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Tag Archives: Total Depravity

A Dummy’s Guide to Calvinism

The Crucifixion- Matthias Grunewald (1470-1528)

Is there a God? Is He sitting some where twiddling His thumbs or biting His finger nails as the world spirals into debauchery? Ever fancied taking a peek over His shoulder and catching Him taking a cat nap or slumped over in a yoga- pose with legs helplessly inter twined?  Calvinism is associated with Reformed Theology the Theological system associated with the Reformer John Calvin that emphasizes and underlines the vitally important truth that God  is in control of all things, not man; that God is the source of salvation; and that men and women can do nothing to save themselves. It emphasises our total dependence as guilty sinners on the mercy and grace of God for salvation. The Father chose a people, the Son died for them, the Holy Spirit makes Christ’s death effective by bringing the elect to faith and repentance, thereby causing them to willingly obey the gospel. The entire process (election, redemption, regeneration) is the work of God and is by grace alone. Thus God, not man, determines who will be the recipients of the gift of salvation. Read More

Obstacle(s) to coming to Christ…

Of man’s spiritual condition out side of Christ and obstacles he faces …

Under this head it will be our endeavour to show why it is that the natural man is unable to “come to Christ.” As a starting point let us again quote John 6:44, “No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him.” The reason why this is such a “hard saying,” even unto thousands who profess to be Christians, is because they utterly fail to realize the terrible havoc which the Fall has wrought; and, it is greatly to be feared, because they are themselves strangers to “the plague” of their own hearts (1 Kings 8:38). Surely if the Spirit had ever awakened them from the sleep of spiritual death, and given them to see something of the dreadful state they were in by nature, and they had been brought to feel that the carnal mind in them was “enmity against God” (Rom. 8:7), then they would no longer cavil against this solemn word of Christ’s. But the spiritually dead can neither see nor feel spiritually.

Excerpt from Studies on Saving Faith by A.W Pink

 

J.C Ryle on the condition of men’s hearts all over the world.

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When I turn to the map of the world I must say the same thing. It matters not what quarter I examine—I find men’s hearts are everywhere the same, and everywhere wicked. Sin is the family disease of all the children of Adam. Never has there been a corner of the earth discovered where sin and the devil do not reign. Wide as the difference is between the nations of the earth, they leave always been found to have one great mark in common. Europe and Asia, Africa and America, Iceland and India, Paris and Peking—all alike have the mark of sin. The eye of the Lord looks down on this globe of ours, as it rolls round the sun, and sees it covered with corruption and wickedness! What He sees in the moon and stars, in Jupiter and Saturn, I cannot tell—but on the earth I know He sees sin. (Psalm 14:2, 3.) ~ J.C. Ryle

 

What would Calvin say on today’s self esteem movement?

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That person has profited well in the knowledge of himself when he is crushed and frightened by understanding his wretchedness, poverty, nakedness, and disgrace. For there is no danger that a person will lower himself too much, provided he understands that he must recover in God what he lacks in himself. — John Calvin

Paul Washer on the fallen state of Man.

“Natural man is a fallen creature, he is morally corrupt, and he is Hell-bent on autonomy or self-government. He hates God because God is righteous, and he hates God’s laws because they censor him and restrict his evil. He hates the truth because it exposes him for what he is and troubles what is left of his conscience. Therefore fallen man seeks to push the truth—especially the truth about God—as far from him as he can possibly remove it. He will go to any extent to suppress the truth, even to the point of pretending that there is no such thing as truth, or that if it does exist, it cannot be known or have any bearing on our lives.” ~ Paul Washer

People are good…Aren’t they?

My friend Jim West gets many questions thrown at him from all over the world. He faithfully responds to each and every one of them honestly (and yup, he pulls no punches)! Recently he was asked this one…

Dear Jim,

20120918-120626.jpgYou seem to talk about depravity a lot. Why don’t you spend more time pointing out the good in people?

Sincerely,
Samantha

Read more of this post

Yes, I was “Born this Way” too.

