Category Archives: Religion and Philosophy
This is where I give voice to my views about the meaning of life. If you are someone who doesn’t think someone should share their views on God, salvation, etc, then you’ll most likely be dreadfully offended by looking in this category – enjoy!
Original YT playout date: 7 March 2010
“We’re still here. In case you were wondering!
We haven’t perished yet, and I wouldn’t hold your breath if that was what you were expecting…”
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Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Original YT playout date: 11 April 2009
On Play Talk UK, Global Newstalk Show with rising talk radio journalist Fiona Dutton, from 6th April 2009.
With photos made by me, except for the image of Fiona, which is off her facebook page.
For anyone who has forgotten it, here is the beginning of the original Hippocratic oath from 4 centuries before Christ (hence they swore to false deities, but the intentions were just):
Ὄμνυμι Ἀπόλλωνα ἰητρὸν, καὶ Ἀσκληπιὸν, καὶ Ὑγείαν, καὶ Πανάκειαν, καὶ θεοὺς πάντας τε καὶ πάσας, ἵστορας ποιεύμενος, ἐπιτελέα ποιήσειν κατὰ δύναμιν καὶ κρίσιν ἐμὴν ὅρκον τόνδε καὶ ξυγγραφὴν τήνδε.
Ἡγήσασθαι μὲν τὸν διδάξαντά με τὴν τέχνην ταύτην ἴσα γενέτῃσιν ἐμοῖσι, καὶ βίου κοινώσασθαι, καὶ χρεῶν χρηίζοντι μετάδοσιν ποιήσασθαι, καὶ γένος τὸ ἐξ ωὐτέου ἀδελφοῖς ἴσον ἐπικρινέειν ἄῤῥεσι, καὶ διδάξειν τὴν τέχνην ταύτην, ἢν χρηίζωσι μανθάνειν, ἄνευ μισθοῦ καὶ ξυγγραφῆς, παραγγελίης τε καὶ ἀκροήσιος καὶ τῆς λοιπῆς ἁπάσης μαθήσιος μετάδοσιν ποιήσασθαι υἱοῖσί τε ἐμοῖσι, καὶ τοῖσι τοῦ ἐμὲ διδάξαντος, καὶ μαθηταῖσι συγγεγραμμένοισί τε καὶ ὡρκισμένοις νόμῳ ἰητρικῷ, ἄλλῳ δὲ οὐδενί.
Διαιτήμασί τε χρήσομαι ἐπ’ ὠφελείῃ καμνόντων κατὰ δύναμιν καὶ κρίσιν ἐμὴν, ἐπὶ δηλήσει δὲ καὶ ἀδικίῃ εἴρξειν.
Οὐ δώσω δὲ οὐδὲ φάρμακον οὐδενὶ αἰτηθεὶς θανάσιμον, οὐδὲ ὑφηγήσομαι ξυμβουλίην τοιήνδε. Ὁμοίως δὲ οὐδὲ γυναικὶ πεσσὸν φθόριον δώσω. Ἁγνῶς δὲ καὶ ὁσίως διατηρήσω βίον τὸν ἐμὸν καὶ τέχνην τὴν ἐμήν.””
Which, being translated, meaneth:
“”I swear by Apollo, Asclepius, Hygieia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgment, the following Oath.
To consider dear to me, as my parents, him who taught me this art; to live in common with him and, if necessary, to share my goods with him; To look upon his children as my own brothers, to teach them this art.
I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone.
I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion.
But I will preserve the purity of my life and my arts.””
It seems that some people think that they ought to be allowed to pressure their doctors into becoming traitors to this ancient oath, which is not recited verbatim these days but of which the main intent, relevent to this debate, is inherent in all the modern equivalents.”
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Original YT playout date: 3 April 2009
January’s belated monthly rant around the question: “What? Is God not allowed to play dice?”. A panoramic rant. Enjoy.
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How do we calculate backwards to the total solar eclipse that occurred when Jesus died on an afternoon in 33 CE? Has it ever been published?
Kyle Davison Bair (Master of Divinity in The Bible & Teaching, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) wrote this piece on Quora and has kindly allowed me at my request to share it with my audience as a guest post, please check out his site and his books, which seem to be absolutely first rate.
This is going to be fun.
The darkness at the time of Jesus’ Crucifixion gives us solid proof — either of the Bible lying or the Bible recording a remarkable truth. The Bible describes two spectacular events on the day of Jesus’ Crucifixion.
