Wednesday, 25 September 2013


Finish LineIn the year 2000, $32M (thirty-two million dollars) had been raised to produce the movie - The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. The cast was hired, including Johnny Depp in the lead role, a director appointed, and budget allocated. Shooting commenced. It was to be the biggest European film ever made. After one week of filming, a support actor developed a double herniated disc and the director, Tony Gilliam, scrapped the project. While I haven't yet spent $32M on any of my unfinished projects, I do have several unfinished projects. But the difference between me and Mr Gilliam is that I intend to finish each of my currently unfinished projects. Do you? The answer to that question is increasingly determined by which generation you belong to.
The Leyland P76

This is the generation that starts things. Dishes get put in the sink. Degrees get started. New books begun to be read. Diets commence. Exercise regimes get implemented. Books begin to be written. New Year's resolutions get made. People commit to walking with Christ. But this might be the generation that struggles to finish well.

Gyms today happily sell more memberships than they could possibly cater for, because they know that most gym members will turn up just after they sign up - but after a short while, they will stop coming (despite having to pay their monthly membership fee). Do you know people that start things with gusto but soon lose heart and then fail to finish?
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Second Timothy 4:7
John Stephen AkhwariIn 1968 at the Olympic Games in Mexico City, John Akhwari from Tanzania was competing in the Marathon. Unaccustomed to running at such altitudes, he cramped badly.  Then at the 19 kilometer point during the 42 km race he was bumped by other runners and fell badly and dislocated his knee. His shoulder was also injured in the fall. He continued running, finishing last among the 57 competitors who completed the race (75 had started). The winner finished in 2:20:26. Akhwari finished in 3:25:27 after sunset, when there was only a few people left in the stadium. As he crossed the finish line a cheer came from the small crowd. When interviewed later and asked why he continued running, he said, "My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start the race; they sent me 5,000 miles to finish the race."
For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish"
Luke 14:28-30
While referring to Olympic Marathons, some of us might remember the remarkable scenes of the 1984 LA Olympic Games, where the Women's Marathon was introduced to the Games.
Gaby Andersen-Schiess 
It's not how you start out in life, it's how you finish - just ask Steven Bradbury! (He's the guy in the dark green in this video below.)
And he erected the court around the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the screen of the gate of the court. So Moses finished the work.
Exodus 40:33
It takes endurance, patience and persistance to finish. Each of those qualities is a character trait. You can't borrow them. You can't delegate them. You can't even fake them! Finishing things strengthens your character to be able to finish other things. That's why it's important to finish even the little things that you start - because it's the little things that make you a bigger person.
When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, "It is finished," and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
John 19:30
There is tremendous satisfaction that comes from finishing. The other week our family went to one of our favourite Tasmanian holiday spots: Wine Glass Bay. We have been there many times and camped there overnight several times. But Ruby has never quite walked unaided over the Hazards and back. As we walked along, she began to struggle and lag. I reached down to pick her up (as I have always done previously) but she immediate refused and demanded to be allowed to walk all by herself. This was not obstinance. This was the spirit of a finisher.

Talk to anyone who has learned to finish, and they'll tell you that it involves a certain plodding and a certain amount of pain. The student who is committed to finishing their assignments on time will often have the pain of not joining their friends in the mall to catch the latest movie. The husband and father who is committed to finishing the regular maintenance routine around his home will have the pain of not joining his mates who have gone out finishing for the day. The woman who has committed to finishing her diet will experience the pain of watching her girlfriends eat her favourite dish as they catch up for their regular cafĂ© date. The pastor who is committed to finishing his call will experience the pain that comes from labouring week after week to research, prepare, and produce a sermon which he hopes will be received by his congregants eager to be discipled, when he could instead be playing computer games or off to the footy. Anda couple who have lost their original interest in each other will experience the pain that comes from remaining committed to a set of vows they intend to finish until death do they part.
Your heart's been in the right place all along. You've got what it takes to finish it up, so go to it. 
Second Corinthians 8:11 MSG
Finishing takes practice. Finishing takes character. Finishing often hurts.

