OT and NT: Quick thoughts and questions.

Today I read the following comment on a blog:

“… it’s clear that she doesn’t believe that the NT should be allowed to interpret the OT”.

Now that comment makes me ask:

On what authority do we apply any means of “interpreting” scripture? Does scripture tell us it needs to be interpreted?

And why shouldn’t we build our understanding of the “NT” upon the foundational revelation given in the “OT” and recognise that the New is fulfilment and culmination of the “Old” instead of doing that in reverse?

Why shouldn’t we address scripture in GOD’s order and not in a way determined by man?

RIP Calvin and Arminius (?)

In past years I was involved in vigorous debates relating to the theologies of Calvinism and Arminianism. My blog posts on those topics  led to some of the most lengthy and “colourful” replies to anything I’ve written. I see that those never ending disagreements continue on other sites.

I have a suggestion.

How about dropping those allegiances to Calvin and Arminius? How about a moratorium on references to those men and their teachings (as well as the preachers devoted to either theology) so everyone can get back to the bible itself, trusting the Holy Spirit Himself to give understanding?

IF either theology has merits, then those merits will be found IN SCRIPTURE without credit needing to be attributed to a go-between theologian or teacher of either persuasion.

Calvin and Arminius have been dead for centuries. Can we finally let them “rest in peace”?

Boston Bombing Question

Like many people I watched the news coverage of the way police closed in on the Boston bombers. I’m sure there’s a feeling of relief that those two murderers will have no chance to kill and maim anyone else.

But I have a question. There’s a part of the story that doesn’t add up, and that is the reported death of the older of the two perpetrators in a shoot out.

Why doesn’t it add up?

Because I saw a news report where the man was arrested. There was video footage of police pushing him into a police car and driving away. They had stripped him naked before taking him to the car, fearing he may have explosives strapped to his body.

Through all of this he did not seem injured or incapacitated in any way. Of course his image was blurred to avoid offending a conservative TV audience, but surely the camera person and the TV station broadcasting the footage had seen the man’s naked body and would have noted and mentioned gunshot wounds.

Then not long afterwards  the man was dead, reported to be fatally wounded in the shootout that had preceded his arrest. And the video of him being arrested and driven away naked has not been seen or mentioned again. If this was a third man arrested in error, why no explanatory statement to clear up the issue.


What really happened?

(there seems to be copies of the video on youtube)

Refined not Redefined

I’ve seen the discussion about replacement theology on Andrew Strom’s forum that I mentioned a few days ago  has spilled over to a few different sites. I wrote about the issue several times on my earlier blogspot site. Here is one article from that site. (originally posted here: http://onefiles.blogspot.co.nz/2011/06/refined-not-redefined.html )


Refined not Redefined

Two of the proof texts favoured by the promoters of replacement theology are:

Rom 2: 28-29 A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit


Rom 9: 6-8 For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” In other words, it is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.

But to use those texts as support for their theology, the replacement promoters need to totally ignore the clear context of their proof texts.

Regarding Romans 2:28.

Go back several verses and you will read in verse 17:

“ Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and boast in God…”

It is specifically addressed to Jews who were trusting in their blood heritage and their relationship to the law. Paul was saying their heritage was not enough. It was not addressing gentiles and saying they have been made Jews through “circumcision of the heart”. It was addressing Jews, saying that MORE than heredity and law observance were needed to be part of God’s people. An inward change worked by the Spirit is necessary.

Regarding Romans 9.

When Paul writes “not all who are descended from Israel are Israel.” He is referring to a faithful remnant of the descendants of Abraham Isaac and Jacob.

The statement is excluding SOME of those descended from Israel – it is NOT a statement intended to include others who are not descended from Israel.

It is not a statement that redefines what Israel means. It is a statement that refines what Israel means.

It does not shift the identity of Israel from one group to another – it narrows down the identity of Israel from a wider inclusive ethnic group to a smaller specific section of that wider group.

It pinpoints the faithful remnant AMONG the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is not transferring attention outside of those descendants.

It’s like saying that not all born into a Christian family are Christian – only those who have their own faith in Jesus

David Pawson and Proof Texts

Not_as_BadThis morning I read a contributor on another blog saying he doesn’t accept David Pawson’s teaching. That wasn’t surprising because I know the writer is a strong Dispensationalist and Pawson’s teaching challenges those dispensationalist views. But I can’t blame the man for dismissing teaching that opposes his chosen doctrines. I had my own struggle with Pawson in the early 2000s.

I knew of Pawson’s teaching back in the 80s and I had a collection of tapes of his preaching at Vision Ministries conferences in Sydney and Melbourne. This was before I entered one of the worst periods of my spiritual life when my faith was severely challenged for around 15 years.