Listen to how Mark describes the first: “And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour” (Mark 15:33 NIV).
If darkness covered the entire land, it would be visible to more than those in Jerusalem. Everybody around the Roman Empire should have seen something, if it was real.
The second event likewise would be visible everywhere. Joel prophesied it and Peter quoted it:
“This is what was spoken about through the prophet Joel: […] ‘I will perform wonders in the sky above […] The sun will be changed to darkness and the moon to blood before the great and glorious day of the Lord comes. And then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ […] Jesus the Nazarene, a man clearly attested to you by God with powerful deeds, wonders, and miraculous signs that God performed among you through him, just as you yourselves know.”
(Acts 2:16, 19–22)
A blood moon occurs during a lunar eclipse. As with the darkness, it should be widely visible, if indeed it happened during Jesus’ crucifixion — as Peter indicates it did.
If we find nothing in the historical record, then it appears the Bible lied.
But do find this in the historical record — well, then things get interesting.
So what do we find?
Thallus was one of the first to write about the darkness at the time of the Crucifixion, writing at about 52 AD/CE. His original work has been lost, but Julius Africanus, an historian who wrote around 221 A.D., quotes Thallus to disagree with him:
‘On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun.’
Both of Thallus and Julius attest to the darkness as a real event, so much so that they can bicker about the cause.
Phlegon, a Greek historian and author of a detailed chronology in 137 AD/CE, wrote:
“In the fourth year of the 202nd Olympiad (33 AD/CE) there was ‘the greatest eclipse of the sun’ and that ‘it became night in the sixth hour of the day [noon] so that stars even appeared in the heavens. There was a great earthquake in Bithynia, and many things were overturned in Nicaea.'”
This one is especially handy, as it corroborates the exact year and time of day for the darkness, as well as and the earthquake.
Africanus also wrote a five-volume history of the world c. 221 AD/CE. His account is particularly noteworthy both for its length and for his credibility; he had impressed Roman Emperor Alexander Severus so well with his historical rigor that he was put in charge of the Emperor’s library in the Pantheon; in other words, he was the most well-known, influential, and well-resourced historian in the Empire.
While I quoted him briefly above to highlight Thallus’ contribution, Africanus’ full paragraph adds a great deal more detail:
“On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun. For the Hebrews celebrate the passover on the 14th day according to the moon, and the passion of our Savior falls on the day before the passover; but an eclipse of the sun takes place only when the moon comes under the sun. And it cannot happen at any other time but in the interval between the first day of the new moon and the last of the old, that is, at their junction: how then should an eclipse be supposed to happen when the moon is almost diametrically opposite the sun? Let opinion pass however; let it carry the majority with it; and let this portent of the world be deemed an eclipse of the sun, like others a portent only to the eye. Phlegon records that, in the time of Tiberius Caesar, at full moon, there was a full eclipse of the sun from the sixth hour to the ninth—manifestly that one of which we speak. But what has an eclipse in common with an earthquake, the rending rocks, and the resurrection of the dead, and so great a perturbation throughout the universe? Surely no such event as this is recorded for a long period.”
This one additionally is valuable given that it mentions the resurrection of the dead and again the earthquake, in addition to the darkness.
Tertullian (second century) also provides a remarkable attestation, writing:
“At the moment of Christ’s death, the light departed from the sun, and the land was darkened at noonday, which wonder is related in your own annals, and is preserved in your archives to this day.”
Not only does Tertullian attest to it, but he appeals to how well-recorded the event is in established historical archives of the time. This is perhaps the most significant attribution, given that he cites how extensively the event was recorded and appeals to the public records to prove his point.
The darkness, then, is well-established.
What then do we find about a blood moon?
It turns out that a lunar eclipse did happen on exactly the day the darkness was recorded: April 3, 33 A.D./C.E.
A view of the partial lunar eclipse on August 7, 2017 as seen from Malta in the Mediterranean Sea. Credit and copyright: Leonard Ellul-Mercer.
The precise data on the partial lunar eclipses of April 3, 33 A.D./C.E.
This blood moon during the day of Jesus’ Crucifixion was so well-known that writers in the early church appealed to it frequently.
Skeptics have long scoffed at these details in the Bible. But like most details in the Scriptures, when you dig into the research, you find the claims verified.