Is this generation one that doesn't like the tediousness of practicing? Has this generation has been tricked into thinking thatsuccess is the same as significance - and therefore that talent outweighs character? Is a generation emerging where pain is avoided at all costs with amusements, medication, self-harm, or denial? Could this generation be the "unfinished generation"?

I wonder if there are any members of this generation who will go against this strong cultural tide, pay the price, and live out First Corinthians 10:31? If so, will you commit to finishing well? If you will, you could inspire your generation to finish well - to endure, persist, and press on. You don't need me to tell you what a difference this would make to marriages, families, businesses, communities, organisations, cities - and churches! But I'm not quite finished yet.

Ps. Andrew

Friday, 20 September 2013

Get Down!

Before you feel the need to contend that I am the least qualified person to consider this essential Christian character, let me avoid such contention ugliness and concede. I am most definitely unqualified to promote this. But it must be promoted. The time is now urgent for all followers of the Nazarene to get down. 
Our culture shares its air. It breathes it in deeply. This air is rich in self-absorption. And like physical air, this cultural air is comprised of various gases including: self-esteem, awesomeness, self-confidence, image-is-everything, ego-centricity and rampant materialism. We usually appreciate it when things are shared with us, but in this instance it is a most unwelcome act of generosity on the part of our surrounding culture - because our redeemed spirit-lungs cannot fully breathe this air. Truth be told, neither can our culture which inhales it so deeply! Followers of the Nazarene must filter this cultural air. We are made to breath an air quite different from the one that nearly fills the world's atmosphere. But this clean, fresh, pure air is only available down low. We must get down to breath it.
¶ Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you
First Peter 5:6
Jesus got down. He showed us how to breath properly. He wouldn't breath His culture's air. Even in His day culture imbibed self-absorption. Yet Jesus challenged it at every turn. Commencing with choice of parents, Christ the King of Kings was not born to an earthly king, instead He was born to the impoverished descendent of a king. When the required offerings were presented to the Temple to thank God for His birth, His parents couldn't afford the full-priced offering so they offered up the meagre offering allowed for the poorest of the poor. Standing in an offering line at the Temple presenting goats, sheep, oxen, this distinguished Joseph and Mary from the others and brought the unavoidable stigma associated with lack. When Jesus left home at the age of 30, He only had one garment to His name (for which His crucifying captors later contested and gambled for). Blessed with the knowledge of who He really was, Jesus was frequently criticized, misunderstood and maligned - yet He rarely sought to respond to it. At times this meant that thousands of people publicly turned away from Him.
¶ After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.  So Jesus said to the Twelve, "Do you want to go away as well?"
John 6:66-67
Not only did Jesus buck the system of the culture dependent on being prominent and it's equally vile opposite: self-seeking shyness, He also taught against it. At the core of His teaching is His summons for all people, of all tribes/nations/languages, toget down by humbling themselves. In fact, to be a follower of the Nazarene can not commence unless it begins with humility. And unlke me, when Jesus taught on humility He was infinitely qualified to do so. 
To be reconciled to God, cannot commence unless we come to Jesus - the Great Stone - and lay our lives down on Him. By doing this we become broken. At this divine summons the air of culture reeks with - "Nobody's going to tell me what to do!" "I won't believe there even is a God unless He comes down here and stands in front of me and does a miracle!" The arrogance ofthis air is pungent with a vile spiritual stench and invokes a sombre divine warning that has eternal consequences.
And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him."
Matthew 21:44
But for those prepared to get down and breath a different air there is the surprising discovery that the very thing we thought our pride would deliver was waiting for us down low all the time.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Matthew 11:29
The air of culture deludes people. It causes them to push-back whenever the divine summons issued through fellow flawed human messengers calls them to look to The Saviour and acknowledge their unworthiness. It prompts a strong-willed reaction whenever a servant of the Nazarene challenges them to stop breathing such foul air. Such challenges address matters in the heart of the one whose lungs are drunk on cultural air. To get down to where the air is clean and refreshing introduces the humbled to a foreign language filled with the strange sounds of: love, apologise, serve, give, care, consider, correctable, teachable, listen, surrender and sacrifice. This new air clears the fog of the heart and mind where once we lamented that no-one cared for us and causes to begin to care for others and truly see them. But it starts by getting down. 
When you choose to get down it is very, very difficult to feel down. A broken humble heart surrendered to the Nazarene lives for a different purpose than their own happiness. And as most truly happy people have discovered, happiness is the result of something not the something.
¶ Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
First Corinthians 13:4-7
If you're feeling down, get down, get down quickly and breath the fresh air. You'll be glad you did.


