Your E-mails: January 2022

Your E-mails: January 2022

In issue 1650 you asked the question ‘Does the Bible encourage violence?’ Yes it does. Proverbs 23:13: ‘Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.’ The Bible encourages violence against children! Ed WHY IS IT THAT parents and carers— those who should be looking after children—become violent towards them? There may be various reasons. Life can be stressful, and sometimes people will vent their frustration on their children (because they’re an easy target). Children can be exasperating and can drive their parents to lash out at them. There are some people who simply take satisfaction in bullying those who cannot retaliate. Whatever the reason, violence against children is always horrible. The Bible advocates physical discipline. (Often this is known by the general term ‘smacking’.) This is entirely different from violence, and it is unhelpful when the two are confused. Children

Saving Your Life

Saving Your Life

CONSIDER THIS: if you were suffering with a life-threatening illness and you were offered a medicine which was a known cure—would you not take it? The Bible offers a cure that will save your life. And more than that, this cure can give you eternal life. How can this be, you might ask? Let’s look at how the Bible, the Word of God, promises eternal life in a perfect world. To do this we must examine a few passages to see what this entails. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he

The Bombardier Beetle

The Bombardier Beetle

A BOMBARDIER is a type of soldier. The bombardier beetle was given its name because of the intricate and deadly mechanism in its tail with which it defends itself. At the end of the beetle’s tail is a tube 1, which is basically a gun barrel. Behind the barrel is a chemical factory. A pair of glands 2 manufacture hydroquinine and hydrogen peroxide, which are stored in reservoirs3. When the beetle wants to open fire these chemicals are loaded into a combustion chamber filled with water4, and mixed with two other chemicals—catalases and peroxidases— which are secreted by glands in the transfer duct5. This causes a reaction which instantaneously heats the water in the combustion chamber and causes it to be ejected as a boiling spray of noxious steam. The spray can reach to 200 times the beetle’s length, and can be aimed in any direction with pinpoint accuracy. It is a superbly

Why We Can Believe in Jesus Christ

Why We Can Believe in Jesus Christ

MOST SERIOUS HISTORIANS agree that Jesus of Nazareth really did live in Israel, some 2000 years ago. His life and work are well recorded in contemporary historical records. Here we will consider two sources of evidence: the records of the Bible’s New Testament, and the writings of secular commentators. We also want to consider why his resurrection from the dead changed the world. The Gospels The four New Testament Gospels were written in the years following Jesus’ life on earth, and in all probability before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70ad. We can see this from the local landmarks they mention, from the ruling figures they mention, and the events they reference which are well documented elsewhere. The Gospels are eyewitness records, written well within the lifetimes of people who experienced Jesus’ work first-hand. Some of these people would have been friendly to the cause of Christianity, most would have

Acts

Acts

THE WRITER IS Luke, who reminds us that he has previously written—in his Gospel— of ‘all that Jesus began to do and teach’ (Acts 1:1). The book of Acts starts with Jesus’ ascension to heaven (1:9), and shows how Jesus was still at work after his ascension in the spread of the Gospel by his followers. Chapters 2–12 show how, with God’s power (the Holy Spirit), Christ’s apostles preached the Gospel in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. The preaching was so effective that thousands believed and were baptized (2:41, 47; 5:14; 11:24). In Jesus’ name the apostles also performed miracles. Their message always concerned ‘the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ’ (8:12; 19:8; 28:23, 31). It was a message rooted in Old Testament history and God’s promises to the fathers of Israel, but it was now based on the work of Jesus Christ and not the Law of

The Journey Begins

The Journey Begins

IMAGINE THE ATMOSPHERE at school on the last day of the summer term. There is a special air of bubbling excitement as the books are closed for the last time and the sweet freedom of the holiday beckons. Imagine, then, the feelings of the people of Israel, as Moses led them out of Egypt. All their lives they had slaved under the unremitting burdens of the Egyptians, with not even a break at weekends to make Iife bearable. To escape from that miserable bondage was Iiving out a dream. Moreover, Moses promised them that before long they would cross the desert and take over a prosperous land, ‘flowing with milk and honey’ (Exodus 3:8), where each of them would have their own smallholding and work for themselves. It really was too good to be true. The laughter, dancing, and happiness were a totally new experience for God’s suffering people. On

Thankfulness

Thankfulness

PSYCHOLOGISTS tell us that being thankful is good for our health. It actually has measurable benefits, from strengthening your immune system to lowering your risk of heart disease. The very act of counting your blessings and expressing thankfulness will boost your wellbeing—even if you don’t actually have anyone to be thankful to. I have to admit, to me it does seem bizarre to say thankyou if there’s nobody listening. But thankfulness comes easily and naturally when you understand two basic truths: firstly, God is the giver of all we have (James 1:17); and secondly, God is always listening (Philippians 4:6). This is just one of the many ways in which faith in God makes so much sense. It’s no wonder then that thankfulness is presented in the Bible as a fundamental aspect of life: Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures for ever!