Reading and studying the Bible for life

October 31, 2009

How to read the Bible for all its worthThe past couple days i’ve redeemed the time listening to a series of three talks Gordon Fee presented on how to read the Bible.  Fee, who is professor of New Testament at Regent College, Vancouver, is widely known for two books he co-authored with Douglas Stuart, How to read the Bible for all its worth and How to read the Bible book by book.  These two are excellent books for anyone who desires to read and understand the Bible better, and i heartily recommend them. Read the rest of this entry »

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Happy birthday, Charles Darwin! (Thoughts on the dialogue between science and Christianity)

February 13, 2009

February 12 was the two-hundredth anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth, and 2009 marks the one-hundred-and-fiftieth anniversary of the publication of his seminal work, On the Origin of Species.  Perhaps no-one has influenced science more in the past century than has Darwin with his theory of evolution by natural selection.  Perhaps no-one since has been as misunderstood or maligned, or to such a degree been both hailed as a hero and condemned as a heretic.

But i don’t intend to discuss Darwin or evolutionary biology per se at any length.  i have long been concerned, frustrated, and angered at the attitude many Christians adopt among themselves and in public when discussing apparent conflicts between science and Christianity, especially in the area of creation and evolution.  i do not mean to say that Christians should not stand for truth – we must! – yet it does seem that so little debate in in this area has been edifying or served the gospel; indeed, much of the debate has been characteristically un-Christian: unloving, disrespectful, and antithetical to the gospel.

Read the rest of this entry »


“Praise the Source of faith and learning”: On science and Christianity

February 9, 2009

This Friday Thursday (apparently i can’t count) will mark the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Darwin, and this year the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the publication of his On the Origin of SpeciesRead the rest of this entry »


O God beyond all praising

February 1, 2009

This hymn has been resounding in my head since we sang it at church this morning.

O God beyond all praising is sung to Thaxted, a stirring adaptation of the main theme of the Jupiter movement of Gustav Holst‘s The Planets, which is one of my all-time favourite orchestral compositions.  (You’ll also recognise the tune from the British patriotic hymn I vow to thee, my country and, more recently, from the World in union theme song of Rugby World Cups since 1991.)

But while the tune is stirring, it is the words which speak loudest: “O God beyond all praising” – for how can our words ever repay Him for the great salvation He bought by His own blood, for the infinite riches of Christ?  We sing of “love amazing that songs cannot repay”; He bids us “make a joyful duty our sacrifice of praise.”

Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His Name.  (Hebrews 13v15, ESV)

Read the rest of this entry »


Alpha Greek

January 8, 2009

i’ve been trying for some time to teach myself Koine (“common”) Greek, the language in which most of the New Testament was written.  It’ll definitely help me to interact more with the text of the Bible and to explain it better to others.

Here’s a humorous take on why to learn Greek, care of some students of Greek at Biola University.

HT: Denny Burk


For God so loved

March 27, 2006

The angel who vied, once cast aside,
now turned snide snake, the tempter tried
to appeal to pride and to divide
the man and the woman from his side
from God in Whom they’d been satisfied

The fruit plied, they decide
Innocence died; their hopes subside
Open-eyed and mortified,
no more to abide by God’s side,
naked and afraid, they hide

Banished from Eden to the eastern side,
wishing they could undo their suicide,
turn the tide on their prolicide —
always with evil now allied,
as they realise what the fruit signified

Years went by while the Law applied;
still God’s people would backslide
Though priests preside and prophets chide,
they never could stay justified;
their sacrifices never satisfied

As God had promised, He did provide:
the Messiah, born in the countryside,
born in a stable — no room inside —
in Bethlehem, Judea — which was occupied —
while shepherds and Magi were notified

John the Baptist testified,
and baptised Jesus at the riverside
as the Father and Spirit ratified
that with Him they were satisfied,
and in Him God was glorified

The Jews’ expectations were belied
by this carpenter teaching on the mountainside
how God had now come to reside
with His people, with His Bride —
how man and God would again abide

Some Jews were jealous and decried
Jesus’ palm-paved donkey ride
to Jerusalem’s walls, where He cried
They began to plan the deicide,
and for thirty silver pieces, Judas complied

They brought Him bound and tied, inside,
where they had Him unjustly tried
They pronounced the curse, had Him crucified,
and as He hung there, bled and died,
He cried out, “It is done,” and sighed

Christ, with our sins identified, died:
God’s righteous wrath was satisfied
And as He died, the curtains divide,
and because He rose and was glorified,
He says that we are justified:
the bonds of sin and death untied,
God and man once more abide;
and man has no more need to hide
He sends a comforter, a guide —
the Holy Spirit, to dwell inside —
to help us to be sanctified,
and to fit us for His Bride.