Will Britain become an Islamic state?
Popular British Bible teacher David Pawson (pictured) thinks so. In fact he believes the Lord has revealed this to him.
Before writing off his claim as nonsense you would do well to listen to his 6-part talk on the subject, available on tape from Anchor Recordings. He has also produced a book on the subject
Out of months of detailed research he has put together a case for the attractiveness of Islam to British people in today's spiritual vacuum; the dark side of Islamic aspirations; the source of that religion; where the church has failed; and what we need to do to be the kind of church to stand up to the takeover he regards as a revealed inevitability.
Personally, I can see the real dangers of a takeover of Britain by Muslims but don't regard it as inevitable. After all, Jonah's God-given message to Nineveh was that God would overthrow them in forty days, yet when they repented he withheld the prophesied destruction.
A good Wesley hymn to start your day
Charles Wesley (18th century) wrote 7000 hymns. One gem that I often use as a prayer as I start the day is Forth in thy name, O Lord, I go. Try to see beyond the old-fashioned English to the fine sentiments it expresses.
Forth in thy name, O Lord, I go
My daily labour to pursue;
Thee, only thee, resolved to know
In all I think, or speak, or do.
The task thy wisdom hath assigned
Oh let me cheerfully fulfil;
In all my works thy presence find
And prove thy good and perfect will.
Thee may I set at my right hand,
Whose eyes my inmost substance see,
And labour on at thy command
And offer all my works to thee.
Give me to bear thy easy yoke
And every moment watch and pray,
And still to things eternal look
And hasten to thy glorious day.
For thee delightfully employ
Whate'er thy bounteous grace hath given,
And run my course with even joy
And closely walk with thee to heaven.
Left Behind nonsense
Harry Potter has been a publishing phenomenon. Not far behind it, amazingly enough, is the Left Behind series of 'Christian' novels. The work of Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, they nave notched up over 75 million sales worldwide—proof positive that the majority are rarely right.
The novels portray an imaginary outworking of the kind of premillennial dispensationalist eschatology that many Christians naively think is the only kind in existence.
A Grotesque Mismatch
I once saw this in real life in a special hospital—a handsome young man in his 30s with the undeveloped body of an infant. The grotesque mismatch made me feel sick.
It's a good image of Christ and his church. Jesus himself is the Head and the church his body. He is fully-developed, mature and glorious; the church is ill-matched to the Head, stunted and deformed. It is deformed by superficiality, self-seeking, tradition, division and doctrinal imbalance.
God intends the church to mature and grow so that it matches the glory of the Head. The match will be complete at Christ's return, of course, but God intends things to improve before then—and we Christians, who comprise the church, are responsible for working with the Holy Spirit to make it happen. Look carefully at these scriptures:
Are you doing your part?
A Quiz on Your Understanding of Hell
Hardly a subject for a light-hearted quiz, you might think! But it's precisely because hell is such a grim subject that we need to be clear just what it is.
Sadly, popular Christian views on hell owe more to Greek philosophy than to the Bible. For this reason Edward Fudge has put together this series of multiple-choice questions, which will help you distinguish truth from falsehood.
He provides the correct answers at the end so that you can check your own, with Bible passages to look up. You could be surprised! Click here to try your hand at it.
Apart from major programs like Microsoft Office (including the brilliant OneNote), the following are some of my favourites items of computer software. Many are downloadable from the sites indicated. Some are freeware, others to pay for, but all have been tested at length on my system and have proved both helpful and stable.
JotPlus Notes. Brilliantly simple program for notes, lists and bits and pieces of info of all and every kind. Hard to categorise, but a real winner. www.kingstairs.com
Noteworthy Composer. Well-priced for such a competent program, which allows a musician to compose, score and play music. Use it with or without a MIDI keyboard. Find samples on my music page. www.noteworthysoftware.com
FinePrint. A printer driver. Wonderful for printing two pages on one A4 page, or even four on one, or outputting a file as a booklet—much simpler than using the equivalent facilities in MS Word, and it works with any program. A real winner if you print a lot. www.fineprint.com
Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. Top-notch programs for photographers. I subscribe, for a very modest monthly fee, to the version of Adobe’s Creative Cloud that gives me the latest version of both programs.Highly recommended. Magazines like Digital Photo and Digital Camera regularly give tips on their use, along with video tutorials on their accompanying DVDs. www.adobe.com
Serif. I've been using Serif's PagePlus DTP software since version 1 (it's now on v19 - called X9). It is excellent within its field, and reasonably priced for what it offers. My three currently-available books were completely typeset and laid out in PagePlus. I have also used Serif’s WebPlus program to build and maintain this website. www.serif.com
Logos Bible Software. My No.1 - the very best Bible program with endless capacity for customisation and full scope for Hebrew and Greek study. Now in Version 6. Expensive but effective. www.logos.com
Two of us!
It was through this website that I was contacted by an American guy called David Matthew—yes, exactly the same spelling!
He turned out to be a Christian, and to be dabbling like me in his family history (as things turned out, our two families don't have any near connection).
I eventually met up with him while he was in the UK doing genealogical research and some sightseeing. We had lunch together in York with some stimulating conversation.
Here we are outside Gert And Henry's where we had lunch. Thanks to Richard, American David's travelling companion, for taking the photo.
Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff, houses the tomb of a medieval aristocrat with the same name as me. Not surprising, perhaps, since the Matthew family name is apparently of Welsh origin. Oddly, two of our three children ended up living in Cardiff.
The picture shows me alongside the tomb, holding the descriptive legend which says: ‘Sir David Mathew, standard bearer to King Edward IV at the Battle of Towton, 1461.’
If you’re sharp-eyed you will notice that there is only one ‘t’ in his surname but, as any genealogist will know, spellings of names varied widely until relatively recent times, so this is not significant.
Towton, strangely enough, is only a few miles from where I used to live in West Yorkshire, England.