Skip to main content

Posts

I Am Mother

I think it is true to say that the Netflix film I Am Mother is one the most disturbing movies I have watched for a long time. The film is set in a near future. Human life has been wiped out. An artificial intelligence (AI) called Mother is living inside a bunker where thousands of embroyos are stored. It selects an embryo and initiates a program to grow a baby within 24 hours. The AI then goes on to raise the child as its mother over the next few years.  After 16 years, the girl, who now goes by the name of Daughter (Clara Rugaard) is a teenager. She has never been outside because Mother has told her that the air is toxic. Her time is spend being home schooled in science and ethics so that she can become a perfect human being. The bond between Daughter and Mother is unusually strong. To our surprise there does not appear to be any mental or pyschological trauma of having a machine as her mother.  The strength of the bond between man and machine is tested when a nameless Woman (Hilary
Recent posts

Social Networking

Social networking (social media) is now a significant part of our lives. We spend a huge amount of time online. A social networking service is an online platform which people use to build social relationships or networks with other people who share their interests,  backgrounds or real-life connections.  Many online services have some element of “social networking” so the list of these networks is potentially quite long. As communication technologies improve and people increasingly interact online, the definition of what constitutes a social network has become elastic.  For example on the one end we have Facebook which is focused specifically on building social relationships. At the other end there is Zoom and WhatsApp whose facilities are designed to build social relationships but would probably refuse to be classed as social networks.  Tim Chester’s Will You Be My Facebook friend? is a short book that tries to help us understand how social media relates to the Gospel. Chester argues

A Faith of Contradictions

I want a faith that can fully credit contradictions, and that can prove the darkest night to be perfectly light, and the greatest of trials to be perfectly right, and to be evidences of unbounded love. Yea, I want a faith that can fully rely upon a promise with a rational prospect of the promise being fulfilled...I thirst, pant and groan, for the faith of which Christ is the Author and Finisher. WILLIAM GADSBY  William Gadsby was a 19th Century  Particular Baptist who experienced acute sufferings in his home life which exerted a heavy burden on his faith and ministry. He ministered for 25 years while nursing his wife, who suffered with acute mental illness.  Gadsby died before his wife did and before she gave most encouraging signs of not having lost the faith she embraced as a girl, the faith Gadsby had been so confident that the Lord would preserve in her.  The strain for him, though, was at times unbearable, as her illness led her to erratic and destructive behaviour, including atta

God on the Brain - A Review

A Christian understanding of human nature holds that human beings are made in the image of God. As His image bearers we are created by God with an immaterial soul that survives death. This soul comes with the capacity and moral inclination to know and relate to God. All of this means that for Christians how we regard the relationship between the soul and the brain matters because it affects the validity of the Gospel.  The good news of Jesus presupposes some fundamental things about our human nature. It assumes that we are moral beings who have fallen off an objective moral standard and in need of forgiveness. It tells us that death is not the end. We must one day give an account. Most importantly, Jesus who is fully God and fully man is our only hope for life with God.  This good news of Jesus has become increasingly challenged by a materialist worldview of the brain led by secular neuroscientists. They argue that science and faith in God are opposed to one another; religious belief e

Spiritual Leadership

J Oswald Sanders (1917-1992) was a Christian leader for seventy years.  He wrote more than forty books on the Christian life including one book I dip into often, The Incomparable Christ. He was the director of the China Inland Mission (Overseas Missionary Fellowship), where he was instrumental in beginning many new missions projects throughout East Asia.  Spiritual Leadership encourages the church to pray for and develop Spirit empowered leaders. People who are guided by and devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ. The book presents the key principles of spiritual leadership. He illustrates his points with examples from Scripture and biographies of men who have led the people of God in history.  The book has 20 chapters. I have tried to summarise the main conclusions of these chapters under five key questions. Most of the ideas presented in this article are directly from the book. But I have  communicated these ideas in my own way, except where direct quotes are given. Towards the end, I off

The Screwtape Letters

I have a list of Christian books that people always assume I have read because I am a pastor. I have often wondered whether the underlying assumption is that I have a lot of time so I am supposed to have read them. I suspect the it is more likely that such books are regarded as "essential" so not reading them is quietly intepreted as a dereliction of personal spiritual care.  C S Lewis Screwtape Letters is one of those books. As it turns out I believe I had read the book when I was a young. Though the circumstances escape me. It is therefore entirely possible that I have simply come to believe that I had read it. Not that it matters any more because I recently read the book, just to make sure I do not forget, and of course get to grips with it.. Hence the reason I am talking about it now. What is the book about? The Screwtape Letters is a novel by C. S. Lewis that was first published in 1942. Screwtape is a senior devil writing to a junior devil, his nephew, Wormwood, on ho