwards had never been in the best of health and as the effects of the inoculation were subsiding, a secondary fever took hold and Jonathan Edwards died of small pox approximately one month later, March 22, 1758.
Just before his death, some people were attending him on his death-bed, and remarked about the approaching effect of this certain demise on the Christian church. Jonathan Edwards, hearing those remarks, spoke to those attending him with his dying words “Trust in God, and ye need not fear.”
Words to Live By: Let us ever and always trust in God, indeed the God of providence, with whom there is no mistake in life or death.

Diary 19 to 22 Feb 17

Sunday, 19th  Adult Sunday School was an interview of a young missionary couple about to start work with a team taking the gospel to an unreached people group in North Africa. For security, the country was not disclosed, nor am I posting their names.  Paul preached form Is 53, good as ever . Then for lunch we lived up to our name of International Presbyterian Church. Our guests were form Kenya and a couple whose background is Canadian, Peruvian and Scottish. Evening sermon as Paul concluding his Jonah series. He told us the main point of both book and chapter is that Jonah had to learn, 'you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, '

Monday 20th, I finished Spencer's Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam. In the evening we watched the very moving autobiographical WWI film, Vera Brittain's Testament of Youth. Both reviewed on this blog.

Tuesday 21st, There were 8 of us at early IPC prayers, our monthly early meeting. Ealing Lunchtime Talks saw Paul expound all of Rom 11. He gave us the two views of 'all Israel will be saved' declining to state his own choice. I mentioned that for me it could not mean a future large scale conversion of ethnic Israel for if so we lose the doctrine of the immanent return of Christ. There are no remaining signs preceding the coming of the Lord. He might come today. Back to no fibre diet in preparation for a second colostomy procedure.

Wednesday 22nd  Cardiologist consultant tells me the since my atrial fibrillation 8 years ago, the heart is stable but he will continue annual appointments but now these are at a Hanwell surgery. I so not need to be a hospital outpatient. I will not describe the messy details of the evening save to say overdosing on laxatives as per the hospital's instruction is a case of 'Runs rabbit runs' together with fasting from noon.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

February 22: The Last Meeting of the Westminster Assembly (1652)

by archivist
All Good Things Must End
The last numbered meeting of the Westminster Assembly, marked as “Session 1163”, met on this day, February 22d, 1649. The Assembly was never officially dissolved. Finally the last pretense of a meeting occurred on March 25, 1652.
In his History of the Westminster Assembly, (1856), William Hetherington writes of those final days:—
“The business of the Assembly was now virtually at an end. The subjects brought before them by Parliament had been all fully discussed, and the result of their long and well-matured deliberations presented to both Houses, to be approved or rejected by the supreme civil power on its own responsibility. But the Parliament neither fully approved nor rejected the Assembly’s productions, nor yet issued an ordinance for a formal dissolution of that venerable body. Negotiations were still going on with the king; and in one of the papers which passed between his majesty and the Parliament, he signified his willingness to sanction the continuation of Presbyterian Church government for three years; and also, that the Assembly should continue to sit and deliberate, his majesty being allowed to nominate twenty Episcopalian divines to be added to it, for the purpose of having the whole subject of religion again formally debated. To this proposal the Parliament refused to consent; but it probably tended to prevent them from formally dissolving the Assembly, so long as there remained any shadow of hope that a pacific arrangement might be effected with his majesty.
In the meantime many members of the Assembly, especially those from the country, returned to their own homes and ordinary duties; and those who remained in London were chiefly engaged in the examination of such ministers as presented themselves for ordination, or induction into vacant charges. They continued to maintain their formal existence till the 22d of February 1649, about three weeks after the king’s decapitation, having sat five years, six months, and twenty-two days; in which time they had held one thousand one hundred and sixty-three sessions. They were then changed into a committee for conducting the trial and examination of ministers, and continued to hold meetings for this purpose every Thursday morning till the 25th of March 1652, when Oliver Cromwell having forcible dissolved the Long Parliament, by whose authority the Assembly had been at first called together, that committee also broke up, and separated without any formal dissolution, and as a matter of necessity.
Words to Live By:
Having served its purpose, the Westminster Assembly at last closed its sessions. All good things must eventually come to an end. Ministries wax and wane. Lives come to an end. It is part of the human condition, given our fallen, sinful nature. It is part of the curse of sin. But it will not be so in heaven, when we are changed from corruptible to incorruptible. Then not just our existence, but our very reason for existence and our purpose in life will be eternal, for we will, without sin, perfectly worship and serve the one eternal Lord God.
But as it is written:  “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9, NKJV)
From the Minutes and Papers of the Westminster Assembly, 1643-1652, Vol. 4, pp. 799-800, the recorded content of that last numbered session of the Westminster Assembly:—
Sess. 1163. Feb. 22, 1649. Thursday morning.
Mr Johnson to pray.
Mr Craddock be approved.
R.: Mr Savory respited till this day forthnight.
Ord[ered]: Mr Dawson be approved upon his ordination.
Ord[ered]: Mr be approved upon his former
Ord[ered]: Mr Ackworth be examined.
Ord[ered]: Mr Mason be approved.
R.: The hundred pounds now to be distributed shall be distributed according to the rule observed in the last distribution.
It was done accordingly, and approved off.
“From this point forward, there are no more numbered sessions, and many different hands appear, rather than noting hands other than those of the assembly scribes, the presence of the scribal hands is noted, This session is another hand.”
The Minutes and Papers of the Westminster Assembly, 1643-1652, Chad Van Dixhoorn, editor. Oxford University Press, 2012. Volume IV, pp. 799-800.