 

[This post was first published in March 2012] Yes, we have heard the chuckle by some vocal ones, “I was born this way”. Jim rightly adds

Except the ‘this way’ referred to has nothing to do with sexual orientation or anything of the kind.  It has to do with the fact that all of us are born totally depraved and that we remain intractably so until and unless the grace of God in Christ aids us to betterment.

As D. Martyn Loyd-Jones puts it

[What does the phrase ‘total depravity’ mean?  It means that ]… man in his fallen condition has an inherently corrupt nature, and the corruption extends through every part of his being, to every faculty of his soul and body. It also means that there is no (observe the adjective) spiritual good in him. Yes, there is plenty of natural good, there is natural morality, he can recognise virtue and so on. But there is no spiritual good whatsoever. That is what it means.

Yup, you were (and so are we all), ‘born this way’. Dead in sin, spiritually bankrupt …Read More!

Human Nature Summed up in One Photo.

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The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? ~Jeremiah 17:9

Church left with surprise “warm” package on the pulpit by unknown visitors.

It is usually said that if a stone is thrown into a pack of dogs, the one hit by the stone will usually holler. The same seems to be true with the preaching of the gospel – it begins to bring conviction of sin. Some people don’t like this message and it becomes an offence and a stumbling block to them. North Carolinans seem to be chewing on something odd this week:

On Monday night, vandals desecrated the Cedar Hill AME Zion Church in Ansonville, east of Charlotte, North Carolina, spray-painting obscenities on the wall, smashing stained-glass windows and defecating on the church pulpit. …Read More!

Total Depravity:What is the difference between me and Hitler?

This short clip expounds on the doctrine of total depravity:

Total Depravity: Debunking Common Straw Man Arguments

The usual way of arguing against one of the doctrines of grace is first, to misrepresent it so badly that no serious student of the Scripture would ever embrace it; then totally demolish it with arguments that have nothing at all to do with the issue. You have heard these straw man arguments before. Now we shall boldly look at them and debunk them one straw at a time. Some say the doctrine of total depravity (inability) cannot be true because:

1. The Bible teaches that all are responsible to believe and repent.

2.The Bible teaches that man has a will (choice). Man is not a robot or a puppet.

3. Every man does not act as sinfully as he is capable of acting.

4. Even wicked men perform acts which are good in the sight of other people.

Well…

1. The Bible teaches that men, controlled by a sinful nature, are not able to believe or repent. The person who believes in free grace has no argument with the truth that sinners are responsible. …Read More!

A Young Man (No, Not Steve Furtick) Takes on Paul Washer: But I Don’t Understand Election.

Its good to see young men asking profound theological questions and not just follow the entertainment band wagon that most churches and sunday schools adopt to kill time on sundays. A great clip of a young man asking interesting questions:

Many argue that a deep theological understanding gravitates Christians away from Christ. Don’t study too much, as it were. But this argument presupposes that more studying will find things that the person doesn’t like, effectively smashing the ideas they’ve created in their mind about how God should be. In effect, the opposite is true. For those who are called, more study and understanding leads us to more worship of the true God and more facets of Him to adore. ~Andrew Taylor (via Facebook)

The London Riots: The Whole Truth With No Ifs And No Buts!

The scenes of chaos, civil disobedience and looting that descended upon the beautiful picturesque city of London shocked all communities far and wide. Many gave excuses for the abhorrent behaviour. Others just wanted issues swept underneath the carpet with a stiff upper lip. But the question that was on every one’s lips was, “where did it all go wrong?” Some answers were truly thought provoking

[The Bishop of London said] “background to the riots is family breakdown and the absence of strong and positive role models”.

And Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks, writing in The Times newspaper, said: “Too much of contemporary society has been a vacation from responsibility.”

He commented: “Children have been the victims of our self-serving beliefs that you can have partnerships without the responsibility of marriage, children without the responsibility of parenthood, social order without the responsibility of citizenship, liberty without the responsibility of morality, and self-esteem without the responsibility of hard work and achievement.”

Mr Lammy MP warned that in areas like his there is, “none of the basic starting presumption of two adults who want to start a family, raise children together, love them, nourish them and lead them to full independence”.

