Saturday, 3 February 2018

Does Religion Cause Most Wars

What causes most wars

We have been bombarded with propaganda by progressives, but both the strength and Achilles heel of progressives is that they are not truth tellers! Their attractive untruths have won people to their cause, and even people who believe progressives are wrong are often bamboozled into accepting as true, lies that are just repeated over and over again.

Take this lie for instance: “Most wars are caused by religion”. I've heard that one sprouted as an argument against Christianity over and over again. But is it true? I've heard it said so many times that I've come to accept it without question! While I was away on holiday I had some time to reflect and thought to myself “Is that really the case? I should do some simple research and check!”

With the internet, a discerning user (there is some really wacky stuff up there!) can quickly check up on facts. Unfortunately we generally can't check in the middle of a discussion with a passionate and well indoctrinated progressive! So I did some checking. It didn't take long. I found near the top of Google's list a global war museum in Sweden that had put up a list of wars in the twentieth century, with numbers of people killed (I think they may have erred on the side of underestimating – in the terrible fire-bombing of residential areas like Dresden and Tokyo [I not saying it was unjustified, just a terrible thing] there was little record of who had been alive there, and nothing remaining to count afterwards! – and the civilian deaths in Russia in WWI and WWII were also probably incalculable.) But the museum did have figures, and also one could click on a war in the list and get a brief description of what it was about – so see if it was caused by “religion” or something else. Here's what I found.
PS if you want to check my sums, the museum page is:

In the twentieth Century there were a total 265 wars around the globe. Some of these were very small, so to avoid having lots of minor wars skewing the evidence I also refined my search by number of deaths, first to wars killing over 100,000 people, then to wars killing over or about 1 million people, (I included the Korean War although it was 5,000 short of the I million.)

So, of the 265 wars of all sizes: only 24 had religion as a cause. Of those 24 wars, 21 involved Muslims
When one eliminated all the smaller wars (and I chose 100,000 deaths before I counted what was in that category – so it was not selected to give some desired result)
there were 32 wars.

Of these 32 wars, only two, yes, just two were cause by religion. Both of these involved Muslims – one with Hindu's in India, and the other with Marionite Christians in Lebanon.

My last filter was wars causing near or over a million deaths. There were seven such wars, which I will list below:
World War I
3rd Sino-Japanese War
World War II
Chinese Civil War
Korean War
Chinese Cultural Revolution

As you can see, none of these wars involved religion! (Communism, yes, but theistic religion, no)

So, now you know the truth! Next time you hear someone claim “most wars are started by religion” you can say; “No! That is just not true! In the Twentieth century not one of the seven wars that killed near or over a million people had anything to do with religion!” Of course if you can remember the rest of this article you can quote more: probably one fact easy to remember is “Only one in ten of all conflicts in C20 were religious, and nearly all those involved Muslims!

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Two PLus Two Equals Five

2+2 = 5 If The Party Says So

So said a character in Orwell's “Nineteen Eighty Four”.

Not so silly now as it sounded 70 years ago. OK we really do have the “impossible” futuristic technology he put in his novel, but that's not the important part – tyrannies have never lacked for spies and informers! What is important is the government messing with our minds until we will say anything we're told to believe, even when we know its not true. Like agreeing 2+2 = 5.

Once a regime has that sort of control over us we are really loosing our humanity and becoming their robots.

This is happening to us in the “free West” right now!

OK looking back I guess it has been worming its way in for at least 50 years. But at first it was so gradual that we didn't notice at all. Think about it. Our society accepted that “free love” which is to say gratuitous sex, was risk free; that abortion was nothing; that adultery didn't matter; and so forth. Well, I didn't believe that, and likely yo didn’t either, but that makes us the odd ones out! Then came AIDS. What a flurry of propaganda to make us believe it was not a consequence of gay sex! This is likely where the propaganda first pushed us over the line into saying something we knew was not true.