Eric Liddell died on this day, 21 February 1945

ON THIS DAY IN 1945 Eric Liddell, Olympian for Christ, died in a Japanese concentration camp.
IN CHINA, Eric Liddell asked his students if they believed Christ’s Sermon on the Mount. When they said they did, he would say “let’s add it on to the end of the Apostles Creed and when you finish saying the Apostles Creed say, ‘I believe in the Sermon on the Mount’.” This was more than rhetoric with him. After the Japanese incarcerated him in a detention camp, he prayed for them. Had not Christ said “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you?” He challenged fellow-prisoners to pray for the Japanese, too. This was in keeping with his entire adult life. 
Born the son of missionaries, Liddell was a highly athletic rugby star and running champion while studying for the ministry in Scotland. Eventually his swift feet took him to the 1924 Olympics in Paris, where he set a world record in the four hundred meters. His refusal to run on Sunday drew world attention to his faith. After his victory, a friend says the two of them took a pair of American girls to a Tango Tea Dance. 
Following the Olympics, he completed his education and became a missionary in China, where he met and married his wife Florence. He sent her and their daughters to safety in Canada after the Japanese invaded China, but remained himself in danger from Chinese Communists and Japanese invaders. He and Kenneth McAll learned to trust God implicitly for their safety. When McAll was offered a pistol to protect himself against bandits, Eric shouted, “Don’t touch it! If you have that in your pocket you will depend on it rather than God and I would refuse to travel with you.” 
The Japanese incarcerated foreigners in concentration camps. There Eric worked selflessly as a teacher, prisoner representative, and volunteer toting loads for weaker prisoners. Even after he developed headaches from a massive brain tumor, he never complained. Finally he was assigned to one of the camp’s hospital beds. 
He often wrote to Florence and his three girls, the youngest of whom he had never seen. In a letter near the end of his life, he told Florence he had suffered a “slight nervous breakdown” but assured her he was much better after a month in hospital. “Special love to you and the children,” he added. He then turned to his friend Annie Buchan and said, “It’s full surrender” before drifting into a coma from which he never recovered. 
Eric Liddell died on this day, 21 February 1945. Everyone in the camp mourned, for by then his infectious smile and concern for others were widely known. Norman Cliff, one of the young men who witnessed Liddell’s life in the prison camp, believes the champion runner would have taken no credit for his life, but would have said instead, “When you speak of me, give the glory to my master, Jesus Christ.”

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Films watched in February 2017

1. Testament of Youth [DVD] [2014] [2015] Alicia Vikander (Actor), Kit Harington (Actor), James Kent (Director) 

I had read the book before I saw the film. In fact I own a first edition. But unlike the usual complaint that the film is not as good, this one is excellent. Cinematography and acting are very good. It starts with Armistice Day celebration then reprises to upper middle class England before WWI. Vera is a strong willed teenager determined to enter Oxford which she does despite the odds and the start of romance, the latter duly chaperoned. But her boyfriend and brother join up at the outbreak of war and soon Vera leaves Oxford to be a nurse, caring for the wounded in England. On leave boyfriend becomes fiancé only to be killed as Vera awaits his next leave and marriage. She does not believe the news that he suffered a quick death and bravely goes to find out the truth. Next she nurses in France, caring at first for injured Germans , then Brits, and among the latter she finds a dying family friend then her brother. He recovers only to die in service. The was over there is a brief but moving portrayal of Vera becoming an outspoken pacifist. I do not usually go for romantic films. This one is a romance and a tragedy, all the more moving for being autobiography. Watch it and weep for the dead, wounded and bereaved of WWI.