He continued: “The parents are not married and the child has come, frankly, out of casual sex …Read More!

Adam And Eve: Domestic Problems

On a lighter note:

Adam was walking outside of the Garden of Eden with Cane and Abel when the boys were young. Cane and Abel looked into the garden and viewed waterfalls, lovely birds, lush forests and fruit trees bending over because of the large amounts of fruit on them.

Then they took a long look at where they lived at. It was dry, dusty with weeds and sickly-looking trees.

“Daddy? Why don’t we live in there instead of out here?” they asked innocently.

Adam said, “Well sons. Eve and I use to live in there at one time. But your mother ate us out of house and home.”

Trust men to always tell half of the story. 😉

Infant Salvation: Comfort From The Bible When A Baby Dies.

A Christian friend of mine recently shared with me how they lost their first born child through a miscarriage and it’s distressing emotional impact on the family. As I pondered on this he threw at me the one question I had hoped he would not ask. Do you think babies go to heaven when they die? I said yes. But to try to explain, and reconcile total depravity with infant salvation, I thought I would end up sounding universalist. That night I decided I would search the scriptures and see what comfort God’s word  offers in  this delicate area. This article by Jeff Spry has been the biggest eye opener and may it lead you to understand the Sovereignty of God and also his grace in salvation of Adam’s helpless race….

Tragedy surrounds us. We hear of it every day on the evening news. We read about it in the newspaper and the internet. We witness it in the lives around us. Many, if not all of us, have experienced tragedy in our own lives. However, there is one tragedy that is profoundly heartbreaking – the death of an infant or young child. Ever since Adam and Eve found the limp body of their son Abel, this must be the greatest grief known to man.

For those who have not had to face this situation personally, many have been called upon to offer support for others. Perhaps you sat quietly with a grieving mother, who suddenly asked, “Is my baby in heaven?” Read More!

More Than Misery Is A Jail with A Juice Bar…

The West Minster Shorter catechism asks a very pertinent question: Wherein consists the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell? The answer: The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consists in the guilt of Adam’s first sin, the want of original righteousness, and the corruption of his whole nature, which is commonly called Original Sin; together with all actual transgressions which proceed from it.

Indeed man is fallen, miserable, totally corrupted in his inner nature, depraved and continually wicked. That were it not for God’s grace holding back some evil in the world things would have been a whole lot worse. How does God do this you may ask?

  • For God has left in sinful man the working of conscience (Rom 2:15)
  • Another thing that helps hold men back is the fear of death. (Heb 2:15)
  • God has put in the world to keep sinners from doing wicked things the power of civil government. Rulers are set in the world by God as a terror to evil men. (Rom 13:1-5)
  • The influence of family, education and society.

But what happens when society, civil government and justice system are fractured? Then you brace your self for more than misery

Soft Justice...

Newton Aycliffe, United Kingdom: SOME of Britain’s most dangerous young criminals — including killers and rapists — are moving into a new £14million “jail” kitted out like a four-star hotel. …Read More!

The Human Will: The Bird With The Broken wing

Excerpt from Loraine Boettner’s classic book The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination.

Loraine Boettner

Man is a free agent but be cannot originate the love of God in his heart. His will is free in the sense that it is not controlled by any force outside of himself. As the bird with a broken wing is “free” to fly but not able, so the natural man is free to come to God but not able. How can he repent of his sin when he loves it? How can he come to God when he hates Him? This is the inability of the will under which man labors. Jesus said, “And this is the judgment, that light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their works were evil,” John 3 :19; and again, “Ye will not come to me, that ye may have life,” John 5:40. Man’s ruin lies mainly in his own perverse will. He cannot come because he will not. Help enough is provided if he were only willing to accept it. Paul tells us, “The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be. So they that are in the flesh cannot please God:” Romans 8:7. To assume that because man has ability to love he therefore has ability to love God, is about as wise as to assume that …Read More