When I returned to faith after that “spiritual crisis”, Pawson was one of the first teachers I came across through his messages on Islam. After hearing that teaching I sought out more and was horrified by some things I heard – I had trouble accepting a lot of his teaching and more or less pushed him aside. What had happened to him over the years? Surely his preaching had changed since I’d last heard him.

But then, as I read more of scripture for myself, I started to think that Pawson might be right and my own understanding wrong.

Maybe one of the “difficulties” with Pawson is his reluctance to give chapter and verse references to provide on the spot proof for his teaching. That kind of approach doesn’t fit with the way Christians have been conditioned to rely on “texts”. His approach makes us search the scriptures if we want to check what he says.

I found one of his most helpful teachings was a sermon about the Millennium. He had a lot to say about it but gave very little “proof” from scripture, so I assumed he was going overboard with speculation – after all, the only references I knew of this period were in Rev 20 and they gave very little detail. It was only through my general bible reading that I started to come across that detail, in the prophets, and I started to see where Pawson had found the ideas he was teaching.

It was helpful because the experience gave me one of the most important lessons I’ve learned – not just about the millennium. I found how ignorant I’d been and how necessary it was to search the scriptures for myself and not to rely on other to provide “proof” for the validity of their teaching.

see here for access to Mr Pawson’s teaching:


Recommended Article: When Will the Madness Stop?

Bombings Shootings and other atrocities seem to have an increasing presence in today’s world. Here is one of the most astute articles I’ve read addressing this situation.


When Will the Madness Stop?

It seems nearly every week there is another tragedy with people being killed senselessly. There are two questions the media repeats over and over as they report the same thing for 48 hours:

1) Why did this happen?

2) What can we do stop tragedies like this in the future?

Read full article: http://antiitchmeditation.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/when-will-the-madness-stop/



Little Known News About Bombings

I have no doubt that we are all very aware of the horrific and tragic outcome of the cowardly bombing attack during the Boston Marathon.

Sadly such events are quite common in other parts of the world but rarely get more than a brief mention in the news.

Iraq’s Bloody Monday: 75 Killed, 356 Wounded
by Margaret Griffis.
April 15, 2013

article here: http://original.antiwar.com/updates/2013/04/15/iraqs-bloody-monday-75-killed-356-wounded/

Officials: Car bombs in Iraq kill 9 people,
Associated Press  Monday, Apr. 15, 2013

 Read here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/04/15/3983371/iraq-attacks-kill-36-less-than.html#storylink=cpy


Taliban Kill Seven Afghan Civilians, Four Soldiers
by Naharnet Newsdesk
17 April 2013, 06:12

 Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan have killed seven civilians with a roadside bomb and cut the throats of four Afghan soldiers kidnapped while traveling home on leave, officials said Wednesday.


Officials: Attacks across Afghanistan kill 24
By AMIR SHAH Associated Press
Wednesday, Apr. 17, 2013

Roadside bombs and insurgent attacks killed dozens of people in five separate attacks across Afghanistan as violence steadily rises during this year’s spring fighting season, officials said Wednesday.

KABUL, Afghanistan Roadside bombs and insurgent attacks killed at least 24 people in five separate attacks across Afghanistan

 Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/04/17/3987716/officials-attacks-across-afghanistan.html#storylink=cpy




Back In The Studio: work in progress


I haven’t spent much time in the studio recently. This  is  the most advanced painting I’ve been working on.

My original idea didn’t really work out but I quite like its progress anyway. I intended to use the collar as the top part of my regularly used “Y” symbol but my attempts to complete the letter have so far failed.

The photo is now out of date. I took it yesterday afternoon but spent a couple of hours working on the painting last night, adding a lot more stencilled wording.

When finished I’ll post a photo of the end result on my gallery page.

Israel Replaced?

Andrew Strom’s blog has an interesting discussion that was intended to look at the validity or otherwise of replacement theology. Reading the article and the comments that follow it, I see a lot of confused and contradictory ideas being expressed. The issue is certainly one driven by ignorance, but considering scripture isn’t confused and contradictory, the ignorance must have a different source.

To me scripture couldn’t be clearer when it comes to the relationship between God and Israel. It is only through leaning on men’s traditions instead of searching the scriptures that this issue has become a point of often heated disagreement. Like so many other contentious issues, the solution is found in accepting what scripture ACTUALLY says instead of reinterpreting parts of it to fit a predetermined theological stance.


I note that in one sense Strom is opposed to “replacement theology” but overall his view seems confused, typified by statements like this: “it is the CHURCH that is the `apple of God´s eye´ in the New Covenant era – not Israel.” Reading the biblical reference to the “apple of God’s eye” in context surely shows the statement refers to Israel and only Israel. (see Deuteronomy 32:9-11 and Zechariah 2)