My name is David Robertson and I am currently working in Australia with Sydney churches as an evangelist, having been the minister of St Peters Free Church in Dundee Scotland for 27 years. (the church is famous for being the original church of Robert Murray McCheyne)…
I am married to Annabel and we have three children – Andrew who is married to Caireen and is church planting in Charleston, Dundee (together with grandsons Finlay and Lewis and Elianna), Becky who is married to Pete in Australia (and our beautiful granddaughters Isla and Evie), and Emma Jane who has married to Chris and works as a prison nurse in Edinburgh.
I do a lot of writing – in newspapers, magazines, on the net and also books. I am the author of Awakening (the life of Robert Murray McCheyne); The Dawkins Letters;
Quench (cafe evangelism) Magnificent Obsession and Engaging With Atheists. My latest book is called A.S.K
I am interested in history, politics, theology, music, sport, art etc. I am a ‘big picture’ person who likes to look at things in a wide context – especially the growth, decline and renewal of the church in the West….my blogs will reflect these interests – some will be published articles, or articles that are on other websites – such as the City Bible Forum, and Christian Today and The Australian Presbyterian – for whom I write a weekly column). I will also put online all newspaper letters and articles that I have published. When I travel I like to write a travel blog as well. I have a great burden for the church in my native country but also throughout the world – and this is reflected in what I write. For me writing is a form of thinking out loud and trying to work out things. I often get things wrong and appreciate correction. I don’t claim any particular wisdom or expertise and value immensely the insights of others. One piece of advice in reading these – please don’t read between the lines. I write what I think (at least what is appropriate for the public arena!) and I try not to speak in code! There is no ‘in between’. Please don’t read into what I say what is not there!
Contrary to rumour I am not a communist, nor a liberal, nor a fascist, nor a Jesuit….I’m not sure what label fits! My supreme passion and interest is Jesus Christ. To him I owe everything. I live for him and I serve him. My only hope in all this writing is that you will share, or come to share that passion. In Christ alone my hope is found….
The ‘wee flea’ name comes from a series of interactions I had on the Dawkins website. He banned me from his site under my own name and called myself, Alaister McGarth and John Lennox ‘fleas living of a dogs back’. I promptly started reposting under the name ‘the wee flea’, and Dawkins, not being aware of Scottish church history or the nickname of my denomination (the wee frees), let it go by for a few weeks…until I was outed…and banned again! Anyway I kind of liked the name…enjoy the blog…
This personal testimony will help you understand where I am coming from:
You can also hear this profile interview on Premier Christian Radio which is really a personal testimony
If you so desire you can follow me on Twitter – @theweeflea
And if you are into Facebook then just look up David Andrew Robertson
For some reason a lot of people read this blog and many want to comment. I welcome comments, including critical ones, but please note I normally don’t publish anonymous ones and I can’t publish all that I get….
For those who are new here is an article from Jan 2021 which gives you a taste of some of the different types of articles.
I am reminded of P G Wodehouse’s response when Sean O’Casey dubbed him ‘English Literature’s performing flea… http://ccfather.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/responding-to-criticism.html
Sir, I love hearing your frequent discussions on Janet Parshall here in the states. A while back (several months) you commented on a significant scientific body (formerly chaired I think by newton) meeting to discuss evidence against Darwin’s evolution. The jist of what I got from you is that despite their atheist foundation, they had concluded that ‘macro evolution’ has been largely debunked, at least in the way Darwin described it because of preponderouos of evidence primarily in the last 60 years. Can you link an article or data or tell us about that in more detail. I missed your blog if it had it described and can’t fins it
Thanks and God Bless your Brother! I love your stance and clarity of thought!
I think you may be referring to this..https://evolutionnews.org/2016/12/why_the_royal_s/
Hi, David. I think we are of like mind and faith. We both use WordPress Hemingway Rewritten. I got to your WordPress off of Christian Today. Great article about Chalke. I am praying you are not a Lordship salvationist (you mentioned false teacher John Piper.) Please check out my blog and my “What I Believe.” http://biblicalspiritualintellectual.wordpress.com/ –Curtis Smale, Colorado, USA.
Curtis…good to hear from you….of course I am a Lordship salvationist….is there any other salvation than that provided by the Lord? How can anyone be saved if they don’t acknowledge Jesus as the Lord? And I love John Piper – a great bible teacher!
Here-Here! Well stated!
Are you a Calvinist?
I am a biblical Christian – Calvin would have hated the term Calvinist…but I would identify as Reformed if that is what you mean..
Hey there brother,
Are you aware that if anyone searches “EPCEW” in google, the second thing that comes up is:
“EPCEW | The Wee Flea
22 Aug 2013 – The EPCEW has not been a success. In 25 years, with the assistance of millions of dollars, only a handful of viable churches have been …”
Many who know little of the organisation could be well put off by that. Knowing a few EPCEW congregations, I would like to point out that it is full of godly people, good churches and good Pastors- and you are harming their reputation. I understand you didn’t like a book they wrote, but Is it worth harming their “google reputation” just for that?