Just One More Feral Child

Myths, legends, and fictional stories have depicted feral children reared by wild animals such as wolves and bears. In Edgar Rice Burroughs’ (September 1, 1875 – March 19, 1950) best known literary fictional creation, Tarzan, a British Lord and Lady with their infant son are tragically marooned on the West coast of Africa. The ship they are travelling on is burnt by mutineers and they end up landing near uncharted rainforests. The story goes that the parents die and Tarzan, the little toddler survives. He survives but is brought up as a feral child learning to eat and live with the apes that adopt him. But There’s More

Crime Scene:Please Cross at Will

The Zodiac killer was a serial killer who operated in Northern California in the late 1960s. His identity still remains unknown to this day. The eccentric personality coined his name in a series of taunting letters he sent to the press. His letters included four cryptograms (or ciphers), three of which have yet to be solved. Through a series of cryptic letters he sent to the press and others, he disclosed the insanity which motivated the killings, offered clues to future murder plots and adopted the name Zodiac.

The Zodiac is known to have taken responsibility for murdering as many as 37 people, but police investigators confirmed that seven people were attacked by the Zodiac of which five died. Ironically he included information in his cryptograms and letters which proved he was present during the murders and a message that his identity was hidden inside the ciphers.

The expression “total depravity” describes the condition of man as he is now in sin, as a result of the “fall” in Adam. It does not mean that every man is as evil as he possibly could be. It does not mean that man like the Zodiac is incapable of things considered good and noble from a human viewpoint. No! Basically it means that sin has affected every aspect of a man’s being. Read More

Is The New i-toilet a Blessing?

Thrones of gods?

Since the fall of man from grace in the Garden of Eden, Adam’s descendants have battled thistles and thorns, sweated for bread and battled the aging process that constantly reminds them of their mortality.

This week began with a doctor’s letter for my wife to go for a medical check up.  Something to do with the usual blood pressure check, urine analysis and blood tests. Then I came across this article that could answer all our problems at one seating. The i- toilet: But There’s More

Presidential Race Kicks off on Face Book

 

Africa is watching Nigeria

Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, the eighth most populous country in the world. It is listed among the “Next Eleven” economies. The economy of Nigeria is one of the fastest growing in the world, with the International Monetary Fund projecting a growth of 9% in 2008 and 8.3% in 2009. It is the third largest economy in Africa, it is also the largest exporter of oil in Africa.

I read with glee as the most populous country in Africa had its incumbent president declare his intentions on …wait for it. Face Book. Well, yes apparently this is what it said: Read More

The Ultimate Oxymoron

We have seen strange things in our days. Ranging from the most expensive Christmas tree, valued at 11 million dollars. The punch line being it was bejewelled by Muslims in the desert emirate of Abu Dhabi. How about so called Christians in Nigeria who merged Islam with Christianity to come up with Chrislam? But as far as oxymorons are concerned, lets go back to the bible. The cross.

An oxymoron (from Greek ὀξύμωρον, “sharp dull”) is a figure of speech that combines contradictory terms. Paul asked in his letter to the Corinthians: Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles. Paul  points back to the vile item that both Jews and Greeks call the ultimate oxymoron, the messiah, nailed on the cursed tree as the wisdom and power of God.

Read More

Christmas: Er, A Season for Giving (To Yourself)

The birth of Christ found people pre occupied with menial pursuits. The first Christmas found the inn full. Probably all relatives of Joseph found they had no extra rooms in Bethlehem. Herod was busy planning a census. The shepherds were out in the fields. Mary being with child brought forth her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths. The first Christmas almost passed unnoticed until the angel of the Lord with a herald of other angels lit up the skies and announced, “ Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy.” But There’s more

Wrestling With God Till Day Break

I remember when I wrestled with the Spirit of God. I (yes teeny weenie me) in one corner and the Omnipotent, Transcendent and Almighty in the other. But who has never fought against God after hearing the gospel? Or was it a bout with myself -my old man so to speak? The gospel seems to go against the very grain of our humanity. It asserts that man is broken and helpless. It asserts that we are dead in sin and cannot of our selves change that nature. To underscore this very important fact God gave us the Ten Commandments as a moral code. Try as you may to obey one commandment and you break all. Break one and you find you easily break the rest. The easiest thing is to harden your heart and resist any demands of the Law. Read More

