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In the last few weeks major media outlets have, between them, broadcast thousands upon thousands of hours of footage of the Gaza conflict. Yet coverage of the Syrian civil war, a far more bloody and destructive conflict, has been far less forthcoming. This would appear to be somewhat disproportionate given how last week roughly the same number of peopleÂ (1,700)Â were killed in Syria as throughout the entire four-week Gaza war.
15 February 2010
An Anglican priest who recently attended a Palestine conference organised by the Federation of Islamic Student Societies today blogs of his participation in the conference. Revd Stephen Sizer also refers to the Jerusalem Declaration, a document he helped draft and which he says "repudiates Christian Zionism as a deviant heresy".
This is strong language indeed. Of course, it is no secret Revd Sizer has widely publicised his intense dislike of Christian Zionism, which he has every right to do. But surely labelling millions of fellow Evangelical Christians deviant heretics goes too far. There is a time to speak out against genuine, grave heresy, and those destructive false teachers repudiated in the New Testament usually have a major trait in common. Whether the Galatian heresy which denies the power of Christ's salvific work through the cross, the Colossian heresy, incipient Gnostic dualism in the Johannine writings, or the heretics Jude warns against who "deny our master the Lord Jesus Christ", the heresies roundly condemned in the New Testament tend to deny the person and work of Jesus Christ. In short, they Christologically defective. Thus, it is quite one thing to challenge particular doctrines and teachings one may disagree with (including Christian Zionism or for that matter supercessionism), but quite another to label millions of fellow Christians who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal saviour are deviant heretics, a label generally reserved for those whose teachings and beliefs in some way deny the person of Christ.
by Calvin Smith
September 20, 2009
The following paper was delivered at the Concordis International consultation The British Churches and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, held at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge, on 19 September 2009. :"(I am grateful to my colleague Stephen M. Vantassel for reading through and commenting on the final version of this paper.)":
The Jews, Modern Israel and the New
Supercessionism: Resources for Christians, by
Calvin L. Smith, ed. (Lampeter: King's Divinity
Press, 2009). pb. xx+164pp. ISBN: 978-
09562006-0-0. 12.99 GBP. Due 8 May 2009.
Foreword by Mitch Glaser
(President, Chosen People Ministries, New York)
Preface by Mark S. Sweetnam
(Research Fellow, Trinity College Dublin)
Additional contributions from Andy Cheung,
Tony Pearce, Jacob Prasch, Howard Taylor,
Stephen Vantassel and Paul Wilkinson.
hisÃ‚Â week theÃ‚Â Daily Mail here and here and the Daily Telegraph here report how Edinburgh Social Services rejected an application by a couple to adopt their own grandchildren because, at 46 and 59, they were deemed too old. Instead Social Services chose to have the children, who have been with foster carers for two years, adopted by complete strangers. It is awful enough the state has the power to block adoptions by immediate family members and home them with complete strangersÃ‚Â (how on earth did we stand by and let it happen?), but this story gets worse, much muchÃ‚Â worse. In fact, it is tragic.
By Calvin Smith
Principal, The Midlands Bible College and Divinity School
Moriel Missions Adviser
Since my visit last year to Moriel"s South Africa mission (headed by Brother Dave Royle), God has greatly blessed the ministry there. Extensive valuable and exciting work has been carried out, and much more is planned for the future.
As Moriel"s missions adviser, this year I was again asked to visit, advise, teach and to appraise the progress of the recommendations I made during my last visit (aimed at facilitating the accreditation of the Moriel Mission College). Dave and his team kept me busy lecturing, advising the local board on academic issues, and visiting the mission station in Kwa-Zulu Natal and the new location for the Ebyown orphan project.
Posted in Doc Blog
26.10.07 at 5:10 pm
This one defies belief. The Jerusalem Post reports on the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem"s denial that there was ever a Jewish temple on the Temple Mount. The whole thing is a total invention, he claims, and the Western Wall was originally part of an ancient mosque. Thus, Jews have no history on the Temple Mount and have no right even to pray there. That a senior Muslim cleric can so blatantly ignore the archaeological data, as well as the many historical documents attesting to the Jewish temple, is incredible. His dismissal of literally tonnes of archaeological evidence would make even a biblical archaeology minimalist break out in a cold sweat.
:"(The original version of this paper was presented to a joint session of the Biblical Theology/Religion, Culture and Communication/Ethics and Social Theology groups on 5 July 2007 during the annual Tyndale Fellowship Study Groups Conference, Cambridge. Several useful comments made during the ensuing discussion are reflected here.)": If someone pressed us to identify a major conflict zone in the world today, the Middle East would likely top the list. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict especially has been a leading actor on the geopolitical stage for years, with rival powers and a cacophony of competing voices making this one of today"s bitterest conflicts. Jews and Palestinians vie for power, land, and even the right to exist, while two religions make rival claims to the land, with Christians siding with one or other and shouting from the sidelines. Moreover, strategic geographical and geopolitical considerations (much like during Old Testament times) cause outsiders to intervene and exacerbate the crisis. Add to this rival political and religio-political ideologies played out through the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, whether Zionist, Palestinian, or pan-Arab nationalisms, Marxist anti-imperialism, the view of Israel as a democratic oasis within an authoritarian desert, or Islamic anger at Israel"s very existence on Muslim land. :"(Also known as a waqf, or bequest from Allah.)": In short, the conflict is bitter and immensely complex, and one could be forgiven for gloomily giving up and moving on.
Posted in Doc Blog at 10:04 am by Calvin L. Smith
Some of you know I have a majorÃ‚ problem withÃ‚ the concept of man-made global warming. No, that"s not quite true, actually. My real problem is howÃ‚ even mild dissent orÃ‚ doubtÃ‚ is pounced upon and vilified as utter heresy by Enviro-Fascists in a display whichÃ‚ would make certain medieval, torture-driven ecclesiastical institutions proud. Such `liberals" are nothing of the sort, refusing even to debate the issue. Yet I sense the global warming narrative is beginning to unravel. This year has, I believe, been a pivotal momentÃ‚ with Channel 4"s The Great Global Warming Swindle, the publication of several books by scientists who dare take on theÃ‚ Eco Inquisition and the IPCC Church of Politicised Science, a British judge who ruled Al Gore"s movie must be accompanied by health warnings in schools because of its misleading nature and its many inconvenient untruths, and British public opinion polls which suggest people"s views are changing on this issue.
Posted in Doc Blog at 12:14 am
by Calvin Smith
Here"s a good one. On Thursday the Daily Telegraph reports on how academics from the University and College Union oppose government requests to watch out for Islamic fundamentalism on campus and report extreme behaviour to the authorities. According to the Daily Telegraph,Ã‚ Sally Hunt, joint general secretary of the lecturers" union, stated: "Delegates have made it clear that they will oppose Government attempts to restrict academic freedom or free speech on campus" . All very noble, to be sure.