Monday, March 27, 2017


Past Heroes

With respect for the dead I walk silently past rows of their ‘tombstones’ in my library. ‘Quiet please!’ I draw closer to read the inscription on a dead friend’s headstone. I am mindful that I now stand in the presence of the humble but great. ‘Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin’; ‘LEX, REX, or The Law and the Prince, Samuel Rutherford’; ‘The Institutes of Biblical Law, Rousas John Rushdoony’; ‘The Complete Works of Francis Schaeffer’; ‘Communist Eschatology, Francis Nigel Lee’, among a host of others, pass before my eyes. Yes, they being dead yet speaketh.
Speaking better things than the blood of Abel, they were used mightily by God. Past heroes all.

We stand on the shoulders of giants, of men who spoke of Jesus and His Kingdom, His Covenant, as they sought to rebuild society in accordance with the blueprint of God’s infallible and inerrant Word. These past heroes wanted freedom, freedom for each of us as individuals, freedom from the tyrannical whims of popes and princes, and from all forms of unlawful governmental oppression. ‘It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery’ Galatians 5:1.

Paradoxically, it is the Rule of Law that ensures us our freedom. In those nations influenced by Christ speaking in the whole Bible, e.g., in the West, justice is blind, which is to say that no one is above the law. Which Law? As my old professor’s bumper-sticker stated it: ‘God’s Law or Chaos!’ God’s Law teaches us how to love God and our neighbours as ourselves. Take, for example, the 8th Commandment: ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ This applies to governments as well as individual citizens. Governments should not steal by overtaxing companies and individuals. Nor should companies and individuals steal by tax-cheating. With respect to the Decalogue, upon which Western Law is primarily based, in each Commandment ‘One and the same thing, in divers respects, is required or forbidden…’ Take the 5th Commandment for example: ‘Honour thy father and thy mother…’ ‘By father and mother … are meant, not only natural parents, but all superiors in age and gifts; and especially such as, by God’s ordinance, are over us in place of authority, whether in family, church, or commonwealth’ Westminster Larger Catechism Q&A 124. It goes on then to list what the Bible says is the honour inferiors owe to their superiors and their sins against them, and what is required of superiors towards their inferiors and their sins against them. It even deals with how we ought to treat our equals. It would seem, that all this is either being ignored or has been forgotten, (if ‘Social Media’ is anything to go by!)

Needless to say, that contemporary ‘Culture Wars’ are disturbing the peace, and are causing conflict and confusion as ‘Traditionalists’ and ‘Progressives’ seek to preserve and/or model society each according to their own image. The picture of society my past heroes had, was one in which every individual’s conscience would be bound only by the Word of God. That whether Family, Church, or State, all would be bound by God’s Law, i.e., as it applied to each of these respective spheres. In other words, my past heroes envisaged the principle of being ‘one nation under God.’

My past heroes have copies of their books in my library. But better yet, they have their names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life!      

Thursday, March 16, 2017



I admit that, as a migrant, I was a wee bit confused with the Australian use of the words ‘bush’ and ‘outback.’ To me ‘bush’ meant a small tree or shrub and ‘outback’ was to be found at the rear of a house or building!  I soon learned that ‘The Outback’ is a place beyond the city limits, the outer suburbs, the satellite towns and the remote little villages. The Outback is even beyond, what Australians call, ‘The Bush.’ I suppose the Outback is the Australian version of ‘the wilderness’ in the Bible.

Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre is found in the hot deserts of Central Australia. Most of the time it is simply a salt pan with a 450mm (18 in) thick salt crust. However, every few years God is pleased to open the windows of Heaven and pour out His blessing upon The Outback wilderness, filling the lake with water, while ensuring that before it soon evaporates, it will suddenly and mysteriously teem with life above and below. For the Lord inundates it with frantically breeding birds and fish. Even the dedicated souls of The Lake Eyre Yacht Club take advantage of the periodic deluge. I learned that the lake’s smooth surface-water reflects the blue sky so much so that the horizon virtually disappears, causing one club member to remark that it is like sailing in the sky! Wow!

One is reminded of the following verses of Scripture: ‘Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is counted as a forest. The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever… The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing.’ Isaiah 32:15-16; 35:1-2a. The picture is one of promised regeneration.

Whether an individual or the Australian Outback, God is able to bring things back to life. He does it by His Spirit. And He does it for the sake of His Son Jesus Christ and His (human) righteousness. How so? Isaiah wrote, ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”’ Isaiah 40:3. The Gospel writers Matthew, Mark, Luke and John apply this to John the Baptizer as he prepared the way for the Lord Jesus. While baptizing at the Jordan River, referring to Jesus, John the Baptizer said, ‘He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, “Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.” And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.’ John1:33b-34. Mark records John the Baptizer as saying, ‘I indeed baptize you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’ Mark 1:8.

With the picture of the Outback blossoming as the rose after God pours out His blessings from heaven upon it, let us now put it all together. The Prophet Joel wrote, ‘Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God; for He has given you the former rain faithfully, and He will cause the rain to come down for you – The former rain and the latter rain… And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh… I will pour out My Spirit in those days’ Joel 2:23; 28-29. Joel is connecting falling rain with the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. Thus, John baptizes with water and Jesus with the Holy Spirit.

Who would have thought the Outback could be so interesting?