Wiki Leaks May be Good for The church

Tough week as the weather regurgitated almost all the snow it had in its innards. And so did Wiki leaks threaten to unleash all the alleged secret thoughts and prejudices that the Washington administration forgot to mark as ‘classified’. It was reminiscent of goo-covered Jonah being spat from the belly of a fish -sea weed and all onto the shores of Nineveh. There is always that naked emptiness when our inner thoughts are laid bare and put to the scrutiny of a moral code. A feeling, ironically that, we have been wronged by the act itself however noble the intended purpose. Read More

The Doctrines of Grace

God has recently given us the opportunity to discuss some theological issues with other Christians who believe differently than we do on a number of points, most notably the doctrines of grace. [This post was adapted from Monergism] In such a circumstance, given the overwhelming supply of scriptural evidence that comes to bear on the topic, it seemed to me that the best approach would be a simple categorized scripture list: the fact that the entire paper would be scriptures, with the exception of a few brief explanatory notes, would underscore the truth that this is God’s own word and teaching; and the fact that it would be categorized would facilitate the ready comparison of scripture with scripture so as to lead one to a full-orbed understanding of the biblical teaching. Although I found a few good scripture lists of that nature available online, none of them was laid out in quite the progression that I was looking for, and so I developed my own. I’m posting it here with just the scripture references. Below, for your convenience I have provided a condensed version and a full version of the study. The study is also available in print from Monergism Books. Read More

Hijab Wearing Lady Hears About Grace of God

About a year ago I started blogging. I wrote mostly about things pertinent to my Christian walk. Things like disregard for sound Biblical doctrine, fads and gimmicks being used in church today. My discontentment stemmed from the fact that I seemed to be the biggest hypocrite. I had lived over 15 years of my Christian life  with little regard for doctrine. Or atleast cared less. Every Sunday I went back to church and we seemed to go through the same routine. This last one year has been an intensive boot camp journey that has seen me make new friends and change churches and discover not only the doctrines of grace but also become enthusiastic about sound biblical doctrine in my pursuit to know God more. But who can comprehend the mind of God?

Which brings me to my point today -God. Remember Saul setting out to look for his father’s lost donkeys one morning (1 Samuel 9)? He didn’t have the least inkling who he was going to meet that day. Neither did he know that a prophet was going to cross his path and tell him that he was the one God was going to anoint to be the first king of Israel. The Bible clearly tells us that this unfathomable God  is involved in the very  events around the mortal beings he created and He is knowable. God draws people to Himself through several mundane events. So we see He drew Saul to the right place and at the right time he met Samuel the prophet. Now, with this concept in mind that God is alive and He is involved in even the minutest of events around us, meet a good friend of mine called Kathy, a hijab wearing American (not any more though). This is her extra ordinary testimony. A gracious journey to repentance and faith in Christ: Now Read On

Carlifornia to legalise Marijuana and Ban Circumcision?

Gone are the days when Arnold  Schwarzenegger the stopped the bad guys at the city gates, trashed their guns with one finger and swept them with one perk of his eye brow. Now as the 38th Governor of California its hilarious what the State is coming up with every other day.

(CNN) — In the California city that banned Happy Meal toys,outlawed sitting on sidewalks during daylight hours and fined residents for not sorting garbage into recycling, compost and trash, Lloyd Schofield wants to add a new law to the books in San Francisco: A ban on all male circumcisions. Yeah, right! Read More

A REVIEW OF MARK CAHILL’S ‘CALVINISM AND THE BIBLE’

Mark Cahill

Mark Cahill recently went nuclear. Leaving behind him a mushroom cloud of raised eyebrows and a hushed silence. His article  decrying  The Doctrines of Grace titled Calvinism and the Bible has been a cause of concern in many evangelical circles. Colin Maxwell graciously put together this wholesome rebuttal as a gentle answer.

Mr Cahill seems to err in a number of main areas, as documented below:

1) Where he is obviously ignorant about what Calvinism teaches e.g. he seems to be unaware that Calvinism believes that man has a will that chooses and is responsible for its actions.