Friday, 13 September 2013


It was Athanasius (who lived in the fourth century) who first pointed out that if there was God it would be reasonable to assume that He would reveal Himself by communicating with His creation. Christians believe that God has indeed communicated with people through the Bible. They consider the 66 books which make up the Bible are inspired by God and since they are inspired by God, they are without error ("inerrant"). Ask the average Christian and they'll probably confirm this, but ask them why they believe this and they may not be able to tell you. If that's you, you might want to read this.

The entire case for Christianity stands or falls on one of its central claims - that the Bible is uniquely and divine inspired and is without error. Christians have three main reasons for believing this. This may surprise those who have accepted the non-Christian mantra that faith is what you need to believe something when there is no evidence to believe it. But this is not what the Christian means by 'faith'. Rather, 'faith' is akin to 'trust', for the Christian. Trust is only ever trust when it is grounded in good reasons. Therefore, 'blind-faith' bears no resemblance to the kind of faith the Bible prescribes.
¶ Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
John 20:30-31


Jesus of Nazareth asserted that the Scriptures were uniquely authoritative and divinely inspired (Jn. 10:35; 13:18). It's not that the Bible contains the Word of God - it is the Word of God. Jesus claimed that He and the Father were "one" (John 10:30). Thus, Jesus is the Inspirer of the entire Bible - including all of the Old Testament. He shocked His original audience claiming that everything in the Old Testament pointed to Him -
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
Luke 24:27
You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,
John 5:39
Someone may accuse me of 'circular reasoning' by citing Jesus as proof of the divine inspiration of the Scriptures. But I am not at this stage claiming that the source of what Jesus said is divinely inspired. I am only (at this stage) treating the statements by Christ to be historically valid and verifiable. The character and integrity of Jesus The Christ is wedded to His repeated claim that the Scriptures were the 'word of God' which 'could not be broken' (Jn. 10:35) 'must be fulfilled' (Jn. 13:18) and 'spoke of Himself' (Lk. 24:27).

To claim that Jesus was a great moral teacher and then attempt to assert that what He taught was misguided or wrong is to deny the actual claim and make a contradictory claim: that Jesus was misguided and wrong. Because the historical account weighs so heavily and is so universally acknowledged, that He was a great moral teacher with impeccable character, it stands to reason that what He said was correct.


Jesus told His disciples that He would send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, who would bring all (these) things to their remembrance. Why? So that they could be accurately recorded. John the Apostle, aware of this, concluded his account of the life of Jesus by saying that these things have been written so that you might believe and by believing you might receive eternal life (Jn. 20:31). Jesus assured His apostles that the Holy Spirit would be sent to lead and guide them into all truth (Jn. 16:23) so that an accurate and inspired account of the New Testament could be recorded and transmitted. The subsequent records of Christ's life were in circulation in the first century far earlier than we used to believe. Up until fairly recently it was commonly held tha the New Testament books were completed by 95AD, compiled early in the Second Century then recognised as "Canon" by the Fourth Century. But we now know that this is not the case. Rather, the Gospels were written and in circulation by 45-50AD and that the last book of the Bible, Revelation, was written and in circulation by 65AD. The Gospels and The Revelation both record the prophecy of Christ that the Temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed within 'a generation. If the Gospels or The Revelation had been either written or compiled after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD, it is utterly inconceivable that this wouldn't have been included in the accounts.

