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leaders

I have seen that the people of Bristol believe in the God of the Bible, they are in great company. See what Winston Churchill, one of Great Britain’s greatest statesman made of the Bible:

He believed the Bible – literally. He stood like a rock against Hitler and tyranny and he stood like a rock against liberal critics of God’s Word, the Bible.

Here is what he said: ‘We reject with scorn all those learned and labored myths that Moses was but a legendary figure upon whom the priesthood and the people hung their essential social, moral. and religious ordinances.

‘We believe that the most scientific view, the most up to date and rationalistic conception, will find its fullest satisfaction in taking the Bible’s story literally and in identifying one of the greatest human beings with the most decisively forward ever discernible in the human story.

‘We remain unmoved by the tomes of Professor Gradgrind and Dr Dryasdust. We may be sure that all these things happened just as they are set out according to holy writ.’

 

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Basil Burden is Light.

Basil’s Burden is Light.

This is Basil. He is following in the Bristol tradition that reaches back to the Anabaptists who preached the Christian Gospel in the 1640s. He believes that the story of the Cross is true, and as history attests, Jesus Christ really did conquer sin, death and hell. He attends Elim Church Link Basil was in St Augustine Square in the footsteps of former Bristol heroes like George Whitefield, John Wesley, and Bob Bateman of Staple Hill.

The New Generation Rallying Around a Cause.

The New Generation Rallying Around a Cause.

Visiting Newcastle Uni reinforced my understanding that  campuses are the frontline for ideas.  I had a great time with this group while they were making a short movie to campaign for reinforcing the funds to find a cure for AIDs.  Listening to the dialogue, seeing a group of Muslims with a marquee handing out biscuits and information I witnessed first hand the battleground.  As we capture the beliefs of Bristol it’ll be worth determining just what people remember as the dominant influence on the kinds of things they believe.

whitield

All is quiet at the moment in the interview world. In the meantime here’s a bit history for our reflection and celebration:

Over the generations men and women have been raised up in Bristol who have had a profound impact on human history. Isambard Kingdom Brunel, always over budget, never to schedule, had a global impact through his visionary leadership. Hannah More, as a well connected member of the establishment, played a crucial role supporting William Wilberforce and paving the way for the abolition of slavery. And George Muller established the model of caring for orphans and preparing them for fruitful lives. However, all these fall under the shadow of Bristol’s greatest, George Whitfield.

George Whitfield went onto the streets and into the fields to preach the Gospel. At Kingswood he preached to around 20,000, many miners, and thousands are said to have been saved. His passion was for the lost, the unsaved and the common man. He left the UK for a second time in 1740 and led the Christian movement in the USA that became known as the Great Awakening. This was the Christian foundation on which USA might was established and made it the greatest nation on earth prevailing against Nazism and the Stalinist might of the Socialist Soviet Republic. He developed a lifelong friendship with Benjamin Franklin.

George was born around 40 years after the man widely recognised as the greatest scientist of all time. However, he and Isaac had a shared understanding of one crucial area, that of creation. They had the wit and the humility to accept that order cannot somehow emerge from chaos, that nothing cannot produce something and that if you have a design then you inevitably have a designer. Here’s Newton’s take on the matter the post-modern mind is so determined to ignore:

“Did blind chance know that there was light and what was its refraction and fit the eyes of all creatures after the most curious manner to make use of it? These and such like considerations always have and ever will prevail with man kind to believe that there is a being who made all things and has all things in his power and who is therefore to be feared.”

“He who thinks half-heatedly will not believe in God; but he who really thinks has to believe in God.”

~Sir Isaac Newton~

Meanwhile we are at present celebrating Bristol’s Lesbian, Bi-sexual-gay-transgender history http://www.outstoriesbristol.org.uk with details like this:

1746 Bristol was scandalised by the case of Mary Hamilton, the Female Husband, who was convicted of fraud at Taunton for posing as a man and marrying several women, including one in Bristol.

1752 September 19: Richard Arnold, a former pub landlord aged about 60, was caught having sex with William Critchett, a footman aged about 20, in a back room at the Swan alehouse in Broad Street. Both were convicted of felony and buggery in August 1753 and were hanged.

While George Whitfield’s memory, who preached a message of salvation for all nations, tongues, tribes and sexual proclivities, passes unnoticed.