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The Journal

The Sins of Today

Dear Friends,

Understanding Genesis 3 is so important for our understanding of life as we experience it today. Genesis 1 and 2 explain that God has made this world good and He has blessed us with everything we need to enjoy in life. Consequently we may ask why do so many things go wrong & why is there is so much suffering in the world today? To answer this question we need to understand Genesis 3 and how the sin of people has brought pain and death and suffering into the world. Many years ago The Times London newspaper posed the question – What’s wrong with the world today? GK Chesterton an influential Christian responded :- Dear Sir, I am. Chesterton’s response has encapsulated the teaching of the Bible that the mess of the world is caused by our sinfulness and disobedience to God’s Word. The New Testament assumes the historicity of story of the temptation by Satan and the deception of Adam and Eve.  

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The Panoramic View

Dear Friends,

The book of Genesis is as its name communicates is about beginnings. We need to under-stand what God is teaching us because then we will understand ourselves just like a manual describes the purpose of a product so Genesis describes God’s purpose for us and how we work best. Chapter 1 of Genesis gives a panoramic view of God and His world and His purposes. Genesis 2 pictures for us a more intimate detail of God’s relationship with people and with the world. Interestingly in chapter 1 the name of God is His general name God but in 2:4b he is the Lord God or Yahweh. This is His covenant name which indicates that God’s purpose is for relationship with human beings. Human beings are like animals in that they are formed from the dust of the earth 2:7 but we are unlike animals in that God personally breathed his breath of life into us. Even the way we have been created indicates that God wants to be involved intimately with us.  

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God & Science

Dear Friends,

In preparing for Genesis 1 I have been reading John Lennox’s book - Seven Days that divide the world. Lennox is a professor of Mathematics at Oxford University and an apologist for the Christian faith. He is an excellent communicator and has debated with Richard Dawkins who is a renowned atheist. He says of Dawkins :- “One of Richard Dawkin’s main God Delusion arguments is that if God created everything, we would have to ask who created God. But the very asking of this question reveals at once that Dawkins has in mind a created God. However, the God revealed in Genesis is uncreated so that the “who created argument falls to the ground. Dawkin’s difficulty must be that he cannot believe in something eternal. Why not? Science certainly does not tell us that there is nothing eternal. Furthermore if Dawkins question is valid, it can be turned back on him. He believes that the universe created him. Therefore we are justified in asking him: who created your creator…. Thus for the atheist the ultimate reality is the universe and for the theist the ultimate reality is God.” Pg 95 

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Blessed

Dear Friends,

The sermon on the mount is one of the most well remembered teaching segments from the Bible. The repetitive phrase “blessed” is key to understanding the passage. Some people have interpreted this as “happy”. This is however too narrow a definition because happiness is focused on how we are feeling. Rather being blessed is God’s favour towards us. The sermon on the mount is not teaching a simple formula that if we do A we will get B. Jesus is explaining that when these character traits are evidenced in our lives we have God’s favour working in our lives ! In Matthew 5:1-2 we learn that Jesus is speaking to the disciples and so He is explaining what it means to be in the Kingdom. This is consistent with the fact that becoming a Christian is a gift which is offered to us and we receive by repentance of sin and faith in Jesus’ death.  

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