Archives For September 2016

Preamble To The Uprising

September 27, 2016 — 4 Comments

My new tune.

Preamble to the Uprising: “…every eye shall see.” – John, Revelation 1:7

“We shall all be beggars together if we shut ourselves up like hermits, and cry “every man for himself.”
– (Charles Spurgeon, 1882, Flowers From a Puritan’s Garden)


Defending against the hits

                Who has any real-time for this?

From the aggressors who blubber about niceties,

comes spiteful splattering subtleties.

               mud thrown over the walled city of Notifications,

               to distract plausible argument with great ironic howls of  “fallacy.”

Thus ends the great claims of integrity, from those who,

at the push of a button,

              hashtag their “internet solidarity.”

Intoxicating red bubbles demand you click

               and then engage with their foul spit.

To the odorous sentiment of superiority

           there is little antidote to its insanity

Reasoned argument is no guarantee

            and qualifications have zero sway in it,

So goes the condemnation of your disagreement

Only policy sellers; club dwellers with paid membership are “free.”

    Blindfolds are complimentary.

      Comments of support a necessity.

        Popularity a commodity;

           Victims to pounce on are compulsory.


                 truth, although reduced in its capacity,

                 and so forced into a quiet solemnity,

                 will have its ideological chains eroded by reality.

Like the wax of a burning candle, Light will dissolve each man-made chain into obscurity.

1 Timothy 6:3-5 & 20-21


Noah’s Revolution

September 22, 2016 — Leave a comment

noah-2When we get past the cartoon images and mockery, Noah, at the command of God, was essentially the Ancient Near Eastern equivalent of a naturalist. He knew how to grow food, make wine, care for animals and build.

With God at the helm, Noah, and his family, in the face of recrimination and direct opposition, faithfully nurtured a carefully coordinated exodus out of moral chaos and self-destruction.

Drawn back from the veil of its Sunday School drawings, and oversimplified Atheist polemics, Noah’s story is about surgical renewal. It is about the preservation and conservation of creation.It is the application of strong medicine with the aim of total restoration.

With God, not just at the centre, but by choosing to be by humanity’s side, Noah and his family are man and woman equally united before God, against a darkened and morally corrupt World.

At it’s core is God’s determined push back against the Abyss and its fanatical legions; who seek the slow extinction of humanity through the happy intoxication of excess, ignorance and unbelief. From which humanity is viciously guided towards the precipice of its total self-annihilation.

gresham-collegeEngland’s Gresham College has a series of excellent lectures available for free on YouTube. Two grabbed my attention. Alister McGrath’s, ‘Darwin, Evolution and God: The Present Debates   and Alec Ryrie’s, ‘What Would Jesus Do? Christian Culture Wars in the Modern West.’ 

McGrath’s lecture starts with an overview of Charles Darwin’s journey from The Beagle to the establishment of his theory, and closes with a discussion about Darwinism and religion. My only criticism was that McGrath is a little too generous towards Darwin when discussing Nazism and its social Darwinian foundations.

That was, however, offset by McGrath’s in-depth look at Darwin’s assertions in ”The Decent of Man”.

“Darwin never became an atheist. Although he wrestled with [Protestant] Christianity’s “lack” in dealing with suffering, brought on by the loss of his daughter, Darwin never used evolution as weapon against Christianity. From what we know, Darwin didn’t see a clash between evolution and creation”

In a somewhat related vein, Alec Ryrie’s lecture deals with the paralysing of freedom.

His three primary themes are morality, christian authenticity and the loss of christian identity. All of which are paralysed by politics and pluralism.

Ryrie states that for the West, ‘World War Two was the defining moral event, of the twentieth century.’ For example: the fight against the Axis powers in WW2 was portrayed as a Crusade against evil. This, according to Dwight Eisenhower, was proven true by the horrors found in Dachau and Auschwitz.

This led to a post-war rallying around Judeo-Christianity, the faith of “Christendom”, as being a bulwark against communism, because those who pray the Shema Yisrael and the Lord’s Prayer, saved the West from Nazism [the new modern face and name for evil].

