ContraCelsum Backup

Dear Reader: Although Google professes to have a policy of free speech, there are now disturbing examples of Google peremptorily shutting down blogs on the Blogger platform espousing views which (presumably) Google wants to censor. Therefore ContraCelsum has set up a mirror blog via WordPress (http://contracelsum.com/). We update the latter weekly. If this site should suddenly go dark, you will find ContraCelsum alive and well at the above address. You may want to bookmark it now (just in case).

Friday, 25 April 2014

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

April 25

A First Book of Daily Readings

by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
Sourced from the OPC website


Temptation and sin

We must learn to draw a distinction between being tempted and sinning. You cannot control the thoughts that are put into your mind by the devil. He puts them there. Paul talks of "the fiery darts of the wicked one." Now that is what had been happening to the Psalmist. [Psalm 73]. ... The Lord Jesus Christ Himself was tempted. The devil put thoughts into His mind. But He did not sin because He rejected them.

Thoughts will come to you; and the devil may try to press you to think that because thoughts have entered your mind, you have sinned. But they are not your thoughts—they are the devil's—he put them there. It was the quaint Cornishman, Billy Bray, who put this in his own original manner when he said, "You cannot prevent the crow from flying over your head, but you can prevent him from making a nest in your hair!"

So I say that we cannot prevent thoughts being insinuated into our mind; but the question is what do we do with them? We talk about thoughts "passing through" the mind; and so long as they do this, they are not sin. But if we welcome them and agree with them, then they become sin.

I emphasize this because I have often had to deal with people who are in great distress because unworthy thoughts have come to them. But what I say to them is this, "Listen to what you are telling me. You say that thought 'has come to you.' Well, if that is true, you are not guilty of sin. You do not say, 'I have thought'; you say 'the thought came.' That is right. The thought came to you, and it came from the devil; and the fact that the thought did come from the devil means that you are not of necessity guilty of sin." Temptation, in and of itself, is not sin.

Faith on Trial, p. 19.

“Text reproduced from ‘A First Book of Daily Readings’ by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, published by Epworth Press 1970 & 1977 © Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes. Used with permission.”

Vulcan Blessings

Moving Off Welfare Into Work

We have more good news from the trenches.  The battle against being enslaved to welfare has not only been joined, but--for the moment--is being won in New Zealand.  The present government has been quietly opening up a number of  fronts in the war against welfare benefits as a human right.  The common theme in this battle is to reject the notion of welfare as a lifestyle choice. 

As in the United States under the Clinton administration, the driver is not ideological (at least, not overtly so).  Rather it is part of the wider effort to get government spending under control and bring the fiscal situation back into surplus--then, eventually, into government debt reduction.  Therefore, welfare needs to be discriminatory--delivered to those who really need it, not to those who would prefer it as their chosen lifestyle.  This, from the NZ Herald:

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Letter From America (About Mozilla's War)

Mozilla’s Culture War Is a Bad Model for Business

The decision to remove Mozilla CEO Brandon Eich is not good for anyone on any side of the culture war


Last week’s forced resignation of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich should have sent a shudder through gatherings all over the country. This shudder was felt, it’s true, in gatherings of evangelical churches, Roman Catholic parishes, Orthodox Jewish synagogues. But this shudder should also have gone through corporate boardrooms, because it signals a dangerous trend of forced political uniformity, rather than tolerance, in corporate America. That’s not good for anyone, on any side of the culture war.

At issue, of course, is Brendan Eich’s 2008 donation of $1,000 to a campaign in support of Proposition 8, a California ballot measure to retain the definition of marriage in that state to the union of one man and one woman. Eich was hounded out of his job by activists who didn’t simply disagree with Eich’s view but who wouldn’t tolerate any dissenting view in the company at all. The goal, it seems, wasn’t dignity or justice, but enforced equality of thought.

As social conservatives, we, of course, were shocked by this development. Columnist Rod Dreher spoke of it as Portlandia’s form of Sharia Law. But those on the traditional marriage side of the cultural divide weren’t alone.