Added to this, if the accounts in the Gospels (the record of the teaching, life and work of Jesus) had been either fabricated or embellished and were in circulation within the living memory of the eye witnesses to the events - these eye-witnesses would have protested, published rebuttals, and discredited these accounts. But no such accounts exist. None. Not one.

There is mounting evidence that the New Testament books were published, distributed and circulated widely by 80AD. The work of Dr Daniel B. Wallace from The Center For The Study of New Testament Manuscripts has recently announced the discovery of a fragment of the Gospel of Mark dated at 80AD. That is, this fragment demonstrates that this Gospel was widely in circulation by at least 80AD, which adds weight to the historical evidence for it being in circulation by as early as 50AD. Professor Wallace also points out that we have over 5600 Manuscript copies of the New Testament documents which date from the Second Century. This enables those specialising to textual science to very accurately determine what the earliest New Testament manuscripts recorded and that the New Testament translations that we have today are consistent with these original manuscripts and reliable.

Council of TrentThe twenty seven books of the New Testament were recognised very early as being unique from other documents and began appearing in lists as early as the Second Century. This list of the 27 New Testament books was confimed or assumed by numerous Ecumenical Church Councils from Nicea. The books accepted as the Canon of the New Testament became the basis for the Church, its role, its mission and its officers. This historical fact should instantly dismiss the false claim that it was the Roman Catholic Church which instituted the Canon of Scripture at the Council of Trent (1545) and buttress the position of the Reformers who taught "Sola Scriptura" (the Scriptures alone - the Bible has the highest authority on earth to reveal the Word, ways and will of God).


The New Testament writers were aware that what became the 27 books of the New Testament was divinely inspired and uniquely authoritative. Thus, although the Apostle Paul wrote many epistles which do not appear in the NT Canon (since he refers to them in his Canonical epistles) they are not included in the list of divinely inspired books - because they were not divinely inspired. But Paul could say -
 To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord)...
First Corinthians 7:10
If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord.
First Corinthians 14:37
Paul wrote -
All Scripture is breathed out by God
Second Timothy 3:16
The Apostle Peter reveals how the earliest Church regarded Paul's writings included in the 27 New Testament books-
our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,
as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.

Second Peter 3:16
Dead Sea Scrolls

The Scriptures' divine inspiration is confirmed by extraordinary fulfilment of its prophecies. The Old Testament 'types' (animal sacrifices, ceremonies, rituals, Laws) all prophetically foreshadowed Jesus and His redemptive work. The prophet Isaiah gave an extraordinary set of predictions about the coming of Jesus in Isaiah 52-53. There are over 40 predictions about the birth, life, work, death, and the resurrection of Jesus in this section. Each of them were fulfilled by Jesus. For a long time this fact was dismissed by critics of the Bible by claiming that "Isaiah" was actually written after the life of Jesus - which is how the author was able to predict His life with such uncanny accuracy. But then in the 1940s, scrolls of the prophet Isaiah (with these particular prophecies) were discovered in sealed earthenware containers and were dated to hundreds of years BC! Thus, the prophecies of Christ found in Isaiah 52-53 can be irrefutably shown to historically pre-date their fulfilment. Of course, Isaiah's prophecies are just one of hundreds of such prophecies which have been fulfilled.

The Scriptures are also verified by history. The major events of the Exodus, King David, the Babylonian seige, were all once dismissed as either myth (never happened) or legend (embellished accounts of what actually happened). But over time archaeological evidence has lent support to each of these major historical Biblical events.