The Bible is not a book of cleverly-invented myths. It records real events that happened in real history. The more we press into the individual details, the more we find them verified.
Original YT playout date: 18 February 2009
This upload took seven attempts – seriously! But then it is seven times longer than it should be and was seven weeks late. It was seven weeks back, and the end of last year, that KenBank gave his well-delivered response to my video entitled “The Gospel and Homosexuals”. Here’s my response, or rebuttal if you like, to Ken’s points. Hard luck, viewers, the result of me addressing what Ken says in 10 minutes is a whacking 100 minutes of possibly not the most scintillating repartee you’ve ever heard, but I get into a number of ideas which I hope some of my viewers, who are used to the fact that brevity has never been my strong suite and are kind enough to indulge me, will enjoy thinking about. So it’s a question of grabbing a coffee at the start, I’d say. No feelings were hurt in the making of this film. Hopefully. But we’ll see what sort of reaction you give it below…
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Original YT playout date: 25 January 2009
Grzegorz Gontarczyk discusses in Polish the question of whether the people you meet in church are all saved or not. Is it enough to go to Church and take sacraments to be a Christian? Are there any Churches that have the monopoly on Christians, or whose membership can guarantee salvation?
He was in mid flow when I decided to turn the recorder on, and being a good speaker he didn’t flinch, but because of my absence of planning the sound is very low. It is listenable, though, if you turn the volume right up and evade background noise by using headphones, and this thought provoking piece is well worth a listen – provided you know a little Polish!
Pastor Grzegorz Gontarczyk omówi sprawę, czy wszyscy chodzący do Kościoła są zbawieni? Czy wystarczy chodzić do jakiegoś Kościoła, przyjąć jakieś sakramenty, wykonać rituały, słuchać kazania, czy więcej jest wymagane? Czy jest jakiś Kościół, ktory miałby monopoł zbawienia lub mógłby go zagwarantować?
Ze względu na spontanyczność mojej decyzji nagrywania, nie jest to niestety od początku i też jest bardzo cicho, ale warto podkręcić dzwięk i ewentualnie słuchać w słuchawkach, bo mówi Pastor o rzeczach, o których należałoby się być świadomym.”
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Original YT playout date: 27 December 2008
Bob Vieira joins me this evening and I open the mike to him to say whatever he likes to the viewers of this channel. We kick off with a little recounting of the story of the Elephant Man before launching on a ful discussion of the Gospel of salvation by faith. As the Pope has made discussion of homosexuality topical again with his recent comparison to the rainforests, we also discuss what is the chance for a homosexual to be a true believer.
Feel free to join in the debate by adding your comments below. Remember this is a discussion of theological principals and not an attempt to type-cast any individual or make them feel personally got at. Therefore lets try to keep the below comments free of personal remarks, but to focus on substantive arguments.
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There is a Truther movement out there, in which many people actually unmask some conspiracies and talk a lot of truth, but if we follow them, we are no better off than if we believed the conspiracies in the first place.
Do you remember that bit in Acts of the Apostles where there is a soothsayer lady who follows Paul and Silas, telling everyone that they were servants of God and shewing the way of salvation? This is Acts 16:16, by the way. Have a look, it is interesting. She says true things but Paul can tell that she has a demon and casts it out, in the name of Jesus Christ.
This shows us how the devil’s servants will be perfectly happy to tell quite a lot of truth in order to get in on the inside, and then subvert. This is one of the ways how infiltration and subversion has happened in many (read “most, to a greater or lesser extent”) churches. The bad guys only wear black hats and the good guys wear white hats in the cowboy films, in real life it is far more nuanced and complex. In the second of the Temptations of Christ, Satan shows him all the worldly powers and says he can hand them to Him if He will only bow to him, which he does not. But Jesus also does not deny that these worldly powers were indeed put under Satan’s control. We therefore can assume that Satan has his emissaries in charge in many, many situations and has infiltrated all sorts of situations and he plays the cards and rolls his loaded dice on both sides of the game. There are many portions of scripture where the same is inculcated to us in God’s word for us.
