Luke Wilson | | General Articles, My Books | 0 comments
9 August
Aug 9
9th August 2017

40 Days with the Fathers: Available to order now! 40 Days with the Father: a daily reading plan by Luke J. Wilson   The time has finally arrived: my new book is now available to order!I'm so excited to share this with you after many months of work, research and editing. I hope that you enjoy reading the book as much as I did writing it! Order your copy now from my new website: fortydays.co.uk to get it at a reduced rate. If you order today then it should arrive just in time for Christmas!If you do enjoy it, don't forget to leave a review on Good Reads or on Amazon.Keep in touch and receive updates about me or the book at my new Facebook page: Luke J. Wilson  Order Your Copy Today ↣       _________#outlook a { padding: 0; } body { width: 100% !important; min-width: 100%; -webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%; -ms-text-size-adjust: 100%; margin: 0; Margin: 0; padding: 0; -moz-box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-box-sizing: border-box; box-sizing: border-box; } .ExternalClass { width: 100%; } .ExternalClass, .ExternalClass p, .ExternalClass span, .ExternalClass font, .ExternalClass td, .ExternalClass div { line-height: 100%; } #backgroundTable { margin: 0; Margin: 0; padding: 0; width: 100% !important; line-height: 100% !important; } img { outline: none; text-decoration: none; -ms-interpolation-mode: bicubic; width: auto; max-width: 100%; clear: both; display: block; } center { width: 100%; min-width: 580px; } a img { border: none; } p { margin: 0 0 0 10px; Margin: 0 0 0 10px; } table { border-spacing: 0; border-collapse: collapse; } td { word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-hyphens: auto; -moz-hyphens: auto; hyphens: auto; border-collapse: collapse !important; } table, tr, td { padding: 0; vertical-align: top; text-align: left; } html { min-height: 100%; background: #F3F3F3; } table.body { background: #F3F3F3; height: 100%; width: 100%; } table.container { background: #FEFEFE; width: 580px; margin: 0 auto; Margin: 0 auto; text-align: inherit; } table.row { padding: 0; width: 100%; position: relative; } table.container table.row { display: table; } td.columns, td.column, th.columns, th.column { margin: 0 auto; Margin: 0 auto; padding-left: 16px; padding-bottom: 16px; } td.columns.last, td.column.last, th.columns.last, th.column.last { padding-right: 16px; } td.columns table, td.column table, th.columns table, th.column table { width: 100%; } td.large-1, th.large-1 { width: 32.33333px; padding-left: 8px; padding-right: 8px; } td.large-1.first, th.large-1.first { padding-left: 16px; } td.large-1.last, th.large-1.last { padding-right: 16px; } .collapse > tbody > tr > td.large-1, .collapse > tbody > tr > th.large-1 { padding-right: 0; padding-left: 0; width: 48.33333px; } .collapse td.large-1.first, .collapse th.large-1.first, .collapse td.large-1.last, .collapse th.large-1.last { width: 56.33333px; } td.large-2, th.large-2 { width: 80.66667px; padding-left: 8px; padding-right: 8px; } td.large-2.first, th.large-2.first { padding-left: 16px; } td.large-2.last, th.large-2.last { padding-right: 16px; } .collapse > tbody > tr > td.large-2, .collapse > tbody > tr > th.large-2 { padding-right: 0; padding-left: 0; width: 96.66667px; } .collapse td.large-2.first, .collapse th.large-2.first, .collaps...