And churches were part of the propaganda machine! I once put in my parish newsletter a precis of an article in a Medical Journal that just gave the scientific findings. The epidemiology was clearly that anal sex was the basic transmission route for AIDS in the First World. The heterosexual infection rate in Africa which was so often used in propaganda was in fact due to factors peculiar to Africa (high promiscuity and poor health care combining to give genital sores which provided a direct blood-to-blood transmission route in vaginal sex) Did I ever cop it from the bishop! They hadn't invented the word “homophobic” then but that was what he accused me of, and told me to stop saying bigoted things like that. Science had to be silenced.

As it happens I wasn't and still am not homophobic. We are all sinners and we all have idiosyncratic weaknesses that we struggle against. The weight society or church puts one one sin against another is often counter-intuitive. There's an old joke: “If a man comes to you church drunk on alcohol, you throw him out, but if he's drunk on money you make him an elder.”

Back to the story: As you know Christians were told they had to say homosexual acts were not a sin. Many complied. Well that was saying 2+2 = 5. Sure, if I had to list sins by their harmfulness, homosexual acts would be way down the list. Sure, being same-sex attracted is not a sin. Just as being attracted to a person of the opposite sex outside of marriage is not itself a sin. It is the specific act (like adultery) that is the sin.

Then came same sex marriage: “Marriage Equality”. Now for those “without Christ and without hope in the world” who am I to judge them if they manage to find happiness in a same sex relationship? Good luck to them. But when the government demands that I say that same sex marriage is equal to marriage between a man and a woman we are in “2+2 = 5 if the Party says so” territory.

Well in Australia just before Christmas that happened (by a 60% popular vote), and in some 20 other countries it had already been legislated.

Did it stop there? Not likely! The process has just speeded up. As I said last post “gender fluidity” is being taught in schools, parents are prohibited from protecting their children from this this terribly harmful outright lie. Today I read in the newspaper that one state wants to legislate to make it a crime not to (for example) call a man who “self identifies” as female “he” instead of his preferred “she”.

Here it is now coming right out in the open! We are being told to speak the lie. We are being told to say “2+2 = 5” or be treated as criminals!

Now this has nothing to do with LBGTI “rights”. Don't be fooled into following that red herring! This is about radicals messing with our minds. Quite likely once they have established their new upotia-on-earth, LGBT's will be ruthlessly eliminated. But first Christianity has to be eliminated, and they are prepared to take their time laying the groundwork. Jesus said “I am the Truth ...” The Bible makes its claims on human hearts because it is true.

Once people say “there is no truth except what the government tell us” Christianity, Liberty, and Science are all swept away.

This brave new “utopia” will just be another North Korea look-alike

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Retaking the High Moral Ground

Retaking the High Moral Ground

What are the Critical Requirements for progressives (or if you prefer “collectivists” or “statists”) to hold the high moral ground? The answer is surprisingly simple.

Their real agenda is evil. So they must hide this behind a false facade or turn morals upside down. Either way the powers behind the scenes need to convince the bulk of their followers who are likely to be people who are basically good at heart and either convince or compel the rest of society.

The second trick has been tried from time immemorial. Isaiah 5.20 says “Woe to those who call good evil and evil good” so nothing new there – or once again people have found that “old tricks are the best tricks”

The first – putting a mask of “good” over a reality of evil is the basis of all traps and the game of all would-be dictators. Don't let the quarry see what is really coming – they would run away! Rather make it look attractive. So the cheese in the mousetrap is ever so inviting to that quivering little nose – but the hidden reality is sudden death. The dictator always promises liberty, prosperity and anything else that will entice the people to acclaim him leader. What they receive is so very different! I hope to look at this next time

So two critical requirements of claiming the high moral ground for progressives are turning morals upside down, and deception of their real agenda. Of course the “foot soldiers” of the progressive cause will have been taken in by the first, and totally ignorant of the second!

How have they managed to turn morals upside done in out time?

By replacing absolute moral standards with arbitrary ones.