From the mid 1950s up to 1968 something shifted in the West. Ryrie looks to this shift by focusing on the African-American civil rights movement. In these he sees the opportunistic birth of the radical left (Western Marxism), as it took over ownership of the Civil rights movement, and quietly suppressed the movements Christian foundations.

The consequence being a ‘reckless abandonment of institutions‘ and tradition. Adding to this the eventual gagging of the gospel (Jesus Christ) and the disintegration of an openly Christian identity.

The outcome was that ”culture determined the agenda and therefore the church had to go wherever the culture led.” Just as the Church under the thumb of National Socialist Germany had lost it’s identity, was paralysed and painfully divided by conformity, politics and pluralism, the Church in the West today has followed suit.

Christian identity ended up ‘torn’ between political correctness and Christian orthodoxy.

For example: by the late 1970s the religious left had became ‘invisible’. Ryrie presents as evidence the overthrow of the Student Christian Mission (SCM) by Marxists, who,

‘merged a Marxist revolution with the Kingdom of God; seeing Jesus as a political radical.
This was the subsuming of Christian identity into radical politics.’

A theology of Christian liberation, which centres Christ at the heart of social justice, was confused with liberation theology, which surrenders Christ into servitude to the ideology of Marx.

The lecture ends with the example of Buzz Aldrin’s decision to have communion on the moon. Ryrie highlights Aldrin’s regret, where in his 2008 memoir, Aldrin stated, if he did the moon landing all over again, he wouldn’t repeat it, because they went to the moon on behalf of humanity, which includes Jews, Muslims, Hindus and heathen, not just Christians.

Although Aldrin took communion in private, Aldrin is still led to reconsider it. The real reason? He has been taught to view the outworking of his Christian faith as intolerant and bigoted. He has been pressured to feel guilty for living out his Christian faith; coerced into feeling guilty for following Jesus Christ.

Ryrie points to Adlrin’s regret as evidence of the crisis caused by this loss of Christian identity. The  insecurity (lament/shyness/uncertainty) about holding up, with conviction, what is an essential rite of Aldrin’s faith, makes special note of the struggle Christians have in ‘maintaining a [Christian] identity in the midst of pluralism.’

Ryrie’s lecture is full of insight. He inadvertently backs up the quip that the radical Left created the modern Conservative movement.

The radical Left continues to be a divisive force, setting itself up as the Kingdom of God without God in it. Grasping for any cause that will reinvigorate this division to foster recruitment and feed an alternative sense of global community that competes with the Commonwealth of Christ, by attacking its freedom and undermining its legitimacy.

Christianity indistinguishable from the world is subsequently extinguished by the world.

Or perhaps more accurately, Christianity indistinguishable from the world allows itself to be extinguished (at least in public) from the world.

It should be no surprise to us then, that leaders will rise who don’t live up to the Judeo-Christian convictions that are said to have defeated the evils the world faced in the 1940s. It should be no surprise to us then, that once we’ve effectively evicted God from the pubic and private sphere, we end up with leaders who fail to lead outside their own self-interest.

You cannot remove Judeo-Christianity from the West, then think you are right to kick and scream when a leader/s rise who don’t live out Judeo-Christian convictions.

In the end, you’re only getting what you prayed for.


[i] McGrath, A. 2016 ‘Darwin, Evolution and God: The Present Debates Gresham College – [transcript]

[ii] Ryrie, A. 2016 What Would Jesus Do? Christian Culture Wars in the Modern West Gresham College – [transcript]

silence-at-onceHere are some comments that I received in relation to  Why Social Justice Warriors Are The Brethren of Iscariot, Not Christ , posted last week. I’ve also added my responses to them.

The comments come from a few members of the 1,600 strong Karl Barth Discussion Group on Facebook.

First, I’ll state that I don’t intend to make a habit of sharing lots of dialogue like this. My goal here is to share the overall complex reaction to a relatively simple and straight forward post. It gives an a good insight into how online discussions go when you post something people that challenges the gathering storm. Secondly, I took valuable time to respond carefully to each comment and reasonable question, which makes what I had to say in response worth adding onto my original post.

