Oh My God

Jars of Clay, one of my favourite bands with one of my favourite songs. Intelligent and moving lyrics.


Salvation I

A big subject, so in a number of parts! But why I’m posting is in response to a blog comment that mentioned salvation being brought into play in the life of a person when they had said ‘The Sinner’s Prayer‘ or suchlike. It got me thinking about when salvation begins in the very being of that person, when the future direction of their eternity changes?

So to start with a quick round up of the soteriology or study of salvation from some of the major players in the Christian world!

So let’s start where I started, with the Anglican church and their Thirty-Nine Articles. The XVIII Article is the one that refers to salvation.

XVIII. Of obtaining eternal Salvation only by the Name of Christ.
They also are to be had accursed that presume to say, That every man shall be saved by the Law or Sect which he professeth, so that he be diligent to frame his life according to that Law, and the light of Nature. For Holy Scripture doth set out unto us only the Name of Jesus Christ, whereby men must be saved.

Seems pretty clear – look in the Bible!

Now onto the Catholics.

The doctrine of salvation for the Catholics is defined in the Coucil of Trent. Reading from the Catholic Encycopaedia I think I can sum it up thus:

  • Disposition – you recognise that you need salvation
  • Justification – either by reason of a perfect act of charity elicited by a well disposed sinner or by virtue of the Sacrament either of Baptism or of Penance. 

The Sacrements come into play with infants and those not of sound reason. But quite what this ‘perfect act of charity is I do not know. Anyone?

Now the turn of the Orthodox. And this starts to get complicated for me. According to Orthodox theology salvation is not a stage but a continuous change towards a divine nature or theosis, becoming united with God. So Salvation can be looked upon as three overlapping processes:

  • catharsis (purification)
  • theoria (illumination)
  • theosis (divinization)

So I read that as instead of having a defined point or moment of salvation the Orthodox view is of a continuing theosis, which continues even after death. And if I’m talking cobblers feel free to put me right!

To be continued.


Yesterday I received through the post Orthodoxy by GK Chesterton. I had read Heretics a few weeks ago and was impressed with what he was saying. So as Orthodoxy is a follow up to Heretics it makes sense to read it.

Heretics was excellent, although dated in parts, so dated even I couldn’t place some of the characters and events he mentioned.

Looking forward to Orthodoxy though

Why is a label important?

Trawling through the BBC’s website I came across this article about a mother convicted of child cruelty upon her daughter. It says:

A mother who struck her 12-year-old daughter with a computer cable, a broom, a wooden spoon and her fists has been given a suspended jail sentence.

The 37-year-old asylum seeker was jailed for 12 months suspended for two years at Preston Crown Court after she pleaded guilty to child cruelty.

And it’s good that she should receive such a sentence.

But what does get me wondering is why ‘asylum seeker’? Is there something about asylum seekers that makes them more partial to a bit of physical chastisement of their offspring, a bit more handy with their fists? Something perhaps that sets them apart, as somehow different from ‘us’?

I expect better from the BBC.

Against All Odds

Could this be the next Labour Party political broadcast?

I thought it was good until Kinnock and the architects of New Labour came into view, their stories undo the victories of the past. Did the producer see the irony?

Aside from that some interesting images, and it’s got Lansbury in it!

Some Other Blogs

Not a carnival or anything like that I’m afraid, just some links to other blogs that I inflict upon this interweb.

So this one you’re at now is all about my politcs, knocking capitalism on the head and creating a fairer world.

For my technical ramblings there’s Plans to Prosper.

And for my thoughts on faith in today’s world there’s a new one called The Sign Of The Cross.

Enjoy. Or not as the case may be.

Miserere mei, Deus

I lead worship at my church and can run off a good worship song but the tops for me is choral. I can’t fail to be moved by the interaction of the human voice in response to God.

Video below is Miserere mei, Deus sung by The Sixteen.

Have mercy on me, O God

About This Blog

Welcome to The Sign Of The Cross!

This blog is about all things spiritual which I find encouraging or even annoying. It’s a place where I can bring together stuff that inspires, builds up and encourages me in my faith.

My background is evangelical Anglican but worshipping at a lively pentecostal church but my encouragement comes from across the christian spectrum.

Please feel free to leave a comment on any articles or to get in touch with me.



I’m with Alan

To date two of the panel that were appointed by the Government to advise the Government on drug policy have handed their cards in. Seems that there’s a bit of bad feeling over Alan Johnson’s decision to give Prof Nutt, the Chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs his P45.

So what’s it all about? The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs is a panel of experts that advise the Government on Drug policy, providing evidence and expert opinion which will assist the Government in putting together a coherent and viable policy. Lately the panel have been advising the Government on the reclassification of Cannabis from a Class C to a Class B narcotic. But the Government have decided to continue with the reclassification which goes against the provided evidence from the panel.

So certain members of the panel, specifically Prof Nutt have decided that they will try and alter Government policy by acting outside of the panel. He had criticised the fact the Home Office had moved cannabis back to Class B, against the ACMD advice, and warned alcohol and tobacco were more harmful than both it and ecstasy.

In other words Prof Nutt has crossed the fence and entered the dirty world of politics. So Alan Johnson has put the mockers on Nutt’s attempts to influence policy by sacking him.

So I’m with Alan.

Whether weed needs to be a Class B or a Class C has become irrelevant and not really something I care about. But I do care about democracy and that the formulation of policy has to lie with our elected leaders, not with scientists. How we live goes beyond science, beyond things that are black or white. I want to know that should I disagree with those who rule over us and create policy, that my vote can build them up or knock them down. Appointed scientists are beyond my reach.

Prof Nutt needs to understand that he was brought on board to advise, not create policy. Prof Nutt was appointed, he was not elected and his required impartiality was undermined by his own actions. And the other members who are jumping ship need to get a sense of their own importance or lack of it in the democratic process and stop throwing their toys out of the pram.