We have had the enormous blessing of “Judeo-Christian” morality. This is based on the moral character of God – which is absolute and unchanging.

Limited human understanding of His nature, the powerful corrupting tendency of our fallen human nature, and ever changing human circumstances have led to popular morals being sometimes better, sometimes worse. But through all this, the revelation of God's nature supremely in Christ Jesus but also all Scripture; The reasoning of people whose consciences had been touched by God (yes, some of these were pre-Christian Greeks and Romans); And hard won experience over the span of history, have triumphed.

In the late 1960's all this began to change. We rebelled against the wisdom of our parents, we threw off – first in sexual morals – the existing rules. We started to tear down all the societal “fences” which had been laboriously placed to protect us from the forces of temptation, and the wholesale corruption of our system of morals.

Over the past 50 years this awful project has proceeded ever gathering speed.

God has now been pushed out as the rightful basis and standard of morals.

By breaking down all the old taboos, destroying the old rules, destroying even customs of manners and courtesy the hard Left have created an existential angst – no one knows what the rules are any-more – every situation has to be thought out from scratch – every situation is fraught with danger: creating a psychological void. Suddenly we feel we need rules!

But without God, what standard is there for rules: None! “We” have to make arbitrary ones!

Collectivism to the “rescue”! They not only provide the new rules but also the comfort: we are right because we all say we are right. Dissenters and rule breakers must be – and are - mercilessly dealt with. So the new human centered morality is built up, Like all human things its best endeavors will go astray and end up bad. Worse it originates in the hard Left who want to turn our freedom into slavery and our democracy into tyranny. So enough of these new morals will be upside-down in that they are deliberately dysfunctional and destructive. Think “gender fluidity” for a start!

How does one pull the rug from under this false moral high ground?
Keep stressing absolute morals!

Yup, we have been successfully psyched out of doing this, that's one reason they could win. We have to start and keep saying “there is God, so moral rules just are absolute”,

Applied to this crazy “gender fluidity” (it is based on a philosophy – that only the individual concerned can “know” a thing – (eg their gender) - that can only be described as complete lunacy)! We would say No! “God made us male and female” there are only two genders (genetic defects are just that: defects) If you have the correct number of sex chromosomes then you have either XX and you are female or XY and you are male. Your gender was not assigned at birth, it was built in to every cell in your body from conception! You are what you are and by genetic testing not just you, but everyone can “know” what gender you are!

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Strategy to Beat Progressives

A Lesson on Strategy

There are some valuable lessons we can learn from secular, indeed military research into strategy. Philosophers (including those speculative philosophers who style themselves “theologians”) can and often do put forth complete rubbish, yet it is difficult to refute them or prove them wrong. However those, like engineers and military leaders who get it wrong are rapidly and often terminally corrected by reality! So their researches tend to be of more practical value for dealing with real world problems.

The first concept is called Centre of Gravity. That is a little confusing nowadays to those of us used to the same term being used in physics, but it originated with a brilliant military writer of the 19th century called Clausewitz. He was thinking of physics as the analogy for armies of his day, but in modern affairs that analogy breaks down.

The definition of strategic Center of Gravity is: "the source of power that provides moral or physical strength, freedom of action, or will to act." Thus, the center of gravity is usually seen as the "source of strength".

In any conflict situation it is important to discover the adversary's CofG. Generally one takes care not to attack it directly because as the source of their strength it is close to impregnable! For instance in olden days a Cof G might be a fortified castle. Even Robin Hood knew that to attack Sherwood castle directly would be suicidal and used subterfuge to get inside it and rescue Maid Marion.

So consider the Progressive activists. What is their CofG? I think there are two.
1. They hold the moral high ground. (Yes I know, they are not actually more moral, quite the reverse! But by re-defining morals they have convinced themselves and enough others that they are for this to work.)
2. They have been working since the late 1960's to infiltrate key institutions which they now hold as fortified citadels. They control most of the media and Hollywood. They control education from kindergarten to college and university. They have infiltrated and in some cases control churches.

If military wisdom is correct, then a direct attack on any of these will fail. So what can we do?

For a start learn two other military terms: Critical Capability and Critical Requirement.

Critical Capability is something that their CofG empowers them to do. For example in olden days a fortified castle (the CofG) empowered the defenders to repel armed attack. So what do the Progressives CofG's empower them to do?

Holding the high moral ground empowers a self-righteous anger directed at anyone who disagrees with them. Have you noticed how angry progressive activists are, and how they don't debate, they shut down (and shout down) debate and dissent, with violence if necessary.

Holding the media has the Critical Capability that they get to control the narrative. The news people hear, see on TV or read is mostly biased, and pro “conservative” news items are censored.

Holding Hollywood has the Critical Capability that films and TV shows have a consistent political or social engineering bias, and have been used to make the population accept say lesbian sex acts (as seen in just about every 'M' rated show) as normal. Yes, we of the “Free World” who were aghast at the old Soviet, Chinese, and North Korean propaganda machines are now ourselves being gently and enjoyably brainwashed!

Holding education from beginning to end has been a devastating Critical Capability. In my generation, we came out of university varying shades of pink, but once in the real world reality eventually made us see sense

But now we are seeing a generation emerging from university who have been immersed in progressive propaganda throughout their education. They know nothing else. They are uninformed but hardened socialist/statist/collectivists. One sees the effect of this in this year's elections in Britain, where an unashamedly Communist-by-any-other-name leader promised more “bread and circuses” and won such support from young voters that although he had been written off as unelectably crazy, he nearly won!

We are now seeing institutionalized and government mandated sexual child abuse. The logically nonsensical “gender fluidity”, the sexualising of young children, the active promotion of homosexual lifestyle and the purely evil pushing of children into sex change operations is child sexual abuse of a scale and heinousness possibly never before seen. This is ruining lives for the sake of promoting a statist political agenda. (If you are not aware of this teaching in schools right around the Western world I strongly recommend this talk on Youtube:

The other therm to learn is Critical Requirement, this consists of the thing or things necessary to support the CofG. In olden days a fortified city was a CofG for the population. An invading army if they were not in a hurry did not attack this Cof G, they just surrounded the city and starved them out. So “food and water” were critical requirements of that Cof G.

In the largest US land battle of all time – the “Battle of the Bulge” in Dec 1944 to Jan 1945, at least in the film version (and maybe in reality!) this was used to effect. Hitler was making one last desperate attack. One of his CofG's was his Panza divisions. I gather the German tanks were better armored and had heavier guns that the light but maneuverable American ones. To take them head on would be suicidal. But what is a critical requirement of a tank? Fuel. The American tanks played cat and mouse with the Panza's until the German fuel supplies were exhausted!

In general the best solution is to find the Critical Requirements of the Cof G and attack or remove those.

So …. what are the critical requirements for holding the high moral ground, holding much of the media and Hollywood, holding many churches, and holding education?

Saturday, 9 December 2017

To Forgive or not to Forgive ...

I'm interrupting our series on saving the West to give my thoughts on this issue that affects us all from time to time.

To Forgive or not to Forgive

It is in the Lord's Prayer … “forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us”. It is the subject of one of Jesus' most blunt parables: the Unforgiving Servant - which ends with the terrible warning “and this is how my Father will treat each one of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”. It is stated in Hebrews “vengeance is mine says the Lord, I will repay”. Joseph says when his brothers fear that he will exact his (justifiable) revenge: “Am I in the place of God that I should do such a thing?”. It is a theme so consistent throughout Scripture that there can be no argument about the fact of it. So why can't so many Christians forgive?

My guess is this: temptation and our unregenerate nature.

