Monday, November 22, 2010

MYTH & LEGEND

(Both photos below are from the Web)

(The following has been excerpted from my e-book "Under God's Rainbow & Other Contemplations")

http://www.amazon.com/UNDER-RAINBOW-OTHER-CONTEMPLATIONS-ebook/dp/B006WSMSWC/ref=la_B006NTVAWY_1_17?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1356122178&sr=1-17

I have a love for Scottish myth and legend, much of which are shared with the other Celtic people. Fionn Mac Cumhail (Finn McCool) appears in James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake. Felix Mendelssohn raises a baton to Finn McCool in his Hebrides Overture known also as Fingal’s Cave – after a cave on the Island of Staffa. The cave’s Gaelic name is Uamh-Binn meaning ‘cave of melody.’ Beautiful! But did Finn McCool ever visit this cave and listen to its eerie water music?

Finn McCool was the leader of an ancient warrior band known as the Fianna. There’s a legend that the mighty Finn McCool and his army of warriors sleep in a great rock and will all awaken again at some future point.

Many myths and legends are built around actual people and real events. Though there is usually a core of truth to them, the tales tend to get embellished so much that they morph into mere fantasy. Fact yields to fiction. Some people view some of the stories recorded in the Bible in this way – as myth and legend. But real Christians view the Bible, as the Word of God Who does not lie. Which is to say that God supervised everything that was written in the original Hebrew and Greek Scriptures; accurate copies of which are extant today.

To be sure everything in the sixty-six books of the Bible must be read in its own proper context, which includes its historical and literary genre contexts. For example, when Jesus refers to Himself as a ‘door’ He is speaking metaphorically, but when He refers to Adam He is referring to a real historical human being who lived in a real geographical Garden east of Eden.

At present there are some who reject Biblical cosmology, favouring instead a speculative and ultimately unprovable ‘Big Bang Theory.’ The Bible says that the eternal God spoke and things that were not became things that are. Therefore some see the Creator God as the initiator of the ‘Big Bang.’ Does this mean that there is a core of truth at the heart of Materialistic Cosmology, which, by its very nature, denies the existence of the Creator?

In the Bible the eternal Triune God is the One who created out of nothing the heavens and the earth and everything that is in them. This He did in six special or God days. Some Christians hold that each of these days of formation were of twenty-four hour duration, while others maintain that the Bible teaches that they were of longer duration. Indeed the original seventh or God’s Sabbath Day is never ending! Be that as it may, all true Christians believe God created everything; and that He constantly and personally sustains and maintains His creation.

All true Christians have a personal relationship with God through His only begotten Son Jesus Christ. This is where the Bible comes in, for God speaks to His adopted children by His Spirit working with His Word. The Bible teaches us who God is, and what He requires of us. All the stories contained in the Bible are lessons to the Christian on these two things.

Among many other things, the Bible speaks of Creation, the Fall, the Promise of Redemption, the Flood, Christ’s Cross of Redemption, His Resurrection, the coming of the Holy Spirit for the expansion of Christ’s Kingdom, the Day of our Resurrection, the coming Judgment, and the final New Heavens and the new Earth. So, we see then that according to the Bible Finn McCool and his warriors will indeed rise again, along with the rest of mankind on the Last Day, i.e., the Day of Judgment.

Christ’s resurrection two thousand years ago is the heart and soul of Christianity. If Jesus did not actually physically rise from the dead then we will not rise. The Apostle says, ‘Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found to be false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up – if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.’ 1 Corinthians 15:12-20.

The Bible is not about myth and legend, but about the fact of eternal life.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Easter’s Coming To Easterhouse

Easterhouse has nothing to do with Easter. Hopefully this will all soon change! Like Westerhouse Easterhouse was the name of a farm – some six miles east of Glasgow’s city centre. However, rather than have cattle, sheep and chickens spring to mind, the mere mention of the word “Easterhouse” has razor-slashing gangs from social-housing slums gate-crash one’s thoughts. Easterhouse has such a bad name. Rough. Tough. Enough!

Has God forsaken Easterhouse? One resident reportedly said, “God hasn’t been here once in the 60 years since we were built. We have suffered from deprivation, neglect, violence and lack of facilities since day one. Does Easterhouse really need God when He hasn’t ever been here? People from as far away as Canada, Australia and America have heard of Easterhouse, due to the problems we still have. Was God there when the latest person was stabbed? What would it take for Him to listen?” See:

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/new-weapon-in-bid-to-beat-easterhouse-gangs-the-bible-1.1066458

Yes, what would it take for God to listen? What would it take for God to do what most of us would avoid like the plague, ie, pay Easterhouse a visit? Would prayer help? Would community repentance? Would belief in His Gospel? Anyway, the good news is that God is listening! He isn’t done with Easterhouse!

Bibleworld has been invited into the house of Easter by some of the local churches. Bibleworld is a mobile church mission invented by the Scottish Bible Society. The idea is to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to bear on the Eaterhousians.

Nineveh repented in dust and ashes at Jonah’s preaching. May God move Easterhouse to do the likewise!

Countless millions of people living today can testify to having had their lives changed by God working with the Easter message. May Easterhouse move out of its slums and into God’s house of many mansions!

Christian bookstores are filled with books with stories about people Christ has set free from lives in bondage to drink, drugs, and wanton crime.

Read, for example, the story of a Christian theological professor who led his father’s murderer to Christ while the murderer was in prison for the crime! See: “Brothers Because of Bloodshed”

http://www.dr-fnlee.org/jailjoy.html

Speaking of the Bibleworld people, one seventeen year old resident of Easterhouse said, “I doubt they can handle the problems around here, which are much bigger than Jesus.”

An aspect of the Good News is that there is no problem bigger than Jesus! “For God so loved the *world* that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17.

How does God save the world? By having His Son live the perfect and sinless life that none of us can live and by having Him nailed to a tree to pay the price our imperfect and sinful lives deserve from God. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is God’s testimony that Jesus has paid our debt to God in full. This is the message of Easter. This is the Good News!

May the whole Easterhouse community repent and believe in the Easter message and be saved!

Please join with me in praying that God will be pleased to spare Easterhouse.