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

April 24

A First Book of Daily Readings

by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
Sourced from the OPC website

These three petitions answer all our needs

All our great needs are summed up in [these three petitions]. "Give us this day our daily bread." "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." Our whole life is found there in those three petitions, and that is what makes this prayer so utterly amazing.

In such a small compass our Lord has covered the whole life of the believer in every respect. Our physical needs, our mental needs, and, of course, our spiritual needs are included. The body is remembered; the soul is remembered; the spirit is remembered. And that is the whole of man: body, soul, and spirit.

Hades, Fury, and Bullies

Manhood Problem

New York Times columnist David Brooks said Sunday that President Barack Obama has a “manhood problem” in the Middle East.  “[L]et’s face it,” he said. “Obama, whether deservedly or not, does have a — I’ll say it crudely, but a manhood problem in the Middle East. Is he tough enough to stand up to somebody like Assad, somebody like Putin?”

“I think a lot of the rap is unfair, but certainly in the Middle East, there’s an assumption that he’s not tough,” Brooks added during a roundtable discussion on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”  Chuck Todd, NBC’s chief White House correspondent, added that “internally they (the Obama Admin.) fear this.”

(H/T: TheBlazeMediaite)
Look, dealing with this is literally easier said than done.  Just get the President to mount the podium once again, adopt that haughty proud look, waggle his finger in that professorial hectoring mien, and speechify.  Carpet bomb the Middle East and Russia with lofty language, soaring rhetoric, and finger wagging threats.  Internally, the Russians fear this.  Its dread keeps them awake over in the Kremlin into the wee small hours--until Comrade Vodka takes over the watch. 

But, on a sober note, it is disconcerting.  It is precisely this kind of situation which, when combined with this make of man, will produce a "display" to prove a point.  Some theatrical move on Obama's part to demonstrate just how much of a man he really is.  Hades hath no fury like a venal politician scorned.  The bluster of bullies sounds the loudest.  Wars have begun this way. 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Prejudices Crumbling Down

True Spirituality

Eugene Peterson, writing in Books and Culture

Fifty years earlier, I heard for the first time the word "spiritual" used in association with the theologian John Calvin. It happened in New York City as I was listening to a lecture by the Quaker philosopher Douglas Steere in a series on "Spiritual Classics." The week previous, I had been in attendance at the first in the series, on Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Gift from the Sea. Intrigued, I was back for the second. If I had known of the subject beforehand—John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion—I probably wouldn't have come. But after five minutes, I knew I was in the right place at the right time.

Although I had been a pastor for a couple of years, I had little interest in theology. It was worse than that.

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

April 23

A First Book of Daily Readings

by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)

A great note of joy!

It is sad and tragic that any Christian should ever be miserable; ... one of the reasons why the Christian Church counts for so little in the modern world is that so many Christians are in this condition. If all Christians simply began to function as the New Testament would have us do, there would be no prob­lem of evangelism confronting the Church.... It is because we are failing as Christian people in our daily lives and deportment and witness that so few are attracted to God through our Lord Jesus Christ. So for that most urgent reason alone it behooves us to deal with this question.

All That Glitters is Not Gold

A Confusion of Cause and Consequence

Paper money is inherently risky.  So is electronic money.  Authorities (politicians and bureaucrats) can create it out of nothing.  Monetary economists call it "fiat money".  It is created by fiat of the authorities.  Every newly created item of currency, which adds to the stock of currency on issue, marginally devalues the existing stock.  The abiding risk of paper and electronic currency is not just inflation--the gradual erosion of value of the currency--but hyper-inflation.  The price of goods and services rises because the value of money is falling by the day.

We have all heard the horror stories of hyper-inflation.  Germany in the 1930's.  Zimbabwe several years ago.  Venezuela now.  Money being trucked into a shop in a wheelbarrow to buy a loaf of bread.  That sort of thing. It evidences and portends horrendous economic collapse and an inevitable looming depression.  

