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Showing posts from 2012

The Devil Made Me Do It!

Many years ago there was a lot more talk about how the devil may have influenced some of our wrong thoughts and actions. So much so that it was comically parodied, which meant that eventually it even became unpopular to use that kind of terminology. It was thought that to speak that way was a cop out. People were not taking personal responsibility for their own questionable behaviours. If anything we may have tipped a little too far the other way, because nowadays you hear very little of how satan may be at the back of some of our inclinations to rebel against God and behave immorally. This whole scenario reminds me of an old Christian classic by A.W. Tozer, titled, "I Talk Back To The Devil." It's a long, long while since I read it but as I recall there are some very valuable insights about the devil's interest in tripping up christians and getting them out of fellowship with God. Another old classic along these same lines was C.S. Lewis's book, "The Screwt…

Our Shared-Parenting Experience

The CBE blogsite, the Scroll, is currently running a post on the subject of parenting addressing the issue of parenting jointly, or sharing parenting according to gifting and need as opposed to gender stereotypes. While my wife and I are thoroughly committed to Biblical equality and an equitable sharing of both the parenting responsibility and workload we generally fall into the gendered stereotypical roles.What I mean by that is, I as the husband generally do all of the outside stuff, including maintenance on the car, home repairs and gardens while Liz handles all of the inside work, like grocery shopping, meal preparation, laundry and house cleaning. There are certainly times when we cross over these areas of responsibility but by and large we have followed this more ordinarily accepted, or structured way of doing things.For us it wasn't a matter of who would do what but how we were culturally conditioned to apportion tasks and the natural inclinations and skills that we had eac…

Radio Interviews 2

Another radio interview that intrigued me was that with Dr. Geoffrey Burnstock, an Australian Neuro Scientist. In the year 2000 he was awarded the Royal Medal (also known as the Queen's Medal, which was commenced in 1826) for his research into neurotransmission pathways. To cite the actual wording of the award: "In recognition of his development of new hypotheses challenging the accepted views on autonomic neurotransmission, leading to new advances in the understanding of purinergic neurotransmission." Presently in retirement, apart from mentoring Doctoral graduates in this field of research, Dr. Burnstock related how difficult it was to introduce his findings to the established scientific fraternity. He spoke of the ridicule that he experienced at the hands of other bio-medical scientists, some even going as far as to say that they would dedicate their lives to destroying his hypotheses. In that context he gave actual examples of the alienation and underhanded defamatio…

Talkback Radio

It's simply amazing what you can learn on talkback radio, here in Australia anyway. I'm not often in the car alone but when I am I like to listen to a Radio National station that features guest speakers on various subjects and invites comment from listeners who can become involved in the conversation. One such guest, who was responsible for a phenomenon called the 'Flynn Effect' was most interesting. His hypothesis is that the IQ's of 21st century educated westerners are increasing at the rate of 3-5% over time because of the way that we are now being taught to process information. He said that the analytical process and abstract thinking methodology has increased our capacity to think in the way that the IQ tests have been designed and we are therefore able to process the test puzzles etc. more easily.

Apparently he sparked off some controversy when he suggested that dark skinned people, who usually don't perform as well in the current IQ test format (because …

Egalitarian Husbands

Something has just resonated with me that may relate to other husbands within egalitarian marriages so I will put it out there for your interest and comment.


Within complementarian marriages it is expected that men should take the lead, in both the family and church, because they believe that they are biblically mandated to do so. This can lead to many women within that ordered environment becoming passive and retreating from the active development of their own spiritual walk with God. Even though complementarians believe that men should lead, many of the books that encourage such leadership spend a great deal of time speaking to women about how to help release their men into taking up the mantle of responsibility. This is more evident in some of the dating books where prospective brides are urged to step back and let the men step up in the relationship. Which suggests to me that males are not so 'hard-wired' as we are led to believe to fit automatically into that role. Some me…

An 'aha' Moment

Recently Liz and I visited one of our sons (who is the senior pastor of a beachside resort town church) and his family for a weekend. The last time we were there, about 2 months ago, we heard him begin a series on foundations in Genesis where he touched on men and women as God created them and some of the myths and erroneous marriage practices that arise out of incorrectly interpreting this passage of Scripture. He did the introductory message very well but we were unable to be there for the next instalment so we ordered a CD of the next message which we only listened to on our return, two and a half hour journey.

It was while listening to that message on the CD that I asked Liz to pause it for a moment, I had just had an 'aha' moment of something that really struck me while Lee (our son) was expounding this passage. He was talking about the word 'desire' in Genesis 3:16, and how it had been wrongly translated to suggest that women now have a desire to 'rule' me…

Disappointment - AW Tozer

I was really excited when I got hold of one of the latest AW Tozer books that was compiled by James L. Snyder, "The Crucified Life". When I began pastoring some 40 years ago I had everything that Tozer had written and they were incredibly formative in my approach to ministry. So to come across fresh material of Tozer's reignited the passion and got me looking at some of the other classics, like "The Pursuit of God" and "Knowledge of the Holy." Not content with that I started hunting around for anything Tozer on the internet and discovered that there is a biography out written by Lyle Dorsett, titled, "A Passion for God: The Spiritual Journey of A.W. Tozer." Then I read some reviews, of which there were many, but I was struck by the recurring theme that Tozer was a loner who was not even close to his wife and 7 children. This spiritual giant of a man was as alone in his death as he was in life. One of his colleagues noted that one of the last…

Marriage is a Work in Progress

We are surrounded with soooo much good reading material but I recently decided to re-read Pat Gundry's book (written back in 1980!) 'Heirs Together'. For me, this is still one of the best handbooks on Christian Egalitarian marriage and is a classic. I'm only into the first couple of chapters and I take her point that marriage is work. She doesn't suggest that it is 'hard work' but it is work. Good marriages don't just happen.
Even if you have the perfect partner and enduring love, love alone will not sustain a marriage. Life is in the habit of not necessarily running according to plan. Somehow we have to navigate, together, the twists and turns that may be our lot in life. It won't always be plain sailing!
Unforeseen circumstances, like a tragic death or debilitating accident, still birth, cot death, an autistic child the dreaded cancer or an unexplained illness can come upon us out of the blue and change the course of our lives forever. We don't…

Majoring on the majors

At our local church the pastor has been preaching his way thematically through the Gospel of Matthew and just recently touched on some verses that sparked an idea for a post. While he didn't spend a lot of time on the Transfiguration, somehow, as he was speaking about this and directing our thoughts forward to the Great Commission, this idea came to mind. I'd like to believe it was prompted by the Holy Spirit.
For me, one of the most significant things about the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8) as Jesus is standing, talking together with Moses and Elijah is God's voice from the shining cloud, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!" Peter had just expressed how great it would be to enshrine these three most notable biblical characters on the mountain and it was at that moment that God spoke those immortal words. We are left with the thought of, listen to Jesus! It's always possible to build religious systems on our feeble, eart…

More Recent Developments

One of the most troubling developments of recent times is the fact that younger people who have grown up in a secular egalitarian culture have not, it would appear, examined the theological ramifications of the egalitarian position. This often means that when they are confronted with the passionate, persuasive and seemingly more godly arguments against egalitarianism, usually by hardline complementarians, they more readily embrace hierarchy and consequently male headship.
If the argument is emphatic that egalitarianism is purely secular, or a result of feminist influences within the church that will unhealthily 'feminise' christianity then it seems a good thing for them to oppose it. Add to this the thought that to question apparent biblically defined male/female roles within the church will lead to open acceptance of homosexuality. These are very emotive claims and it can seem that to resist such 'feminisation' and 'worldly influences' is a more godly way to …