Please do something about this as you are only harming the kingdom. Many thanks,
A fellow follower of Christ
Hi robdavid – Thanks for your comment. I hope people would not be put off by my comment. It is the truth and it would be wrong to read into that a criticism that impugns or harms the ‘godly people, good churches and good Pastors’ in the EPCEW. I agree that there are such – but it is also true that the EPCEW has not been a success – it was intended to be a revival of Presbyterianism in England but that has just not happened. What else would you expect me to say? I can’t lie and given that I was commenting on the state of Presbyterianism in the UK, how could I ignore it? Surely that would have been dishonest? I don’t accept that truth harms the kingdom. In my view ignoring truth is much more harmful…
Hey weeflea, thanks for your gentle response.
In short, brother, I would simply ask you not to set yourself up as judge of such things. It is, in your opinion, a failure of revival. In another’s opinion, should one young woman be saved or one man find comfort before death, then it is a success. Surely you must see that God alone can call “Failure” or “Success” upon His own servants? By all means preach this in the privacy of your congregation, or your own house, but why put this opinion up for the whole world to see? Is it really a key point in your article?
I genuinely do not say this in a harsh way brother, but “The Truth” is not yours to own!!! If you say “The truth” is “Scriptural Truth” then fine. But setting your opinion as “Truth” when it is a clear subjective opinion that I, and for all you know, the Good Lord Himself, might disagree with is a little inappropriate.
The Lord has his plans for the EPCEW. They are His servants, who answer to Him. They, none of them, answer to a fellow servant. They are not answerable to me or to you, brother
Imagine if you started preaching, and after twenty two years you saw just three folk saved. How would you respond to me, a young lad of 25, if i came up to you and said “Bro, your ministry has been a failure!” Would you not say “But see the saved, three who were lost!” Would you not say “The Word goes out both to save and condemn!” It is for the Lord to work in the hearts, all we can do is preach!
How then can you set yourself up as judge of such things? Brother, i gently ask you again: Do not set up your opinion on so high a pedestal of “Truth” that you show no respect for the effect it might have. Your view is not Truth, it is just that: your view. I respectfully request for you to remove the point from your blog, to put God’s Kingdom before your opinion. Is it really worth “Commenting on the state of presbyterian” so very publicly, if you may harm the Kingdom? For the sake of subjective truth?
Rob David, Thanks…you ask me not to set myself up as a judge of such things and yet you are doing the very thing you ask me not to do.
And I wish you would stop arguing against what I am not saying. It is NOT in my opinion a failure of revival.
Why should I preach something in private but not in public? What kind of cowardice is that? You are in effect endorsing gossip. I prefer to be open.
I know that the truth is not my own. But neither is what I say just subjective. The objective truth is that EPCEW was set up to provide a Presbyterian church for the whole of England and Wales. It was set up after a conference in Cole Abbey Presbyterian Church in London. After 25 years it has a handful of churches including two in Wales and one in Sweden. It has not worked in its original mission. Which is not to say that the congregations in Chelmsford, Solihull, Hull, etc are all failures, nor that good work has not been done. It is to say that the original idea has not come to fruition.
I don’t count failure or success in terms of people saved – because obviously I don’t know. But if you as a 25 year old came up to me and said that my aim of planting ten new churches in the Tayside area had failed, I would look and say – yes you are right. I got that one wrong. I would not fob them off with some super spiritual pietistic waffle and try and make them feel guilty about their unspiritual judgementalism!
I don’t set myself up as a judge of such things. I do feel that I have the right to observe and comment on the basis of the aims and comments of the churches themselves. However you seem to have no difficulty in setting yourself up as a judge. I have no problem with you disagreeing with me and setting me correct. But I find it hypocritical for you to judge me for judging!
I do put Gods kingdom before my opinion – which is why I am quite happy to point out the elephant in the room, speak the truth in love, even if it means you accuse me of judgementalism and subjective truth. I will not be removing the point concerned unless you can demonstrate to me that it is not true.
‘The objective truth is that EPCEW was set up to provide a Presbyterian church for the whole of England and Wales.’
I don’t think the attendees were so megalomanic as to expect a Presbyterian church alongside every Anglican church in England!
Surely the aim was rather more modest (though still ambitious given the history of presbyterianism in England). In other words it was to provide a Presbyterian church in England and Wales. It has succeeded in this aim seeing the formation of a presbytery and a significant growth in the number of churches. Yes, it’s small. But it’s there.
No doubt you will be encouraging the Free Church to provide material and spiritual assistance to further EPCEW church plants in the years ahead.
And congratulations on the church plant in Montrose, by the way.