2. The Man Who Cried Ciarán Hinds (Actor), Kate Buffery (Actor), Michael Whyte (Director) 

At first I did not find this very attractive with an adulterer leaving home with his son, but the story grew on me. He turns down the offer of a relationship with a moneyed widow and tramps the road with his son in search of work. A good deed for a wealthy man brings hime work and a secure lodging. But it is at the cost of lying about his background and his son's to consent to the lie. I will not do a spoiler but say the story involves bigamy, another unhappy marriage and infidelity. It moves from 1932 toWW2 and raises questions about hatred and forgiveness. Classic Cookson.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Emir of Kano to restrict polygamy

In a speech on Sunday Mr Sanusi said that a connection had been established between polygamy, poverty and terrorism, Nigeria's widely read Punch newspaper reports
Local media quotes the powerful religious leader and former governor of the central bank saying: 
Those of us in the [mainly Muslim] north have all seen the economic consequences of men who are not capable of maintaining one wife, marrying four. They end up producing 20 children, not educating them, leaving them on the streets, and they end up as thugs and terrorists."
The emir discussed different areas to be covered by the wide-ranging family law, which he said would be passed by the Kano state government:
The law will address what Islam says on marriage, it will outlaw forced marriages, it will make domestic violence illegal, it will put in conditions that you need to fulfil before you can marry a second wife, it will spell out the responsibilities of a father beyond producing a child."
He added: 
It is a big law which covers a whole range of issues from consent to marriage, to maintenance to divorce, to maintenance of children and inheritance. It will be the first time in northern Nigeria that a Muslim law on personal status will be codified."

Trump Derangement Syndrome - and Brexit DS too.

This first quote is from a friend.
'Trump Derangement Syndrome. It sounds like a joke, but it's symptoms are everywhere. Once someone knows that he is dealing with a person who supports Trump in any, way, shape or form, he concludes that the person with whom he is dealing with is mentally deficient, dangerous, a kook and must be refuted in the most vigorous manner possible.So, if you once indicated that you thought Trump makes a good point about illegal immigration and then make a comment that it was cold last night, the person with Trump Derangement Syndrome is obligated to contradict you. He will explain that it's February and it really wasn't that cold due to global warming which Trump is 'responsible for'
I have friends with TDS even in England. Any comment of mine which does not judge Trump adversely, any suggestion one should not rush to judgement and I stand accused of abdicating any moral consideration. But TDS is a minor consideration here in UK. More relevant is Brexit Derangement Syndrome BDS. With my openly declared vote for Brexit I am labelled among those who are less well educated, old, nationalistic and xenophobic. The BDS sufferer states he cannot understand the rationale of  theBrexit supporter. .I have on this blog stated my reasons for Brexit and refutes the above slanders. Is there a cure for BDS A prospering UK separated from the EU should do it I hope. After all, most of those with BDS are not old enough to have known a UK not tied to the EU. Perhaps when they grow up minds will be changed.
Have now found more on TDS and BDS too


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Diary 16 to 18 Feb 17

Thursday 16th I received notification of a holiday booking which was Katy's idea. We did several years ago take all the family to the Plas de Calais. Next year (2018) we are to go together to a farmhouse in Norfolk. All booked for nine adults, six children and one dog. I am thankful to be able to afford it. The other seven adults are assigned the catering. Thursday afternoon was outpatients at St Mark's. A very pleasant consultant and specialist nurse explained the situation as far as it is known. I have a small cancerouss lesion at the end of the colon. It could be removed with minor surgery needing only one night in hospital. But first the surgeon is booking an ultrasound scan to see how deep the cancer goes into the colon wall. All polyps were removed last week but as they were about 10 scattered along the colon, removal of most of the colon could be a possibility to prevent further growths which could be malignant. But that would mean lager in hospital and a stoma so that is not what I would want. So that was fine until ...