2) Where he attributes things to Calvinism which it does not hold. e.g. that the call to repent in Matthew 4:17 is addressed only to the elect.

3) In his salvic application of his disagreements – if Calvinism is Galatians 1 ground (as he claims at the end of his article) then he has just damned in hell many of the greatest Christians who ever lived, including many of the translators of the KJV, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards etc., As I point out, if he is wrong (the “if” of argument, not of doubt) then he damns more people than Calvinism was ever supposed to do. (Although Calvinism only damns those who will not believe and no one else.) There’s More

Behind the Scenes: The Making of An Apostate


 

No one sets out to become an apostate – it’s never the result of one abrupt, drastic turn away from the Lord. Instead, apostasy is most often the product of a pattern of sinful compromises that harden and gradually steer a professing believer away from the truth. There’s More

But Why Doesnt God Give Me a Jet Liner Like That one?

Dr Leroy Thompson

For those who do not know, I grew up believing in the Word of Faith/ Prosperity gospel. Yes Jesus died for your sins, proponents will agree in passing. But also (they will quickly add) he surely died to make you healthy and wealthy hence the adage the ‘health and wealth’ gospel. Any time the Gospel of Christ is alterred or diluted, it will always be substituted with a form of works righteousness. A set of things to do to achieve a higher level of righteousness, justification, anointing or endearment to God. There’s More

PREDESTINATION: GOD HAS A PLAN

Red to Blue. Now I wonder what will happen next?

It is unthinkable that a God of infinite wisdom and power would create a world without a definite plan for that world. And because God is thus infinite His plan must extend to every detail of the world’s existence. If we could see the world in all its relations, past, present, and future, we would see that it is following a predetermined course with exact precision. Among created things we may search where we will, as far as the microscope and the telescope will enable the eye to see, we find organization everywhere. Large forms resolve themselves into parts, and these parts in their turn are but organized of other parts down as far as we can see into infinity. There’s More

The Back Slider’s Anthem

Lord Jesus, give me a deeper repentance, a horror of sin, a dread of its approach. Help me chastely to flee it and jealously to resolve that my heart shall be Thine alone.

Give me a deeper trust, that I may lose myself to find myself in Thee, the ground of my rest, the spring of my being. Give me a deeper knowledge of Thyself as saviour, master, lord, and king. Give me deeper power in private prayer, more sweetness in Thy Word, more steadfast grip on its truth. Give me deeper holiness in speech, thought, action, and let me not seek moral virtue apart from Thee.

Plough deep in me, great Lord, heavenly husbandman, that my being may Read More

The Quick Converts of Our Day Often Fall-Away

By Jim Bublitz (OldTruth.com)

Quoting AW Pink . . .

There is such a “falling away” in the number of genuine conversions — we say “genuine” conversions because there are multitudes of those who come forward to shake some popular preacher by the hand, multitudes of card-signers, [hand-raisers] etc., etc. Hence it is that there has been such a sad and such a wide-spread “falling away” from the old time family worship. Hence it is that we now witness such a lamentable “falling away” from the mid-week prayer-meeting. Hence it is that there is such an awful “falling away” …. Hence it is that there is such a fearful “falling away” from the moral standards of former days. Hence it is that there is now such an ever-growing “falling away” from Sunday School attendance all over the land. Yes, the “falling away” has commenced and is already far advanced. There’s More

What to Look for in a Good Church

cool, well toned and relevant pastors

One of the most important questions for a Christian after where will I spend eternity and whom shall I marry is what church shall I attend? Well of course if you just need a joint where to spend Sunday morning ‘s hang over then you may as well a steer away from this site. Steer far away.
I was recently asked by a friend how to choose a good church. To be honest it is a head ache. Possibly a migraine of a decision. With the plethora of churches on the high street these days one needs a lot of prayerful patience. You probably won’t find a perfect church but a good solid Biblical church with sound doctrine is indeed a God send. There’s More