All I hear in your replies is narcissistic responses. Religion is broad. Faith and individual beliefs are broad. There is no one way of believing. Preaching is dangerous. Put down the ego and take a long look at yourself in the mirror. Ask yourself “Who exactly am I anyway? What makes me think my beliefs are the only way they should be even though I claim I’m accepting of being corrected?” Oh that’s right you can’t. You are a narcissist and you enjoy engaging and belittling people who question what you do, how you do it and where you do it because it fills an empty void in your life. I’ll pray for your soul but not for your ongoing quest to preach, write and brainwash innocent people who are searching for the light.
I guess you hear what you want to hear. Being accused of being a narcissist is a bit like being accussed of being proud. Its a win win for the accuser. On the one hand you can accept it and prove them right. On the other you can say ‘no I’m not’ and prove them right (at least in their own eyes! What an arrogant, nasty, judgemental and unloving post – all of course done in the name of ‘the light’. I dont’ enjoy belittling people and I don’t normally do so (unless you regard any criticism of someone’s views as ‘belittling). I love people questioning what I do (note that is not something you did – you just accused and belittled). I don’t have an empty void in my life (and if I did to attempt to fill it in the way you judge would be a pathetic waste of time and energy) because Christ is in my life and he more than fills me! Please don’t do the passive-aggressive “I’ll pray for your soul’. I know it makes you feel virtuous but I find it both self-righteous and wrong – I don’t just have a soul – I am a complete person. If you really cared you would not be so judgemental and attack me in public in this demeaning way.
I preach the Bible – I write to challenge and I don’t brainwash anyone. Just because you struggle to cope with those who challenge your own prejudices does not give you the right to accuse those who do of ‘brainwashing’. I’ll forgive you for your aggressive and judgemental comments, pray that you will become more enlightened,,,and next time write with a bit more grace, humility and knowledge. ALl the best..
I heard you on Radio Scotland this morning. Thank you for speaking out truthfully about this subject. I will be praying for you
I love stories about McCheyne. I hope to visit this curch one day.
Hi David, I have a question relating to existence of God (yep, I’m going deep with this one!). I remember you came to Contagious camp at Strathallan School in 2014 and did a talk on God and Science so thought this would be a good place to come to. So as a Christian I know a common argument for God’s existence is that the universe is so complex it cannot be the result of randomness. But God himself seems so complex and we agree he just exists and always did, so how would you respond to this? Hope it makes sense, any help would be great!
Hi Jake, great question…..how about a simple answer for a complex question? The argument is not that the universe is so complex, the argument is that it is finely tuned and designed. The bottom line is that the universe had a beginning – it is created. God has no beginning and is uncreated and eternal. Also you will find that philosophers like Richard Swinburne and others will argue that God is in essence ‘simple’…not complex. But simple is used there in a very technical sense. Hope that helps. Have a look at this – http://users.ox.ac.uk/~orie0087/framesetpdfs.shtml
I’m writing to invite your blog to join the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid (BG²). If you’d like details, please email me. Thanks.
Dear brother David,
Do you mind picking up the developing story in Rwanda and sponsors Rick Warren [and of course Tony Blair]?
Kagame is going for a third 7-year term having tweaked the constitution. He has been in power since 1994. Rick Warren wants him on as 2015 is the “year Rwanda goes Purpose-Driven” to PEACE. Kagame has kept the nation divided. That was the only way he could have stayed in power. He shall remain in power as long as he wants, constitution or not. He has bought the services of Tony Blair in the UK and of Rick Warren and their business associates. Kagame effectively sidelined any competitors [by jailing, killing, retiring them] and filled the Parliament by direct appointments [of course presented as ‘elections’]; currently over 3 million voices want him to continue [or else there is going to follow descent into anarchy]! Let us also remember Kagame has managed to cover-up his role in the genocide of 1994. I am worried about Rick Warren’s role [and the fact that Kagame has bewitched the West by using effectively the almost always oblivious and after numbers US evangelicals].
Thanks…but I’m not sure I know enough about it…I will try and ask a couple of friends…it sounds pretty horrific…
I am loving the few articles that I have read on your blog. God bless you and keep you 🙂
Not relating to any post but have been looking to find a way to advise of a change of email address for your posts. Can’t seem to find what I’m looking for.
Anyway, my old email address was: firstname.lastname@example.org and my new one which I have resubcribed with is: email@example.com.
From a Glaswegian in Spain.
I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and the responses greatly. It covers so much ground, so well but I’d like to pick up one point. You generously score a win for the EU on Peace in your introduction. You say that the EU must be a significant factor in creating 70 years of peace in Europe, but we had 99 years of peace after the defeat of Napoleon. OK there was the Franco-Prussian war in 1870 but our era has seen war in parts of Europe too, though not between EU members so far. The Union was conceived in large part to keep France and Germany from fighting each other again, they haven’t but that doesn’t prove the EU caused the peace, it’s only a correlation. France and England fought each other more often for over 500 years but not in the last 200, in fact we’ve been allies since the 1850s. Sometimes circumstances change and we simply move on.
