Archive for April, 2020

The similarity of the supposedly divine kings of Babylon and our leaders

April 30, 2020

It is sad to see the statistics of those who died in care home.  In Britain the most vulnerable in society did not even make it into the figures of deaths until today.  How shameful… There deaths were not seen as important as other figures.  Behind every figure there is a story.  Behind every figure there is a human being.  Behind every figure there is a family.  In Finland too over half the dead were the elderly but at least there was the respect to share the figures. 
 We need to learn from this.  We need to protect the vulnerable and the helpless in society.  This is a mirror that we all need to look into.  The Bible has strong words for protecting the weak… We as a society have despised this.  We seem to be drunk on the latest fashions, the latest gadgets and these things seem to be more important that taking care of the weak and helpless.  I hope and pray that we heed this call to think about our neighbour even the ones that we cannot see.
God has been displaced in our lives and it is filled with false gods of luxury.  Have we not learned from the old Babylon by the Euphrates river?  They had everything.  They had the latest luxuries and were so prosperous that at the time the Babylonians were the envy of the ancient world.  Something went wrong, however.  The main issue wasn’t that they worshipped various gods… The problem was that the leaders wanted a taste of the divine.  The Leaders wanted to have something of the divine. Interesting that I once read that Saddam Hussein had bricks named after himself. 
Do our leaders want a taste of the divine too?   They want to be a part of the limelight and live the life while others suffer.  Those in positions of power are supposed to be servants of the people.  Attitude in politics is really bad at the moment except in New Zealand.  When a leader says I want to suffer with the people at this time shows compassion.  Ordinary people understand that.
Jesus showed compassion for people who were sinners.  In God’s eyes there was nothing in themselves that could help them to enter heaven.  God became a man and died on a cross a most cruel death.  On the third day he rose again. 
The attitude of service and compassions needs to come into politics again.  The deaths in these care homes is unacceptable.  Technically the people who put money over lives need to be brought before a court.  This won’t happen because the law protects these wolves in sheep clothing who think somehow, they are better than everyone else, that they somehow have a divine spark.  Mark my words there is a Judgement that is coming and there will be a price to pay.  What goes around comes around…. Dare I say it?
Bad Karma! Judgement Day…  

1 Corinthians 3, 4

April 30, 2020

4 For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men? 1 Corinthians 3:4 NASB

‘Are you not mere men’ This isn’t easy to translate.  Literally are you not men? This is the exact literal translation, but this must also be in relation to ‘fleshly’.  St Paul is giving the practical explanation of the jealousy and quarrels and what it is. ‘Mere men’ works but I also think the King James works here as well with the word ‘carnal’. St Paul in this verse is showing them where they have gone wrong.

The gods, Sumer and Babylon! 3

April 29, 2020

Anyhow this is a divergent path in society away from God centred values.  I haven’t defined this yet… It will not be defined to tightly to one particular religion and I will most probably put emphases on universals rather than particulars.
You might ask; What is God?
This is an appropriate question. From my point of view, we can start from the general and work towards the particular revelation.  What will happen in discussion and happens in reality is that on the general …Jew, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist will agree but as we move towards the particular revelation obviously disagreements will take place.    
There was a time in human society that writing didn’t exist as we know it today… So how would these societies have spoken about God?

1 Corinthians 3, 3

April 29, 2020

1 Corinthians 3, 3

3 for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? 1 Corinthians 3:3

As we said earlier that we were going to hit another word of flesh, “Fleshly”.  Earlier they were living the life of pleasure but here the meaning gets deeper… and he mixes it with the word jealousy and strife(quarrels)… Hmm ‘zealous for their quarrels’ that their leader is the coolest leader. Have we seen this in the 21st century? I think so.  We all need to learn from these Corinthian believers and grow up.

g4559. σαρκικός sarkikos ; from 4561; pertaining to the flesh, carnal:–
flesh(1), fleshly(4), material things(2).

g2205b. ζῆλος zēlos ; prob. from 2204; zeal, jealousy:–
fury(1), jealousy(9), zeal(6).

g2054. ἔρις eris ; a prim. word; strife:–
quarrels(1), strife(8).

