Comments for Matthew Dawkins Matthew Dawkins. Web developer, musician, Christian, father, geek. Not necessarily in that order. Fri, 22 Sep 2017 09:16:19 +0000 hourly 1 Comment on Controller routes in Silex by Smarty Fri, 22 Sep 2017 09:16:19 +0000 It was a really good help

Comment on Controller routes in Silex by TheAnonymThanker Fri, 22 Sep 2017 09:14:08 +0000 I am thank you tooo

Comment on What is Church? by Matthew Tue, 06 Jun 2017 20:24:04 +0000 Thanks for your comments Phill.

I know what you mean about communion being mandated by Jesus. He’s pretty clear when he says that the disciples should “do this whenever you eat and drink, in remembrance of me”. I’m definitely not saying we shouldn’t do it. I’m just not sure it’s as intrinsic to the identity of the Church as some denominations might suggest. In the Biblical accounts I’ve seen, communion was something people did in their own homes, not as part of a service or as a liturgical act – that came later as Paul tried to give some helpful boundaries around it. And let’s not forget that Jesus mandated an awful lot of other things too, arguably more often and more passionately. All I’m saying is that if we’re trying to define a ‘bare minimum’ description of the Church, I wouldn’t necessarily include communion at the outset, and by the time I got to it I would have included various other things first. And – despite my Baptist roots – I would probably include baptism further down the list too.

I think there is also an important difference between “Church” and “Christians”. There are things that we should do and be as individual followers of Jesus, but that’s not necessarily the same as what the fellowship en-mass should do and be.

Definitely more reading and reflection to be done. Thanks for the book recommendation, I’ll take a look!

Comment on What is Church? by Phill Tue, 23 May 2017 12:34:17 +0000 Hi Matthew,

Apologies that I’m coming at this a few days late, I haven’t had a chance to look at it before but I’ve been meaning to. You’ve done some hard work here I can tell! My general feel is that I think you’re pretty much on the right lines but I wonder if some of your analysis could be sharpened up a bit.

So, for example: “if we are taking the Early Jerusalem Church as our model, it would be centred around teaching and serving.” Would it? I’m not sure I would restrict it to those two things!

Your conclusion: “There are also certain things that the Church should ‘do’, as distinct from what the Church should ‘be’. Celebrating communion and singing hymns are important, but perhaps less intrinsic Biblically, though they are certainly part of the established identity of particular denominations of the Church. Conversely, serving people is far more prominent in Biblical teaching than is typically represented in the modern Church.”

Celebrating communion is less intrinsically ‘Biblical’ – really? Given that it is indeed a command of the Lord Jesus? This is actually a real issue given that the Salvation Army do not do baptism and communion – so are they a proper ‘church’. I’d say baptism and communion were essential to any definition of the church. There is clear Biblical mandate for singing hymns also – Col 3:16, Eph 5:19 – although I’m not sure whether I would include that in my overview of ‘church’.

If you wanted to continue your reading and research I’d suggest something like ‘The Church’ by Edmund Clowney, or part of a systematic theology such as Louis Berkhof’s (available free online – see section 5 for the information on the church). What you are attempting to do here is basically systematic theology (putting the whole Bible together to see what it teaches about something), and I think it’s helpful to see how other systematic theologians have done the same. You won’t agree with everything but they’re worth reading. Anyway, good work 🙂

Comment on Do gerbils go to heaven? by Matthew Wed, 21 Dec 2016 09:45:09 +0000 Hi John. So sorry to hear about your loss. It is hard, but with the support of our friends and family (and hopefully more gerbils) we move on. But we never forget.

(Sorry your post didn’t appear immediately, I have to approve them first)

Comment on Do gerbils go to heaven? by john Tue, 20 Dec 2016 04:28:40 +0000 He was the best.he was the only one that wagged his tail when he was happy. My rabbit slept under his cage all the time and when he passed from a heart attack, she was sad. I buried him,with all his favorite stuff,and even made a tombstone for him.I put him in a wooded area, called gerbies wood,so named after my first gerbil,Mr. rabbit and I sat there for hours. I cried so hard. I lost my little boy. I’m hoping I can get over this loss.I’ve lost six so far in the past few years to various causes, all medical. I miss him so much.its so hard.I know.he was my favorite. Life is so short,especially for a gerbil. I thank god I had him,even if it was for a short time.I miss you,my friend. I’ll always love you.when I walk amongst the trees,I’ll think of you, as you will me.goodbye,my furry friend.

Comment on Do gerbils go to heaven? by john Tue, 20 Dec 2016 04:19:26 +0000 I feel for all of you.I think this article will help me cope.this September my sixth gerbil,Einstein, passed away

Comment on Bible study: Acts 21-24 – Freewill and predestination by Phill Thu, 15 Dec 2016 15:18:50 +0000 Trying again with a blog comment! I notice you seem to have removed the CAPTCHA so I’ll see if it works…

Free will vs predestination – I’m actually of the opinion that we do not have free will. We do, however, have responsibility for the decisions that we make.

Let me try to explain – in Genesis 50:20 Joseph says: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” So there is a double intention going on – Joseph’s brothers “intended” to harm him, but God “intended” it to save many lives. So there was a kind of double-level intention going on, one on a human level and one on God’s level. I think this is a mystery but a picture of how all our decisions work. Proverbs 16:9, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.”

Acts is actually a very interesting book to look at with free will and predestination though – you may have skipped over it earlier on in the book but look at verses like Acts 2:23: “This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.” So this teaches (1) Jesus’ death was according to God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; (2) the Israelites Peter was addressing put him to death. Peter doesn’t see any contradiction between those two things. Similarly Acts 4:28-29, “They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.” So we have again God’s power and will deciding in advance what will happen – but that giving confidence to the prayers of believers.

I believe that God is absolutely sovereign and his plan can never be thwarted. If you want some good reading on this which helped me to understand it a little better, check out ‘Behold our Sovereign God’ by Mitchell Chase and ‘Intended for Good: The Providence of God’ by Melvin Tinker.

Comment on Bible study: Acts 14 – Lystra by Matthew Tue, 15 Nov 2016 20:04:55 +0000 You’re so right! And I’ve been consistently misspelling it so in my other posts too. Ah well, there’s something to be said for consistency, at least! I’ll try to get it right next time…

Comment on Bible study: Acts 14 – Lystra by Phill Tue, 08 Nov 2016 23:02:34 +0000 Thanks for posting Matthew, I enjoyed reading this.

May I be a slight pedant though? You spelt BarnabAs’ name as “BarnabUs”.

I love Acts, I studied it a bit at college but I’d really like to do some more. It’s so rich, there’s so much to see and think about!