Friday 17th the nurse phones and said that the consultant had met with colleague and they had called for another colonoscopy with a dye to show up any polyps missed the first time round. This is to be next Thursday morning, not a pleasant prospect. I am also to have at some time an MRI on the liver as something small but abnormal may be present. So one colonoscopy booked, two scans yet to be booked then back to OPD for the decision. On the positive side I hear nothing but good things about St Mark's and colon cancer treatment. A friend described it as a world renowned centre of excellence. So I am thankful.

Two more reasons to be thankful. An NHS free at the point of need and diagnosis in 2017, not 1953 when colon cancer killed my grandfather after months of agony - a doctor mean with the morphine.

We visited a house expected on the market soon. A little small for us but with one of the best views in Ealing. High up near Horseden Hill in the north of our borough, the view extended to the North Downs across the Thames. The owners said they had been told the view was worth an extra 10% compared with similar properties not so located and that sounded reasonable.

A week of holiday booking. Sent off for us to go on a week long Luther tour. Germany in November. In 2009 I had a week in Geneva for Calvin's 500th birthday. This time it is honouring the 500th anniversary of the start of the reformation, Luther's 95 theses.

Friday, February 17, 2017

February 17: An Early Tract by Francis Schaeffer (1946)

by archivist


Among the Papers of the Rev. Albert F. (“Bud”) Moginot, Jr., there is a modest collection of tracts, including some by the Rev. Francis A. Schaeffer. Each of these began as sermons delivered in the St. Louis church where he was pastor, and they were later published in tract form. Two of the tracts are Baptism and The Holy Catholic Church.  A third, Peter Versus the Papacy is the subject of our post today.I had not previously seen a copy of this tract. The PCA Historical Center has multiple copies of the first two tracts, whereas this third one appears to be scarce.
As with the other two tracts, this tract bears a date inside the front cover indicating when the message was originally delivered—in this case, February 17, 1946.
Rev. Schaeffer’s message in this case is shorter than that of the previous tracts. The tract prints out to just fourteen pages in length. And there are no printed subdivisions of the text, as there were with the others. Rev. Schaeffer opens the message in this way:
Tomorrow is February 18. This is a great date in the religious life of the world. It is a great date: (1) for the Roman Catholic Church, because the largest number of men ever to be named as Cardinals at one time will receive their official notification from the Pope; (2) for Protestants, although most Protestants do not seem to realize the significance of the day, because tomorrow marks the 400th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther.
. . .The falling of these two events on a single day could not be by coincidence. Rather, Rome has chosen this time to name her Cardinals to join the issue once more between Protestantism and Roman Catholicism. Since Rome has so seen fit, our theme for this morning will be “Peter Versus the Papacy.”
The keystone of the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church is the primacy of Peter. Therefore, today let us see what the Word of God has to say concerning Peter and his teaching. . .
Physical aspects: The construction of the tract is similar to that of the other two. Four sheets of tan 30-35 lbs. paper, measuring 6″ h. x 7″ w. and duplex printed with dark brown ink, folded and assembled to form the signature, with a single saddle-stitch staple for binding. And as I mentioned before, the Moginot collection has copies of the “Holy Catholic Church” tract with this same tan colored paper, as well as with a salmon colored paper. That message was first printed in 1944 and the one on “Peter versus the Papacy” in 1946. Given the related topics, it is easy to see how there might have been a need to reprint the first title.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Diary 13 to 15 Feb 17

Monday morning we visited yet another Greenford property for sale. Once again, too small. Monday evening were pleased to welcome our family from Canterbury including their new member, Inki. I cannot recall her breed except that she is a cross, small, black and white and hairy. She is very quiet, and for a puppy, very well behaved. I am not a fan of small dogs. But Inky has won me over.  Her mistress, Sahara, still struggles with some undiagnosed chronic fatigue which is hampering her schooling and dad, David, may further reduce his work to do some home schooling. Unfortunately local homeschooling networks will not support the attempt unless the child is 100% home schooled. That to me seems ideological, not helpful.Her grammar school have helped with one to one maths and real understanding of the practicalities of her problems. Her young brother Zac is due to start boys' grammar school in September. The family were with us until Wednesday morning.