The government more often than not has a vested interest in devaluing the currency and inflating the money supply.  That interest lies in the public debt.  As public debt grows through reckless governments spending more than they can raise in taxation, the temptation to inflate the currency (that is, print more money or create it electronically) rises.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Moscow

Too Thick to Deal With


Looking over the comments below Gaywalkers, Gaytards, and the Gaystapo, I can see that it is time for a refresher course in why we talk here the way we do. To write the same thing for me is not grievous, and for you it is safe (Phil. 3:1). But, alongside the refresher course, a hearty well-done for those of you who clearly do get it.

First, we must recognize the utter lack of proportion that this kind of thing represents. The strategy of pc-correctness is calculated to silence any form of effective opposition to their despotic agenda, and it does this by inverting the proportions. So what we see is an ever-expanding circle of taking offense at trifles, coupled with an ever-increasing pile of “acceptable” outrages. It is demanded that we never use any language that might, under some circumstances, considered in the right light, hurt a fly, while at the same time insisting that the savage butchering of millions of children be considered a women’s health issue. We have a professional class of feminist offendees agonizing over “micro-aggressions” against women, for example, while simultaneously demanding their right to continue unabated their macro-aggressions against the unborn.

We demand groveling apologies from the fellows who fail to strain out a gnat, and give Medals of Freedom to those public-spirited figures who managed to choke down the camel.

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

April 22

A First Book of Daily Readings

By Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
Sourced from the OPC website

Don't let the world squeeze you into its own mold
Romans 12:2 (J.B. Phillips)


[The Beatitudes] indicate clearly ... the essential, utter difference between the Christian and the non-Christian. The New Testament regards [this difference] as something absolutely basic and fundamental; and ... the first need in the Church is a clear understanding of this essential difference. It has become blurred; the world has come into the Church, and the Church has become worldly.

The line is not as distinct as it was. There were times when the distinction was clear cut, and those have always been the greatest eras in the history of the Church. We know, however, the arguments that have been put forward. We have been told that we have to make the Church attractive to the man outside, and the idea is to become as much like him as we can.

There were certain popular padres during the first world war who mixed with their men, and smoked with them, and did this, that, and the other with them, in order to en­courage them. Some people thought that, as a result, when the war was over, the ex-servicemen would be crowding into the churches. Yet it did not happen, and it never has happened that way.

Falling Shadows and Anthropophagic Banquets

The Trajectory of Statism

We have never been interested in political party activism--even whilst finding politics an entertaining sport.  We loathe and detest the incipient statism of almost all modern political parties.  The idea that the State is the saviour of mankind is a falsehood which has brought ruination and devastation to countless peoples and nations throughout time.  Our political confession of faith is pretty simple: Jesus is Lord, and no putative statist religion or its devotees will ever conquer Him, regardless of how many high priests and acolytes it may put forward.

In the long arc of human history, statists and their political parties--even those which falsely profess Christianity--are doomed to antipathic ridicule as evil nullities.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Moscow

Gaywalkers, Gaytards, and the Gaystapo

Posted on  

Let us begin, shall we, with some basic distinctions.

The first has to do with the basic sin issue, with politics not involved. When I was in the Navy, and had evangelistic discussions with whoring drunks, sin was always the issue. I was presenting the gospel to them, and the necessary response to the gospel message is “repent and believe.” I would talk with men who were ashamed of their sin, and also to men who were belligerent about it. I would confront them with their tomcatting ways, and they would confront me for being such a Jesus freak. But, to everyone’s credit, after we would have what the diplomats call a frank exchange of views, nobody ran off to tattle.

Those who are tempted with same sex attractions — both those who are ashamed of it and try to resist it and those who are given over to it — are gaywalkers. God built the road, and it is straight road, and he told us to cross at the intersection. Refusing to do so, or wavering on the point, is a sin issue, not a political issue. Let’s talk about it. As we address this kind of thing, the faithful Christian is dealing with the homosexual on exactly the terms as he deals with adulterers, gamblers, liars, drunks, and so on. Sin is sin, and Jesus is the only way out of that death trap. So let’s talk about it.

