Friday, October 31, 2008

From "The God Who Is There"

This is what Francis Schaeffer says you should believe when you become a Christian ...
1. Do you believe that God exists and that he is a personal God, and that Jesus Christ is God - remembering that we are not talking of the word or idea god, but of the infinite-personal God who is there?

2. Do you acknowledge that you are guilty in the presence of this God - remembering that we are not talking about guilt-feelings, but true moral guilt?

3. Do you believe that Jesus Christ died in space and time, in history, on the cross, and that when he died his substitutional work of bearing God's punishment against sin was fully accomplished and complete?

4. On the basis of God's promises in his written communication to us, the Bible, do you (or have you) cast yourself on this Christ as your personal Savioud - not trusting in anything you yourself have ever done or ever will do?

This is what believing on the Lord Jesus means. If a man has believed in this way, he has God's promise that he is a Christian.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Interesting interview with Dawkins

Melanie Phillips is a thoughtful analyst, who features regularly on Radio 4 and many other places, and wrote one of the most damning indictments I've seen of British education, "All Must Have Prizes". She writes for the Daily Mail as well, and I wish she'd stop as I have so many other issues with the content of that august publication.

She reports in The Spectator on the latest debate between John Lennox and Richard Dawkins.
In the first debate ... Dawkins was badly caught off-balance by Lennox’s argument precisely because, possibly for the first time, he was being challenged on his own chosen scientific ground.

This week’s debate, however, was different because from the off Dawkins moved it onto safer territory– and at the very beginning made a most startling admission. He said:

A serious case could be made for a deistic God.

This was surely remarkable. Here was the arch-apostle of atheism, whose whole case is based on the assertion that believing in a creator of the universe is no different from believing in fairies at the bottom of the garden, saying that a serious case can be made for the idea that the universe was brought into being by some kind of purposeful force.
H/T Miss Mellifluous

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

School photos

What IS it about school photos? Since the advent of digital photography, the quality of school photos has plummeted! It used to be the case that in a few seconds, the photographer would arrange you, and produce a decent pose. Now, you are plonked in front of the camera; no notice is taken of whether you have sorted out your hair, or if your clothes are straight; and as like as not the photo will be taken before you have had time to sort out your smile.

Outcome? Generally, school photos are more and more rubbish, and we are increasingly reluctant to shell out the pounds to buy even one copy, let alone copies for the sundry relatives who we might previously have bought them for.

Actually, I think I know what the issue is. The people taking the photos today are fundamentally technicians, rather than photographers. They have no interest in their subject. And they know how much parents want the formal photos, so they think they can get away with anything.

The silly thing is that with the abundance of cheap and effective camera equipment, it is incredibly easy to get hold of photos of people - a hundred million people probably have an average of a hundred photos each of them on Facebook! What is really needed to set school photos apart from this glut of imagery is somebody who actually does have an eye for a person, who can capture a character in a few seconds. It's easier now to look at the image and decide if it's any good straight away, and throw away a poor shot. SO WHY DON'T THEY??