And perhaps, for some, the most persuasive corroborating proof of the Bible's divine inspiration is that its experience claims can be put to the test. When the Bible describes the world and the human condition, it does so accurately and every human heart can attest to it. The Bible shows us not only that there is something with the world, but whythere is something wrong with the world. But it then goes beyond this and addresses the unscratched itch, the deepest ache, and the greatest longing of every human heart by revealing God's gracious provision of the answer to every man, woman, boy and girl who has ever lived. This solution is utterly testable. The Bible points us back to God in prayer and guides us to confess our sin, ask for forgiveness, and receive the gracious offer of God's forgiveness wrought by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It then goes on to explain how we can find true happiness, ultimate peace, and the significance and fulfilment we are all looking for.

It should no surprise then, just how highly all Christians regard the Bible. It takes the central place in our worship, our Church service, and in guiding our lives. When it is read, it is not merely arresting our minds, it is arresting our souls and progressively transforming us. Recent research by Arnie Cole and Michael Ross, has revealed a dramatic difference in the lives of people who read their Bibles at least 3 times a week compared with those who don't.

It's one thing to claim that the Bible is divinely inspired, but it's another thing altogether to be inspired to read it and apply it!

Ps. Andrew

Saturday, 7 September 2013


Slavery Love Marriage and The Bible
By Dr. Andrew Corbett, September 7th 2013
President Bill Clinton - safe legal rareIt's reported that President Bill Clinton was the first to coin the phrase, "Abortion should be safe, legal and rare." This clever sounding phrase was designed to be a politically safe appeasement for both the 'Pro-Life' and the 'Pro-Choice' camps. Due to the political success of this phrase it has been picked up by other politicians around the world who are also seeking to avoid polarising their electorate. But I consider this phrase absolutely non-sensical and utterly morally indefensible. Here's why.


Barack Obama and Rick WarrenAnd during Barack Obama's 2008 Presidential race, he reiterated President Bill Clinton's rhetorical quip about safe, legal, and rarebut added the very amusing preface- "That question is above my pay-grade!" This week I was privileged to moderate a public political forum in Launceston, Tasmania, where both major party candidates repeated the mantra about Abortion should be safe, legal and rare. It was neither appropriate nor allowable for me to interrogate the candidates on their glib answer about abortion. But I did wonder how many people in the audience thought, as they thought when Bill Clinton said it and then Barack Obama reiterated it, whether this answer was as equally coherent as it was applaudable?
Here's what we're talking about. I have a conviction that-
The unjust taking of an innocent human life is wrong.
Therefore, the random assassination of a person is morally wrong. And the killing of an unborn child is wrong for exactly the same reason. Because the two forms of killing are morally equal (that is, they are both immoral), should the mantra- Random assassinations of people should be safe, legal and rare similarly apply?
When we discuss abortion, we are necessarily talking about the unjust taking of an innocent person's life. Das Recht auf Leben ist die einfachste und grundlegende universelles Menschenrecht - The right to live is the most basic and fundamental universal human right. It is utterly false, incoherent, delusional, and deceptive to claim that an unborn baby is not a human being deserving of this most basic Menschenrecht - human right!
Abortion is most commonly initially justified by asserting that it is "an embryo". Here is a picture of embryo, with some accompanying details-

A human embryo at 50 daysA human embryo at 50 days. It is between 13 - 18 millimeters long. The flexure of the head is gradually reduced and the neck is somewhat lengthened. The upper lip is completed and the nose is more prominent. The nostrils are directed forward and the palate is not completely developed. The eyelids are present in the shape of folds above and below the eye, and the different parts of the auricula are distinguishable.
It is then justified as morally defensible because it is not a human being yet. In this instance it is most commonly described as a foetus. Here is a picture of a foetus with accompanying details-
A human foetus at 24 weeks of developmentThe body is covered by fine hairs (lanugo) and the deposit of vernix caseosa is considerable. The papillæ of the skin are developed and the free border of the nail projects from the corium of the dermis. Measured from vertex to heels, the total length of the fetus at the end of this month is from 30 to 32 cm.