You get these shady elites who wield power and right now are making governments borrow from them so that the power of Antichrist to demand mandatory vaccines and chips, and the movement to world single government and universal false religion will be facilitated because the countries which pretend to democracies will have mortgaged themselves to the hilt to these people. China etc are long since owned by them. These are hurrying in the scenario we read of in Revelation. Then you get other shady Truther people who, like the soothsayer in Acts, point this out, and yet blame the wrong thing, they blame the Jews, they blame the Lizards, they blame the Christians, the Communists, the Trumpists, the Chinese, the Zionists, the Muslims, all sorts. And they are able to find fault with all these groups and make apparently convincing arguments, so that a Christian could easily get defocused. They just don’t ever explain how Satan is playing everyone and how the only way out is to turn with all one’s heart to the Biblical Jesus and find Him in prayer. Whoever understands this has the main explanation and has the compass to hold onto to come out of all of this safe. Who doesn’t have this focus but tries to unravel the various paths and mechanisms of this evil in their own strength quickly gets lost.
And David Icke’s role, and not only his, there are quite a few others, is to look like the guy who has the answers, and all that happens is people end up believing in the Age of Aquarius coming which will allow humanity to gain enough positive vibrations to unite and defeat the alien lizards. At the same time he brings out all the old chestnuts of how people have had legitimate grievances with the Church (usually because of some Satanic infiltration by the same one who is playing Icke). So in the end he presents a complete alternative, Christless gospel. Every lie has some truth, or it has no power. There is indeed a “reptile”, whom the Bible calls the old Serpent. But this is Satan, and not some gang of aliens. There are vibrations of course in everything, waves of all frequencies are passing through all molecules all the time, but then putting ideas like “good and bad” onto these is spurious and unhelpful. It is not relevant to what we need to know to be saved. The answer in Jesus Himself, the Way, the Truth and the Life. We don’t need “truthers”, “truthing”, etc, we need the One who is the Truth. We need to embrace the living Christ in repentance and faith.
The Name of Jesus has power over all demons, those on the one side and on the other, and on the one behind all these subterfuges and nuances of evil. Paul only needed this one name of Jesus Christ, the name that is above all other nomenclature, whether natural or supernatural.
That’s how it works, my friends, and I delight over every brother or sister who gets it.
This week’s ruling in the UK House of Lords ruling that informal Muslim marriages which don’t get registered with the state won’t be treated as marriages on a par with those which are so registered, provoked the usual knee-jerk squealing by those who think that Muslims are being systematically victimised by horrible right-wing Christians, namely the Muslim pressure groups themselves in dischordant chorus with their Haw-Havian leftist enablers.
This post sets out to explain how they are in fact being treated exactly the same as everyone else, in fact many right-wing Christians have it worse than they do in countries they themselves run.
If a person has a marriage in their Church, Mosque, Temple or Synangogue and doesn’t register it with a nation state, then nation states won’t recognise them. Nation it is written, shall speak peace unto nation, and thus it is, as the Propesy says. The world has been divided as a result of the Napoleonic era and the emergence of the modern times rather than the middle ages, (the “last times” in which we currently see more and more preparations for the emergence of the Antichrist as described in Scripture) into relatively secular states in which both royal families and also religious institutions are free to exist and may be incorporated into the paraphenalia of states, but in fact we have these things called countries and these are boxes based largely around land and borders, with economies and governments and thei systems of taxing, spending, legilating and defending themselves which they devise.
Each one has a legal system, a flag, a system of government more or less democratic (although the best are defective) a national anthem, a dialling code, an internet country suffix, an ISO abbreviation. New countries get these by sending off to the UN for a “new countries kit” which contains a constitution, a dialling code, a flag, a national anthem, and an internet .tld and this costs $3999.99 plus postage and packing, although I can probably arrange a discount for you, if you have a new country and need to watch your budget.
And each country deals on a peer-to-peer basis with other countries. They are not dealing with churches or mosques or temples or synagogues, any more than they are dealing with tropical fish clubs or local restaurant karaoke clubs. If you want to get married in a Church, or a Mosque or a Karaoke club, you can. You are free to do that. You can get married in a Jehovahs’ so-called Witnesses so-called Kingdom Hall, in a Masonic Lodge (which is more or less the same thing but more public) or in a Spearmint Rhino if you like. You are free to do all these things. But if you want the recognition of a State for your marriage then you have to do it in a way that either the State you live in recognises, or from another State which mutually recognises the marriages.
