Durham, N.C. — ON a Thursday morning a few months ago, I got a call from my doctor’s assistant telling me that I have Stage 4 cancer. The stomach cramps I was suffering from were not caused by a faulty gallbladder, but by a massive tumor. I am 35. I did the things you might expect of someone whose world has suddenly become very small. I sank to my knees and cried. I called my husband at our home nearby. I waited until he arrived so we could wrap our arms around each other and say the things that must be said. I have loved you forever. I am so grateful for our life together. Please take care of our son. Then he walked me from my office to the hospital to start what was left of my new life.

Melanie Phillips

A controversial Channel 4 interview highlighted how zealots want to crush rational thinking. 

If you want to know what the culture war is about, look no farther than the spectacular eruption in Britain during the past few days over Jordan Peterson, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto.

Peterson came to prominence in 2016 when he refused to adhere to a proposed new Canadian anti-discrimination law, under which it was claimed that personal pronouns would have to be replaced by preferred transgender activist terms such as ze or zir.

The issue for him was liberty. No one, he declared, had the right to dictate what language people should use.

For this stand, he was compared to Hitler, had his lectures drowned out by white noise and was forced to rely on crowdfunding after his grant application to continue his academic research was rejected. He said he feared for his life.

Last week, Peterson was in London to promote his new book, 12 Rules for Life, and was interviewed by Cathy Newman on Channel 4 News.

Just because a word is in the dictionary doesn’t mean it’s safe to use it ...
Buzz words, the fashionable vocabulary of current affairs and celebrity gossip – for all their temporary value – often deserve more than a casual glance, if only because they signal the mood of the crowd. Such a word is ‘unforgiveable’ .
Those of us who follow the media trail in an effort to keep up with ‘everything about everything’ will be overly familiar with the word ‘unforgiveable’ . These days it enjoys a universal media presence and is routinely applied by journalists and politicians to the ‘villains’ of their peace from North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un to Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn – whether their crimes be mass murder or mass disappointment…
Many other labels might fit just as well: ‘inexcusable’ , ‘monstrous’ , ‘barbaric’ , ‘criminal’ or, for lesser offences ... ‘ill-considered’ , ‘illadvised’ and ‘opportunist’; but ‘unforgiveable’ – really? Strange how a world that fears terrorists and weapons of mass destruction has never learned to respect the most dangerous word in any language... 

Alfred Edersheim's "Did the Lord Institute his Supper on the Paschal Night" is taken from the appendix of his "Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah".

When it comes to polemical discussions about Jesus’ messiahship, Messianic Jews are often accused of taking verses from the Hebrew Bible out of context, and deliberately christianising them, so that they appear to refer to the man from Nazareth.

Ironically however, many Christians are going in the other direction, and rejecting the relevance of Hebrew Bible prophecies to Jesus’ life!

Look at this quote from Christianity’s most popular academic theologian, N.T. Wright, from God and the Authority of Scripture Today [emphasis mine]:

  • The West is drowning in a sea of double standards and moral relativism in which murderers and tyrants are allowed to wallow in their crimes, while global indignation is turned only against the sole democracy in the Middle East: Israel.

  • Israeli hospitals have never stopped treating Palestinians, even during wars in Gaza. In Syria, by comparison, Bashar Al-Assad continues to bomb the country's hospitals.

  • Instead of scapegoating Israel, perhaps these "goodists", if they really care about helping oppressed people, as they claim, will finally promote a freedom flotilla to liberate Gaza from Hamas's tyranny and Syria from Assad's butchery?

It all happened around the same time, 200 kilometers apart. In one photo, Israeli schools were involved in a national drill in the event of a missile attack. In the other photo, a real missile attack in Syria caused 200 deaths, many of which were of children. On one side, you have Israel, a democracy forced to protect its children. On the other side, you have Syria, a brutal dictatorship where the civil war has caused more than 400,000 deaths.

Many Christians know their Bible back to front – when they should know it the right way round! David Andrew offers an appreciation of a recent two-part teaching from Chuck and Karen Cohen… 

There’s a consistent note of sober purpose here, so don’t expect a snappy title. As it is, the title gets right to the point – and describes exactly what’s in the tin: “Breaking Down the Middle Wall of Partition: Confronting the Man-Made division between the Old and New Testament.”

Now some will be thinking: “This is clearly off-beam right from the title. Surely Jesus has already broken down the wall between Jew and Gentile? Surely Paul used a past tense?” No arguments there – but just because God has done something has never stopped us mortals from disagreeing with Him or revising the ‘truth’ to make it suit our prejudices. The clue to the title is in the ‘man-made division’ . As early as the early church, even Peter needed correction as he unwittingly started to rebuild the wall that Jesus had demolished (Galatians 2:11-21). Our authors are not in denial of Ephesians 2:14. Their argument – entirely dependent on Scriptural support – is that, historically, the Church in general has done a thorough job of rebuilding the wall by creating a false (distorting) division between the doctrine of the apostles and the ‘Old Testament’ writings they used to support their writings! The effect of this is two-fold: 

It’s both a continent and an idea, with an alternately heroic and ignominious past and, until recently, an enviable present. Can the heart of the West survive the 21st century?

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