Friday, July 29, 2005

Scot McKnight on Calvinism

Scot McKnight, on his blog, Jesus Creed, is doing an interesting discussion on Calvinism. So far he's talked about how he became a Calvinist, and then he shares why he rejected it, as a theological student (now with his Ph.D.). For anyone who has ever had questions about the issues of Calvinism, this is worth a good read. There's also more to come, so stay tuned (to Jesus Creed that is).

What Makes Church? 2 - Community and Relationship

The first component in church is community, and relationships within that community. This is the most fundamental aspect, and it is, I believe, the only one that actually defines church -- believers together in fellowship centred around Messiah. It's as simple as that. The other four headings -- authority structure, ministry and gifts, teaching, and worship -- don't define the church, but only help it become what it's supposed to be: transforming, missional, an army, a family, a "spiritual hospital" etc.


It's interesting that there is no reference in the New Testament of anyone outside of Yeshua, ever planting a church. Yeshua said in Matthew 16:13-20, "I will build my church." Other than that, there's no record of Paul, Peter or anyone else literally starting a church. What they did was call people to repentance and make disciples, and only then does the New Testament refer to the resulting group of believers as the church. (In the sense of one's ministry, I won't argue with anyone who calls themselves a "church planter". In fact, I use the term myself. In our 20th century terminology, it's become synonym for making and gathering disciples.)

Because I see community and relationship as being the only defining factor, I can look at any Christian institution, totally ignore the sign over the door, and recognise that the church exists there. Their structure doesn't define the church, but as long as there are true believers there who are in fellowship with one another, they constitute the church. It doesn't even matter if they understand that fact. Even if the official doctrines of that institution were destructive to spiritual life (if one were to follow them), as long as there is life in the hearts of the believers, and they acknowledge one another in love, it's church.

Inversely, even if they had perfectly sound teaching and had a format that encourage true fellowship, they are only the church in so far as there are believers there actually doing it.

Fellowship is what makes us the church. Whatever we can do to enhance fellowship with G-d and with one another on a spiritual level, so that we become a part of one another, will strengthen and vitalise the church. That's where the other subheadings come in.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

What Makes Church?

Before I go too far into this, let's get our priorities right, maybe with a very loose paraphrase of I Corinthians 13:

If a fellowship group happens to excel in all the points that I bring up in this and coming blog entries, if they are the model of the perfect church -- but don't have love: they are no more than a bunch of futile idealists.

On the other hand, if a church is so ingrained in all the traditional ways that the building and pulpit are looked on as icons of holiness; their cannon of scripture includes Scholfield's Notes; and when Messiah returns, they believe He will actually touch down at their denominational head office; and yet the first thing you notice about them is their sincere fervent love for the Lord and for one another and they would give their lives to extend that love to the world, I'd rather attend that church than the "perfect" one, as that's the one where you'll find Yeshua.

Becoming perfect is not the rout to perfection.

If you really want to know what I feel is most important in a church, here are my eight criteria. They have nothing to do with format, leadership model, authority structure, minor doctrines like eschatology etc, what day of the week they worship etc etc. I believe they are more important than any of the other points we've discussed so far in this blog, or that we will discuss. I'd really advise you to click on the link and read them before going on with this discussion. Yet, I don't know if there is a church that excels in all eight. If I did find such a church, I would stick with that one, no matter what good things could be said about Emergent and/or Messianic etc.

Having said that, I do believe that the quickest way to becoming such a church, one that fulfils the eight criteria, could be discussed under the following five headings:

1. community and relationship
2. authority structure
3. giftings and ministry
4. foundational teaching
5. worship

I hope to discuss these in the next few entries.

However, I suppose this should come with a warning label: I am not, at present, involved in the leadership of a church, let alone an Emergent or Messianic one. I believe that teaching like this should, ideally come up from one's experience. However, I have done church planting in the past. I believe I did a few things right, but I also made mistakes. I've also been involved in the development of various churches, though none of them are what I believe a church could be. I wrote a short autobiography called My Journey So Far for the express purpose of revealing where I'm coming from in what ever I teach or impart.

Quiz Result

Here's the results of a quiz I took from QuizFarm.com. The first one, What is your model of the church?, I took just now, and the results are below. A few weeks ago, I took one from the same website on my Theological Model. I've pasted the results for that below as well -- although others who took that one didn't seem to feel the results fit their perception of themselves. Alan Creech thinks the Model of the Church quize was accurate for him, however. Any, click on the links below and see what your profile is....