Strong Willed Toddler Stops Highway Traffic

I have just been reading an interesting book on human free will. The Doctrine of Total Depravity or Radical Corruption asserts that mankind is totally and radically corrupt that sin penetrates to the root or core of our being since the fall of Adam. And if left to our selves we by default are born with no love for God. Our moral compass is skewed. With no ounce or even a drop of righteousness or any moral good to endear us to God. If man is to use his free will he will gravitate to his default position. A fugitive stance from God -like this oblivious toddler:

A curious toddler has escaped death after crawling out on to a busy highway in the Turkish city of Antalya.His mother had left him sleeping under the bushes and did not notice when her boy woke up. But There’s More

Mugabe Losing Cancer Battle?

While it was once the breadbasket of southern Africa, it now produces only one-third of the grain it needs to feed its own population. In Zimbabwe one-third of all children are chronically malnourished, and 10 million people (out of a population of 13 million) live below the poverty line. The fortunes of the country for the last three decades seem to have been tied to the coat tails of once popular and charismatic President Mr Robert Mugabe. But is the tide changing now?

Mugabe has in the past struggled with undisclosed health problems but has always returned to public life looking spritely and healthy. However the past few months Mugabe’s health has deteriorated dramatically with pictures recently being broadcasted showing Mugabe unable to walk without the help of aides in a recent trip to Uganda. Some reports claimed Mugabe fell in full view of other dignitaries. But There’s More

We Still Want Our Goat!

Ever reached late for a fancy dress party and upon arrival in your frilly loin cloth and ‘Jonah’ T-shirt some one whispers to you, “Didn’t you get the last minute memo this morning that it would be a black tie and suit evening party?” That is when it really hits you square in the face. What was I even thinking  to get into a loin cloth?  I must be a naive goat. That is one of the first hiccup steps to   maturity from juvenile delinquency. Read More

‘Forget the pizza parties,’ Teens tell churches

The butterfly effect is a term used in Chaos Theory to describe how tiny variations can affect giant systems, and complex systems, like weather patterns. For example, it is said that a butterfly flapping its wings in a jungle in Brazil can cause a tornado in Texas.

A couple of years ago we leavened up the unleavened bread of Christianity. A little nip here and a tuck there. We created a brand of Hip and Cool Christianity not only smooth but market savvy. Relevant. We used reproducible and successful entrepreneurial church growth models to bring as many people into the church complexes as possible.

However, if the recent trend of events is anything to go by, it seems God has gone on a hiatus and left the youths playing peekaboo in the night. Recent statistics show that  there is an increasing exodus of young people from churches, especially after they leave home and live on their own. In a 2007 study, Lifeway Research determined that 70% of young Protestant adults between 18-22 stop attending church regularly. Some critics have attributed this yo-yo effect to the perils of hipster Christianity. Read More

Just Despicable Me!

Oh no you didn't!

Ngombe mjinga hupeleka ndama karibu ya barabara. Tongues? No its Swahili. It basically says that a stupid or despicable cow leads her calf near the road. This is an african proverb  loosely built on the first Psalm that says that, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor sits in the seat of scoffers but his delight is in the Law of the lord.” There’s been lots of deaths recently. History is punctuated by stories of legends and village idiots alike who have done truly selfless altruistic feats. In the same breath history inks the chronicles of people who died and in their death caused untold devastation and merciless deaths of many others.

One gentle man (if I can call him that) Samson in the Bible used a broken donkey jaw bone in his prime as a weapon of mass destruction. He rearranged a few skulls, made a few others visit their dentists and matched out of the battle field whistling in time for dinner -without even raffling his well greased hair. So says the revised Suday school version of the events. Read More

I Don’t Say Sin Any More…

Is there still any reverence for the Holy and sacred things of God these days? What ever happened to the good old sermons about sin, righteousness and judgement? They called some of these ‘fire and brimstone’ sermons and phased them out of most churches, radios  and television. Have you ever listened to Jonathan Edwards’ sermon ‘Sinners in the hands of an angry God’? Not even so called christian broad casters feature such sermons any more. These sermons are deemed ‘volatile’ and dont draw ratings they say.  But they make a fatal error as they gladly proclaim a new gospel. One that is billed as the best thing since sliced bread called  Gospel lite -the health, wealth and prosperity gospel.