Tuesday morning we all played, Ticket to Ride and as usual I came a humiliating last. One day I may understand the complicated rules of a fun game. Then the Greenford family, Adrian, Rachel, Elissa and Ethan joined for lunch before I had another appointment at St Mark's Hospital. This time it was the screening clinic reporting on the histology of the bits the surgeon removed last week. Cancer is confirmed so my next appointment is today, Thursday, meeting with a member of the consultant's team to discus scan results and possible next step which will probably be surgery in the near future. Frankly I will dread the prospect of the knife less than another colonoscopy, not that the latter is in prospect.

Wednesday I posted cheques to pay the architect for plans to build a downstairs toilet and shower and also extend the kitchen and lounge. Also cheques to Ealing planning for approval and building inspection fees. Personally I think we will be going the extension route as houses in our price range are too small and we have had no offers for ours. Katy is more hopeful of a surprise suitable house to buy. In the afternoon I once again visited the bed bound 97 year old in his nursing home. A chat, Psalm read and prayer. Then greeting the matron I found she was Nigerian, Tiv, trained by the CRC branch of our old mission at Mkar, Benue State. So we had quite a long chat having much in common. Mkar, like the hospital where we served, Vom, was taken over by the then military government in the late 70s only to be returned under civilian government the next decade.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

February 14: Who Are the True Revolutionaries?