You scored as Sacrament model. Your model of the church is Sacrament. The church is the effective sign of the revelation that is the person of Jesus Christ. Christians are transformed by Christ and then become a beacon of Christ wherever they go. This model has a remarkable capacity for integrating other models of the church.

Sacrament model


89%

Mystical Communion Model


72%

Servant Model


72%

Herald Model


67%

Institutional Model


17%

What is your model of the church? [Dulles]
created with QuizFarm.com


... the one I took a few weeks ago:

You scored as Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan. You are an evangelical in the Wesleyan tradition. You believe that God's grace enables you to choose to believe in him, even though you yourself are totally depraved. The gift of the Holy Spirit gives you assurance of your salvation, and he also enables you to live the life of obedience to which God has called us. You are influenced heavly by John Wesley and the Methodists.

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan


100%

Charismatic/Pentecostal


68%

Neo orthodox


68%

Emergent/Postmodern


68%

Fundamentalist


68%

Reformed Evangelical


61%

Classical Liberal


46%

Modern Liberal


36%

Roman Catholic


29%

What's your theological worldview?
created with QuizFarm.com

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Terrorism -- the spirit of Amalek

From an article entitled Terrorism By Sara Esther Crispe, in Chabad.org Magazine:
The negative force of terror has been with us since the dawn of human history. The names and faces and national identities of the terrorists change from place to place and from era to era, but the primordial force that drives them has a single name. It is Amalek.

The Torah teaches us that, "G-d is at war with Amalek for all generations" (Exodus 17:16). "In every generation," say our Sages, "Amalek rises to destroy us, and each time he clothes himself in a different nation," (Me'am Loez; Devarim vol.3 p. 977).

Our first encounter was long ago. Since that time, there have been many others. Yet our mission and commandment remains the same:

"Remember what Amalek did to you on the road, on your way out of Egypt. That he encountered you on the way and cut off those lagging to your rear, when you were tired and exhausted; he did not fear G-d. Therefore... you must obliterate the memory of Amalek from under the heavens. Do not forget." (Deuteronomy 25:17-19) ... more

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Signs and Wonders

Roger at House Church blog gives a ballanced perspective on signs and wonders.

My home church

The fellowship I attend, Emanuel Christian Fellowsihp in Lurgan, is neither Messianic (Jewish) nor Emergent. It does have its good points though. The pastor is a lorry driver. If he walked up in the foyer and shook your hand, you wouldn'd guess he was the pastor. He also believes in sharing his authority with a group of elders, and one of their priorities is equipping all the believers for ministry. They also have the beginnings of a cell group ministry. They recognise that many of their attenders need to come out of themselves and interact in one anther's lives.

To me, being Emergent and/or Messianic are means to an end. Since ECF seems to have got half way there without their help, I won't complain (anyway, who, among the best is any more than "half way there" anyway?)

The premesis that ECF occupies is an old supermarket shell, which extends into the area under the shops on High Street (actually called Market Street). A large part of that, they plan to use for a drop-in centre to minister to the needs of the diss-affected youth in the area. They are also located right on the dividing line between the two communities (the Roman Catholic and Protestant), which they feel is strategic.

The most current problem, however, is not between the two communities, but between two of the Protestant para-militaries, the UVF and the LVF, which looks like could erupt into a gang war affecting the peace of Lurgan. Last night, there was a special prayer meeting at ECF for this situation. One of those present felt lead to blow a shofar (ram's horn). Others had words, including one that it could be a time of shaking that will awaken many of the churches from their complacency.

putting experiences into perspective

The concept of dying is an under explored theme. Various Bible passages show it as the only way forward. Galatians 2:20 and I Peter 4:1 spring to mind. In the Bible, of course, it's an identification with Messiah, so we can fully partake of His life. Death is the only way forward to resurrection life.

Here's something about dying from a rather unexpected source. It's from the manifesto of a website called Killing the Buddha, a "religion magazine for people made anxious by churches, people embarrassed to be caught in the "spirituality" section of a bookstore, people both hostile and drawn to talk of God." ... which I find an intriguing description. Here's the quote:

The idea of "killing the Buddha" comes from a famous Zen line, the context of which is easy to imagine: After years on his cushion, a monk has what he believes is a breakthrough: a glimpse of nirvana, the Buddha mind, the big pay-off. Reporting the experience to his master, however, he is informed that what has happened is par for the course, nothing special, maybe even damaging to his pursuit. And then the master gives the student dismaying advice: If you meet the Buddha, he says, kill him.

