Jul 30, 2010

A half-formed poem about perfection:

It's not very sophisticated, but hey it's late
and take it or leave it, it's what I've created:

Let me explain the mystery
of eternity revealed in humanity
-Jesus Christ – God’s story,
at the right time in history
The son of man, claiming divinity
The son of God, part of the Trinity

A time of heightened messianic expectation
The Pax Romana, was appropriate preparation

There were many prophecies of the one to come
He fulfilled them and surprised everyone

He healed in the streets and hung out with the lost
He upset the authorities, paying the ultimate cost

We find him mentioned in Flavius Josephus, Pliny & Suetonius
The Christ-myth hypothesis is simply erroneous

Jesus was hung, taking God’s curse for me
The perfect representa-tive of humanity

After three days in the tomb he was raised from the dead
This was true vindication of what he had said.

Jesus is alive and well today.
Now, we come to the question: what do you say?

Jul 28, 2010

some words seldom heard, from a little bird

A piece of TS Eliot's 'Ash Wednesday'. This may be cliched for anyone into poetry, but I don't mind. I'd like to write more, including poetry, myself; but I have little time a.t.m. and can't beat this in any case.

If the lost word is lost, if the spent word is spent
If the unheard, unspoken
Word is unspoken, unheard;
Still is the unspoken word, the Word unheard,
The Word without a word, the Word within
The world and for the world;
And the light shone in darkness and
Against the Word the unstilled world still whirled
About the centre of the silent Word.

O my people, what have I done unto thee.

Where shall the word be found, where will the word
Resound? Not here, there is not enough silence
Not on the sea or on the islands, not
On the mainland, in the desert or the rain land,
For those who walk in darkness
Both in the day time and in the night time
The right time and the right place are not here
No place of grace for those who avoid the face
No time to rejoice for those who walk among noise and deny the voice

More here.

Jul 24, 2010

It's a Dog-Gone World

You may have heard the word on the street - the police dog 'Gage' is gone.

He was killed in the line of duty. Loads of money has poured in after the media's focus on him, I'm not sure for what purpose precisely but it's probably something charitable concerning dogs. In the news today (TV3 perhaps), there was a short story about an artist who's painted a picture of Gage to give to his owner or handler. The comment was made that Gage, in giving his life, paid the ultimate sacrifice, or something like this.

Interestingly, the words paralleled quite closely this verse:
"No one has greater love than this – that one lays down his life for his friends." John 15:13

Dogs are cool, I used to want to have one even. But it concerned me that the suffering of thousands of people every day is deemed less important by some than the death of a dog. Is this a gauge of where our society is at? It'd almost be laughable if it were not so true. Even more so, however, the way the artist talked about this canine companion reminded me of a companion of mine named Jesus. The brief suffering of a dog is an example of the evil throughout this world, but it also points me to the suffering of the God who made the world, taken upon the incarnate Word's self to make the world right. It may seem that evil is rampant, but I can tell you that it is being dealt with and it has been dealt with - for someone with the right credentials has paid the ultimate price for His friends.

Now that, it seems to me, is good news.

Jul 18, 2010


I have some friends involved in this debate:

August 2nd @ 7pm, University of Auckland. Check out the info by clicking the pic.

Jul 14, 2010

books for all

I'm in the fortunate position of owning books. I'd like to lend them to you, perhaps for a tiny fee if they're expensive. If I know you or have reason to trust you. For the most part, you won't find them in your local library - unless whoever owns the library is awesome, that is.

Here are some I think are quite exciting which are on my shelf or there soon:
You'll see they're biased towards apologetics, science and philosophy - it's what I do.

The Reason for God - Tim Keller
a classic case for God and Christian orthodoxy - I have quibbles of course, but it is well-read and philosophically astute.

The Loser Letters - Mary Eberstadt
a little bit of sarcasm never hurt anyone - let's see if the New Atheists agree. Am looking fwd to this arriving.

Justice - Nicholas Wolterstorff
a Christian perspective on Justice from a philosophical theologian at Yale. Repays careful reading.

Embryo - A defense of human life - RP George & Chris Tollefsen
an intro to bioethical issues around abortion and embryo research. Useful in engaging with some biological details.

To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity Today - James Davison Hunter
am eagerly waiting for this collection of essays on Christianity's place in culture to arrive

The End of Christianity - William Dembski
'the Fall' - how can we make sense of it in light of an old earth? Dembski advocates a retro-active event.

God's Undertaker - John C Lennox
Science and God - a good intro not afraid to deal with scientific facts, stats and philosophy

The Signature in the Cell - Stephen C Meyer
a new summary of the case for Intelligent Design from DNA and the origin of life

Contending with Christianity's critics - William Lane Craig & Paul Copan (eds)
collection of pretty good essays. That was an understatement - some of them at least are 'spot on'.

The Genesis Enigma - Andrew Parker
an Oxford-based evolutionary biologist argues for ... Genesis' essential historical accuracy (!) Fascinating stuff.

Some older gems:

The Missing Gospels - Darrell Bock an introduction to 'gnostic' and other non-canonical early Christian writings from a conservative NT scholar
Jesus & Christian Origins outside the New Testament - FF Bruce
Jesus according to Scripture - Darrell Bock
Finding God at Harvard - Kelly Monroe
Telling the Truth - DA Carson (a collection of essays on postmodernism)
The Case for: Christ/A Creator/The Real Jesus - Lee Strobel
How blind is the Watchmaker? - Neil Broom

Please help me justify buying these by borrowing them. Thanks.

Jul 11, 2010

pair pressure

From 'Dangerous Idea': emphasis added

Loftus [an active internet skeptic - A.Z.] attributes religious belief to sociological conditioning. The elephant in the room is the culture of disbelief that is perpetuated, not by argumentation, but by intellectual intimidation and bullying, which anybody can find at most secular institutions of higher learning. I'm talking about the sort of "nobody believes that anymore" chronological snobbery that makes you feel as if some overwhelming argument was given on the day you were absent. It's the sort of attitude that makes an adolescent feel like a truly independent thinker because he has learned to be critical of his parents' attitudes and has adopted, instead, the attitudes of his peers. The idea that becoming a religious skeptic means transcending sociological pressures strikes me as ludicrous.