We had the 20-week scan today at the hospital. Everything was fine, the baby seemed to be doing well, the heart is beating fine, and it was moving around in there. They told us that the baby is most probably a girl – I say most probably because they are less sure for girls than boys for obvious reasons.
The baby (or ‘she’) is due at the end of September, which will be a couple of weeks into term time for me – not the most convenient time ever! But unfortunately you can’t just fit babies around your schedule.
We’ve both been feeling a mixture of excitement and dread to be honest – it will be amazing to have a child but at the time time it scares the heck out of me! But hopefully everything will go normally and we’ll take each day as it comes. And I’m sure God will help us
As I mentioned in my post on the woman at the well, I’ve been doing a class on John’s Gospel the past couple of months. It’s probably been my favourite class of this year, which is no small feat! John is such a rich gospel, and it’s been a real privilege to spend some time in it this year.
Today we reached John 11, which is all about the raising of Lazarus. This is a key chapter in John’s gospel: it seems to mark some kind of a shift. Some people talk about the ‘Book of Signs’, which culminates with the sign of Lazarus, and the ‘Book of Glory’ which talks about Jesus’ glorification as he is lifted high on the cross. Others talk about his public and private ministry (after this point Jesus’ ministry and teaching seems to move to just his disciples). It seems there there aren’t hard and fast distinctions, but however you look at it this chapter is the catalyst for the changes.
What I’d like to do in this blog post is just draw out a few thoughts on various aspects of the chapter. I’m going to skip over a lot – there’s so much here, I don’t want the blog post to become massive! – but I hope to draw out one or two key or even surprising aspects.
Apologies for site-related updates! I have decided to close comments automatically on posts which are older than 30 days old. In general this is because the only comments I get on old blog posts are spam, and this is an attempt to try and curtail that. Akismet is pretty good at catching most spam comments, but one or two still slip through the net.
If you do happen to want to comment on an old blog post… I’m sorry. If I’m honest, I’m less convinced that comments are a good thing than I used to be. Anyway, feedback is still good, but it just has to be within 30 days unless there’s a particular reason!
If you want to contact me, there’s always the contact page…
Anyway, I’ve been pleasantly surprised: I haven’t bought a game in ages, so I thought it was high time I got into something. And Game Dev Tycoon is compelling stuff. It’s harder than it looks to create a game that does well (although browsing the Wiki will help). But I think they’ve managed to create a game where – in my case at least – I just want to do just one more game before I finish… which is a job well done!
I think my favourite thing about it is that it takes you back to the 80s, when the Commodore 64 ruled the roost. Although I’m too young to remember the Commodore 64 the first time round (one or two of my friends had them, but they were getting old by then), I did get a NES in the early 90s [although, checking Wikipedia, they were pretty old by then too...]. My best friend had a Mega Drive, and then another friend got a PlayStation, then PlayStation 2… and then after that I discovered Half Life, Counter Strike, Unreal Tournament and pretty much played everything on the PC.
So, I like playing Game Dev Tycoon for the nostalgia as much as anything. It’s kind of strange to be developing games for a format which you grew up with, even though they’re named something different to avoid copyright infringement!
Anyway, I’d recommend Game Dev Tycoon if you’re looking for something to get stuck into for a while, especially if you grew up enjoying video games…
This is a follow-up to my previous post, “What is Marriage?“
No-one took the bait on my previous post about godless ethics, so I am forced to write once again about the only subject at the moment which seems to get people going like nothing else.
I said previously that there was another article on marriage which I was going to write about. The article is, “Redefining Marriage: The Case for Caution” by Julian Rivers. Similarly to the previous article, this is another paper that does not make a religious argument (it is written from a legal perspective); contrary to the previous paper it is actually arguing against same-sex marriage (or at least, the government’s current proposals) rather than for ’traditional’ marriage.
As in my last post, I’m going to pull out a few quotes from the article but please read it for the full argument.