Why kill the Buddha? Because the Buddha you meet is not the true Buddha, but an expression of your longing. If this Buddha is not killed he will only stand in your way. ...more


Is it possible that we may, at times, need to die to our own experience with God? Can our experiences, however blissful and revelational, get in the way of truly knowing Him? I believe it can.

Rick Joyner, in his vision described in The Final Quest, describes having been to the top of a mountain where he and others had an intensely glorified experience, so much so that their armour shown with that glory. On the way down, he saw some of his fellows, also illuminated with God's glory, setting off to attack the enemy. He saw something moving in the darkness behind them but he couldn't see what it was. Wisdom, who was standing with him, gave him a dingy looking robe, named the mantle of humility. It completely covered his armour, and hid the glory so that it no longer shone from him. Now, he looked like a plane ordinary person. However, he could now see what his fellows who had foolishly set off for the attack, couldn't: a whole regiment of demons set to attack them from behind. Moreover, he couldn't warn them, because they, not wearing the mantle of humility, wouldn't recognise the authority of one who wasn't letting the glory shine unhindered. However, the angels and others who did have on humility, did.

That's almost as good as dying. You forfeit the privilege of letting on you're any the better for your face to fact encounter with God. You're the same old bloke we've always known, with no pretensions -- or even fewer pretensions than before. In other words, easier to live with.

I once knew someone, whom I have no doubt was very close to God. When he lead worship, there was an atmosphere of God's glory about the place. However, there was one point of doctrine -- I won't go into it here -- he absolutely wouldn't listen to correction on. He felt he was sufficiently close to God to hear His voice personally, if He had anything to say. Therefore, he didn't need to listen to anyone else. Later, he went way off, left his wife (who never saw much of him anyway because he was off praying) and started living with his assistant.

Would he have benefited from "killing the Buddha", as in the Zen parable? It was tragic to see it happen, but a valuable lesson.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Scott McKnight on the Kingdom of God

A very central theam in Messianic Judaism is the Kingdom of God: Exactly what is it? What did the term mean to the Jewish community of Yeshua's time? What did it mean to Yeshua? What does it mean to us?

Scott McKnight, in his blog, Jesus Creed, has begun a discussion exploring what Yeshua meant by the term. He's already added his second entry, but this link will take you to to his opening entry on the subject.

I'm sure we'll get into it here as well at some later date.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Emergent plus Messianic ... P.S.

Having already said as much about the Emergent and Messianic movements as can be said in one breath, here's just one more similarity:

One feature of some Emergent groups is their use of liturgy, be it Catholic, Celtic, Anglican, whatever. When I said earlier that Emergent and Messianic was about stripping the message of what has accumulated over the centuries, that would exclude what is found to have relevancy. Many people in Emergent do find certain liturgies meaningful.

Likewise, Judaism has their seders. In that sense, a Messianic group could easily say their Shema, the Ameeda, the Passover seder, etc. or their Messianic derivitives still maintain the feel of an Emergent congregation. I've found the seders meaningful, even in an Orthodox congregation.

It's quite likely that liturgies had a bigger role in the first century church than Baptist/Pentecostal types would probably feel comfortable with. Many of the prayers are quoted in the New Testament by Paul and others. The Psalms was originally a prayer book.

But having said all that, being that I'm not Jewish myself, I would still probably choose the "free style" approach for any group that I started -- unless others in the group wanted it otherwise.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Emergent plus Messianic ... IV

We've been discussing how some of the contributions of the Messianic movement could complement Emergent. I also see how becoming a little bit more Emergent could benefit the Messianic movement.

The Messianic movement predates the Emerging Church movement and in many locations, had its beginnings in an era where American suberban middle class values were the norm. For that reason, some Messianics have inherited some of the tendencies that many other churches and ministries do that target the American middle class. That is, when they grow to a certain size, they tend to go with up-market style advertising and PR. Their TV programs offer you a gift if you'll donate so much, the brochures and magazines often have larger than life photos of the chief sporting a teethy grin (if it's a one-man or one-woman ministry), and everything seems to have a price tag.