by archivist
As the Schaeffers were preparing to move to Europe, the following article was published in BIBLICAL MISSIONS, the newsletter of the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions, under whose auspices the Schaeffers initially moved onto the European field, with the intent of planting theologically sound churches. The picture shown here is from the January 1949 issue of that same newsletter.
Some will remember that this same title “Revolutionary Christianity” appears as the title of the last chapter of Schaeffer’s book, 
THE CHURCH AT THE END OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. The content of the 1948 article is entirely different, though it would be an interesting exercise to compare the two messages. Great minds are always building on prior accomplishments and advances, and I have to think that Schaeffer hadn’t forgotten this 1948 article when he so titled that last chapter of his book in 1970. For instance, does the latter contain an outworking of ideas first formulated in the earlier article.
Rev. Francis A. Schaeffer
[Biblical Missions 14.2 (February 1948): 27-31.]
The International Missionary Council met at Whitby, Ontario, in the summer of 1947. In reporting on that meeting, Reinhold Niebuhr’s paper, “Christianity and Crisis,” in its issue of November 10, 1947, gave an account of one of the speeches in which account it stated: “Bishop Neill, successful Oxford missioner, warned lest the church cease to be revolutionary and identify itself with the status quo, the powers that be. ‘Then,’ he said, ‘the revolution goes forward under demonic powers, which God uses to discipline the Church.’ The church losing its mission becomes irrelevant.”
This is a highly significant statement, for it is an illustration of the type of thinking that dominates the modernistic missionary movements, including those that are Barthian and neo-Barthian. Insofar as this statement was presented at this un-Biblical, but influential missionary conference, it is well to analyze carefully this problem in a Bible-believing missionary magazine.
What is meant by “revolutionary Christianity” is that we now need a socialized gospel. To these men the revolutionary concept of Christianity is a part of world betterment through a revolution in the economic field; to them, socialization is the next upward step for Christianity to take. When therefore these men speak of “irrelevant Christianity” they mean Bible-believing Christianity. To them, our historic emphasis that the church’s task is to preach Christ crucified and raised from the dead that men might accept Christ as their personal Saviour and be justified by faith alone, is irrelevant and little more than magic.
The sad thing is that there are some Bible-believing Christians who five excuse for such charges. Orthodoxy is in a constant danger of allowing hat orthodoxy to ossify so that it has no impact on life. Historic, Bible-believing Christianity believes that the task of the church is to preach Christ and Him crucified and that men are justified by faith alone; but his does not mean that after a man has accepted Christ as his Saviour his Christianity should not show, or need not show, in every aspect of his life. In spite of the minority of Bible-believing Christians who are irrelevant, historic Bible-believing Christianity has been and is the true revolutionary Christianity. We have the revolutionary Christianity, not the Modernists and neo-Barthians.
Historic Christianity is revolutionary Spiritually. By revolutionary, I mean that it is totally contrary to all the other religions of the world. Consider the prophets. They were the revolutionists, and they stood alone against their day. Christ, God the Son, when He was on earth, was revolutionary in that He stood alone against His day. Paul was revolutionary, and wherever he went, both Jews and pagans felt the clash of his message against the established religious order. In church history, the outstanding leaders have always been considered revolutionary. Who could be more I revolutionary than Luther standing against the established order of the I Catholic Church? The Reformation Monument in Geneva has carved in stone, “After the darkness came forth light.” Let us never forget that Calvin and those who were with him were revolutionists of the first order in spiritual things. Whitefield and Wesley preached in the fields because the churches were shut to them. The churches were shut to them because these men were spiritual revolutionists against the whole trend of the dead orthodoxy of their day. In our day, has the matter changed? Not a bit. We are the spiritual revolutionists of our hour. All else are agreed against us. The message of the cross is always against the whole world concept around about us. It is against the prince of this world. In spiritual matters, we have the revolutionary message, because the Biblical message in our age, as in every age, is totally contrary to all the religions of the world.
The Christian Century in reporting our attempt, by the grace of God, to form an International Council of Bible-believing Christians, said this attempt was of the Devil. Why have these men resurrected the Devil for us? It has been years since we have heard them mention the Devil. They do not say that the Roman Catholics are motivated by the Devil. At times, it is true, because of growing Roman Catholic political power, we hear them say that Rome is wrong politically, but in religious matters they hold out the hand of fellowship to Rome. They do not say that the Unitarians are of the Devil. In the leadership of the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America and in the World Council there are men who individually hold the Unitarian position. They do not even say that the Hindu and the Mohammedan, or the Shintoist is of the Devil. In the Religious Congress that is being called in Boston for the United Nations, the modernistic leaders are calling to these primitive paganisms that they should labor together for world fellowship and brotherhood. However, when it comes to the Bible-believing Christian, then it is a different matter. Why is it that we are the only group they will fight religiously? Because we are the revolutionary group. The simple fact is, that religiously Modernism (including Barthianism and neo-Barthianism). Romanism, Greek Orthodoxy, and the rest, while having differences among themselves, are one in their basic errors.
There are too many who call themselves Bible-believing Christians who are only so because this has been the established position in their youth, not because they are convinced that it is right. They find it rather comfortable to say the old phrases without doing anything about them. Thus, Christianity loses its dynamic power, and dead orthodoxy comes in like a flood. Study what period of church history you will, the first step to heterodoxy has always been a dead orthodoxy.