But then there are the gaytards. These are the people — homosexual, straight, and whatever Justin Bieber is — who are the ideal receptacle for the cultural propaganda served up by our duly appointed thought managers. They believe in “gay rights” for the same reason that they believe in climate change.

Lenten Meditations

Holy Week, Day 8: Sunday

Saturday, April 4, AD 33.

The following video, filmed in conjunction with our book The Final Days of Jesus, features short explanations from and interviews with New Testament professors Doug Moo and Andreas Köstenberger on the importance of women being the first to discover the empty tomb and the meaning of Easter Sunday.



H/T: Justin Taylor

Camels and Needles

Inglorious Rich Man Trying to Pass Muster

Every so often Unbelief pulls of its particular mask and shows itself in all its ignoble vainglory.  Big Nanny Michael Bloomberg served as the fall guy recently.  Bloomberg, you recall, has become exceptionally wealthy owning and developing Bloomberg News.  He served as a three-time mayor of New York City.  During his tenure he became infamous for his nannying controls over what people eat and inhale: sugar, fat, and tobacco.  Mike has a plan for our good, whether we like it to not.  Mike knows best.  Mike for Saviour.

Bloomberg is also famous for his record of donations--to all kinds causes, but most often to doppelganger Bloomberg favourites.  The most recent is gun control in the United States.

Our Lord declared that it is harder for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.  Clearly, our Lord would not have said that had He met up with Michael Bloomberg, who clearly regards himself as the exception to our Lord's warning.   This, from the New York Times:

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Lenten Meditation

Holy Week, Day 7: Saturday

Saturday, April 4, AD 33.

The following video, filmed in conjunction with our book The Final Days of Jesus, features short explanations from and interviews with New Testament scholars Andreas Köstenberger and Douglas Moo. Dr. Köstenberger looks at the role of Joseph of Arimathea in Jesus’s burial, the rules for burial at the time, and what we know about first-century tombs. Dr. Moo answers the question of where Jesus was between his death and his resurrection, focusing on 1 Peter 3, which says that Christ preached to spirits in prison. Is this a reference to Jesus descending into Hades?


H/T: Justin Taylor

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Lenten Meditation

Holy Week, Day 6: Friday

Friday, April 3, AD 33.

The following video, filmed in conjunction with our book The Final Days of Jesus, features short explanations from and interviews with historian Paul Maier and New Testament scholar Andreas Köstenberger, looking at the origin, object, and purpose of Roman crucifixion, along with one difference in emphasis between the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) and John on suffering and glory.





H/T: Justin Taylor

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

April 19

A First Book of Daily Readings

by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
Sourced from the OPC website

... and with all thy mind!

True religion was never meant just to produce some general effect. The Bible is a revelation of God's ways with respect to man. It is meant to give "understanding." ... There are many things that we could do that would make us feel better tem­porarily.

There are many ways of forgetting our troubles for a while. Some go to the cinema, others run to the public-house or to the bottle of whiskey which they keep at home. Under its effect and influence they feel much better and happier; their problem does not seem so acute.... There are many ways of giving temporary relief, but the question is, Do they give understanding; do they really help us to see through our trouble?

Mouldy Tyrannies, Free Spirits

Freedom For Us, Controls for Everyone Else

There are two ways in which a secular society can be organized.  It can be built upon maximising a form of human freedom, or it can enforce one view as absolutely right, imposing it upon all.  The former champions liberty of opinion and freedom of thought, word and deed.  The latter champions order, structure, and the one right way.  The former reflects libertarianism.  The latter reflects an authoritarian dictatorship either by One or the Party.

Unbelief will always pull either one way or the other.  But over time, libertarianism will crumble and tyranny will win out.  Why?  Libertarianism has no authoritative standard by which the limits of liberty can be nailed down. It has no authoritative standard to define what the human being is who is to be free.  Humans in the womb, senile humans, comatise humans don't necessarily qualify.  Sexual perversions performed by sexual perverts do.  Man-boy-"love" must enjoy the protections of liberty.  Libertarianism produces the ruthless discarding of humans from their own race. Libertarianism inflicts a deadly tyranny upon those judged to be "outsiders".