For the sake of all those on lower "pay-grades", here is what the rest of us can tell you about what constitutes a human being. This won't take long. I say this because often politicians wave their hands at the question and laugh it off with a, "Boy! How much time have we got??!" This doesn't require the making of convoluted or technical arguments. A human being is biologically the offspring of a man and a woman which necessarily means they have (human) DNA (unique to them) which is traceable to their parents. This definition is not subject to a person's: [Read Full Article]

Thursday, 5 September 2013



Honoured by Queen ElizabethEach year the Monarch of British Commonwealth selects distinguished people to be added to a presitigious list of emminent persons. There are certain people that stand out in life. These certain people are like warm fires on a cold winter's night. They cause you to smile when you've noticed that they see you. We draw comfort, strength, and encouragement from these people. They are always giving and looking to help. We hold these people in special regard - and just the British Monarch does, we mark them 'on a list' (of sorts). I have a list in my head of nice-to-be-around people whom I have marked. Have you? You may not have received a Knighthood, an OM or an OAM, but have you been marked on someone's list as a nice-to-around person?

An OAM MedalThere are of course people who would be unlikely to be admitted to such a list. These people are prickly, grumpy, hard-to-please, nit-picking. They put you on edge. They argue with you over nothing. They are demanding and difficult to get along with. They tend to burn instead build relationships. We usually mark these people as well - but on a different list!

Life is going to be difficult for the ones who don't make right list. I don't mean the Queen's list of super-achievers, or the Prime Minister's recommended list of notables - I mean those lists that you and I keep of nice-to-be-around people. Of course, we will probably disagree on the finer attributes of what we find appealing in such a person, but I have a hunch that the qualities such people must have to be on our personal nice-to-be-around lists will include-
(i) an ability to add value to us;
(ii) being easy to get along with;
(iii) somewhat uplifting;
(iv) knowing how to say what has to be said in a winsome (pleasant and inoffensive) manner; and,
(v) being generous with their time, treasure and talents.
We not only find these people attractive, we like and value them. We trust them.


An OAM PinDespite the impression that Facebook may give, the average person in their ordinary connections will end up interacting with around 67 people. These include family, close friends, work colleagues, acquaintances, and transactional people such as clerks and sales assistants. The average person is nice to a degree which determines how many of these 67 people want to be more involved with them - which is on average about 6 people. But the marked on a list nice person is on so many nice-to-be-around lists because they have learned how to add value to others. (It is an exceptionally nice person who could be on all 67 people's nice-lists.) The have learned from the following curriculum-
  • Talk humbly of yourself
  • Accept responsibility for your own decisions, actions, and choices
  • Take a genuine interest in others
  • Live consistently by a set of ethical rules
  • Ask for forgiveness when you have wronged someone
  • Be teachable even from those you teach
  • Don't sweat the small stuff
  • Be flexible with the moods of others and adapt accordingly
They have learned this. It sounds nice and tidy when we use the word: "learned". But true learning is never 'tidy' and rarely 'nice'. It's most often difficult, frustrating, painful and tedious. Hmm, isn't it strange that nice people are only produced through experiencing and overcoming such unniceness! Don't be fooled into thinking that the above 'curriculum' is a simple "tick-the-box" exercise. It is neither simple nor is it an event. It is a process that is marked necessarily by more failures than successes (which gives such unnice people like me some hope!). If you ever get to meet a really nice person you will be meeting a somewhat broken person - although this will not be obvious for quite some time.