Such an attitude is not Christian. It is old, but all old things are not good. Christianity is the snatching of brands from the burning. It is the shouting aloud from the pulpit or the stake: “You cannot call Jesus Christ your Lord until you call Him first God and then your personal Saviour.” The Christianity that has moved ahead through the centuries is the Bible-believing Christianity that stands completely against all the other religions of the world. This is true whether they are primitive paganisms, Roman Catholicism, Greek Orthodoxy, old-fashioned Modernism, or neo-Barthianism. True Bible-believing Christianity is never comfortable and it is never fossilized. Christians should know these facts and act upon them. We know that the world will never be normal until Christ comes back and supernaturally makes it so.
Bible-believing Christianity is also revolutionary in its relationships to the external world. This is what I mean by materially. As the religions of the world are not in line with Christianity, so also the civilizations that are built upon them are not in line with Christianity.
The Bible’s position is that you can only understand a civilization if you see the religion or religions upon which it is built or which are dominantly behind it. This is a part of the complete world-view of Christianity. The true Bible-believing Christian in faith knows that he can in general tell what the civilization of the next generation will be because its basis is found in the religion of this generation.
Now let us ask ourselves. Who are the liberals and who are the reactionaries in our own day? I want to say it very carefully, the Bible-believing Christians arc the true liberals. The modernists, including the Barthians and neo-Barthians, are the reactionaries. What do I mean by this? Bible-believing Christianity, wherever it has gone preaching Christ and Him crucified and raised from the dead and keeping as its primary message justification by faith, has always been followed by certain peripheral and secondary blessings. These blessings have not followed in a day, but they have always come. What are these peripheral blessings—the emancipation of women, the freeing of slaves, the increase of education, and, in general,
a rise in the level of civilization, including the material benefits of a high standard of living. There are many others, but the greatest of the peripheral blessings that have followed historic Bible-believing Christianity has always been an increase in individual liberties. Remember, this is not the primary message of Christianity. It is a purely secondary result of the preaching of the cross.
In the light of this, who is the liberal today and who is the reactionary? Who is continuing the message of individual freedom, and who is leading us back to slavery? It is the Bible-believing Christian who is continuing to insist upon individual freedom all over the world, and equally all over the world it is the modernists and the Barthians and neo-Barthians who are casting away our freedom and leading us back to slavery. In whatever country you read the writings of these men, you find that they believe it is now the Christian’s duty to give up his individual freedom to the state, so that their socialistically-planned economy can come into effect.
In a press release at the Oslo Young People’s Conference, Reinhold Niebuhr said that all laws are under the judgment of Christ, and that this includes those from Scripture and those that were enacted by states and communities. He says that among the laws that we must refashion is the law of property rights, and also the law of individual liberties. What does this mean? It means, these men tell us, that it is our Christian duty to give up our individual liberties to the Socialistic State. They couch their teaching in religious language, but that does not change it.
Who then is the reactionary? The so-called “liberal” is the reactionary, for he would squander all those individual freedoms which our Bible-believing forefathers have won. He decks this road to the slaughter-house of our freedoms with Christian signs and symbols, but it is the road to the death of our freedoms, nevertheless.
Should individual Christians and Bible-believing mission boards be interested in this? I believe they should, for the loss of our freedoms will eventually lead to the loss of the freedom of the preaching of the Gospel.
This totalitarian trend among the modernists is clearly demonstrated in the churches themselves. In the recent church unions in India and Ceylon, the church governments have been led back to the more totalitarian forms.
Thus, it is our message that is truly revolutionary spiritually and in the external world, because our primary message and its secondary results are totally contrary to all the religions of the world and to the civilizations built upon them.
However, it would be wrong to finish this article without saying that if we intend to stand in the historic stream of Christianity, we must never close our eyes to the wrongs that do exist in our own external world. The reason the secondary blessings of Christianity have followed the preaching of the Cross is that the true preachers of the Cross have always been willing to point out the evils of their own day. Thus, we should raise our voices against not only the theological “liberal” and the totalitarian trends of our day, but we must be especially careful to point out the weaknesses of our own churches and of our civilization. When we find a Bible-believing Christian who, for example, would turn his back on the cry of the world in its present need for food, we should be the ones to tell him that his Christianity is irrelevant. When our nation would break its solemn promises, we should be the ones to speak most loudly for national integrity. If the church in its time of power prior to 1900 had been faithful in pointing out the abuses of our economic system, I seriously doubt if Communism and near-Communism could have gotten such a hold upon us. It is imperative that we should be the ones to take the lead, especially when it is uncomfortable, in pointing out the evils round about us. Being in the “old paths” does not mean keeping on in things that are wrong. Worldliness is more than smoking, drinking and card playing. A far worse worldliness is keeping quiet when our nation breaks its promises; or sharing, through silence, in murder through mob violence; or by driving men to communism by squeezing them in any of the economic processes.
If the church had not lost its revolutionary message through dead orthodoxy and laziness, modernism could never have come in as it has.
Christianity will always be revolutionary until Christ comes back. We should teach our young people carefully that not only all the false religions are against us, but the civilizations built upon them as well. We should present this to them as a challenge. We have the greatest marching orders that men have ever been given, and when we allow our young people to go on the defensive rather than to march straight forward, it means that we have failed to get across the perennial challenge of our calling.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Day 9 to 12 Feb