At this point, I should try to pre-empt some possible comments that could be made (which would be in bad taste) by emphesising that this is a problem with human nature, and something we could all succomb to under financial and peer pressure. As a missionary myself, I've always had the problem of how to support myself in the ministry. Many have told me that it is perfectly justifiable to try to solicit donations for my work. I'm sure that's a path that G-d does lead many to travel, but I just don't feel it's for me ...and I tend to get turned off by too much of the Maddison Avenue approach.

The problem isn't by any means restricted to the Messianic movement (and it doesn't effect all of them either -- only certain ones). I heard one famous (non messianic) healing evangelist address a group of Bible School students where I was studying, and was deeply inspired by his personal testimony, and his desire to get more people involved in ministry. Later, I got hold of a set of his tapes from a teaching seminar on evangelism that he taught through an interpreter in Africa. I found him to be a very down-to-earth individual who inspired me very much. However, when I started getting his monthly newsletter, I was dissapointed. The side of him I saw as a student and through the eyes of an African pastor, was total lacking in his P.R. Instead, it was all about how I could have health and prosperity through, among other things, giving to his ministry. It was hard to believe it was the same person.

Perhaps it's because Emergent ministries, by their very nature, are not high-budget ventures, that they're not tempted by the latest advertising techniques. The most commerce I've seen so far are links to Amazon.com, and the occasional Google ad. What's more, anything that is of teaching value is usually offered for free.

As I've been saying, I believe that some of the most valuable teaching that the Body of Messiah needs right now comes from the Messianic movement. To be sure, there are quite a few articles and teachings that you can download for free, but there are others that are advertised as being vital to one's growth and development as a believer, or are essential to an understanding of certain Biblical texts, that come at a cost, or a high membership fee.

To me, it's like health. I like U.K. for the National Health Service. I don't think something so basic as good health should belong only to those who can pay exorbatant medical fees. Likewise, spiritual health. If something is so vital to my spiritual understanding, there should at least be something about it that can be downloaded for free, even if it's not as glossy and fine as what comes in the shrink wrapped box.

Another thing about Emergents -- at least the ones I've been following -- they all try to be, on their blogs and writings, what they are in person. And what they are is friendly, respectful and easy to be entreated (James 3:17). An example of this is a collective article entitled Response to Recent Criticisms, which I found to be a humble Christlike invitation for Emergents and non Emergents to understand one another.

I'm sorry to say that many (though not all) Messianics come across with the opposite spirit. To be sure, they've been through the worst of it as far as being misunderstood by both the Christian and Jewish communities. To be fair, I'm sure there are Emergents (though I haven't come across any) who would like to take a bulldozer to all traditional looking church buildings. It's noticeable on many websites and chat forums, that many Messianics have developed a rough edge. One gets the impression that pleasing God is not for the faint of heart.

Actually, when it gets right down to it, I agree that the life of faith is more than many make it out to be. But we're here to encourage one another in the faith, not scare one another off!

Just one more thing. It's so difficult to find a Messianic blog. There are a few, but they either represent one particular congregation or other in some American state far far away, or else they're full of pro-Israel anti Palistinian rhetoric. To be sure, I do believe there are issues to be threshed out in that field, but after a while, there's only so much that can be said before one begins repeating oneself and begins to sound tiresome.

We need a few Messianic blogs with the same flavour as the Emergent ones. That's where I hope this one will begin to fill the gap.

...and by the way, I do have a number of articles and study outlines on my website that should be valuable for a foundation in the faith.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Emergent plus Messianic ... III

Along the theme of how Emergent and Messianic are complementary, perhaps sharing a little bit of my background will shed light on where I'm coming from. A slighly more detailed autobiography can be found here. That will also answer the question of how I ended up leaning towards Emergent. The following will only explain the emphesis on Messianic.

I was born in Thailand of missionary parents (with WEC, an interdenominal "faith" mission), which I feel has contributed to my having an open mind about things. I've spent most of my life in Thailand, got married there, but for the last year or two, we've been in N. Ireland.

"Baruch" is my writing name. It incompases my actual initials (B. Ch.). However, I'm a goy (gentile) from my mother's womb (as far as I know). I don't believe it's necessary for me to look and sound Jewish to benifit from understanding Jewish roots, but I did think the name "Baruch" sounded nice, and have been using it ever since. It may seem rather ironic, though, that as a Gentile, I've had more input from Orthodox Rabbinical sources than from Messianic Judaism. I still haven't worshipped at a Messianic synagogue, but I've been plenty of times to Orthodox ones.

