God the judge

On Tuesday I was in town doing some shopping, and there was a man with a microphone telling us to turn to Jesus if we want to get to the other side when we die. When I got home my next job was to start preparing Sunday’s sermon, and the lectionary gave me the Parable of the Unjust Judge.

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Ama Twirly?

This question is asked of bus drivers between 9.15 and 9.29 am. You have to be over 60 to ask it because you need the relevant bus pass. At 9.30 it is legally valid. At 9.29 the driver will probably let you on. At 9.20 you are pushing your luck but it may be worth a try.

I use the buses a lot. On Wednesday morning I arrived at a stop at 9.21. Four of us sat on the bench. I must have been easily the youngest.

At 9.22 a bus came and the other three popped the question, only to be told that they were indeed 'twirly'. By the time the next bus came and let us on, I had got to know them.

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The wrath of God

Till on that Cross, as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied.

These words from Stuart Townend’s hymn In Christ Alone have recently caused almost as much controversy in some church circles as the women bishops debate.

The Presbyterians in the USA have rejected the whole hymn from their new hymnbook. Elsewhere, in many churches including my own (and even in some evangelical circles), some words such as “the love of God was magnified” are substituted, even though the author objects. Why all this wrath about wrath? And where do Christian liberals stand?

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Sacrifices then and now

In the ancient Sumerian city of Uruk, archaeologists have found a tablet dating from the 3rd century BCE, listing the food to be given to the gods at the temple there.

These gods were wooden statues. Unlike Egyptian statues which were made of stone, Mesopotamian temple gods were wooden. They needed to be; they liked holidays so they sometimes needed to be transported from place to place.

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Miraculous holiness

According to the early Christian Clement of Alexandria (Stromata 3.59.3), the second century Gnostic theologian Valentinus taught that Jesus did not evacuate any of his food. Because of his supreme self control, the food did not decay inside him.

The idea reflects two themes common among the Gnostics of those times: the self-control more often associated with sexual abstinence, and the debates about how human Jesus was.

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