By your score sheet therefore I think the result should be 5-0, not 4-1. However it’s unfair to deny any benefits of the EU, it’s just that these could have been attained via a simpler structure without so many disbenefits. These are the ones listed in my own blog (see eurout.net):
made invasion of one EU country by another almost impossible,
made the rise of dictatorship in any European country unlikely,
introduced a common currency that is widely trusted,
strengthened distrust of incompetent and corrupt national rulers and weakened their power,
challenged and moderated the power of some mega-corporations,
made it easier for many European citizens to work anywhere across the Continent where there are jobs.
Thanks for all this work David
I just finished listening to you on Janet Parshall’s “In the Market”. I love your Scottish sense of humor, political knowledge, and your love for the Lord. In my opinion our God has a sense of humor, and He often deals with me in a “tongue in cheek” manner. My daughter, who is 50% Scottish, will certainly enjoy your faith and humor. I sent her a text about the “haggis paninis” and her response was “ee-uuuww”. May the Lord bless your ministry. Definitely this is a time to be fully alive for Jesus. Our God wants our full attention and commitment and I am encountering more and more Christians, who are desiring to give all in order for God to use them in the way He planned for them from the beginning. How exciting it is to have fellowship with Him through the Holy Spirit, which increases as I give up more and more of this delusional world of man with all of it’s temptations and lies. We really have no excuse, because He is present in all creation. I have started a movement called, “Losers for the Lord”. We are Christians, who both Christians and non-believers believe are fools because we have chosen to follow the will of our Father as opposed to making our will become God’s purpose. God broke the mold when He made each one of us and our part in the body of Christ will be both unique and necessary. I have always considered myself one of the ignoble but necessary parts. My Creator made the aroma of a horse, which gets my vote any day. Finding the Joy of the Lord in this harsh world is a life-line to be grasped and hung onto with all of the body, soul and spirit. It’s time for believers to get out of our comfy zones, get in shape, put on the armor and with Truth, Justice and Love march out to battle our spiritual enemies and to bring the Redemption of our Lord Jesus to the lost and deluded.
I will pray for you and your ministry.
Your Faithful Horse-Sniffing Sister in the Lord,
Just found your site via The Aquila Report!
Just found your site from one of the trolls you’ve apparently banned. I make it a point to visit every site the atheists complain about.
I’m following your blog now. I’ll try not to hold you personally responsible for the fact that your banned trolls are now inhabiting my blog space.
I didn’t realize you were the author of The Dawkins Letters. I read that book last year!
Read it twice as a matter of fact.
Keep the faith!
Good evening Mr Flea!
I just wanted you to know that I found my way here via Anglican Mainstream re-posting your article on the LGBT ‘debate’ in th HoC,
– from another AM article about Theresa May refusing a visa to the Archbishop of Mosul,
– from a DuckDuckGo search for this story,
– following a reference to it in Going Postal!
I guess this is some kind of trek from the un-Godly to the Godly.. I am looking forward to reading your work – but then I also enjoy participating in GP!
I suppose I have one foot in the flames and the other in the living water. Modern life, eh?
Good evening Mr Beaker…
Congratulations on finding your way here….I welcome everyone…especially the unGodly….
Hi David, I heard you on Janet’s show, One of the biggest rebels of rock and roll has to be Cliff Richard, although his stance seems to have waned in the last few years. Any thoughts? Thanks for all you do, Where is Al? Regards, Ian.
Hi David, the Church of Scotland says it is impartial on the question of Scottish independence.You are a minister of the Church of Scotland.
When you present a view relating to Scottish independence do you make it clear that it is your personal view and not a view that the Church of Scotland holds.
When you make a comment on Scottish independence do you sometimes mention that you are a minister with the Church of Scotland.
Thanks Terence….did you actually read the blog? Because if you did you will see that I state twice that this is my personal view – not the view of the church. And I never mention that I am a minister in the Church of Scotland because I am not. I am not even a member of the Church of Scotland. When I write about politics I do so as an individual not as the representative of the church to which I do belong (the Free Church). Perhaps it would help you when commenting if you actually read the piece you were commenting about before you did so?
May I ask you how you get your books distributed? I ask as an aspiring author.
Hello, David. My name is Dan Jones and I write a blog for Kinship Christian Radio in southern Minnesota/northern Iowa. It’s not nearly so good as yours. I think at my very best I may have about 80 readers. But it’s not about my glory anyway, now is it? Anyway, I’m mentioning you in regard to your appearance on Janet Parshall’s show about the Reformation and I became intrigued about the name of your blog. You being a Scotsman and all, I had an inkling that perhaps it had something to do with an old poem by Robert Burns, but alas my poor memory was incorrect after all as the poem is about a louse, not a flea. Whatever the case, I thought you might enjoy it. (Come to think of it, you probably already know of it but perhaps others might enjoy it. so here’s the link: http://www.robertburns.org/works/97.shtml
Thank you, good sir and may the LORD make His face shine upon you.