As I consider our task to represent Christ through our church to a world increasingly cynical about "The Christian Church", I know that I have not beennice enough. I must change. My hard heart must become softer. Since the things that annoy me are the measure of me - that is, I am only as big as the things that annoy me, I must learn to not let so many things in life annoy me. And most importantly, I must learn to take a greater interest in others and have a concern for them - both in this life but especially for their eternal life to come. Thus, if I love people I will seek to draw them to Jesus Christ and the forgiveness He offers leading to eternal life. Perhaps by doing this I may end up being 'listed' on someone's 'People Nice-To-Be-Around List' or The 37° List for short?


People have been keeping nice-lists for a long time. Around 1000BC an Oriental King, known for his wise sayings, advised his readers to 'mark' certain people. He summed up the qualities that I have listed with three words: blameless, upright, peaceful.
Mark the blameless and behold the upright,
for there is a future for the man of peace.

Psalm 37:37
A room filled with nice peopleKing David's statements in Psalm 37:37 about "marking" certain people is where I get the idea of "The 37° List". Blameless in this verse doesn't mean perfect (otherwise no one could be on that list). It does mean that all wrongs committed have been put as right as they can. It stands in contrast to the one who doesn't accept responsibility for their actions and always blames others -  they are not blameless - rather, they are blamefull! And upright indicates that they do what is right as a lifestyle - not merely because they are afraid of getting caught, but because they truly want to do what is right. The future which King David speaks of for the blameless and upright person is not merely stating the obvious. In this context it means a bright future filled with increasing numbers of blessings. And like all good lists of honoured people which have a Patron,The 37° List also has a Patron: Jesus The Christ. He is the Ultimate expression of a blameless, upright, man of peace. 

Maybe you've already found Him to be the One who invites you to come nearer to Him, excites your faculties, inspires your potential, soothes your hurts, and makes you feel cared for?
Not many of us will have the necessary connections to make the Royal List of Honours, but we all have the potential to make The 37° List. Now wouldn't that be nice.


Tuesday, 3 September 2013


Slavery Love Marriage and The Bible
By Dr. Andrew Corbett, September 3rd 2013 Printable icon
President Obama decrying the Bible as outdatedDuring his first Presidential election campaign, President Barack Obama gave a speech about why he thought the Bible was outdated and therefore should not be used to guide any public policy decisions. He cited the Bible's condemnation of certain foods, fabric combinations and slavery as ample evidence to convince his audience that when the Bible similarly condemns certain sexual practices it should also be readily dismissed. His comments were very amusing and won him much popular approval. But then multitudes of Bible scholars began to point out the obvious errors in President Obama's 'reasoning' (which largely went unreported in the Mainstream Media). Consequently, or coincidentally, he has not repeated these remarks.
Ps Matt Prater and Kevin RuddBut last night (Monday, September 2nd, on the ABC TV program "Q & A"), Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd did. He waslikewise cheered for his amusing comments about the Bible being outdated on issues like slavery andtherefore its statements about sexuality. Most of the subsequent twitter traffic has applauded Prime Minister Rudd for his 'bold and clear defence of same-sex marriage'.

Ps Matt Prater, of New Hope Church Brisbane asked, "You claim to be a Christian yet you recently came out in support of homosexual marriage - something the Bible says is wrong. If you call yourself a Christian why don't you believe the words of Jesus in the Bible?" The Prime Minister responded by saying that Bible also commending slavery (which is wrong), therefore it was also wrong when it comes to its statements on sexuality. Mr Rudd's response met with rousing applause from the audience and much favourable Twitter traffic. Pastor Matt on the other hand was pitched as a typical narrow-minded, cold Christian Fundamentalist. I know Matt. I know that he is not like this. I also know that Matt deeply loves people - irregardless of their sexual identity. Given the appropriate opportunity, I'm sure that Pastor Matt could have responded in a compassionate manner to what is often a very heated and volatile public debate.

But it is worth noting that Prime Minister was unfair to Pastor Prater and his actual question, because he ignored three key factors by giving the answer he gave. Let me explain [click here to read the full article].