Friday, August 18, 2006

An Interesting Idea

I was surfing the other day and ended up at, where they have a blog Bible commentary. It occurred to me that this might be something to try over here. Not that I am a great scholar, but it struck me as having two benefits. First it would structure my own Bible study in a positive way. To explain something you have to understand it. Second, the more I post the more often I find reasons to post. If I were to make a commentary post once a week, I think I'd be more likely to be here more often.

I am thinking of concentrating on the New Testament.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Wikipedia and Jesus Only

I few weeks ago I logged on to wikipedia and discovered an entry for "Jesus Only." Content-wise it was okay. A little redundant given that there was already a "Oneness Pentecost" entry, but the term "Jesus Only" doesn't reflect the reality of our beliefs and has always been understood as derogatory and misrepresentative.

Why? Because it implies a denial of the Father and Holy Ghost. We don't deny the Father, Son, or Holy Ghost. We simply don't believe they exist as individual "persons". They are each a role, a manifestation, through which God has revealed Himself to us.

But… now I finally have the time to log on to the entry and attempt to do something about it, others have already been at work. Wouldn’t it be great if all the things we should have done were done in our absence?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Health Problems - Again

Almost two weeks ago now, I developed Bell's Palsy. This happens when a nerve in your face, for any one of a great many reasons, stops signalling the muscles its connected to and one side of your face becomes paralysed. In about half the cases recovery is within a short time. In another third, about a year. The remaining 15 per cent (approximately) may never recover. Fortunately for me, I seem to be in the first group. A lot of people have prayed for me, and I have seen a couple of doctors, and things are on course for a full recovery.

The last couple of years have been marked with a lot of health emergencies. Sometimes my back would act up so badly I couldn't work. I developed a hernia. My right knee has twice swollen so badly I couldn't walk. Now this. I've had a full physical. There's no connection. In fact, my overall health is excellent. In each case something specific would go seriously wrong and then recover. Other than my appendix bursting about eight years ago and my tonsils when a was a pre-schooler, I think a twisted ankle is the worse thing I'd had to deal with before now. I suppose I could mark it down to age, but I'm 43, not 63.

Personally, I tend to look at life as being full of events that, if they aren't random per se, are often just the consequence of too many things impacting you for there to really be any kind of pattern or plan at work. Yes, I understand and believe in providence, but looking for a reason for everything is also a sign of paranoia. Still, I am starting to wonder. Maybe there is a reason. Maybe I am being taught empathy. If I am, I certainly hope I recognize the lesson when it comes. I'd hate to go through this all and fail.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Israel At War

While I haven't posted anything on the current war(s) on Israeli's border, I hope to be a lot more diligent from now on. My time has been spent elsewhere.

Israel is fighting in the south (Gaza) and the north (Lebanon). Events began when an Israeli artillery shell struck a Gaza beach and killed eight members of a family. At that point Hamas militants renounced their cease-fire and kidnapped an Israeli soldier. Their aim was to arrange a prisoner swap. They wanted to free one to two hundred women and minors in Israeli custody. Tel Aviv’s response was a massive military invasion, which destroyed much of the Gaza’s infrastructure. Soon there was another kidnapping. This time from the north, where Hezbollah kidnapped more Israeli soldiers. Those who support a hardline position, and think its crazy that either group of militants could think to win anything through kidnappings, should remember that such prisoner exchanging have happened, and have even been sought out by hardliners like Sharon.

So why has Israeli responded as violently this time? “Enough is enough” hardly makes a credible answer when most of the insurgent’s reactions are a response to Israel’s actions – which have been condemned from the left and right. But not by Washington. The Bush administration is following its Israel at all costs policy. One that is strongly informed by the President’s religious views. A great book on this subject is On the Road to Armageddon, which goes into some depth in discussing the links with dispensational theology, and the political ties that exist between the state of Israel and the American Evangelical community. Many liberals, who have long distained even thinking about America’s religious right, simply have no idea how closely tied it is to the power brokers of Israel, and the Israeli right in particular.

Anyway. I have more to say on this subject and, I am afraid, there will be a lot of time yet to say it.