Thirst for revenge seems part of our human nature. So too are most vices, but revenge is, up to a point, socially acceptable – encouraged even. Of course people taking the law into their own hands is frowned upon, and is likely to land the perpetrator of the revenge in court. But “getting even” without doing anything illegal gets a social thumbs up, and is inculcated by stories and movies. One Biblical account of bad behaviour is Lamech – who boasted that if Cain were to be avenged seven times, he would be avenged seventy seven times! An example of better behaviour is David who praised Abigail because her swift action in bringing tribute to him prevented David from sinning against the Lord by taking revenge on Nabal for refusing it.

Thus we should expect it to always be difficult to “go against the grain” of our human nature.

Second, since the Bible depicts unforgiveness to be such a serious sin, we should expect to be seriously attacked by a temptation to wallow in it. Being forgiving is part of God's very nature. We didn't just learn this in some academic way, we have been the actual beneficiaries of it: in Christ he forgave us all our sins! So in forgiving others we are being imitators of him as dearly loved children. And we are empowered to act by being recipients of undeserved forgiveness. Conversely, harbouring unforgiveness is a form of hating God's divine character. That surely cuts us off from him.

Now when we remember how insidious temptations to other sins can be, we should expect to have to face all the wiles and stratagems of the devil in this area.

One has only to read the Genesis account of Adam and Eve being tempted to see that level of cunning: gradually drawing their attention to the tree and its fruit, suggesting subliminally its desirability, and their “right” to fuller knowledge, subtly instilling doubts about God's very clear command!

So we should expect that demonic voice to be ever so kind and consoling towards us – always reminding us how much we have been hurt – trapping us in going over and over our suffering – until the hurt becomes like an old friend and no matter how great the mental anguish, we cannot let go of it. This magnifies the harm originally done to us, and prevents God healing these hurts. It gives the devil two wins with one “stone'. We, a human God loves is caused more pain, and also our animal desire for revenge grows stronger and stronger weakening our resistance to temptation. Then we can be led to doubt that it is really a sin to be unforgiving “Did God really say … ?” If we succumb then whether we go the final step to exacting revenge, or just sit under a demonic stronghold nursing our hurt, victim-hood, and supposed righteousness, the devil will have won – he will have driven a wedge between us and Christ our Saviour.

Are there any “strengthening exercises” that can help us not to fall into this temptation?

I think there are two attitudes of mind, that if practised and reinforced, will protect us – Just as Joseph was protected “Am I in the place of God?” and as Jesus, Stephen and so many martyrs and confessors since then have been enabled to pray: “Father forgive them ...”.

The first is to continually rejoice in the new world of grace into which we have been re-born.

We were His enemies by our choice and our deeds. Yet he died to blot out our sins. If that were not enough he – Almighty God - humbled himself to beg us to repent and turn back to him. But there's more: He sent His Spirit into our innermost being, and – short of compelling us – He did everything necessary for us to repent. More still: had we just been forgiven, enabled to love Him, and given a servant's place in his household, we would have been fabulously well treated. But on top of it all He called us His sons and daughters!

In the face of all this what are the “light and momentary troubles of this world” compared to the glory we share and which we are to enjoy in all its fullness forever? (Amazingly God showers favour after favour upon us, and so, yes, He does care about even the little things of this life as well – but not when they will blight our eternal joy!)

If we delight our minds on these things. If we are forever praising God for the infinite goodness He has shown us. If we are striving to imitate His moral character in this world so that we can enjoy being with him forever. We will be building the spiritual and mental muscle necessary to forgive even when we are really badly wronged.

The second mental exercise is a human commercial analogy. Some years ago our local video rental store went out of business. Some time later we (with many others I guess) got a letter from a collection agency. It said it had “bought” all the video store's debts. And going through the books they found we had owed the video store some unpaid late fines. They now demanded we pay these to them – or else! Of course having sold their bad debts to the collection agency the owners of the store could not try to collect these debts themselves - they now belonged to someone else!