At the same time, libertarianism must foster and allow and even indirectly encourage views which champion authoritarianism, its opposite. Libertarianism is a vacuum which the natural order eventually abhors. Consequently, all secular societies gradually morph into tyrannies of one kind or the other.

Here is an example of  what we speak.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Lenten Meditation

Holy Week, Day 5: Thursday

Thursday, April 2, AD 33.

The following video, filmed in conjunction with our book The Final Days of Jesus, features short explanations from and interviews with scholars Doug Moo, Nick Perrin, and Paul Maier, focusing on the background of the Passover, why Jesus and the disciples reclined at the Last Supper instead of eating at a table, and why the Jewish officials had to get Pontius Pilate involved after beginning their judicial proceedings against Jesus.



H/T: Justin Taylor

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

April 18

A First Book of Daily Readings

by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
Sourced from the OPC website

It is God's word that counts

Take all the writing, preaching, and teaching of the past hundred years. In a sense, human ability and effort have never exerted themselves to such an extent. Philosophy has been glorified, and man has claimed that he could solve the riddle of life and of the universe. Never has man been so proud of him­self and his achievements and his understanding.

But what has been the result of all this? What of life today? Is it not clear that we are precisely in the same position as was the world in the time of Paul? Oh, the tragedy of it all! We have boasted of processes and systems, but they have yielded no results. We have taken pride in our ability to think, but it is the function of thinking to arrive at valid conclusions.

Let us be honest. Are we any nearer to the solution of the problems of life and living than the philosophers were who lived and died before Paul? The answer is to be found in the state of the modern world.

What in the World To Do?

Building, Restoring, and Cleaning

The perspective held by Christians about human society and economy tells one a great deal about their beliefs concerning Jesus Christ and His Kingdom. 

That we all live in human society to one degree or another is inescapable.  Even the foolish Stylites, who committed themselves to a life of isolation from all others, living on poles in the extreme attempt to divorce themselves from human society and the world, could not escape.  The most famous were plagued by tourists coming to gape.

Since living "in the world" is a providential given--a divine decree--the belief we Christians have about the world and our place in it is a vital concern.  Since God has placed us in human society and human economy, we had better get our understanding of it right and in conformity with the Bible. 

R. H. Tawney tells us that there are four distinct beliefs or attitudes about human society and human economy. He presents them as follows:

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Lenten Meditation

Holy Week, Day 4: Wednesday

Wednesday, April 1, AD 33.

The following video, filmed in conjunction with our book The Final Days of Jesus, features short explanations from and interviews with historian of ancient history Paul Maier (of Western Michigan University) and New Testament professor Grant Osborne (of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School), focusing on the behind-the-scenes motivations and actions of the Sanhedrin as they plot to put an end to Jesus once and for all.



H/T: Justin Taylor

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

April 17

A First Book of Daily Readings

by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
Sourced from the OPC wesbsite

Don't mortgage the future

[Jesus] asks ... Why do you allow yourself to be worried thus about the future? "The morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." If the present is bad enough as it is, why go to meet the future? To go on from day to day is enough in and of itself; be content with that....

Worry about the future is so utterly futile and useless; it achieves nothing at all ; ... worry is never of any value at all. This is seen with particular clarity as you come to face the future. Apart from anything else, it is a pure waste of energy because however much you worry, you cannot do any­thing about it. In any case its threatened catastrophes are imaginary; they are not certain, they may never happen at all....

Christian Activists

Hard Work the Highest Service

The general medieval world-view was deeply suspicious of economic motives.  Lucre was, after all, filthy.  Therefore, it had to be limited, controlled, and governed.  All economic activity had to be carried on for the public good; profits must be restricted to sustenance payments.  Clearly, the medieval world had a problem with the Parable of the Talents. 

