• Commentary,  Reflection,  Thoughts

    Commentary on Philippians 1:18-20

    It is hard to get people to have a civil, honest conversation that does not raise barriers and irritation. We have lost the ability to agree to disagree. From my personal experiences, some would even argue from out-of-context passages and even from personal opinions that it is more noble or righteous to make a stand for your beliefs (in other words, never agree to disagree). Such one-sided insistence which plays on our natural sinful propensities to self-worship makes a person master in his or her own echo chamber. Perhaps that is the reason why many are ignorant that their practical belief in the word “peace” is actually “being happy when…

  • Movies,  Reflection

    Movies Worth Re-watching (My Pick) – Gladiator (2000)

    One of the great changes in academia at the time this film was released was the re-ignited interest in the Roman Empire of old. I remembered that many journals and magazines were peppered with articles and facts about the victories, drama, politics and ultimate downfall of the greatest empire in human history. Rare feat for a film in my own opinion. There were a lot gore in the show – no sexual graphics – and a lot of story. It was the time tested story of a man who gained the world and lost it all in a moment. Against the rule and wrath of a mad emperor, this broken…

  • Christianity,  Preaching,  Reflection

    Traumatic Listening Experience

    It is often something that is not talked about publicly, but something that is frequently talked, whispered in private – that there is something disturbing in certain types of preaching. Coming from a conservative, evangelical, Reformed Christian persuasion there are things that are plainly obvious but are considered taboo to be talked about (at least openly). Simply: some preachings are dangerous to the listeners. Having time to step back from the activity of preaching, it is more plain to me now that certain types of preaching should be avoided at all cost and not indulged in – particularly if it is a weekly dose of. In my previous posts, I…

  • Christianity,  Reflection,  Thoughts

    Psalm 1:1-3

    The psalmist proclaims the blessedness of walking upright before the LORD in the opening verses of the poetic magnum opus of the Bible. If we were to read it with a liberal mindset that is saturated with modern inclinations and belief, we would find the first verse offensive: how can the psalmist have an elevated view on such a “holy person”? There is great offence to claim that a spiritually sensitive, godward looking person is more “blessed” than a pagan person. The world we live in has unfortunately become a morally selfish and dark world – one that elevates self to godhood (even though the words may not explicitly state…

  • Christianity,  Reflection

    On Whose Authority?

    And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority? Matthew 21:23 (NASB) The question posed by the Jewish leaders actually captures their religious mentality and mannerism at that time – spirituality is all about citing or referring to a particular rabbi or teacher: the more prominent the teacher, the “better” the teaching would be. In giving his own testimony of the conversion wrought in his heart, the apostle Paul would give evidence to the religious leaders of his own “religious…

  • Reflection,  Thoughts

    Losing Assumptions

    Bruce Wayne in “Batman Begins”, played excellently by Christian Bale, said these words to his future arch-nemesis (but at that time hidden): “I needed to understand the thoughtsand feelings of those who stand inthe shadows… The first time you’re forced tosteal not to starve… …you lose many assumptions aboutthe simple nature of right andwrong.” Sometimes a book, a comic book or a poem strikes through the haze of your thoughts and like a ray of sun, pierces through that fog and gets straight to your heart. Occasionally, not often, something else does the same – and in this case, it is Nolan’s epic trilogy – at this particular line, delivered…

  • Christianity,  Reflection

    The Great Sin

    Genesis 3:7-8 – “Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.“ Many preachers would find unity in declaring the greatness of the Great Commission because it was the final command given before His ascension back to the heavenly realms in glory. Again, this logic and application are seen in the final words of the…

  • Reflection,  Thoughts

    Marlon Brando on “Acting & Theatre”

    The first time I had ever heard of his name was from my dear mum. She would say “Marlon Brando” with a slight emphasis on the last “o”. There was a sense of girly delight in her voice every time his name was mentioned. I could not understand it, but Marlon Brando was THE actor of her time. This was a giant in the American movie-making industry, and even today, many are in awe of his acting skills and for others, his far-sighted views on social issues that were mostly ignored by the predominantly white-dominated industry. After so many years of hearing about him, from articles and books that seem…

  • Christianity,  Reflection

    The Weight of Christianity

    The Lord Jesus warned and rebuked the self-righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees in His day. Many in modern-day pulpits are contented to think that this warning and declaration of woes are merely applicable to the past (particularly Matthew 23); perhaps to the Romish religion in the time of the Reformation. But that assumes that God’s Word has no eternal weight that is relevant and applicable throughout the ages. If we objectively look at the formation and development of this elite religious leaders, we will find many such traits in the modern-day setting. The chief characteristic seems to stem from the worship of human tradition, or if we were to…