Thursday, September 29, 2011


I'd like to recommend a recently released mini-documentary called 180; subtitled 33 minutes that will rock your world.

For me, the beginning of the documentary was very confusing. I'd been told that it was about abortion: pro-life vs. pro-choice. The movie starts however, with Ray Comfort interviewing people on the street about the holocaust. This part of the movie is disturbing enough. It amazed me to see that so many people have no idea what the holocaust was, or who Adolf Hitler and the Nazis were.

The questioning then takes an interesting "what-if" ethical twist. Interviewees are asked about what they would do in different hypothetical situations. The answers are eyebrow-raising.

I won't spoil the "plot" for you, or explain how the subject of abortion has anything to do with this. Instead, I'll ask you to invest the 33 minutes it takes to sit down and watch it:

Monday, July 11, 2011

"The Gospel" by Mark Driscoll

I haven't heard or seen much about Mark Driscoll. He's just been one of those vague names hovering out there in famous-Christian-speaker-world. Recently a Facebook-friend got upset about something he said, which was a catylist to look him up.

So far in my research, I've watched one video: that's it. In it, Mr Driscoll explains the bare-bones of the gospel in just a few minutes. His explanation is concise, accurate and passionate; ergo, good. So, even if I later conclude that he's a heretic, a liar or a hypocrite on other grounds; it won't be because of this clip:

NB: I'm a little confused about the t-shirt. I'm not clear on exactly what the point of it is, but I've let it slide, with the benefit of the doubt going to the words that are said.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Jesus & Jehovah

Please read: Exodus 20:14 and Matthew 5:27

I had a very good conversation with someone today. I'd describe him as a straying, semi-secular Jehovah's Witness. His parents are Jehovah's Witnesses, and though he's wondered from that faith, it still makes up much of his core belief system.

JW's maintain that Jesus is not God (or Jehovah).

I shared the Matthew 5 scripture above and explained that when He gave the ten commandments, Jehovah-God said, "You shall not commit adultery". Then Jesus came and said, "You heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you..." That's a big call: to quote Jehovah, and then say, "But I say to you."

My friend hadn't realised that Jesus made claims like this; making himself equal to Jehovah.

The cycle of prayer and reasoning continues.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Phillip Jensen on Hosea

I'm part of a small group that meets on Sunday evenings to sing "psalms, hymns and spiritual songs" (Ephesians 5:19), and to hear the word of God expounded through various pre-recorded means. The days of tapes and even CDs are being superceded by the massive array of talks that can be downloaded for free from the internet.  (Free and internet should set off your discernment alarm now).

In this group, we recently completed a series of talks by Phillip Jensen on Hosea. Each talk goes for half an hour, and covers one chapter of the book. Each one of us found the talks excellent, and highly recommend them. The talks are:
  • Comprehensive.  Almost every verse of the book is discussed.
  • God-centred.  These talks showed me how much the book of Hosea tells us about God: His love, mercy, patience, jealousy, sovereignty.
  • Christ-centred.  The prophecies of Hosea find their fulfilment in Christ, and these connections are clearly expounded.
  • Relevant.  All Scripture is relevant (2 Timothy 3:16), but sometimes the scripture can be taught in an irrelevant way.  This is not the case with these talks.
  • Easily Understood.  Phillip uses simple language that is easily understood to make Hosea easily understood (including historical and political background).  This is a spiritual gift that is hard to explain.  He doesn't make himself appear clever with his complicated words: he simply makes you understand what is written on the pages of your Bible.
  • Memorable.  Good teaching links what you've been taught to the words of the scripture, so that when you read the passage later, you recall what you've learned.
Enough glowing praise.  If Phillip Jensen read this he'd glow with embarrassment.

To find the talks, go to his website: and follow the "Video" link on the top toolbar.  You'll find a number of series there, including the one on Hosea.  I'm sure the others are just as good (we've just started the Ephesians series), however, I'll only recommend what I've seen.

Technical tip: to download each talk as an mp4 video file, right-click on the video window that pops up and select "Watch on Vimeo".  Vimeo's kind of like YouTube, but different. If you log into Vimeo, you can download the talk using the button on the bottom-right of the page.  I first tried using automatic downloaders available on the web, but they're much more fuss (and less useful) than just signing up to Vimeo - then you can download any Vimeo video.

Disclaimers: Phillip Jensen isn't a relation of mine!  His name is Jensen; mine is Jansen.

Friday, April 1, 2011

100% Luke, 100% God

Read: Luke 1:1-4

This brief dedication to Luke's gospel provides one of the few direct insights into the "author side" of the inspiration of scripture. (Other passages, such as 2 Timothy 3:16, tell us about the "God side" - that the words of the scriptures are the very words of God). Luke's dedication teaches us that, (at the same time as being God's words), the words of Luke's gospel are Luke's own words too. The scriptures are 100% the words of God, and 100% the words of the human authors.

Think about this, for a while. God didn't force Luke's hands, but he guided them. He didn't over-ride Luke's mind, but the words that came from Luke's mind onto the page were God's words. And Luke's.

These two facts are not contradictory; however, we need to learn to allow each fact to leave room in our minds for the other. What other concepts in scripture are like this?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Deity of Christ

Read: John 1:1-3

Believing that Jesus Christ is, always was, and always will be fully God is a fundamental teaching of the Christian faith. It's very important. The first few verses of John is one of the most significant passages in the Bible that establishes this doctrine: the "Deity of Christ".

Verse one is very plan; however, Arian heretics pose an argument based on the absence of an indefinite article in the Greek. Because there's no "the" in Greek, the verse could be saying - they say - "...and the Word was a God."

This is really a smoke-screen, and not worth arguing with, because verse three leaves no doubt. Verse three implies there are two categories of existence: things that were made, and things that weren't made. Jesus wasn't made, because without him was not any thing made that was made. He couldn't have made himself - he wasn't made - he's in the "things that weren't made" category. There was never a time when Christ was not. There was never a time when the Father did not have The Son.

We worship God who became man.