These generalisations hold generally true.  But there were exceptions.  Gradually, as Western economies developed, the exceptions became more common, more widespread.  Medieval theology, and the economic theories it produced, were broken apart by economic realities.  Theological understanding did not catch up until the Reformation--and then, only gradually.

John Calvin argued that laws against usury were entirely inconsistent.  They simply did not make sense.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Lenten Meditation

Holy Week, Day 3: Tuesday

Tuesday, March 31, AD 33.

The following video, filmed in conjunction with our book The Final Days of Jesus, features short explanations from and interviews with New Testament professors Grant Osborne (of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) and Andreas Köstenberger (of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) along with historian of ancient history Paul Maier (of Western Michigan University), focusing in particular on the opposition to Jesus and what angered his Jewish antagonists so much.


H/T: Justin Taylor

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

April 16

A First Book of Daily Readings

by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
Sourced from the OPC website

Take this first step

Look at nothing and nobody but look entirely to Christ and say:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness,
I dare not trust my sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus' Name;
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

You must so believe that as to be able to go further and say with holy boldness:

Hard to Believe

 Naomi Klein On a Good Day

A recent piece in the Guardian by Naomi Klein should come with a health warning:  "During reading, you may die laughing".  Naomi (the Fulminator) Klein--the ardent anti-globalization campaigner and anti-climate change warrior--has turned her attention to the latest evil to threaten humanity.  Ukraine is going to exploit its natural gas reserves by means of fracking. This is eeeeeviiiillll, says the Fulminator.

Why so?, you mildly ask   One would have thought that Ukraine, hitherto dependant upon Soviet (er, Russian) gas, would be well within its rights and prerogatives to harvest its own gas supplies using whatever means it saw fit.  Moreover, it would be wise to do so.  Since fracking is a recovery technique accepted to be safe, what's the fuss about?

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Lenten Meditation

Holy Week, Day 3: Tuesday

Tuesday, April 1, AD 33.

The following video, filmed in conjunction with our book The Final Days of Jesus, features short explanations from and interviews with New Testament professors Nicholas Perrin (of Wheaton College) and Grant Osborne (of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School), focusing in particular on the cursing of the fig tree, the cleansing of the temple, and the role of the temple in the theology and practice of Jesus. We will be releasing a new video each day this week.

H/T: Justin Taylor

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

April 15

A First Book of Daily Readings

by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
Sourced from the OPC website

Waiting on Him

To the first question about the power of God, [Habakkuk] received a positive answer. But this problem of the holiness of God is more difficult. After stating his absolutes and bringing his problem into this context, there is still no clear answer. Now in experience it is often like that. You apply the same method which has worked so well in other cases, but there is no immediate answer. What does one do in such a case?

Certainly do not rush to conclusions and say, "Because I do not understand it, therefore, I wonder whether God is righteous after all." No! ... We make a mistake when we talk to ourselves, and then to other people, and ask, "Why this? Isn't it strange?" We must do what the prophet did: take the problem to God and leave it with Him.

A Christian may be kept in this position for a week, or months, or years. It has often so happened.

Lenten Meditation

Grinding Axes in the Dark

The late Christopher Hitchens liked to frighten little children with horror stories about the evils of religion.  Often times he was more narrowly referring to the religion of Islam, but he did not hold back from the "evils" of Christianity, either.  Of all the things that offended him, the offence of the Cross of Christ was the most acute.  He wrote:
The idea of a vicarious atonement, of the sort that so much troubled even C.S. Lewis, is a further refinement of the ancient superstition [of atoning sacrifice]. Once again we have a father demonstrating love by subjecting a son to death by torture, but this time the father is not trying to impress god. He is god, and he is trying to impress humans. Ask yourself the question: how moral is the following? I am told of a human sacrifice that took place two thousand years ago, without my wishing it and in circumstances so ghastly that, had I been present and in possession of any influence, I would have been duty-bound to try and stop it. In consequence of this murder, my own manifold sins are forgiven me, and I may hope to enjoy everlasting life. [Cited by Tim Challies, quoting from Hitchen's God Is Not Great.]
Against this, the Apostle Paul provides the counterpoint: