John Brown and his body

When you listen to those who we define as folk/protest singers and songwriters you tap into an oral history that you will be hard pressed to find elsewhere. These troubadours keep alive the struggles and trials of the past that we here and now should be learning from.

I recently got hold of David Rovics’ album 10,000 Miles Away. On there he has penned a song call John Brown (least I think he wrote the lyrics!). Now if you grew up in the time and country that I did then you’ll likely be aware of the traditional chorus of John Brown’s Body. Where it came from I didn’t know, just that it shares a tune with the Battle Hymn of the Republic. More than that? Nah.

But when you listen to David’s song then the story unfolds. You realise the story is about a man whose Christian faith leads him to confront head on with action the vile slave trade in the Americas before the Revolution. You see how black and white worked together to sow the seeds that would lead to abolition in the Western English speaking nations.

These men are all talk, what we need is action!

So when you get a taste of this story then you look further and you come across people, places and events I never knew about – Harriet Tubman, the Underground Railroad to name a few.

All it takes is one seed, one spark.

Psalm 82:1

Sometimes you come across something on Twitter where someone is trying to make a point. The graphic below is regularly posted by spittle-flecked atheists who use it to highlight the supposed gullibility of Christians.

psalm81

The problem with the above graphic is its glaring dishonesty. Either that or the creator and the many posters aren’t familiar with the grammar and form of the English language.

When you read it as it’s displayed then there really is an issue with the oneness of the Godhead. I mean, how can God who claims uniqueness take his place amongst other Gods?

However, when you take away the shouty caps you can see what the verse really looks like. Here’s some examples from various versions:

God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. – KJV

God has taken His place in the divine assembly;
He judges among the gods: – HCSB

God has taken his place in the divine council;
    in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: – ESV

And so on.

There is no doubt that the Hebrew word used for ‘God’ and ‘gods’ in Psalm 82:1 is ‘elohim’. But taken in context the second use refers to what I would say is a divinely inspired council of righteous men of Israel. It fits the context of the whole of the Psalm. There is no equivalence of the subject of the occurrences of ‘elohim’. No one has ever translated or interpreted it thus.

The graphic above is dishonest, probably like its creator and the gullible sheep who repost it as gospel truth. They’re trying to score a point dishonestly by hiding the true meaning behind capital letters.

Favourite Podcasts

English: Podcast or podcasting icon Français :...

The smartphone now makes it so easy to get access on the move to audio podcasts of teachings and direction from many people. Certainly I’m finding that I’m using my smartphone more in the car to listen to sound Christian teaching, doctrine and worship rather than the radio or the news.

Here’s a list of people and ministries that I regularly listen to.

Messenger International with John and Lisa Bevere

Let My People Think with Ravi Zacharias

Another Day of Victory with Ulf Ekman

Daily Hope with Rick Warren

Insight For Living with Chuck Swindoll

Radical Living, Radical Life with Runnymede Christian Fellowship

Daily Radio Program with Charles Stanley

Any ministries that you’d recommend or think I would benefit from listening to?

My software of choice to listen to podcasts on my Android phone is BeyondPod.

Authored by Chris Hall

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The Archbishop and Wonga

Image representing Wonga as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

Have to say I was initially chuffed to see the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby laying down a challenge to Wonga and others of their ilk. The AoC communicated that he wanted to see the payday loan industry driven out of business by promoting the use of credit unions.

The payday loan industry is involved in outright usury which is condemned by many faiths such as Islam and Christianity and others. Usury we can look upon as the lending of money at exorbitant rates of interest.

But then I thought what was the AoC actually saying? He wanted to replace excessive usury with not so excessive usury. Is that what we should be aiming for? Plus the architects of our current austerity are backing the AoC!

I would love to see all of the credit industry driven out of business but it will only be done by paying workers a decent wage, sharing in the profit of their labour and making capitalism history.

At the end of the day this sort of initiative is just a sideshow, the real work to get a free and just society and world remains.

Pay a living and just wage so people don’t have to borrow.

Authored by Chris Hall

What Book?

Time to treat myself to another book to go on my Kindle. Problem is choosing one!

Any book that catches my eye I add to my Goodreads.com account so I have a continually growing list of books to choose from. What I choose depends a lot on how I feel so at the moment I have a list of three books. So which one do I choose?

Viral Jesus: Recovering the Contagious Power of the Gospel by Ross Rohde

Jesus: A Theography by Frank Viola, Leonard Sweet

Any suggestions most welcome!