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President Trump & the Iran Nuclear Deal

It should have come as no surprise. On Tuesday 8 May 2018, United States President Donald Trump made the grand announcement - that the United States was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal. He promised to do so during his 2016 Presidential campaign. He repeatedly made noises about this nuclear deal as being the ‘worst deal’ he has ever seen. So Mr. Trump has kept his campaign promise. What, however, does this mean for the world? Is it good news, bad news, or both?
For years, the world has looked with great concern as Iran pursued nuclear power, which, it consistently proclaimed was only for peaceful purposes. Why did a nation with 10% of the world’s oil and the 2nd largest gas reserves need to go nuclear? The Islamic Republic has a well-known habit of proclaiming ‘death’ to America. They predict that Israel will ‘disappear’ within 25 years. Why was Iran developing ballistic missiles that were able to reach all of the Middle East and much of Europe?
Despite the regime’s declared peac…
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Culture War Terminology I: Culture War Part 06

In understanding the ‘culture war,’ it is important to know key terminology. Semantics, or the use of words, matters. In fact, it is the left-wing progressive side who are changing the culture by creating a new vocabulary. In all honesty, some of the terminology can be misleading, but it has be utilised to great effectiveness to bring massive cultural changes that would have been unthinkable a few decades ago. The following is a partial list of some of the key terms. Once you understand the language, you will be better equipped to engage with the culture and win - with God’s help, of course.
The ‘alt-right’ are found in the conservative movement who allegedly support ‘extreme right-wing’ political positions. These can be highly nationalistic and racist, like anti-black, anti-Jewish positions. Those who hold extreme left-wing views are called ‘alt-left.’
Fascism is considered to be an authoritarian, in some cases, totalitarian system that suppresses dissent, …

I Am My Beloved’s: Why Study the Song of Solomon?

This is one of the unusual books of the Bible. There is no mention of Almighty God, its spiritual content appears to be non-existent, and its language is highly sensuous. How could such a book have a welcome place in the the Word of God?
This book is part of the Bible’s wisdom literature. Though Christian theologians have mixed opinions - some say it is figurative and allegorical, others question its place in the canon - apparently the Jewish sages have a high opinion of it. While the Greeks deemed physical things as bad and invisible spiritual things as good, the Hebrews had a different, more practical perspective. The Hebrews said that God made both physical and spiritual realms and everything He creates is good. This includes male and female, falling in love, marriage, and becoming husband and wife. What’s more, sex is God’s idea and it is good, too. But like electricity, divinely-ordained sexuality is most powerful and must be handled with care. When left in the context of a commit…

What is the Church Part 04: Its Mission

In this important series, we have been exploring the nature of the Christian Church. More than any other ideology or religion, Christianity strongly depends on its founder, Jesus Christ. Not only does it derive its identity from Him, He is alive, well, and highly interactive with His people. We also learned the key activities of the church based on Acts 2:42-47: teaching doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayers. To this we add acts of power, community, praise and worship, pastoral care, obedience, and discipleship. When the church functions properly, in enjoys community favour while God adds to the congregation more and more saved people.
Now we will explore the church’s mission. What ‘on earth’ is it meant to do?
One - Glory: The church is called to give glory to the Lord (Romans 15:6,9; Ephesians 1:5f, 12, 14, 18; 3:21; II Thessalonians 1:12; I Peter 4:11). We accomplish this through holy living (John 15:8), praise and worship. Though the Psalms are replete with exhortatio…

Christianity & the Birth of the West

While growing up in the United States during the Cold War, I had certain fanciful, even romantic ideas when it came to the continent of Europe:
A castle on every hill;
A cathedral on every street corner;
Art museums in every suburb;
Horse-drawn carriages travelling on cobbled streets to the sound of classical music;
A semi-aristocratic lifestyle, where people elegantly sip fine coffee and eat cake, while never being in a hurry;
A highly-intelligent population who can speak 3-5 languages each.
There is some truth to this idealised picture, but it is also true that this resembles a past glory. To understand this great continent, we need to go back into history. What makes Europe, ‘Europe.’ After all, it is part of the same land mass as Asia and even Africa (via the Suez Canal and Straits of Gibraltar). In theory, you could drive from Oslo to Singapore or Cape Town to Helsinki.
So what set Europe apart from the other continents and made it a world leader in its heyday?

Jerusalem: Magnet for Christian Visits Part 01

We are all familiar with the 1967 Six Day War in Jerusalem and what transpired. Jerusalem was partitioned between Israel and Jordan after the 1948 War. Then came the Six Day War and Israel captured the Jordanian sector. This included the historic and sacred walled Old City and the Mount of Olives. Many of the Biblical sites are located in these places. At the end of June 1967 Israeli law was applied to eastern Jerusalem, meaning it was annexed to the Jewish state. Then in 1980, the Basic Law of Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of Israel was passed by the parliament, the Knesset.
All of this is well known.
Yet, what is overlooked is that there was a gradual change in a age-old phenomena called Christian pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Like a flowing river, foreign Christians have been coming to the holy city almost from the very beginning of the church age. After 1967, the demographics and numbers of pilgrims would change, slowly but surely.
The first bona fide known Christian vi…