I enjoyed your post about your near-death experience. I think there may be some missing words in the sentence that currently reads “As we waited for him to collect the phone, out of the car and collapsed in a pool of blood just outside the doctors surgery”.
Hi David Robertson,
I was there when you gave a short talk on “why does a good God create evil” and I thought of a question for you when I heard you saying how you talk to 14 and 15 year olds and ask them would you like a world where there is no suffering, no conscious, no worng things being done which they would say “yes” and then you say “but then I would have to make you as a chair” because they don’t have the capacity to do wrong and they cannot cause suffering in the world (this is very roughly what you said I might have missed a few details).
So here is my question: Isn’t heaven a place where there is no suffering and no opportunities to do something bad? Would we be like chairs in heaven?
Look forward to hearing from you.
Great to hear from you….good that you were at the talk as well.
The answer to your question is that we would not be like chairs in heaven because we would have chosen to freely love God and be with him. In heaven all sin and temptation is removed and we will continue to freely love God. The point is that it is in this life we choose our eternal destiny.
thank you for all you do re the news letter. it’s a miracle when it makes it through the gauntlet of soulless intel goons who use algo and art-learn to shuck didiche and kerygma asso with the once for all delivered, yknow. pleasekeep it up
I just wanted to say how much I appreciate your letter to the Cambridge University vice-chancellor about the treatment of Prof. Peterson, especially in the light of how self-contradictory HIS letter was. I was going to write to him myself, but now I can’t think of anything to add to yours. It was good of you to go to the bother of taking him to task. I wonder where the outcry from Cambridge dons is? Surely they aren’t cowed into silence….
As an alumnus of St Catharine’s College myself, I’m considering severing all ties with my alma mater until they show they can behave properly.
David, this may not be the right place to put this, but many thanks for putting up the link on your Twitter page to James Tour’s talk on Origin of Life. I hadn’t come across him before, and found the talk fascinating. I then found his testimony of how he became a Messianic Jew, which perhaps you’ve seen, but if not, well worth watching.
Here’s the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNGLZvtRoiU
I enjoyed your response to Cambridge University after they revoked their invitation of a fellowship to Jordan Petersen. I thank God for the wisdom and insight He has given you to be able to engage as you did.
In your response you did mention that you weren’t even sure what an Islamophobe was. It seems you are in good company (!) as the term is to be debated in Parliament today and the government has already rejected a definition created by a cross-party group of MPs. If they couldn’t reach a conclusion, how have the ‘powers that be’ at Cambridge made their decision?
I will pray that God continues to use you for reaching the world with the truth of His gospel.
I enjoy and am edified by your podcasts and Solas…I am sending you a link that you might find interesting for discussion on future podcasts. https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/john-parker-woke-bishop-faithful-vicar
I keep you in prayer as you continue in His work
We don’t know each other but this year I started to listen to your podcast. (I am on Twitter @Richardtownrow). I’m a Christian, at an FIEC church, and live with my wife and little 1 year old in Milton Keynes.
I was just sent an email from a charity that is not your normal appeal email, and I think highlights the unseen injustice being done to those having to go through the process of trying to seek asylum in the UK. The news of what Serco are doing in Glasgow seems rather harsh, and putting many at risk – at least from the way the following is explained.
This could be worth a mention David, so I copied the whole email below and added in three of the links which were lost when I pasted this in. I also wondered if you know any Christians in Glasgow who you could make aware of this situation (particularly if they have spare rooms).
I would add that I recently got involved with the Rooms for Refugees network which is run by volunteers, and I think that they do important work.
As you may know, SERCO has announced in a press statement (http://www.paih.org/serco-press-statement/) that it will resume lock change evictions against 300 refugees and asylum seekers in Glasgow starting next week. See link to BBC news: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-48608323. We are shocked by this latest move. An appeal is lodged with the Court of Session by Govan Law Centre, the hearing took place on June 10th 2019. The decision will be known on July 1 2019.
We are therefore calling on Serco to suspend these evictions pending the Court of Session appeal.
SERCO agreed publicly not to take any immediate action to evict after the Court of Session judgement last month, and would consult with “key partners”. Neither of these happened, in fact, since April 2019, asylum seekers have come into our office in Glasgow with letters telling them to leave their accommodation immediately. People are feeling intimidated into leaving their accommodation.
In the absence of a structured eviction process with sheriff officers attending, we are extremely concerned as to the manner of these lock change evictions. We are aware that people have complained about SERCO officers rifling through their personal belongings, sudden lock changes taking place while people are out at college or their lawyer or at the GP. There is no procedure. We do not know what these lock change evictions will look like. Anecdotal evidence tells us that vulnerable, frightened people, both men and women, will be further distressed. Our advice is to decline to leave so that they can appeal to the first tier tribunal against negative asylum support decisions.