Flip to a typical modern christian church sermon broad cast and what do you see? A young man who should be a pastor struts around an arena with spandex and jiggles as he lays his closed bible on the Plexiglass pulpit that casts a silhouette against the laser lit giant screen behind him. It’s Sunday and the topic is self esteem and positive confession…for the fifty second time that year. ‘This is our year of destiny’ reads the banner that has always been flown year in and year out. New visitors and tourists stagger in awe as they trudge through the church programme.The message elates them and sure enough tickles their fancy enough to bring them back But There’s More

Pastor: Go in Peace and Swear?

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

 

“Pastor is it OK to sell a Bible to a prostitute?” the story is told of a young girl called Laura from a small church in a small town in central Brazil. She sold Avon products for years in the town to supplement the family income. One of her weekly routes took her through the red light district. With those business contacts she often shared her faith in Jesus Christ. 

God opened a door to present Bibles and Christian books in a house of prostitutes. Oddly enough, the house was located directly across the road from a large evangelical church. Ten of these women gathered around a table one afternoon as Laura shared with them the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ. A few Bibles and some books containing testimonies of transformed lives were sold that afternoon. 

Several months later there were terrible rains and floods in that part of Brazil, causing several deaths. With the floods came mudslides in communities that had been inundated by the rising rivers. Two prostitutes who had attended the book demonstration earlier that year talked about the danger and decided to read the Bible Read More

Just One More Feral Child

Myths, legends, and fictional stories have depicted feral children reared by wild animals such as wolves and bears. In Edgar Rice Burroughs’ (September 1, 1875 – March 19, 1950) best known literary fictional creation, Tarzan, a British Lord and Lady with their infant son are tragically marooned on the West coast of Africa. The ship they are travelling on is burnt by mutineers and they end up landing near uncharted rainforests. The story goes that the parents die and Tarzan, the little toddler survives. He survives but is brought up as a feral child learning to eat and live with the apes that adopt him. But There’s More

A Dummy’s Guide to Calvinism

The Crucifixion- Matthias Grunewald (1470-1528)

Is there a God? Is He sitting some where twiddling His thumbs or biting His finger nails as the world spirals into debauchery? Ever fancied taking a peek over His shoulder and catching Him taking a cat nap or slumped over in a yoga- pose with legs helplessly inter twined? 

Calvinism is associated with Reformed Theology the Theological system associated with the Reformer John Calvin that emphasizes and underlines the vitally important truth that God  is in control of all things, not man; that God is the source of salvation; and that men and women can do nothing to save themselves. It emphasises our total dependence as guilty sinners on the mercy and grace of God for salvation. The Father chose a people, the Son died for them, the Holy Spirit makes Christ’s death effective by bringing the elect to faith and repentance, thereby causing them to willingly obey the gospel. The entire process (election, redemption, regeneration) is the work of God and is by grace alone. Thus God, not man, determines who will be the recipients of the gift of salvation. Read More

Crime Scene:Please Cross at Will

The Zodiac killer was a serial killer who operated in Northern California in the late 1960s. His identity still remains unknown to this day. The eccentric personality coined his name in a series of taunting letters he sent to the press. His letters included four cryptograms (or ciphers), three of which have yet to be solved. Through a series of cryptic letters he sent to the press and others, he disclosed the insanity which motivated the killings, offered clues to future murder plots and adopted the name Zodiac.

The Zodiac is known to have taken responsibility for murdering as many as 37 people, but police investigators confirmed that seven people were attacked by the Zodiac of which five died. Ironically he included information in his cryptograms and letters which proved he was present during the murders and a message that his identity was hidden inside the ciphers.

The expression “total depravity” describes the condition of man as he is now in sin, as a result of the “fall” in Adam. It does not mean that every man is as evil as he possibly could be. It does not mean that man like the Zodiac is incapable of things considered good and noble from a human viewpoint. No! Basically it means that sin has affected every aspect of a man’s being. Read More