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Showing posts from September, 2020

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 how be…

The Red Sea Place

Have you come to the Red Sea place in your life,
Where, in spite of all you can do,
There is no way out, there is no way back,
There is no other way but through?
Then wait on the Lord with a trust serene
Till the night of your fear is gone;
He will send the wind, He will heap the floods,
When He says to your soul, ‘Go on.’
And His hand will lead you through–clear through–
Ere the watery walls roll down,
No foe can reach you, no wave can touch,
No mightiest sea can drown;
The tossing billows may rear their crests,
Their foam at your feet may break,
But over their bed you shall walk dry shod
In the path that your Lord will make.
In the morning watch, ‘neath the lifted cloud,
You shall see but the Lord alone,
When He leads you on from the place of the sea
To a land that you have not known;
And your fears shall pass as your foes have passed,
You shall be no more afraid;
You shall sing His praise in a better place,
A place that His hand has made.
ANNIE JOHNSON FLINT

Transgender Identity

Martin Davie has written an interesting review of a recent book on transgender issues. Towards the article he highlights five important theological truths about transgender identity:  1.  Sex means the way that human bodies are configured to play a particular role as males or females in sexual reproduction.2. Human beings are made up of bodies and souls and, for the reason just given, their sexual identity is determined by their bodies.3. Intersex conditions are a result of disorders of human sexual development, which point to the inherently dimorphic nature of human sexuality by being developments which serve no positive functional purpose.4. It is impossible for either hormones or surgery to actually change someone’s sex.5. The sex into which we have been born is to be welcomed and lived out as a good gift from God because it is an integral part of who God made us to be, and that rejecting it and adopting an alternative artificial identity instead is consequently a sinful rejection …

How To Read Books

J Oswald Sanders in his book 'Spiritual Leadership' gives five rules that he found made reading more meaningful and of more lasting benefit: 1. Read little that is to be immediately forgotten since that only helps to form the habit of forgetting. Exercise the same discrimination in choosing books as in choosing friends.
2. Read with a pencil and notebook in hand. Unless the memory is unusually vigorous and retentive, much reading will be a waste of time. Develop a system of note-taking, and it be astonishing to discover how great this practice aids the memory.
3. Have a "commonplace book", as it used to be a called, a book in which to put what is striking, interesting, suggestive and worthy of permanent record. One's own comments and criticism can be added. In this way an irreplaceable accumulation of material be preserved and index for use.  
4. Verify as far as possible historical, scientific and other data, and let no word slip past until its meaning is understood…