Friday, December 24, 2010

The Seven Deadly Sins

Our senior minister, Rodney Macready, has been running an occasional series on The Seven Deadly Sins, between other series on Bible books.

It is an interesting subject to consider. There are several attempts to make light of these sins in various places on the internet: I don't think I'd be wise to direct you to those sites!

One of the rather flippant sites does feature an interesting list of Mahatma Gandhi's own personal list of traits he believed to be most spiritually perilous to humanity:
* Wealth without Work
* Pleasure without Conscience
* Science without Humanity
* Knowledge without Character
* Politics without Principle
* Commerce without Morality
* Worship without Sacrifice

The current article in Wikipedia is worth reading, as are the articles at All About God.

This short article defines the standard list of sins as it has come down to us through society and literature, and then cites the passage in Proverbs chapter 6 about the seven things the Bible says that God hates.

There is also a more in depth article which gives some historical background and a description of what the Bible means by sin and what God has done in Christ to take away our sin.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Why study the Bible?

This clever video explains why it is worth studying the Bible and maybe even going to Bible college.

If it whets your appetite, you would probably enjoy reading Dug Down Deep.

Here is the first chapter. (If you want to read what he says, and not all the introductory palaver, scroll to page 14!)

Putting Santa in his rightful place.

A great photo snapped by Trevor Cairney, Louise Blencowe's father, illustrating the truth of John 1:14 which tells us that God's Word (Jesus) became flesh, and pitched his tent among us. It's as if God came down to earth and pitched a tent in our front yard.

I also like the place given to Santa in this family's front yard!

Friday, December 10, 2010


I'm reading through the Bible using the new NIV, which you can easily find at Bible Gateway.

I'm starting Romans today and am wondering if you would like to join me.

There are sixteen chapters and I hope to simply read a chapter a day, and maybe make a few comments along the way.

I'd be interested to read your comments, if you would like to share your thoughts.

May God bless us as we read through his Word together.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ben Chifley and the Bible

Steve Howes loaned me his copy of L F Crisp's biography of Ben Chifley.

There's an interesting footnote on page 10, which comments that Chifley, who loved to read, spent many hours systematically reading through the Bible. In later years, says Crisp, he traversed it from cover to cover some eleven times. I am assuming he would be reading the Douay-Rheims Roman Catholic Bible, but maybe it was his Presbyterian wife Elizabeth's King James Version.

He also enjoyed exploring new versions, such as Monsignor Ronald Knox's translation and also his book about translation called On Englishing the Bible. In his correspondence there is a letter written in the last year of his life to the Kandos parish priest, which says
I am returning under separate cover the copy of On Englishing the Bible, which you so kindly lent me and which I took the opportunity of reading yesterday.
I found the book very interesting and, for a work on the subject of the Bible, containing much humour.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Why Nick doesn't want euthanasia legalised.

Professor Nicholas Tonti-Filippini

Bono look-alike, Professor Nicholas Tonti-Filippini is no stranger to suffering. He has a terminal illness and has reached the limits of what palliative care can offer. The pain relief available to him is of limited effectiveness and only lasts a short time.

He is dying and in pain, yet he doesn't want euthanasia legalised. Why?

Professor Tonti-Filippini has written to state and federal politicians to express his opposition to legalising euthanasia. At the heart of his argument is his view that it demeans and devalues those who are suffering terminal illnesses.

I cannot speak for all people who suffer from illness and disability, but think I can speak more credibly about suffering, illness and disability than those people who advocate for euthanasia presenting an ideological view of suffering and disability.

Facing illness and disability takes courage and we do not need those euthanasia advocates to tell us that we are so lacking dignity and have such a poor quality of life that our lives are not worth living.

Addressing the proposal to allow the Northern Territory government to legalise euthanasia he said
I would like to record my own view that it would not benefit seriously ill Territorians, particularly those who are terminally ill and suffering intractably, if the Euthanasia Laws Act was rescinded. The current legal situation, while not perfect, does provide a measure of protection against the terminally ill being regarded as a burden.

As a chronically ill person I know well what it is to feel that one is a burden to others, to both family and community, how isolating illness and disability can be, and how difficult it is to maintain hope in the circumstances of illness, disability and severe pain, especially chronic pain.

The fear of being a burden is a major risk to the survival of those who are chronically ill. If euthanasia were lawful, that sense of burden would be greatly increased for there would be even greater moral pressure to relinquish one’s hold on a burdensome life.

Seriously ill people do not need euthanasia. We need better provision of palliative care services aimed at managing symptoms and maximising function, especially as we approach death. Rather than help to die, the cause of dignity would be more greatly helped if more was done to help people live more fully with the dying process.

The proposal to make provision for a terminally person who is suffering to request, and a doctor to provide, assistance to die makes it less likely that adequate efforts will be made to make better provision for palliative care services. Legalised euthanasia would give those responsible for funding and providing palliative care a political “out” in that respect.

You can read the whole of his letter here.

Louise Blencowe's father, Trevor Cairney has provided several resources on this topic at the CASE website. It is worth thinking about this issue, because there is a strong push for euthanasia to be legalised in our state and federal parliaments. Is it as simple as some folk think? Is it the answer for those suffering from pain and/or no longer wanting to live?

The article Life's End is worth reading and chewing over. And at that location, CASE also gives excellent support materials in the form of other articles and talks which you can freely download.

Becoming Christ-like

Brian Hedges
Do you wish that you were more like Jesus and less like you? How can we be transformed and grow into mature Christians?

Our church aims to not only present the good news about Jesus to everyone, but to help everyone to become like Jesus.

Donald Whitney says that Those who know the gospel best are those most likely to become closest to Christ and most like Christ.

Brian Hedges' first book, Christ Formed In You was written with the aim of helping us to understand the gospel more deeply and so discover The Power of the Gospel For Personal Change.

Giveaway For Bathurst residents
If you would like to read Brian's excellent book, please write a comment about any of the posts on our new church blog. We have several copies to give away to the first few people from Bathurst who write some comments.