Thursday 9th we had our monthly lunch with Derek and Thelma Little, parents of our son in law Adrian. This time we were ar Cafe Rouge Ruislip and with a 50% off food voucher I enjoyed the luxury of fillet steak. The it was to Northwick Park Hospital again, this time for a CT scan of my whole body to see if there are signs of cancer beyond the colon. Results are due several days.

 On Friday 10th we were pleased to have a brief visit from old friends, Nigel and Carol Gray, former members here at IPC Ealing. Nigel, formerly a deacon here is now an elder at Iden Green Congregational, Sussex. Carol, like Katy, was a music teacher and church pianist. I cooked an excellent Mexican Chiili supper from a recipe kit. Very warming. But once again I fell asleep watching evening TV. It has become a habit since rising early these days. Katy is frustrated.

Saturday 11th we viewed yet another house in Greenford but once again it was too small for us. There have been few views and no offers on our house so we await the architect's plans for our proposed alterations.The afternoon I watched the nail biting rugby in Cardiff. One again England triumphed, a record 16 wins on the trot.

Sunday 12th, no adult Sunday School in half term but an excellent exposition of Isa 50, the Servant of the Lord form Paul Levy. We missed the evening service as I had to go back to Northwick Park Hospital, this time for an abdominal MRI scan to get a better view of what is wrong there.  I am thankful I live in 2017 when colon cancer can be diagnosed and treated early. Not like my grandfather who died from it in 1953 after months of agony with inadequate prescribing of morphine.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

IM Rene Descartes 11Feb 1655

I think, therefore I am. 'Cogito, ergo sum' -- Rene Descartes 1596-1650: Le Discours de la methode (1637)

If you would be a real seeker after truth, you must at least once in your life doubt, as far as possible, all things.-- Rene Descartes, Discours de la Me'thode, 1637

Nothing is more fairly distributed than common sense: no one thinks he needs more of it than he already has.--Descartes

What should be the Christian attitude to Muslim immigrants?

First of all let me say most of the world's Moslems are peaceful people and many, for economic reasons mainly, would like to live in the West. But of all immigrant groups, it is from Moslem communities that the security of our country may be threatened. Most Muslims do not sympathise with the violent jihadis yet the threat is there and those radicalised may not be recognised even by family and friends. Violent radicalisation should surprise no-one who has studied Islam, its theology and history. Jihad, violent jihad, is truly part of Islam. In that the jihadis are correct. But Most Muslims are better than this. That incidentally is an interesting difference between Muslims and Christians. Most Muslims are better than what their religion teaches ( they will deny these parts of its teaching). But Christians always fall short God's demands, 'Be ye perfect for I am perfect.' So, to me it is evident that our Border Force should be very diligent in examining all applications by Muslims for entry to UK. Terrorist threats are most likely from Muslims, not those of no or other religions. The only terrorist fatality in UK since 7/7 was soldier Lee Rigby murdered by two men of Nigerian ethnicity who had converted to Islam. Converts are more likely to become jihadis.

So am I advocating a ban on Muslim immigration? No I am not. I am calling for support for due diligence by our security forces who have a very good record of producing us. My real reason for not advocating a ban is not because it would breach international law or be heartless towards genuine refugees or asylum seekers. No. My reason is the same as that of Oliver Cromwell when in the 1640s he welcomed the Jews back to England. Cromwell reasoned that Christ would not return before the Jews were converted. To be converted they needed to hear the gospel. Where better to hear the gospel that England, the centre of Reformation gospel preaching? Similarly, I believe Chist may come any day, but he says those who will be round his throne will be from every tribe and tongue and nation. So, with proper regard for national security, we should welcome people of all nations to our country and preach the gospel to them. In 1970 I went as a Missionary to Nigeria, hoping to preach the gospel there. Now I can share the good news with Nigerians here and others from many nations who have come to UK.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Diary 7 to 8 Feb 17

On Monday I posted about my cancer diagnosis. This afternoon I am to have a CT scan. At least that will be more pleasant than an hour or so on an operating table with a TV camera tube up you know where which was my Monday afternoon. The CT is I understand to see if there is any cancer in other parts of the body.

Preparation for Mondays procedure involved drastic doses of laxative to clear out the bowel. So I needed to change trousers and did I thought empty the pockets of the pair being changed. It was only when I looked for my mobile that I realised it was with the trousers in the washing machine. It came out clean and after an overnight drying it now works perfectly. The moral of this may not only be to carefully empty pockets but an old Nokia does not drown easily like a modern smartphone. Katy has one but I refuse.

Monday I rejoiced in HM's Sapphire Jubilee,. My first recollection of world events is on this month in 1952, the death of the king.

On Tuesday I led or University of the Third Age (U3A) World religions meeting on Secularism and discovered the Wikipedia article on this is utter rubbish. Anyone fancy a rewriting?

Wednesday was the first meting of the new U3A History 3 group. I am the convenor and we meet at our house while Katy is out teaching English. We decided on a topic for the term, The 30 Years War, suggested by a member of German origin. She will do the first one, introduction. The I will do April's. I rounded off the meeting with my paper on the Westminster ConAssembly.

Then I enjoyed the blessing of a pastoral visit.  https://ealinglevy.wordpress.com. After we talked and prayed I wished him an unhappy Saturday afternoon when  his  beloved Wales host England in Cardiff.