Sunday, 23 January 2011

Coming Soon

Hi All,

I am sorry that I haven't been posting much recently. I have been quite busy recently with exams and work. I shall be posting something interesting soon. In this short blog I'll tell you how the exams have gone and what I am going onto do now in my studies.

I have had two exams, one on the 10th and the other on the 20th. The one on the 10th was from my 'Abraham to Exile' module and I answered questions on 'dating the Exodus', 'theories of concerning the Conquest of Canaan' and on 'Josiah's Reform'. This one went particularly well.

The second was okay, but not as good. It was on the history of Judaism after the fall of the Temple in AD 70. It isn't my personal area of interest so I found it more difficult. I answered questions on the 'development of the concept of a messiah' and on 'the problems raised by the emancipation and enlightenment of the Jews in 1789'. Fun stuff eh?

Next up, is my final semester of University life. After which I shall graduate with a Bachelor of Divinity (BD). The modules I am taking are Greek Text and God in Film. God in Film will involve watching films to see how the Divine is portrayed. Greek Texts will involve taking chunks of the Greek New Testament and Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) then translating them into English. Also, it will involve exegesis which is the interpreting the meaning of the passage. This will prove to be a very difficult module but I really love Greek.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Star Trek: the Original Series or Star Trek: the Next Generation

Hello World,

Only a short one this time, mainly for any Trekkies out there, but I'm sure others will like it too. This is a bit of an obscure post, but as I'm getting into blogging I may as well write my thoughts on various subjects.

In the post festive sales, box sets of Star Trek: the Original Series (ST:TOS) have been very cheap compared to their normal extortionate prices. I have been a fan of Star Trek:the Next Generation (ST:TNG) since I was a small boy. To me ST:TNG is the true Star Trek because that's what I was exposed to first. Knowing this I have purchased series one of ST:TOS to even out my bias.
So far, I have not seen many ST:TOS episodes but what I have seen is many parodies and references to the series. Naturally, I thought they were funny due to the sheer exaggeration and ridiculousness of the parodies. Little did I know that the actual series was (at times) more ridiculous. It is quite amazing to see something that had originally set out to be serious become a parody of itself. Sadly, the original series was not very popular and only lasted for 3 series. The cast of the original series did much better with the post series films that were made.

In the 80s, the spin off series the Next Generation was quite a risk after the unpopularity of ST:TOS. It was taken on by Hollywood which gave it a huge budget and they managed to hire a decent cast. The series was a breath of fresh air with it having quality special effects, creatures, story line and directors.

The main problem with the original series was not with plots or the acting but with period in which it was recorded. If it was recorded with the same detail and resources to ST:TNG I am sure that it would have been excellent.

For me when it comes to ST:TOS or ST:TNG it's going to have to be ST:TNG every time. This is due to the superior plots, characters and effects. ST:TNG was what I was brought up with and it is familiar to my childhood. As for ST:TOS, under no fault of its own, the parodies have damaged my expectations of it. I have been unfairly bent towards it by seeing people highlighting the corniness of it all.

Live long and prosper, y'all.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

"Elton John becomes a father at 63" - The Guardian

It is well known that Christmas day is a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. On Boxing day it is rare that a piece of news is released that shatters all the merriment and celebration for some people. Sadly this year was one of those rare times. The festivities were interrupted with the news that Elton John and his partner David Furnish have adopted a child who was born of Christmas day.

The majority of the News Papers (and some of comments on their sites) were very sympathetic towards the couple, but it is obvious that there are people against it from many of the comments on the websites. To my surprise there are a several comments that are against the fact that he is adopting a child at the age of 63. One comment says, "Absolutely disgusting - there should be a law against anybody over 45 having a new born".

From a Christian point of view the main issue is not about the age of the parents. After all Abraham was 100 when he has Isaac and the pre-flood ancestors lived for centuries having babies as they went. The dominant issue for Christians here is homosexuality. Christians are against homosexual relationships and naturally are against the couples adopting and raising a child in a homosexual environment. People call the intolerance of homosexuality homophobia. We neither fear nor hate gay people, but we are opposed to the practice. Why? Because in our biblical interpretation of the issue we see that it is wrong.

I am what is known as a conservative Christian, which is a Christian who believes the Bible to be the word of God. It should not be altered or added to in order to suit a person's life style or time period. The creation account (Gen 1-2) tell us that God created man and woman in his own image (Gen 1:26-27). He then blessed them and commanded them to '"be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth" (Gen 1:28). This instruction is only applicable to couples containing a man and a woman. We fill the earth by have children which come from a relationship between a man and a woman. A man and a man cannot achieve this naturally and neither can a woman and a woman. God created man and woman in his own image and blessed them.

That is the first point. God made Adam and Eve. Why did God make Eve and not Steve? God saw that Adam was lonely and needed a helper (Gen 2:18-20). There was no helper suitable so God, in his infinite wisdom, made a woman for him. We know that God does what is best for his children. Romans 8:28 says, "God works in all things for the good of those who love him." God does what is best for those who love him and Adam loved God. What solution was the best? The best solution was to make woman for man to have as a companion.

Secondly, to some people, the above argument may be opposed by someone claiming that God doesn't say it should happen. This confirmation by silence is a terrible way to justify oneself. If a clearer reference is needed from the Bible we don't have to look far. Still in the first five books (the Books of the Law) we find specific commandments stating that it is a sin. Leviticus 18 is very clear about unlawful sexual relations. Leviticus 18:22 says, "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination." This from the English Standard Version. The 2010 New International Version translates this verse even more clearly and says, "Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable." The new translation is phrased this way because it clears up any interpretation that 'to lie' means 'to sleep next to'.

The Mosaic Law tells that is it wrong. Creation and God's Law agrees with our natural moral conscience that it is wrong.

This is a rant I know, but it is the Bible's truth. Our main concern should be able the homosexuality promoted in the nation.

A final note is needed I feel. The issue of homosexuality comes up quite often and the Christian voices ring out which cause people the think that we are solely against homosexuality. This is not true. Homosexuality is a sin. Lying is a sin. Drunkenness is a sin. Premarital sex is a sin. Killing is a sin. All sins are equal. A single sin keeps you from heaven, that is why we need God to sort it out for us, which he did in sending Jesus to the Cross. Some people think that some sins are not as bad. We hear about little white lies (opposed to the big black ones) but the truth is all sin is a bad as each other. We are not picking on one particular one. We are just trying to prevent another sin from becoming universally accepted in the nation.

I hope this hasn't offended anyone. Remember we don't hate the sinner but the sin. We do not hate liars, murders, thieves etc. We are commanded to love them. If we did hate the sinner we would hate everyone one as we all commit sins. We are to hate to the sin and we should want to flush it out of our systems and to prevent other people from committing them too. For us all, God is the only person who can free us from our guilt and sin.