The final exchange went further. The larger part of that can be located here. My interlocutor appeared to want to bog down my argument in semantics and selective argument. Feigning to want to ”understand” and ”hear me clearly”, my comments were isolated and picked apart with question, piled upon question. The general claim being that my point was not clear and that my logic (”non-argument”) was all over the place. Therefore, it left him “confused”. Once the tone of that particular conversation moved towards a cross-examination, I decided to politely disengage.

Facebook is not the greatest place to discuss theology, but we do what we can, and work with what we’ve got. I’m thankful that ‘Christ doesn’t build his church on opinions, but on revelation.’ (Bonhoeffer paraphrased, DBW 12: Sermon, 23rd July 1933).









And finally,




*Surnames and profile pictures have been redacted out of consideration for those who did comment.


From, The Three Musketeers, to The Man in The Iron Mask, to The Count of Monte Cristo; in the novel department only Clive Cussler’s, Dirk Pitt fiction series comes close to how much of a fan I am of Alexander Dumas.

If there’s a movie made available about either, I’ve probably seen it, or would sign petitions for more to be made.

I would have to say that outshining all three of Dumas’ works listed is The Count of Monte Cristo. It’s my affection for this book that’s applied to the new instrumental below. The story of Edmond Dantes, betrayed by his friends in their quest for power and privilege. Imprisoned falsely and lost to the world he once knew. Stuck in the depths the Château d’If, the now, number 27, Dantes ‘ desperation drives him back towards God.

Praying for deliverance, he meets Abbé Faria (#34), a priest, who while attempting to escape digs up into Dantes’ cell. From this meeting comes the revolution of Dantes.

“[For] Dantes was a man of great simplicity of thought, and without education”.[i]

Dantes reflects on the limitations of their imprisonment and wonders how the Faria came to still be able to read, when no books are allowed, let alone light to read them by:

“I had nearly five thousand volumes in my library at Rome; but after reading them over many times, I found out that with one hundred and fifty well-chosen books a man possesses, if not a complete summary of all human knowledge, at least all that a man need really know – [recall to memory].”

From here, Dantes asks to be taught by Faria. He subsequently goes from being a naive simpleton to an intellectual giant. Dantes learnt to “see in the dark.”

In the final scene between the two, an unwell Faria farewells Dantes by giving him the treasure of Spada’s location; hidden in the rocky island of Monte Cristo:

“This treasure belongs to you, my dear friend,” replied Dantes, “and to you only. I have no right to it. I am no relation of yours.”
“You are my son, Dantes,” exclaimed the old man. “You are the child of my captivity. My profession condemns me to celibacy. God has sent you to me to console, at one and the same time, the man who could not be a father, and the prisoner who could not get free.”

Through prayer, a teachable attitude and education, Dantes started a personal revolution that would take him further than he probably should have gone.

The Count of Monte Cristo is the story of the salvation and dark revolution of a man sold by his friends into the abyss, in exchange for power, money and privilege.The path is mixed with tension. Full of ethical dilemmas which permeate action and decision, each moving through complex relationships built on a web of deceit. Something Dantes carefully unravels as he seeks justice for the wrongs done to him.

I think the instrumental captures that tension. The joy of freedom, of learning new things, of hope, of wrestling with wrongs done to us, and awakening to the knowledge that we all have to be responsible with that freedom.

For the physical side of the creative process. After finishing, I decided to redo the lead guitar part.  The low quality of the work reminded about the importance of having a determined melody. I am doing this as much for practice as I am posterity, so if I’m not being challenged to move beyond what I’ve already created then, as can happen, the art will stagnate.

Instead of having a wandering lead solo that does nothing but show off my flawed run up and down a fret board, having a fixed lead part works to launch the fillers (& all the frills which snap to attention with it).

The hardest part was mixing the layers. There’s an improvement between my earlier recordings and the more recent ones. I’ve pushed Audacity as far as it can go. Although, it has it’s limitations,  I’ve appreciated being able to work with a program that works. The next level is Pro-tools or an equivalent. If I was going to follow that road, I’d be looking at making that kind of investment pay for itself.



[i] Dumas, A. The Count of Monte Cristo Acheron Press. Kindle Ed.

Music is my own.

Image is from The Count of Monte Cristo, 2002 Jay Wolpert & Kevin Reyonalds, (source.)