The Pale Blue Dot

In 1990, the Voyager 1 space probe took a picture of the earth, named as the “Pale Blue Dot” from 3.7 billion miles away. This earth, home to mankind for thousands of years, is smaller than a speck of dust in the immensity of space. We can feel so insignificant, and yet we cannot place limits on what mankind is meant to achieve. Just what is our destiny? Let’s explore the vastness of the universe but also look at how unimaginably large we are compared with the infinitesimally tiny. [Read more…]

Guns, Kids and the Arms Trade

Once again we hear of kids being massacred at a school by a man with a gun. Most people I know who live in Britain rather than America are horrified and puzzled by the American obsession with gun ownership. The statistics clearly point to drastically reduced gun related deaths when there is strong gun ownership control. But strong government control is anathema to many citizens in the ‘land of the free”.

Viewed the situation from the outside, I and many others, can be judgemental of our American cousins. We are actually in danger of being hypocritical, bearing in mind how much money Britain makes by selling weapons around the world. [Read more…]

Is the Bible God’s final word?

The Bible is not a rule book. It says very little about lots of  issues which affect us today.  If we look hard we may find ‘proof texts’ to support a particular moral stance but they might be reliant on the Old Testament and maybe contradicted elsewhere.  Even Jesus contradicted or brought new light on an old saying. (For example ‘eye for an eye’ in Matthew 5.) Here are some examples of current issues in a somewhat random order.

  • Slavery – in it’s institutionalised and modern forms
  • The death penalty or capital punishment
  • Global warming or looking after the earth

… and …
[Read more…]

Faith in human nature

An incredible thing happened to me the other day which restored my faith in human nature.

I went for a walk with my wife, son, daughter-in law and one of my grandsons. We walked from Tilford along some very muddy paths. We came out to a main road about a mile from the cars and because I was worn out and had walked far enough I sat on a road sign and waited while the others walked back to collect the cars.

[Read more…]

Fake Good News

Ninety-nine lost sheep, nine lost coins and a son excluded from his family. These are the stories that Jesus didn’t tell.

Ninety-nine lost sheep

A shepherd had 100 sheep. He let them out one morning to roam at will on the mountain side. Because they had free wills he allowed them to go wherever they fancied. As evening time approached he set off to find his sheep but he couldn’t see them anywhere. He despaired of finding any at all but eventually found one. The lost sheep signed a quick form and received a guarantee certificate of a nights safe keeping in the sheep fold.

[Read more…]

Seeking Justice through Love

Justice and love are two sides of the same coin. We can seek justice through love.

  • Love means wanting the best for a person or group of people and acting accordingly.
  • Justice means wanting to eliminate those things which do harm to the person or group of people who we love.

In seeking justice I am not taking about legal punishment of those who steal from, act violently or oppress their fellow human beings but about seeking to change the system where injustice is encouraged or tolerated. [Read more…]

Jesus and Politics

or, “How would Jesus vote?”

With a general election looming in the United Kingdom I am asking the question, “How, as a follower of Jesus should I vote?”  Does Jesus give us any clue how we should act in a democratic age?  Jesus said a lot about how we should order our lives, but very little about how we should go about choosing a politician or political party to rule over us.  But if we want to be true to following Jesus we need to look carefully at his life and words and see if we can glean some clues.

  • What are the cultural differences between Jesus’ day and today?
  • Was Jesus a nationalist?
  • Was Jesus a socialist?
  • Did Jesus believe in a free market?
  • How would Jesus vote? [Read more…]
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