Apart from wandering into a Conservative Synagogue a number of times in So. Cal., a bit of contact with Jews for Jesus, and attending a Messianic conference hosted by Manny Brotman, (all back about 1976), my adventures into Judaism (Messianic and otherwise) began about 1991. Spending about a year in S. England, with time on my hands (some would say "too much time"), I decided to write a fictionalised account of the Apostle Paul (or The Emissary, Rabbi Shaul, as I later renamed him). After a while, it became obvious that I needed to do research on my character and the times he lived in. Besides bits on the Greco-Roman world, etc, I began looking at books on rabbinical literature, such a the Encyclopedia Judaica. I also bought a copy of Everyman's Talmud, the Soncino Chumash, and an ancient prayer book, among others. I did my daily Bible reading from the Soncino Chumash, which was a good experience. I also taught myself bit of Hebrew, and I can understand most Hebrew words a rabbi throws into a typical English sermon. When I arrived back in Thailand, I was surprised to find there is a large Jewish community there, and so I began attending the synagogues from time to time. I did more research in their small library, reading at various tractates of the Talmud. The rabbi there is a Lubbavitcher, a warm friendly individual. I think he must have thought I was going to apply for the possition of Shavos Goy! One of the high points was dancing around the bema holding the big sefer torah scroll during the feast of Simcha Torah.

I feel that one of my spiritual gifts is in teaching, especially in the area of Biblical foundations for faith, which I see as horribly lacking in the church as a whole. In what I studied of rabbinical Judaism, I readily saw a lot of what I feel is foundational to a New Covenant faith. A foundation in the Old Covenant is vital to understanding the new. Likewise, understanding the Gospels and Acts, the life and teaching of Yeshua and the early Apostles, are vital to truly understanding the Pauline epistles. In other words, a solid understanding of repentance, faith and baptisms etc. are vital to truly understanding the Pauline concepts of imputed righteousness and being seated in the heavenlies.

It was only after this that I started reading books by people like Daniel Juster and David Stern and others, and found that my opinions are shared by many in the Messianic movement. I believe that Messianic Judaism is making a profoundly important contribution to the Christian world in providing the means to receive the Biblical foundations so badly needed.

Emergent plus Messianic II

Another major component of Emergent is community. Church isn't defined by the Sunday meetings or the "church building", but by the believers wherever they are, seven days a week. When a group of believers meet, be it in a pub, or by accident, and begin to have fellowship in Messiah, that's Church. Judaism says that where 10 male Jews are present, they constitute a congregation, or a minyan, and they can have a worship service regradeless of whether they're in a synagogue building, or on a flight from New York to Mandalay and are otherwise complete strangers. Buried in Matthew chapters 16 and 18, we see definate parallels to the Jewish concept of congregation in Yeshua's description of church authority ("...bring it to the congregation..."). I would not restrict the number to 10, nor to only male believers, but I believe that a Jewish understand of Matthew 18 can be a valuable underlying philosophy for an Emergent congregation.

In modern Judaism, the rabbi doesn't hold authority in a congregation, but rather, is something like a hired consultant/teacher, sort of the same as with the presbyterian style of congregation in the Christian community, with the board having final authority, and an elected president. Jairus, whose daughtor Yeshua brought back to life, was a synagogue president (or nasi, or in our modern English translations, "synagogue ruler").

The big difference between first century Judaism and modern, is while it still followed the presbyterian style, the rabbis weren't necessarily paid by the congregations they served. At least those of the school of Hillel, didn't believe in earning money from their spiritual work. Rabbi Hillel, one of the most respected of early rabbis, was a water carrier. Rabbi Shaul (a.k.a. Apostle Paul) was a tent maker. They were probably just as likely to be members of their local synagogue presbyteries, but they also functioned as judges. Whenever there was a row, or a suspected minor violation of the Torah, a group of three Torah experts would be called on to sit as both judge and jury (compare this also with Yeshua's statements in Matthew 18, regarding the "two or three"). If it was a capital offence, the number would be increased to 12, or 23 as in the case of the local sanhedrins. The Great Sanhedrin had 72 members. Of course, they also taught. They'd give a comentary on the Torah for their local congregations, and they'd teach their own pupils or apprentis rabbis. A good example is Paul, who taught Timothy by this method. The pupil lived with their rabbi, and not only listened to his teaching, but witnessed his life in action, and did what they were told to do.