Now if someone gets married in Saudi Arabia and has plural wives because that is all fine there, then actually the UK will recognise this as a foreign state did it even though you wouldn’t be able to enter multiple marriages in the UK. So it is not like we are not recognising Muslim marriages, but if you want to get amrried in this country then for it to be official it has to be done officially. And it is the same for all of us nobody is victeemising Muslims, sorry to tell you, because I know that will cost you tears of bewilderment and disappointment to find out to don’t have a valid basis for your usual whinging. In fact in most European counries the model looks like Poland, where you have to have a church and also a civil wedding even though the country is 93% Roman Catholic. Just getting married by the priest is not enough to be accepted by the State, just as Catholics would say that just marriage by the state doesn’t make it a sacrament. The reasons why treating marriage or the alternative in the catholic system of Ordination as a sacrament is bad theology in the first place is material for a whole ‘nother blogpost.
I’m a Calvinist, so for me marriage is not a sacrament, but a creation ordinance and “an holy estate of life” and the last time I looked, nikah was not a pillar of Islam either, and therefore you Muslims just like we Calvinists are married in the sight of God even if all we do is a civil ceremony. It’s not like we can put tinfoil around the Registry Office so that God cannot look in. So spare a thought for the poor Roman Catholics in Poland, they are the ones if anyone with a right to feel hard done by here.
Original YT playout date: 4 October 2008
Some of the atmosphere in a Sunday afternoon service at the main Roman Catholic cathedral in London.
Dear Viewers, Readers, Friends,
The current colour change is a Christmas livery, a traditional dark green and red. This has only a tenuous link with the Nativity, as indeed does the whole of what we call Christmas, and indeed not all Christians celebrate it, or celebrate it with great gusto.
Nevertheless, it does provide a time of year which is ostensibly a time when one can make reference to Christian themes, although many people who know little about the faith will like to tell us what “the spirit of Christmas” should be, or “the true meaning of Christmas” usually accentuating a man-centred message of goodwill towards men.
Certainly the message given by the angels of goodwill henceforth, and peace among men is Biblical, but they are not messengers of bonhomie between different human beings. They give us a message that the God who made us, whom we have set at nought and abused, has entered this world as a human being Himself, in order to redeem us. This is the love that the Father shows us, that he did not leave humans in their own awful sinful mess, but came among us as one of us, lived out a perfect life and died under the curse of God that properly belonged to us, in a great exchange, whereby He becomes the Lamb, the sin-offering, given once and once only for all who wish to be part of Him. Being part of Him is a matter of believing, repudiating one’s own efforts as entirely unworthy (something which gets harder to do the more well-behaved and “religious” one is, ironically) and casting all one’s trust on Jesus.
That’s the message of Christmas, and it is the Plan of God since before the first electron spun around the first proton. It is the only way of peace among men, the channel of God’s goodwill towards me, and the One in whom we have life everlasting.
If you would like to be a Christian, the best way to get the conversation with God going is to read the Gospels and the most accessible is John’s Gospel. It will also be useful at an early point to study Paul’s letter to the Romans as this sets out the Gospel in a theological way. You should cast yourself on God in prayer, and above all if you have some faith but at least as much dout as faith, you can ask as one man asked Jesus “Oh Lord, I believe. Help Thou mine unbelief”. This must be one of the most frequently answered prayers in the history of humanity and it is unlikely to remain unanswered if prayed with a sincere heart.
I wish you all a wonderful Advent, in the fullest sense of those words.
Original YT playout date: 10 August 2008
The Muslims may want to change England into their own system, but that’s their way. They can’t help themselves and converting under duress and fighting for more and more territory is all they have ever known. The ones who *should* know better are the western namby- pamby liberals who won’t let us protect ourselves and our culture because they are still shocked by what happened under fascism in Germany, and what was done to the innocent Jews. And so now we daren’t stand up and react assertively and protect ourself even when it is warranted, as now when a real threat to our culture and society comes along, not just the economic success of a different group within our diversity, which anyone is welcome to. These people are programmed by their deen to destroy us and the Jews together, and it’ll be all down to people in our own group who have liberal ideas they naively sucked in from the media, and also people like lawyers who win rights for these people in exchange for making money for themselves at the expense of everyone else in society.
Can we finally understand that “politically correct” is a way of saying “incorrect” and bring some common sense and assertiveness back in the way we deal with these people? The ones who should be vilified are not the misguided believers in Islam, who are the victims in this anyway, but the people who are from our society but who are standing by and applauding or denying as Islam gains ground in Europe. If they want to know what fascism really is, all they need to do is wait till Islam is in control in Europe. But then it will be too late.”
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