| | Book Film Reviews, TV & Film | 0 comments
16 April
Apr 16
16th April 2015

I know the film has been out for a while now, but I missed seeing it in the cinema and so have only just seen it. I'm sure there's others out there who still haven't watched this and are wondering whether it's worth the time and effort, so here goes: my review of Exodus.  The film begins with Moses later in life living in the Pharaoh's palace as his adopted son along side his half brother. Now I'm not sure if this part was based on any Jewish Midrash or if it was purely artistic license, but either way I thought it was well done to show how Moses' life could well have gone being brought up Egyptian. Apart from some pretty epic looking battle scenes, this is where much of my enjoyment of the film ended. As far as I'm aware, the film wasn't written or produced by Christians or Jews. Nor did I hear or read anything about the film makers consulting Biblical or traditional sources for this, (as did happen with Noah) other than for the obvious storyline – although Bale did read the Torah and some other sources to get into his role as Moses. I do remember reading an interview with Christian Bale (Moses) in which he basically said he didn't believe anything miraculous about the Exodus, so don't go into this film expecting to see a Moses you recognise or can relate back to the Old Testament story you probably know. Moses' character turns out to be quite the opposite of what you may expect and isn't really anything close to a strong leader or confident and bold man of faith. He's a strong and confident Egyptian army general in the beginning and then becomes an argumentative and stubborn man when God tells him of His intentions with the plagues. Definitely not the man who requested his brother Aaron to speak on his behalf which, incidentally, didn't occur in the film. Aaron always seemed to be lurking in the background when Moses spoke with God, afraid to approach. He also couldn't see God, that was something only Moses had the ability to do. Speaking of God, this was another portrayal I initially liked at first, in part at least. God appears throughout this film as a child. I admit, at first I didn't like the depiction. But then when the first miraculous event happened at the simple nod of this apparent child, it made me rethink my view and I saw the portrayal as maybe a clever way to show that God doesn't need to look like some burly old man with muscles and a beard to be seen as strong and powerful. But as the film progressed, each encounter with God made him seem more and more like a petulant child stomping his feet in a strop with the Egyptians. At one point Moses even yells at God saying his plan is no more than just revenge. The film is also peppered with subtle unbelief. Despite showing the Egyptian gods fail to help them against the Hebrew's God, the advisers to the Pharaoh are shown explaining away each miraculous event in some naturalistic way. Even Moses tells God that he disagrees with his plans and methods of dealing with Egypt, saying he'll have no part in it. I will say though, that watching this did make me want to re-read the actual Exodus story again, so maybe some good will come of this film and inspire others to read it for the first time. I could go on, but I think I've said enough. If you're looking for a fairly decent action film, with some nice battles and special effects based loosely on a biblical story, then I'd say go for it. But if you're looking for an accurate portrayal of the Exodus account, you're probably better of giving this a miss.   Rating: 3/5...

| | Theology, Second Coming Series | 1 comments
19 October
Oct 19
19th October 2014

Hello again, it's been a while since I've wrote anything, and longer since getting back to this series on the Second Coming of Jesus. This isn't for lack of motivation, but rather because this is such a huge topic that I've been reading and thinking about this next part for a very long time to make sure I know what I'm saying, and am well read enough to do the topic justice. Having said that, there will always be far more to say on this than I can give time for here, but I hope to give enough of an overview to expound this prophecy faithfully without being too technical as to cause confusion! You can also catch up on the previous parts in the series here and here.   Birth Pangs I'm going to do this part of the series in two sections, otherwise it would get too long and wordy! This part will focus on the "birth pangs" Jesus warned about which would lead up to the coming judgement and destruction of the temple. The Olivet discourse is the prophecy given by Jesus in the Gospels of Mark 13, Matthew 24, Luke 21. Most Christians are probably more familiar with the Matthew 24-25 version than the others, though they are all the same prophetic message of impending judgement. If you're at all familiar with any doctrine or teaching on the "Second Coming" or "End Times", then these passages in the Gospels are most often quoted and used to say that Jesus is talking about a terrible time that is coming in the far, far, far off future, usually interpreted to mean within our lifetime (for some reason). I, too, used to believe this as it was what I was taught in the churches I attended and told by the people I met, all with that eager expectation that Jesus could suddenly swoop down from the clouds any day now! What I didn't ever do was investigate these claims properly for myself, except read the parts of Scripture they said meant Jesus was coming in the future and then try to accept that it must be right since our church leaders were obviously more knowledgeable on this than I. Although I did spend a lot of time studying and trying to interpret Revelation as a new Christian (without much success I might add), I couldn't shake the feeling I got that the Apostles and Jesus all seemed to speak and write as though they expected something to happen then and very soon. Back in the early 2000's, searching the internet for theological help generally brought up lots of odd and wacky websites, complete with animated fire GIFs, or forums full of equally as confused believers trying to wrangle the "soon-ness" of the Scriptures with a far-future interpretation. So I did what any good Christian did, and just chalked it up to "God's ways are not our way" or "God's soon/time isn't the same as how we understand it". This is where I wish that the Church would know its history better and have a desire to exegete things well, rather than fob off the confusing/hard passages with catchphrases. Think of it this way: if God was going to give a prophecy and be accurate and precise in all the details, why would he then be obscure about the timing of it? With that said, lets look at the prophecy Jesus gives.   Apocalypse then (not later) Something that seems to go unnoticed, or is overlooked, in discussions about this prophecy, are the "timestamps" that Jesus uses to say when this will be fulfilled. Even in the preceding chapter in Matthew and its parallel in Luke, after Jesus has said all his woes about the Pharisees, he says something quite interesting which I admit, I hadn't really noticed until the other day: Luke 11:49-51 Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’ so that this generation may be charged with the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be charged against this generation. (cf. Matt...