As a Jewish rabbi, Paul is an excellent example for an Emerging congregation. He refused to accept financial renumeration for his apostleship, but rather found work to do wherever he went, so as not to be a burneden on his new congregations. He raised a number of pupils, such as Timothy and Titus and others "the hard way", so that they became as expert as himself.

In our seminaries, we learn to "sound good" when we're preaching, because that's exactly what our professors do. We don't witness their lives in action, so we miss a lot (though chances are we're not missing much as they may just be "good talkers" themselves).

What distinguished the rabbis wasn't their credentials so much as the fact that they were trusted for their experience and track record. They were chosen to sit on a panel of judges because they could be trusted. People wanted their sons to emulate them, so they sent them to become their pupils.

While I've very loosly defined church in the first paragraph above, I also see the five-fold ministry fitting in with it in exactly the same way as the tested and tried rabbis of the first century did with their local communities. -- However with one difference. As Yeshua stipulated, he who his the least shall be first. Those who are the most expert at humbly serving others and performing the menial things like the washing of feet, will be the recognised leaders of the community.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Emergent plus Messianic

The flavour of this blog site ought to reflect a synthesis of Emergent and Messianic. For a definition of Emerging Church, the best I've seen so far is this article by Alan Creech in the February issue of Next Wave ezine. A one line statement would be, Emergent is the search for the style of doing church that is both Biblically compatible and relevent to today's culture. Some would argue that on the fringes, there are those that are less Biblically compatible than others, then again, you'll find those in every movement.

And what's Messianic? The short answer is, here's a link. Short for me, that is, but perhaps a bit long if you intend to read the entire PDF file. So, the short answer would be, a community of Jews who reguard Jesus (referred to as Yeshua -- henseforth that's the rendering I'll be using in these blogs) as being the Messiah of Israel, and therefore believe that following Him is a very Jewish thing to do. They see themselves as no less Jewish for it. Not only are ethnic Jews involved, but also Gentile (or goy) believers (like me), who recognise that Judaism has preserved many things that are valuable towards knowing God, that Christianity has lost over the years.

So, how does Emergent and Messianic mix? Both movements are a journey towards stripping the gospel message of all the Western trappings it's accumulated over the centuries, and communicating it in a way that's relevant to their respective communities, Messianic to the Jewish community, and Emergent, to whatever community one is targetting, be it Postmodern, secular, Generation X, hard-core punks, whatever ethnic minority, or any group that wouldn't be caught dead inside a traditional church building. Let's face it. No matter how much p.r. we put out, there are groups that will never be reached by the traditional churches using the methods they're using today, such as the Gay community, or the Jewish community. In that sense, the Messianic Jewish Community is Emergent.

There's a lot more I could say, which I'll save for a later blog.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

When the Dust of the Orange Day parades has Settled...

Yesturday was 12th of July. For many here in N. Ireland, that's every bit as auspicious as the 4th of July in America. In fact, even more so, because some were even throwing rocks and firebombs in some parts of Belfast and Londonderry (instead of firecrakers and skyrockets like they do in America). It's the dayKing Billy chased the Catholics across the River Boyne, about 300 years ago, thereby liberating the N.Ireland Protestants from Catholic rule (but not the N.Ireland Catholics from Protestant rule, which is why some of them were throwing the rocks and firebombs).

Anyway, here is an article I sent to Next Wave.org, which also got reprinted on The Ooze, but I never got around to posting on my own website. It is entitled, The Problem with Western Christianity, and it explores how, not only in N. Ireland, but in North America as well, the church, from some angles, looks more like a dying political party than an cutting edge force.

Anyway, here it is... enj0y!

Welcome to my new blog site

I suppose it's time to begin blogging again.

My earlier blog site is at www.antioch.com.sg/th/twp, where you find both my old blogs (which I left off updating over a year ago) and my articles, stories, cartoons, bestselling-novels-to-be, and other regurgitations of an active immagination.

I hope I'll be more regular at updating this one. The old one was too much work, as it was a DIY site, where I wrote all the HTML code by hand, and had to cut and paste some of the code everytime I did an entry.

Anyway, we'll see how it goes...