Given that I’m on a roll of offensiveness with my previous post on marriage, I thought I’d see if I can break a record of the number of people I can offend in one week by blogging about ethics. This term at college, we’ve started a course on ethics, and we spent the first week or two looking at how ethical systems are defined. While it’s still fresh in my memory, I’d like to think about how this might apply to ‘godless’ ethics, of which I have already touched on before.
Just to have a definition to be going on with, ethics is an answer to the question ‘how should we then live?‘
Broadly speaking there are three models of defining an ethical system that we’ve looked at: virtue, duty, and consequence. Let’s look at these in turn and see how they might work out.
I’ve blogged about the whole ‘equal / same-sex marriage’ thing before (here, for example). I don’t really have anything else to say about the way ‘bigots’ who disagree are being steamrollered out of the way; instead I want to talk about something which seems to have been somewhat missed in this whole debate: what is marriage?
A few weeks ago I read an excellent paper on marriage: it’s not from a Christian perspective – it’s written by two people who, as far as I know, have no particular religious affiliation (in fact, the church’s position on same-sex marriage comes in for criticism). However, they do talk about this most important question of the very definition of marriage. I’d like to pick up on the points they make, because I think it’s worth spreading these ideas as widely as possible: it seems to me that most people simply have no idea about what same-sex marriage would entail, as far as the definition of marriage goes. I think this just goes to show how far values of ‘equality’ and ‘tolerance’ have permeated our society – in many ways these are good and right concepts, but can be pushed too far. Allow me to explain.
For those outside the church, the label ‘evangelical’ may have a connotation of rainbow guitar straps, the Alpha course, happy-clappy dancing and so on. Inside the church … well, it all depends. It’s a label which somewhat resists definition: it’s not ‘owned’ by anyone, and these days it seems everyone wants to define themselves as an evangelical (so I’ve heard – I’ve not really noticed this myself, but still). I fall very much within the ‘evangelical’ tradition of Christianity, as it is called, and although I think I have an idea of what that means it’s not a clear-cut distinction.
This debate has been provoked in particular by Steve Chalke coming out in support for gay marriage - in contrast to what many (even most) evangelicals would say. There’s also been some debate on Twitter lately about ‘evangelicals’ and who’s in / out of the club. So, what is the boundary line for saying someone is evangelical or not? Is there such a boundary line?
I’ve been thinking a lot about the providence of God lately. When I say, ‘the providence of God’, I mean the doctrine of God ordaining all things such that the apostle Paul could write “in all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28). That means everything that happens – things we see as good and bad – work for the good of those who love God. That’s an amazing thought, but at the same time a difficult one – especially when, as in my Mum’s case, people get ill.
Jim Packer’s “Knowing God” does talk about God’s sovereignty – and I did, of course, blog through that before Easter – but it doesn’t go into very much detail. So, I was pleased to discover that Melvin Tinker had written a new book called “Intended for Good“, which I picked up recently and have just finished reading.
Just a quick personal update, seeing as I haven’t posted up in a couple of weeks (shock, horror, etc etc). Over Easter time Phil and I went to Colchester for a couple of days – it was good to pop in to our old church for the Good Friday service, and then on Saturday we had a lovely time over lunch with our friends AJ and Jen. Then we went to see my Mum and Dad until Easter Monday.
On Tuesday, Phil’s parents drove round and picked us up from London and we drove up to Settle together (in their new Mini Countryman, which I got to drive for some of the journey). They bought a little holiday cottage up there recently, and it was our first visit to see it. It’s a lovely little place, and Settle is a fantastic town – we went there for a holiday once before and really enjoyed it. Unfortunately we had to come home on the Friday, but really enjoyed our stay and we’ll hopefully be back there many more times in the future!
Now we’re back into term, and it feels like I’m up to my eyeballs in work already – about eight assignments to do this term! It’s all good stuff, but it’s going to be a busy time…