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Showing posts from April, 2019

The end is near... or is it?

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The typical image of a sandwich board and a fringe-riding stranger tells the ordinary citizen to stay away. Whatever his thing, the stranger is broadcasting a weird message about the end of the world and who has time for this nonsense?
What prompts my thinking and this blog today is the announcement of yet another shooting in the US. And again it's at a place of worship. Six months ago in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania a crazed man killed 11 Jewish people in the Tree of Life Synagogue, Last month a shooter at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand killed 50 of the 100 innocent people who were shot. In February/ March this year at least 30 Nigerian Christians were killed while worshipping and torched the church! Here's the link:Then last Sunday in Sri Lanka, on Easter morning, approximately 250 people were killed, including at least 42 foreign nationals and three police officers, and at least 500 were injured.
So when I heard about 4 more people being shot at a synagogue in Californi…

Easter: So what?

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Given at Hills Church 21 April 2019
Introduction
Shalom! Thank you to Pastor Nicholas and all my mates here at Hills Church. If you are watching this via Live Stream, I particularly welcome you as well. Today is what some call Easter Sunday, others use the term “Resurrection Day”. And as you have heard from the reading and from the singing portion of the service today, and you may already have known this, Easter is a significant day where Christians worldwide sing because Jesus rose from the dead. You might also know there are other events that happen in the world including Easter Egg hunts and Cadbury marketing gone mad. Is that what we should take away from this holiday and from this event? 
I want to share with you the background to the date in both Older and Newer Testaments, the lessons the Apostle Paul gives us to learn, and some final comments from me about lessons I don’t want us to miss. All the while I say, “Jesus rose from the dead. So what?”
Firstfruits in the Older Testament  I…

Your last meal

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Last year I read a book handed me by a fellow in Texas on a previous trip. I politely thanked the author and put the book in my suitcase perhaps to read down the road. Eventually, I had a weekend and saw the book on my 'to read' shelf and gave in. The title was captivating, as were the subjects. These were death row prisoners for whom the author Brian Price was the chef. He prepared their ultimate meals before they were executed.
The book's description on Goodreads says, "With 44 darkly titled recipes such as Body Bag Baked Beans and Rice Rigormortis, a Texas death row chef shares insider details on the last meals of condemned prisoners. Photos."
I cannot say it was a great book; in fact, it was only facts, with little emotion, and few insights into the real thoughts and feelings of the death row candidates. But the whole idea fascinates me, even today. What would I want at my last supper? What would I not eat? With whom would I want to share this time? 
As I write …

Israel Folau and Free Speech

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Firestorm! An Australian sports figure writes on his social media platform his own opinion. The sports world in Australia goes ballistic. The media brands Israel Folau a bigot and homophobe. There are calls for his being fired for declaring his opinion about who is on their way to hell. Wow, let's sit down and consider what this is about and what it is not about.

Some say that he is welcome to have his own opinion, but he shouldn't declare that opinion if the content might offend someone. Some don't want him to express any opinion at all if it is 'out of bounds'  Wait a minute, who decides which of your opinions are worthy or proper or agreeable? Do you really want the thought police 'out there?'

Imagine if Anthony Mundine or Khoder Nasser, Usman Khawaja or Fawad Ahmed were being told they couldn't say that homosexuality is out of bounds in their religion. Muslims hold that as one of their beliefs. Would their sports association dismiss them for that, too…

The late Christopher Hitchens vs Dr John Lennox in Alabama

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If you have nearly two hours to watch and to consider the arguments, the kindnesses, the energy of these two brilliant Englishmen, you will be rewarded. The YouTube is here:
https://youtu.be/5OXPlUCGScY

Is there a God?
Can we know anything at all about religions?
What about the problem of evil in light of the assumption that there is a caring God?

So much to consider. For those who know science and for those who know very little.
Please watch; please consider; please comment below.

Hitchens passed away, but his arguments remain, and need to be heard and need to be answered.









Professor John Lennox is a mathematician at Oxford University. His clarity and quotations from philosphers and scientists are again worth hearing.
I met him in Sydney some years ago and was benefited greatly.










Enjoy the debate!