| | Current Events, Israel | 0 comments
16 August
Aug 16
16th August 2014

As I've been thinking more about the Israel situation, and reading and hearing the responses and debates on my last article, and the issue in general, it seems to me that people can't help but get stuck in the mindset of a geo-political debate. Yes, there's a place called "Israel" in the middle-east, and yes there's a war going on which is terrible for all involved — but from a New Testament Christian perspective, that shouldn't be our focus when it comes to thinking about the true Israel! This is what it's about!   If you want to "support Israel" because you believe they are in the right or have 'just cause', then fine – just don't call it a God-sanctioned war or prophecy fulfillment and claim that others are "anti-Israel/Semitic" and unChristian for not pledging some kind of allegiance to a political situation like you do. Although, while you are out there "supporting Israel", maybe you should get a little perspective on the land mass of Gaza using this nifty little web app I came across earlier today: Gaza Everywhere. But I want to take your attention away from a geographical mindset for the moment. Israel the land isn't the point. It's not about land anymore!   WDJS? (What Did Jesus Say?) Let's look at what Jesus had to say about having a special place for worshipping God when a Samaritan woman asked him about where the proper place to meet with God was: John 4:21,24 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem ... God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman says to Jesus, 'our ancestors worshipped here, but you Jews say only in Jerusalem – which is right?' Jesus gives an answer which just flips it all up on its head and effectively says "neither and both". Neither, because a time was coming where things were about to change, where physical, geographical Israel was no longer the focus, yet both, because in that new time it would allow believers to worship God wherever they wanted to! A new and spiritual movement was coming and being brought about by Jesus; it was no longer about being in the right place, or performing the correct rituals – it was soon to be all about worshipping in spirit and truth.  As John 1:17 says, "The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." Jesus is that truth we must worship in, and only by the empowering of the new birth can we do that fully and thus worship in Spirit and Truth (John 3:1-10; 1 Peter 1:3-5).   "It's not a religion, it's a relationship..." I've often heard that said in churches, and I was inclined to agree with it, but recently I think that I want to redefine that a little. While it's true that Christianity should be more than mere religion, and about a real relationship with the living God, I would also now say that it's even more than that. Christianity is a new race. A new people group — a new creation in Christ.   The new creation isn't (just?) some far off future event, but was and is a current thing which happens right now! As far as Paul was concerned, once you were in Christ, the old was gone and the new had come already: 2 Corinthians 5:16-17 From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! Galatians 6:15 For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything; but a new creation is everything! As Peter also wrote, those who believe in and follow Christ Jesus are "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people" (1 Peter 2:9-10), Israel was once the vine and symboli...