The gods, Sumer and Babylon 2

April 28, 2020

My question is: Where are we today?
A large chunk of the Western populations is secular in outlook and we have a high dependence on science. At the micro level the populations are generally living longer.  The younger generations nowadays are into CrossFit or yoga types of workout…
On the macro level the world is at war hot or cold.  Russia pretends to be democratic and the opposition political groups are supressed.  South of Russia The Turkic states and Turkey dream of a pan Turanism (pan Turkic shared culture) hearkening to the return of the good old days.  They want to prosper again in a new silk road.  China as well, is trying to conquer the world through trade and selling merchandise.  This includes a few silk roads that Criss cross across the globe. We then have Trump who comes up with whacky ideas such as injecting people with disinfectant and in actuality The USA has one of the highest fatalities due to this Coronavirus. 

1 Corinthians 3, 2

April 28, 2020

Baby Food

1 Corinthians 3, 2

2 I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, 1 Corinthians 3:2

This is a hard saying… The Corinthians are inside the fold of the Church here… They are believers in the Gospel, but they haven’t reached that maturity yet… I’m sure hearing St Paul say this, they would have felt devastated.  Obviously, he spells it out in the next verse.  (The use of milk and not solid food, this idea is also found in the book of Hebrews.)

We also need to stop and think about St Pauls words; Are we mature or immature?


In the next verse we are going to find out, and we need to listen very carefully… Especially Pastors of the flock some of which are full of pride…  I’m not a Pastor but I can see that to follow Christ we start from humility and true humility not based on our wage packets.  Matthew wrote and Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit”.   One cannot come to Christ without the Holy Spirit showing you the state of your internal heart and mind… There could be a lot of bones there that need to be thrown out.  Are there bones in your closet? How can you help the needy if you are only thinking about yourself?  Yes, the secular world have their stars to worship such as a footballer stars or screen artist stars… Corinth suffered from this as well… My icon is …

Let me focus on the congregation now.  The main gripe in this section of Corinthians was those who followed the different groups.  Obviously, this situation got out of hand otherwise Chloe’s people wouldn’t have reported it to St Paul… Poor Sosthenes who is the person who oversaw this church synagogue.  He saw this but he couldn’t sort the problem out…    It is going to get sorted out now as St Paul in a gentle manner digs into the root of the problem.

The gods, Sumer and Babylon!

April 27, 2020

The gods and Babylon!
Sumer the city of cities in which a lot of our modern civic centres and learning originally cam from (originated).  Where is Babylon now?
Education, literature, religion, medicine, mathematics, weights and measures and food and farming is said to have impacted our societies.
This is quite interesting. I an reading a book at the moment’ Babylon’  by Joan Oates and also been looking at the intro of the One, The Three and the Many… These city states prospered with their temples and cosmological ways of looking at things.  This book is quite old and would not have known about the age of Gök Tepe in Turkey, but this is also cosmological…
This book points to the allusions that Gunton gave in his book.  He then went on to say about the disengagement of the West from this cosmology “In contrast … (page 19)…it is generally held in the modern world that there is a link between cosmic and social order”. He goes on to say… “indeed one could define modernity as the era which consists of autonomy from the environment which consists of in the freedom, from any form of natural determination”.

1 Corinthians 3,1

April 27, 2020

Chapter 3, 1

So previously we saw that we cannot in our natural self-understand the deep thoughts of God… God is beyond us and we are trapped in our sins.  But then St Paul injects hope into his writing… But we have the mind of Christ….  I suppose at that moment the Corinthian Christians may have been thinking that hmm “We have had a great time sinning when we should have known better.”

This will be spelled out to them in a loving and discipling way!…

1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:1

The Corinthian lifestyle was indeed the way of the world and the flesh… Earlier St Paul spelled out the difference between the spiritual mind of God and the fleshy mind of man.  Now he Is getting personal.