Many of the people affected by the lock change evictions are very vulnerable individualswho’s only alternative will be destitution. SERCO keeps referring to phased lock changes, whereby 30 people a week will be turned out onto the streets of Glasgow, yet with in the next 2.5 months we will see at least 300 people being made totally destitute in Glasgow, some of whom will beg other asylum seekers to take them in thereby risking others’ accommodation.
Furthermore, this charity will face an increased demand from destitute people seeking emergency grants and spare rooms in the homes of our volunteers hosts through Room for refugees. We are appalled that Serco would carry out these actions against vulnerable refugees who endure interminable Home Office delays with their cases. We have been told by several Serco residents that they have considered suicide. It is a chilling reminder of the triple suicide of an asylum seeking couple and their son in Glasgow’s Red Road flats in 2010, on the day they were told they had to get out of their Home Office flat. To avoid lock changes, some Serco residents stopped going to college or leaving their flats to buy milk or bread. We are talking about families, children, the elderly, the disabled, lone women and men.
This is the hostile environment on Scottish soil, war refugees, many from Syria, Iraq, Eritrea, and Afghanistan, endure systematic cruelty at the hands of an asylum system that fast tracks them into “refused” asylum status, then leaves them destitute. It needs to be remembered that many of the asylum seekers that Serco intends to evict are often pursuing their legal cases and have had their decisions overturned on appeal.
Emergency Appeal for spare rooms in Glasgow and donations
To address the current emergency situation, Positive Action in Housing is providing an emergency response service for people facing evictions from Mondays to Thursdays between 10 am and 12 noon and 2 pm to 3.00 pm. Anyone facing eviction, or their adviser, is advised to call Positive Action in Housing on 0141 353 2220 and ask for an appointment with an adviser to discuss their options, emergency advice and support.
Please, if you live in Glasgow, and have a spare room, please register at http://www.roomforrefugees.com and we will contact you to match you with someone who needs breathing space for a few weeks until they can decide their options.
We have today launched a Just-giving emergency appeal (https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/scotlandwelcomesrefugees) in aid of the asylum seeker men and women, many fleeing war in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, who are to be made destitute in Glasgow by SERCO. Such an action places added pressure on Positive Action in Housing’s Emergency Relief Fund which provides crisis grants and arranges free shelter through our Room for Refugees Network. Genuine Refugees endure systematic cruelty at the hands of an asylum system that fast tracks them into “refused” asylum status, then leaves them destitute. Please see our annual report for the humanitarian work we do to help people rebuild their lives, and donate if you can.
Finally, we depend on regular donations to help us help people to rebuild their lives and campaign for peoples basic human rights. It takes only a minute. Donate regularly using PayPal Giving. Or donate regularly via Charities Aid Foundation . Or go to http://www.positiveactionh.org/donate for other ways to give.
Positive Action in Housing
98 West George Street
Glasgow G2 1PJ
Registered charity number SC027577
Company limited by guarantee 158867
Thanks – I totally agree with you – will try and cover this…could you send me an e-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org with the details…
Great interview. Though one small wee bone to pick with you – the Sydney diocese is not the only Evangelical Anglican diocese in Australia! 🙂
Armidale Diocese – although a country diocese and smaller than Sydney, every parish is Evangelical, every clergyman is Evangelical, every clergy trained at an Evangelical institution (i.e. Sydney Missionary & Bible College, Moore College, Ridley College and one or two others that are also Evangelical).
Posted in the wrong place – sorry
I can’t tell you delighted and surprised when I was mentioned in the podcast.
I am the father of Tom Watson, who you met a week or so ago, and he told you you how we both enjoyed the podcast. Keep up the great work, and God bless you!
Thank you again for your thought provoking website and podcast. I so look forward to the editions. the Podcasts make my evening run so much easier! I am not sure if you saw this article , another sad consequence of the insanity
I am currently reading through A.S.K. to preview it for a potential Bible study at a youth group in the U.S. I love the book so far for the great advice you give. I especially appreciate the further reading recommendations. I do have one question for you regarding the chapters that mention gender. You quote Genesis 1 v 26,27 to give the biblical definition of gender and talk about the significance of that. As many Christians would agree, you say “What does the Bible say? It clearly teaches that human beings are made male and female” (pg. 51 ‘The Gender of God’). You also mention the challenge of changing that schema in our modern culture. So my question is ‘why would you say it is wrong to define gender socioculturally from a biblical worldview’? I would love to hear your response and thank you for writing this awesome book. I can’t wait to share it with our youth group!
Thanks Tanner – I’m not sure what you mean by defining gender socioculturally…but if you mean the view that gender is just a social construct and nothing to do with biology – that is both unbiblical and unscientific….
Thank you David for your reply,
is there any way tp reach out via email?
sure – write email@example.com
It’s official – AI is now superior to what constitutes the modern human brain.