| | Current Events, Israel | 0 comments
9 August
Aug 9
9th August 2014

"We interrupt your regularly scheduled programme to bring you this..." Sorry if you were waiting for part 3 of the Coming of Jesus series, but what with all that's going on in the news lately, I felt that this needed to be written first. "Support Israel's right to defend itself from terror." Images like this really don't help anything. If you've been on Facebook, or any other social media no doubt, I'm sure you will have seen (or even said) words to this effect in status' or memes. I keep seeing memes and images posted by people, often from Christians, about "supporting Israel" and each time it makes me stop and question that statement and/or sentiment. I question its accuracy, how biased or not the sources were, whether it's propaganda rather than truth. It makes me wonder about what view of God and theology that person holds to that enables Israel to get a 'free pass' as it were. There's images and videos being posted from both sides, but it seems that when there is something negative against Israel, it's called "propaganda" and staged/fake etc, but the other way around it is terrorism and self-defense by Israel. Then there's those who play the racism card, such as the image to the right, making people feel guilty of Anti-Semitism for not being a die-hard Zionist. But what I'd really like to know is when did Christian's begin supporting any kind of violence or war? I realise the church has a long and bloody history - but is that really the Jesus way - Jesus the "prince of peace" (Isaiah 9:6)? How about we do what Jesus taught and support efforts for peace, and not war; praying for our enemies and those who persecute, and not take sides, you know, like we're supposed to as Christ-followers. "But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous." – Matt 5:44-45 "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." – Rom 12:21 In the midst of all this though, there is one meme I've seen which seems to go against the grain, and which I would feel most comfortable sharing online, which I will do here too: This, I can agree with. Memes aside, what does the Scriptures say on the matter of Israel, war and support for violence? Being against the war that is being waged isn't the same as condoning the actions of terrorists or racism or killing children. The arguments just become emotional knee-jerkers when you throw in "the children" rather than looking at the situation as a whole and realising than killing anyone - whether babies, full grown adult or somewhere in between, is wrong (#6 of the 10 Commandments, anyone?).  Consider this from 1 Peter 2:21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps. And Romans 12:17-21, Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. The New Covenant, under Jesus, presents an interesting tension of non-violence and justice. A tension which Paul continues in Romans 12 in the context of governing authorities and their role in the world, but I think this quote from John Stott sums it up quite well: “If my house is burglarized one night and I catch the thief, it may well be my duty to sit him down and give him something to eat and drink, while at the same time telephoning the police.” Then you have the C...

| | Theology, Second Coming Series | 0 comments
16 June
Jun 16
16th June 2014

Daniel's 70 Weeks   To fully understand Jesus's first, and indeed what is commonly called his "Second Coming," we need to understand the book of Daniel. This prophetic books give many details and glimpses into the future about coming kingdoms, rulers and above all, the Messiah. I'm going to be focussing on just one part of the book, chapter nine, often referred to as "Daniel's 70 Weeks". But just what is "Daniel's 70 Weeks" you might be asking as you read this. For those unfamiliar with Old Testament prophecy, it is a prophetic vision that Daniel was given from God, and interpreted by the angel Gabriel. You can read the prophecy in full below:  Dan 9: 20-27 (NRSV) While I was speaking, and was praying and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God on behalf of the holy mountain of my God— while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen before in a vision, came to me in swift flight at the time of the evening sacrifice. He came and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come out to give you wisdom and understanding. At the beginning of your supplications a word went out, and I have come to declare it, for you are greatly beloved. So consider the word and understand the vision: “Seventy weeks are decreed for your people and your holy city: to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. Know therefore and understand: from the time that the word went out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the time of an anointed prince, there shall be seven weeks; and for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with streets and moat, but in a troubled time. After the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing, and the troops of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. He shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall make sacrifice and offering cease; and in their place shall be an abomination that desolates, until the decreed end is poured out upon the desolator.” Now, in this prophecy, it speaks of "weeks" (or literally, "sevens") – 70 in total, which if taken at face value would only be just over a year in length. This would be a very short time to do all that is spoken of by the angel — especially the rebuilding of a city! The prophecy in Daniel gave the time span for the rebuilding of the city and even mentions that it will be in a "troubled time" as Gabriel told Daniel, which we can see happen in the book of Nehemiah in about 444 BC (around 94 years later): Nehemiah 4:7-8 But when Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs and the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the repairing of the walls of Jerusalem was going forward and the gaps were beginning to be closed, they were very angry, and all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it. (cf. Neh 4:16-18; Ezra 3:3)  The is a prophetic metaphor for years – each day equals one year. You may wonder how the "sevens" or "week" equals 7 years, and by looking at other examples of prophetic language in the Bible, we can find two other places where one day is equal to one year in a prophetic sense: Ez 4:6 and Num 14:34. There's also two other places where one day is equalled with one thousand years: Ps 90:4 and 2 Pet 3:8 – unlike the previous examples, these aren't spoken of in a prophecy or vision as to have a specific time meaning, but are rather hyperbole to make a point, as the surrounding context of those verses will show. If we were to calculate Daniel's prophecy based on 1000 years to each day, it would cover a timeframe of 70,000 years instead of 490 – which is just slightly ridiculous! So lets brea...

First Page | Previous | 14 15 16 [17] 18 19 20 ...of 21 | Next | Last Page