Let’s go a little deeper and look at this word flesh in chapter 3, 1

Carnal sarkinos (4560), (a) “consisting of flesh,” 2 Cor. 3:3, “tables that are hearts of flesh” (KJV, “fleshy tables of the heart”); (b) “pertaining to the natural, transient life of the body,” Heb. 7:16, “a carnal commandment”; (c) given up to the flesh, i.e., with almost the same significance as sarkikos, Rom. 7:14, “I am carnal sold under sin”; 1 Cor. 3:1 (some texts have sarkikos, in both these places, and in those in (a) and (b), but textual evidence is against it). It is difficult to discriminate between sarkikos and sarkinos in some passages. In regard to 1 Pet. 2:11, Trench (Syn. Sec.lxxi, lxxii) says that sarkikos describes the lusts which have their source in man’s corrupt and fallen nature, and the man is sarkikos who allows to the flesh a place which does not belong to it of right; in 1 Cor. 3:1 sarkinos is an accusation far less grave than sarkikos would have been. The Corinthian saints were making no progress, but they were not anti-spiritual in respect of the particular point with which the apostle was there dealing. In vv. 3–4, they are charged with being sarkikos. 1 Corinthians 3:1

From WE Vine word pictures of the New Testament

The word for flesh here is sarkinos (flesh) i.e from the definition above is living in the body and don’t read too much into it yet.  In advance I will say that sarkikos is a lot stronger, but we haven’t got to that verse yet.  So here they are getting a telling off, that they are living the life of the ‘natural man (at the moment) and he calls them infants! Or a simple minded and immature person’.  I will let you decide which one is the better reading because they are both values with negative connotations… Nothing to shout about.

God and revelation 4

April 26, 2020

The many do not really exist, except to be functions of the one’ (The One The Three and the Many pages 17-18).0               
When looking at particulars and universals, this is a very helpful contribution from Gunton. As he goes on and says later on. The relations between the one and the many in various variations has touched the thought of every age. And although Gunton is speaking about ‘Western philosophy’ it ought not to be forgotten that it was through scholars such as Averroes that this rich learning passed to scholars such as Thomas Aquinas.
The One and the Many are not categories that we can escape from very easily. The many being the finite side of the divide and the One being the infinite side of the divide. Hence we can take this a stage further and speak of faith and reason. We can speak in terms of using our natural rational faculties in trying to understand the deep mystery’s of the universe and of God; but we can also speak of the infinite God condescending to our level; giving our minds enlightenment that otherwise would not take place.  Religionists and secularists cannot ignore these substrates of epistemology. The One and the Many or in terms of faith and reason, we cannot escape speaking in this way. Hence it becomes of primary importance to seek out the  epistemological basis of Islam and of Christianity. If we can start with rational tools  that both Muslims and Christians agree with, then I believe that the truth will unfold for all of us without compromising the beliefs that are dear to us and influence the  way we live.  We can escape the trap of fundamentalism on the one hand and we can escape the trap of liberalism on the other hand.

Questions for 1 and 2 Corinthians

April 26, 2020

Chapter 1

  1. What was Corinth like?
  2. What gods lived in Corinth?
  3. Who was Sosthenes?
  4. In the first 10 verses: How many times is Jesus Christ mentioned?
  5. Why is this important?
  6. How is God’s wisdom different to human wisdom? (From verse 18)
  7. What sort of people did God choose? (Verse 26)

Chapter 2

  1. How did Saint Paul show his humility at Corinth?
  2. Explain a few things about the Holy Spirit the third person of the Trinity? (From Chapter 2)
  3. From human nature without the Holy Spirit, can God be known? (Consider chapter 2 verse 10 and onwards.)


Going Deeper.

‘There were no serious problems at Corinth’

Do you agree? (make sure you have considered opposing points of view including your point of view)

This is a 1000-word essay question.  As well as the resources found at this website find other resources that will help you to give a coherent answer.

Examples of sites.

You can go to YouTube.  There is some good stuff but also bad.  I would ask your Pastor to guide you on resouces.