Wessel's blog

Wishing you a good 2014

Read time: 2 minutes

I want to thank you, my readers, for this past year. On numerous occasions have I been humbled to hear from people who read this blog and find encouragement in it. It makes me realise that I am not just yelling out into a void, but that people are hearing what I have to say, al be it often quietly so. That is an incredible feeling. So thank you again. As long as God gives me the strength to continue, I shall. (And, remember, your feedback is always welcome!) Read more …

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My Trip to India

India
Read time: 18 minutes

I find it jolting that it was already six months ago when I found myself in the Indian monsoon. I have not yet written here about my experiences there. I had wanted to and had begun to do so, but found the task too daunting to complete. Now, as the year draws to a close, I want to briefly describe it before it becomes irrelevant. Read more …

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Quote 12/13

Irenaeus
Read time: 1 minute

For in no other way could we have learned the things of God, unless our Master, existing as the Word, had become man. For no other being had the power of revealing to us the things of the Father, except His own proper Word.

Irenaeus

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Sermon: "The Nativity According to the Gospel of John"

St. John's, Bothasig
Read time: 1 minute

Last night I preached my second sermon at St. John's church in Bothasig. My topic was "The Nativity According to the Gospel of John". This is a message idea which I have had for a long time and I was happy to finally deliver it. Read more …

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Quote 11/13

Blaise Pascal
Read time: 1 minute

God is, or is not. But towards which side will we lean? Reason cannot decide anything. There is an infinite chaos separating us. At the far end of this infinite distance a game is being played and the coin will come down heads or tails. How will you wager? Reason cannot make you choose one or the other, reason cannot make you defend either of the two choices.
So do not accuse those who have made a choice of being wrong, for you know nothing about it! ‘No, but I will blame them not for having made this choice, but for having made any choice. For, though the one who chooses heads and the other one are equally wrong, they are both wrong. The right thing is not to wager at all.’
Yes, but you have to wager. It is not up to you, you are already committed

Blaise Pascal, Pensées, 153-154

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Spoiling Children

Read time: 12 minutes

A local Cape Town church, Joshua Generation has recently come into the spotlight over some of its teaching. A complaint had been lodged with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) that the church instructs and sanctions corporal punishment. The complaint concerns the church's literal interpretation over certain verses in the book of Proverbs and there are, presumably, fears that this could lead to child abuse. The resulting controversy has led to a rare discussion about freedom of religion in South Africa, which is a culturally diverse, tolerant, yet often religious, society. In this article I want to describe the issue thus far and give a couple of personal opinions on the matter. Read more …

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The Morality of Going to Bed on Time

Girl sleeping.
Read time: 5 minutes

While I was still busy with my postgraduate degree, one of my friends was diagnosed with having Asperger Syndrome (AS). AS is a type of autism: a neurological development condition (i.e. how the brains of such people developed) which leads to people perceiving, reasoning about, and reacting to the world differently than people who are "neurotypical". It seemed quite ironic to me, as my thesis revolved around AS, so I knew a little bit about it. As with many people, the diagnosis brought my friend a sense of relief. She was already in her 40s and could now for the first time put a name to an ever-present feeling of being different from most other people. Read more …

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Quote 09/13

Read time: 1 minute

Thus thou hadst mercy on him, and not on him only, but on us as well; lest, remembering the exceeding kindness of our friend to us and not able to count him in thy flock, we should be tortured with intolerable grief.

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Quote 08/13

Read time: 1 minute

Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.

C. S. Lewis

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Is Nelson Mandela Still a Person?

Nelson Mandela
Read time: 10 minutes

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a great man. He stood up against the injustices of Apartheid. He reached the zenith of human endeavours: achieving his life's goals, becoming a worldwide respected icon and hero, and the leader of a country which once sought to destroy him. But I believe that, to him, his greatest achievement was not his presidency—rather, it was seeing the realisation of his dreams of a free and fair South Africa liberated from hate and prejudice (regardless under whose stewardship) that was his greatest achievement. Not only was he man of greatness, but he was humble and compassionate as well, including towards his enemies. In this struggle he was of course not alone: many people stood beside him, fought with him, and fell around him in the decades-long struggle. But he could not be put down: even being sent to a prison colony could not quash his dreams. Read more …

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Turning to God: Attrition vs Contrition

Read time: 5 minutes

When Christianity was first introduced to the Western world, it brought with it many new ideas which had previously not been conceived. The early church father Tertullian, a lawyer by trade, is credited with inventing new words in the Latin language just to be able to be able to express the ideas which Christianity brought into the fold.

In this post I want to discuss two English words which are similar and has a subtle, but important, difference in definition. This will not be a complicated or difficult article. But most atheists do not seem to grasp the difference and when engaging with the religious, they need to understand it. Read more …

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Quote 07/13

William Carey
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[William Carey] translated the Bible into Bengali to make it accessible to the people he was trying to reach. But he also translated into Bengali, the language of the people, the sacred books of Hinduism, because they were in Sanskrit and the people could not read it themselves. Carey was not afraid of the teachings of Hinduism: he was prepared to have people read it themselves (for the first time) so they could see clearly see what God's word teaches in contrast to them. God's truth shines brightly: you don't have to stop people reading other things to help them come to know the truth about Christ.

Jerram Barrs

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