Let's play a mental game. The Bible talks about us dying to our old life and being born again into a new life in Christ. Let's pretend we are the spiritual equivalent of that video store going out of business. Jesus is like the debt collectors who bought the bad debts. He took away our sins on the cross: he also bought all the sins done against us. He owns them now. He is the only one who has the right to collect them. We can't.

He can “collect” on them, or forgive them – that's frankly none of our business! We sold them. They're gone. In this analogy “forgiving” is just us reminding ourselves of this fact!

An FAQ is: Do those who wronged us have to repent, or say they are sorry before we forgive them? Absolutely not! Certainly it would be better for them if they made amends – Jesus told us so. But that is between Him as the new owner of the “sin-against-us”, and them. We have to forgive from the heart regardless and to keep reminding ourselves that we have done so simply because their “sin-against-us” no longer belongs to us but to Him.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Cosmological View of the Failing West Pt. 2

Cosmological View of the Failing West Pt. 2

The second part of Christian cosmology involves the interaction between God and people. I might not have previously stressed that God is a personal living being – as opposed to an impersonal “force” or even some anthropomorphised “Nature”. Although this is amply evidenced by the Son becoming incarnate as a real born-of-a-woman human being. Also the relationships between God and humans is a major theme throughout the entire Bible, and important to our discussion on the fate of the West.

The “problem” of pain in the world (Nature red in tooth and claw) and of human evil deeds is often thrown up as a naive argument against the existence of God. Surprisingly, professed Christians are often similarly naive and do not seem to recognise how simply it is answered from basic Christian cosmology!

First the “red in tooth and claw”. If you accept, as I do, that science explores the question “how” and religious faith the question “why”, then these are like lines on non intersecting planes: you can accept or reject the prevailing scientific model without gain or loss to your faith.

So I can happily go along with the current theory of evolution (and drop it when a better one emerges). In this case the theory is that the current natural order has evolved by survival of the fittest, or to put it bluntly because the whole system works. Yes there is a food chain, bigger animals eat littler ones. Each species up the food chain breeds up to the point of starvation which confines fluctuations in numbers up and down the food chain (and to plants as well) thus maintaining a rough balance. Atheists readily accept this as a necessary mechanism for evolution but baulk at God using it. Why? Why cannot God be pragmatic and use the only system short of “hands-on control” that would result in the world as we see it?

The second is human evil. Once again the “problem” disappears in a real Biblical cosmology. As I pointed out earlier, God is entirely good. There also exists a rebel spiritual being and its cohorts that are evil. But God is infinitely more powerful than the evil spirit “Satan”. Human beings chose to allow themselves to be beguiled by the devil into disobedience to God.

Again the “problem” only arises in humans who think they can second guess God – a rather arrogant attitude! God's solution to the fact of human disobedience and His desire to save as many humans as possible was this: Namely to by-and-large let history run its course, but at a specific time in history for the Son to enter the world as a divine-yet-human being, suffer, die, and rise from the dead and at a future point in history known only to Him to end this world order and take those who have turned back to him into a new and perfect creation.

While this world lasts, humans have the opportunity to chose obedience to God. They also have the “freedom” to chose evil. Thus there is evil in the world by human choice and by the permissive will of God in order to save all those who use this opportunity to choose obedience to Him.

Christian cosmology here absolutely trumps any atheist one in explaining evil.

Now as anyone who has travelled any distance on the Christian pilgrimage knows, even those who have chosen God have to continuously chose to obey God rather than the promptings of our animal nature and the whisperings of the devil. Even we easily lapse into being participants in the devil's plans for destroying humanity. So we mean no disrespect when we say that for the rest, even their best intentions serve the devil's purposes.

Another dimension altogether is prayer. In Christian (not folk religion's!) cosmology, there is a relationship between God and believer that can be likened to that of perfect parent to children. So prayer is an important part of this relationship as speech is in parent-to-child. One aspect of this is appeal for help or provision. Believers appeal to God as to a perfectly loving Father. There are things God will do in response to such appeal. Similarly there are things God will never do regardless of the fervency of such appeals! Importantly for the West, a decline in Christian believers has the consequence that less protection and good things are being wrought by God in response to prayer.

