Amazing Grace


The Danger of Insularity (addendum)

A follow up to the earlier re-blogged article about insularity.

Onesimus Files

My previous post about “insularity” didn’t really head in the direction I’d intended. While it touched partly on the issue I wanted to address, I probably didn’t make my intended points clear.

I mentioned how limited my own understanding had been regarding doctrinal diversity within “the church”. I had a lot of (wrong) assumptions about the general conformity of Christian beliefs.
To a degree that created a “trust shortcut”, giving the illusion that something could be accepted on trust if it had a Christian label.

Those assumptions were changed through interacting with others outside of my familiar theological world. Realisation of significant doctrinal differences across the Christian community made me aware of the need to reassess all of my beliefs: all of those things I’d taken for granted.

One of the points I intended to make in the previous post was the way we can misinterpret the world outside of…

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God’s Glorious Gospel

Last week, Jeff Weddle posted a blog article that included a question posed by Larry King.


If God is omnipotent why do tragedies like earthquakes and hurricanes happen?


The clear problem with Larry King’s question is it’s based on a totally false assumption.

He assumes that the primary concern of an omnipotent God would be to have a world totally free from any kind of catastrophe (either natural or manmade).
Clearly, IF an omnipotent God wanted a catastrophe-free world, there would be nothing stopping Him from maintaining such a world.
However, a REAL omnipotent God (as compared to the God of Larry King’s wish list) might just have a much larger agenda of more eternal consequence, and this short term planet may have a greater purpose than being a comfortable, trouble free home where we can live out our three score years and ten.

Four years ago I wrote the following article where I looked at God’s plan for mankind and the rest of His creation.

Onesimus Files

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
He said to…

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Where the Streets Had a Name, Randa Abdel-Fattah

This is a “review” of a book I recently finished reading. It addresses some down to earth issues about the lives of every day Palestinians living on the West Bank.

Because of the setting of this book and the political situation it describes, I felt I needed to assess it in the context of my own understanding of Israel’s existence, its policies and the way the lives of many are affected by what it does.

I found it woke me up to some uncomfortable realities regarding the way injustice can be wilfully ignored for seemingly honourable reasons – particularly when those reasons seem justified by our understanding of God’s purposes.

But if injustice is the result – maybe we need to reassess our thinking regarding God’s purposes.

Out of Shadows

Every political situation has human face: often unseen or unnoticed, expediently pushed aside and ignored. Decisions made by rulers affect voiceless, everyday people who are prevented from determining their own path in life.

In Where the Streets Had a Name,  an elderly character describes this to her granddaughter.

“My life has been all politics,” she whispers as she touches the pile of photographs of my aunts and uncles on her bedside table. “I do not watch the television for politics because it is in every breath I take. It is here in this apartment, in the empty chairs that should hold my children who were forced to scatter around the world. It is here in the mint leaves floating in this cup of tea beside my bed. Mint leaves that should have been picked from the garden bed in my home, not bought from Abo Yusuf’s store. It is in…

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