The Telegraph 31st October, unknown reporter
‘Facial recognition failing to identify transgender people’
David, you are a great loss to the people of Scotland. I first met you in early 90’s when I was being interviewed for the post of Director of the “Mary Slessor Centre” Dundee. The interview took place in the Cornerstone cafe, Ch of S just across the road from the Steeple church.
I can still see you yet ,come bounding in across to say hello to Rev Graham Foster who was interviewing me over lunch, well in actual fact I was interviewing him , as I had already been interviewed by a panel the week before !. I was a reluctant, successful candidate I think, of five others,
I was not at all sure I wanted to take this position and was trying to pluck up the courage to say so to Rev Foster. We were introduced and you joined us for lunch. I wish I could remember what it was you said, but whatever it was it helped me see this is where God wanted me to be!. So, bless you brother, you were in the right place at the right time.
I didn’t speak to you again until 2017 when you were one of the speakers at the Faith Mission Convention, Edinburgh.
May God bless you right where you are BUT haste ye back to Scotland.
I’d be most interested to hear what you think of the Pope’s decision to change the wording of the Lord’s prayer with regard to “Lead us not into temptation” to “and do not abandon us to temptation” Please see
How do you think we should we understand “and lead us not into temptation”? Should we reword it to reflect a clearer understanding of the working of God?
James tells us that God does not tempt us – the Lords Prayer basically means ‘do not allow us to be lead into temptation’…
David, I found this a very interesting development https://www.foxnews.com/world/european-union-scientist-resigns-coronavirus-response
With all that’s happening in the EU, I think this is indicative of more to come.
I am Tom Holland and I am an NT theologian. I have published a book on the theology of Tom Wright called ‘Tom Wright and the Search for Truth’. I add some recommendations below.
I am writing to ask if you would be interested in reviewing the book for publication on your blog and Amazon etc.
With best wishes,
Endorsements for Tom Wright and the Search for Truth
by Dr Tom Holland
Tom Holland provides a long overdue and thorough critique of the biblical method of Tom Wright. Holland poses many excellent questions that point to fundamental, unrecognized, and potentially very damaging flaws in many of Wright’s methods and arguments. In an uncomfortable number of instances, Holland argues, Wright is just plain old wrong! Holland particularly identifies how the Second Temple Literature, as well as Hellenism as a whole, provides an unnecessary and unjustified foundation for Wright’s interpretations, especially of Paul. Holland does more than simply show how and where he believes Wright is in error; he presents numerous constructive and viable alternatives that merit further consideration. Regardless of whether one accepts these alternatives, if Holland is right in his fundamental criticisms, then Wright has a lot of explaining (and revising) to do!
Stanley E. Porter, President and Dean, Professor of New Testament, Roy A. Hope Chair in Christian Worldview, McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
I have long felt that someone ought to write a comprehensive, probing critique of N. T. Wright’s theological thought. I’m very grateful to Tom Holland for tackling this challenging, yet much-needed task. Holland rightly, I believe, raises serious concerns regarding Wrights methodology, which tends to elevate Second Temple literature above the Hebrew Scriptures. While Wright is correct in his efforts to peel back layers of Reformation tradition in reading Paul, Holland shows that Wrights own methodology does not always live up to the noble aims of the critical realism he espouses. No doubt there is much to learn from Wrights scholarly contribution. The way forward, however, I believe, is subjecting Wrights work to the kind of constructive critique Holland has provided. It is my hope that this volume marks the beginning of an even more thoroughgoing scrutiny of Wright’s reconstructed synthesis-with the result that Paul’s thought can be discerned more cogently from the New Testament documents against the most important ancient background, which surely must be the inspired canonical contributions of the Old Testament writers. Even the most ardent followers of Wright, not to mention Wright himself, will want to take note of this measured, yet pointed and sustained interaction.
Andreas J. Kostenberger, Senior Research Professor of New Testament & Biblical Theology, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Founder of Biblical Foundations
“What especially distinguishes this very important book is its tough but charitable engagement with some of N. T. Wright’s baseline assumptions, not only conclusions. It is essential reading for any well-informed analysis of Tom Wright’s prolific body of work.”
Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California
As one who was among the first to alert the evangelical world to some of the dangers in Tom Wright’s views, I was fascinated to read Tom Holland’s careful analysis of Wright’s methodology in interpreting New Testament material as well as on his understanding of justification. Dr Holland’s study continues to develop the exegetical insights he has presented in previous works. While I have concerns about some of his conclusions, I greatly appreciate the way he has scrutinised Wright’s sources and has shown how we should understand Pauline themes such as redemption against the background of the Passover and the prophecies of Isaiah and Hosea. New Testament scholars cannot afford to ignore this radically fresh and biblical perspective.