A final dimension is the actions of good people in response to God's call. It is quirky but true that God does not confine Himself to working through people who believe in Him to achieve Hid purposes. Nevertheless Believers are granted their part in participating with God in working for the good of the world. Just as children often get to “help” mum and dad in doing things.

Thus the reduced numbers of Christians, and even among churchgoers the reduced knowledge of God and reduced participation in His works means God is less active in protecting what is good and fighting the ingress of evil that previously.

This explains the vicious cycle of rising secularism and failing or secularised Christianity.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

A Cosmological View of the Failing West Pt. 1

Cosmological View of the Failing West Pt. 1

In the last few posts I have been, as a scientist would, putting a hypothesis, and then testing how it measured up to observed reality. My hypothesis has been that some malevolent super-human being has been at work. In every way we have found that the sort of changes occurring in the past half century (or more) are exactly what such an intelligence would seek to introduce for the purpose of sowing mayhem, increasing human misery, and destroying the benefits introduced and refined by God-fearing men and women over a very long time.

Now it is time to step back and fit this into a cosmological framework. This is made harder by one more change in our current socially constructed “web of belief” - one which again would undoubtedly suit our hypothesised malevolent being! We have largely discarded belief in the super-natural. Our forebears had no problems with belief in spiritual beings, but we have invented the idea that our “scientific” society has outgrown such infantile ideas. (Yet ironically we are simultaneously destroying the intellectual rigour and honesty necessary for real science, and forgetting that much scientific method was developed by devout Christians who looked for cause-and-effect because of their belief in the nature of God and hence of His creation.) So I may be battling on two fronts: upholding a view that science depends on the existence of absolute truth, and that as well as the physical environment which we can test scientifically there are spiritual realities which we cannot.

So let me expand my cosmology to the traditional Christian one. (this is not the same as the popular one. The “folk religion version of Christianity” is often contaminated with a good deal of the pagan cosmology endemic in places before Christianity came to them)

In our cosmology we have of course God. As philosophers have said “the un-caused cause, the un-moved mover and un-created creator”. For Christians our concept of God is different to all other religions. As regards the being of God, for instance, Moslems envisage a simple being: we see God as Triune – we can neither adequately explain nor envisage this, we can at best say that God is one, but internally Father – Son – Holy Spirit in relationship. Hindus (and hence the derivative Buddhism) see God as subsumed in the physical world. We see God as quite separate from His creation, though the Son did take human nature, and being born of a woman lived on earth at a particular place and time (which we term His “incarnation”). So the Christian concept of God's being is much richer than the Moslem, and totally incompatible with Hindu & Buddhist.

We also believe in angels – beings that are “spiritual” by which we mean not of the substance of the physical universe – although they can manifest as people. We believe that some of these spiritual beings – led by one we call the devil or Satan – rebelled against God. They are, as many other religions agree, evil. But we alone of religions say, of much less power than God (as against the common Eastern “dualism of good and evil”). Indeed it is the central tenet of Christianity that God, through the Son in His unique human-divine nature gained total victory over the devil by Christ's death and resurrection. We get into murky waters when we try to make the dynamics of this victory understandable to the society of our day, but the result is simple enough: God can because of it be true to Himself and yet forgive sinners who turn to Him, and can at a time of His choice destroy the devil and the evil spirits aligned to him.

In the meantime the devil and his angels – like many a retreating army devastating the land they once held captive - seek to hurt and destroy all that is dear to God, which most of all is the human race. Christians hold that God has set a day when he will end this and destroy the devil and all, both human and angel, who have chosen evil. Before that time, both human and spiritual agents of the devil have freedom to cause harm – but only up to a certain point.

This gives Christians a unique cosmology, and one which adequately explains the observable facts of the world and particularly of human behaviour and society. More next post.