There are a growing number of evangelical Christians including eminent theologians and scientists who are ready to embrace evolution as the divine mechanism through which God created the world and human beings. See Creation & Evolution: Do we have to choose by Denis Alexander the director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion at St Edmund’s College, Cambridge, a molecular biologist and an author on science and religion for one example.
In his foreward to the book Should Christians Embrace Evolution Wayne Grudem summarises at least eight reasons for rejecting theistic evolution.
If evolution was the mechanism through which God created then;
1) Adam and Eve were not the first human beings, but they were just two Neolithic farmers among about ten million other human beings on earth at that time, and God just chose to reveal himself to them in a personal way.
2) Those other human beings had already been seeking to worship and serve God or gods in their own ways
3) Adam was not specially formed by God or ‘dust from the ground’ (Gen. 2:7) but had two human parents.
4) Eve was not directly made by God out of a ‘rib that the Lord God had taken from the man’ (Gen. 2:22), but she also had two human parents.
5) Many human beings both then and now are not descended from Adam and Eve.
6) Adam and Eve’s sin was not the first sin.
7) Human physical death had occurred for thousands of years before Adam and Eve’s sin – it was part of the way living things had always existed.
8) God did not impose any alteration in the natural world when he cursed the ground because of Adam’s sin.
I’m meeting with a number of ministers today and tomorrow to assess these eight claims that evolution and biblical account of creation are irreconcilable.
If you’re interested in a summary of some of Denis Alexander’s views you might be interested in the following.
Ever wondered how to encourage students to feed themselves by reading great books?
1. Meet 1-2-1 to read with students ie teaching students how to read by reading with them
2. Book clubs – ‘opt in’ open invitations to join a group. The group could meet for 2 hours. In the first hour people read the material silently and in the second hour you discuss. A variation on this is to read an audiobook by listening to it together and then discussing.
3. Reading weeks eg end of term or end of year getaways with the aim of read through one book, talking and praying in the big points.
4. Peer-to-peer reading initiatives. Pick a book and encourage students to read it with each other in small groups of 2 or 3. Invite students to feedback in the student meeting on how it’s going
5. Regularly review books in services and student meetings
6. Get students to review books in student meetings – teach them how to review a book well
7. Blog about books
8. Give books away in meetings – really. Maybe after reviewing a book offer a free one to the first 2 people who put a hand up.
9. Get good books into the hands of students through a good book stall
10. Get into good reading habits yourself and modelling to students how to read well
11. Mention good books in sermons and talks
12. Offer a challenge eg ‘1,000,000 word challenge’. If you read for 15 minutes a day, six days a week you’ll read a million words in a year. That’s 20 decent size books.
13. Provide ideas on what to read by giving a balanced book list. Maybe put 12 books on the list to encourage them to read one book a term and one for the summer for each of their three years.
14. Teach on the value and need for reading: Seminar(s) on ‘why read, what to read, how to read’
15. Focus on getting leaders to read. Develop habits in young leaders not just to be buyers of books but readers.
16. Read books as a church staff team or as a student team.
17. Read 4 books a year with apprentices or ministry trainees
18. Help students to read classic books by running a short series in church maybe something like ‘books that changed the world’ eg Pilgrim’s Progress
19. Inspire the reading of classics by watching a film on Luther and then reading Freedom of a Christian or watching the Francis Schaeffer story and reading a Schaeffer book.
20. Inspire the reading of classics by doing a short biography in a service of the life of the author
21. Compel students to read evangelistic books that they will then give away to their friends.
Mock the Christian?
Have you watched Come fly with me, the new comedy by Little Britain stars Matt Lucas and David Walliams? As with LB it’s very much a character-based comedy and in parts is quite funny with some of the characters pretty well-observed. But they can’t resist having a pop at Christians.
Meet Precious Little
Matt Lucas comments: “Precious Little is a lady who works at the coffee kiosk. A jolly West Indian lady, middle-aged, who enjoys gospel music and she’s a Christian and is seemingly never able to open her kiosk, she’s always missing a vital ingredient – the coffee’s gone missing, or the water isn’t working, or the cups have gone missing. And then there’s something mysterious going on – I’m not going to tell you any more!”
Let’s look at Precious from episode 2:
And so the joke runs through each episode that Precious deliberately sabotages the Coffee shop, providing her with the excuse to close the shop and find something else to do. Continue reading »
NAMES, APPELLATIONS, AND TITLES OF JESUS: (taken from Naves Topical Bible)
- Adam - 1Corinthians 15:45
- Advocate - 1John 2:1
- Almighty- Revelation 1:8
- Alpha and Omega - Revelation 1:8
- Amen - Revelation 3:14
- Angel - Genesis 48:16; Exodus 23:20,21
- Angel of his presence - Isaiah 63:9
- Anointed - Psalms 2:2
- Apostle - Hebrews 3:1
- Arm of the Lord - Isaiah 51:9,10
- Author and Finisher of our faith - Hebrews 12:2
- Beginning and end of the creation of God - Revelation 3:14; 22:13
- Beloved - Ephesians 1:6
- Blessed and only Potentate - 1Timothy 6:15
- Branch - Jeremiah 23:5; Zechariah 3:8
- Bread of life - John 6:48
- Bridegroom - Matthew 9:15
- Bright and Morning Star - Revelation 22:16
- Brightness of the Father’s glory - Hebrews 1:3
- Captain of the Lord’s host (army) - Joshua 5:14
- Captain of Salvation - Hebrews 2:10
- Carpenter - Mark 6:3
- Carpenter’s son - Matthew 13:55
- Chief Shepherd - 1Peter 5:4
- Chief Cornerstone - 1Peter 2:6
- Chiefest among ten thousand - Solomon 5:10
- Child - Isaiah 9:6; Luke 2:27,43
- Chosen of God - 1Peter 2:4
- Christ - Matthew 1:16; Luke 9:20
- The Christ (Messiah) - Matthew 16:20; Mark 14:61
- Christ, a King - Luke 23:2
- Christ Jesus - Acts 19:4; Romans 3:24; 8:1; 1Corinthians 1:2,30; Hebrews 3:1; 1Peter 5:10,14
- Christ Jesus our Lord - 1Timothy 1:12; Romans 8:39
- Christ of God - Luke 9:20
- Christ, the chosen of God - Luke 23:35
- Christ the Lord - Luke 2:11
- Christ, the power of God – 1Corinthians 1:24
- Christ the wisdom of God - 1Corinthians 1:24
- Christ, the Son of God - Acts 9:20
- Christ, Son of the Blessed - Mark 14:61
- Commander - Isaiah 55:4
- Consolation of Israel - Luke 2:25
- Cornerstone - Ephesians 2:20
- Counselor - Isaiah 9:6
- Covenant of the people - Isaiah 42:6
- David - Jeremiah 30:9
- Daysman - Job 9:33
- Dayspring - Luke 1:78
- Day Star - 2Peter 1:19
- Deliverer - Romans 11:26
- Desire of all nations - Haggai 2:7
- Door, the - John 10:7
- Elect - Isaiah 42:1
- Emmanuel - Isaiah 7:14
- Ensign - Isaiah 11:10
- Eternal Life - 1John 5:20
- Everlasting Father - Isaiah 9:6
- Faithful and True - Revelation 19:11
- Faithful Witness, the - Revelation 1:5
- Faithful and true witness, the - Revelation 3:14
- Finisher of faith - Hebrews 12:2
- First and last - Revelation 1:17; 2:8; 22:13
- First begotten - Hebrews 1:6 Continue reading »
William Lane Craig is one of the worlds leading defenders of the Christian faith. Author of 16 scholarly books including The Kalam Cosmological Argument, Philosophy of Religion: A Reader and Guide and The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology.
Craig holds two doctorates (one from Birmingham University!) and is Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California. He is a member of a number of societies including the American Philosophical Association.
Bill Craig has debated a number of leading American atheists but Dawkins won’t debate him! It was a surprise to both of them when they found themselves on opposite sides of a debate between three theists and three atheists on the question of ‘Does the universe have a purpose‘ in Mexico in November of 2010.
In conversation with Justin Brierley on Premier Radio Prof. Craig gives his take on Dawkins and the debate.
If you want to watch the whole thing you can below. For Lane Craig’s own website click here.
Tomorrow the four million, mostly-Christian, population of Southern Sudan will vote on whether to separate from the mostly-Muslim North under the conditions of a peace agreement signed in 2005 after decades of civil war in which two million died. The referendum lasts for 7 days.
In an article in the December edition of Evangelicals Now Jason Boyd of AIM comments on the referendum;
It’s part of the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in 2005; it’s very important. The Southern Sudanese will exercise their right to determine whether they want to be in one Sudan or to be a different country, and I think that’s going to happen. The whole world is looking for that, and they have agreed; the Sudan government, which is composed of the National Congress and SPLM, also have agreed on that.
It’s a challenging time in the history of Sudan and everybody’s worried, and even right now people in Sudan are confused because they don’t know the future of the country. How are these things going to happen? Is it really going to be a peaceful referendum or is it going to be a violent one? If it’s peaceful, how is it going to be in terms of economy in the North, in terms of stability in the South? People are asking a lot of questions.
We, as a church, are praying hard. The church is non-partisan; we don’t belong to a party. We’re only preaching the gospel, and praying that everything in Sudan will be peaceful. We are against war, we are against violence, and we’re promoting peace. With the referendum, let it take place in a peaceful environment, and let it also be fair and accepted by both parties, and let the Southerners exercise their choice, their freedom. We saw two million people die in the first war and don’t want to see that happen again, because the people in the South and those in the North are all precious in front of God; God loves them all, and for us as a church we value them all together. We want the generation after us to enjoy peace; we have suffered in a time of war and we don’t want any more to suffer; we want them to really, really experience peace and let them develop the country of Sudan, which is a blessed country with a lot of resources. As a church our stance is clear: we want peace in the whole country.
That’s why we as a church are trying to work hard with the international community to sustain the peace that was signed, and we want to create an atmosphere where the Southerners and Northerners can live together as brothers and sisters, as they believed a long time ago, and not let these political things affect their lives. We don’t know, if the South votes to become independent, maybe after some few years it’ll come back again and join the North, like Germany. Nobody knows, but we have to keep that relationship.
Please pray for the country and the church in Sudan in the week beginning 9th January. For ideas on how to pray visit here.
For an insight into the church in Sudan:
2020birmingham: 20 churches by 2020
the conference (co-hosted with Acts29) 5-6th May 2011
speaker: mark driscoll
Birmingham Christian Centre
details to follow soon @ www.2020birmingham.org
True friendship consists not in the multitude of friends, but in their worth and value – Ben Johnson
A man of many companions may come to ruin,but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother - Proverbs 18:24
Where God gives us opportunity let us be true friends today.
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