Philip H. Eveson, Former Principal of the London Seminary and Director of the John Owen Centre for Theological Study
In this corner we have a veritable library made up of N. T. Wright’s numerous books. And in this corner, now we have Tom Holland’s Tom Wright and the Search for Truth, which offers a ringside view of a sometimes-bruising collision of perspectives. Holland presses some issues that echo queries already posed. Yet he offers a sustained critique of Wright’s exegesis and its informing premises that breaks new ground. Particularly insightful is his demonstration of ways Second Temple sources control Wright’s interpretations when New and Old Testament writings more likely furnish interpretive keys. Where Wright prefers a monolithic definition of “covenant,” Holland shows the varying meanings Paul (and other biblical writers) conveys with the word. While Holland is appreciative of Wright at many points, and while there is much more to say in assessment of Wright pro and con, Holland’s probing and robust, Old Testament-based alternatives to Wright’s often shaky and tendentious reconstructions will stimulate scholarship. Holland’s book will free some readers from unwarranted enchantment with Wright and enable them to arrive at more fruitful understandings of especially Pauline texts and their redemptive message.
Robert W. Yarbrough, Professor of New Testament, Covenant, Theological Seminary, St. Louis, MO, USA
Various new perspectives on Paul have made a huge impact on New Testament studies in the last forty years. In his scholarly work N. T. Wright has had perhaps the most influence on a wider readership. In this accessible treatment of Wright’s output, Dr Holland presents a careful, eirenic, and thorough examination of the influences and assumptions that have shaped Wright’s approach to the theology of Paul. He treats his arguments to critical but fair scrutiny. It is important that widely popular claims are made accountable in an informed manner. In achieving this Dr Holland provides us with a resource that will prove invaluable for reaching a coherent evaluation.
Dr Robert Letham, Director of Research, Senior Lecturer in Systematic and Historical Theology, Union School of Theology
N. T. Wright has perhaps received more critical engagement than any other biblical scholar in this generation. These critiques often focus on the fruit of Wright’s theology rather than its root. In contrast, Tom Holland’s work levels a critique that goes all the way to the methodological roots. On the surface, the reader will find that Holland’s theology is similar to Wright’s in many ways—Paul is essentially a Jewish theologian, the New Exodus theme is a key component to Paul’s theology, Paul emphasizes the corporate nature of salvation—but the roots of Holland’s theology are drinking from a different stream. The fruit of Holland’s Tom Wright and The Search for Truth provides refreshing and innovative insights paired with keen theological precision. Holland’s critique of Wright is marked by humility and kindness, and his own positive contribution is a rich feast for the heart and mind. I hope The Search for Truth finds wide acceptance in Pauline studies.
Mark Baker, Books at a Glance
Thanks – yes I would love to read this if I can…send me a copy! My latest blog is re N T Wright – https://theweeflea.com/2020/04/29/wrights-wrong-reaction-en/?fbclid=IwAR0OV2S9TyzMsqhxdXhjNZgjTEIx5iD6OhngiReD6HywOB1e_6rjeNGMrbc
In A.S.K. there is a reference to “Seven Days that Shook the Earth” by John Lennox. Should this be “Seven Days that Divide the World”?
Wasn’t sure where to post this. But if this is the Australia of the future you’d better leave quick – that is if you can still get out!
Hi there, I love God and want to spread his word, but I keep being asked the same question at my high school and usually get the same response to my answer. “Am I homophobic?” I usually answer with, no I think of everyone with respect, but disagree with the views of the LGBT community, but people just seem to think that because I disagree with LGBT, I am, but that’s not how it works, is it? I don’t know what else I could answer. It is a question usually asked where the LGBT ‘propaganda’ is everywhere, and the Christianophobia is everywhere, especially coming at me, and there is nothing pushing against it.
By the way, I love quantum, it is a way of hearing the news in good Christian way and it is brilliant!
Thanks 404! The best thing to do is answer a question with a question. What do you mean by homophobic? Most people actually struggle to answer that….then you can continue! I suggest you put in ‘homophobia’ to the search on this blog and you will get plenty articles – some of which may help. Here is a video that might…show this to your friends…! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zC_Gk_-_O-I
Thanks, that helps quite a lot. One other thing though, would you say that Christianophobia is a growing problem? Because from where I am, it really is. But I’m not sure whether that is just near me, or whether it is a big thing because either way, the press probably wouldn’t write about it and express views on it.
It is not LGBT “propaganda.” We are human beings with feelings and capacity to love our partners just as straight people do love theirs. I’m
all for sharing Christ but please if you must try not to make it about people being gay or trans, being gay isn’t a choice a person makes and it’s ludicrous to think so.
I think its unwise to lump all LGBT people together in one group. I’m not keen on labelling at all. I prefer to regard people just as people. However it is different when it comes to ideologies. I would never make the Gospel (sharing Christ) about people being gay or trans – all human beings are made in God’s image, all are fallen in sin, and all of us need his love and forgiveness – no matter how we define ourselves. However as a follower of Christ, I have the right to follow the teaching of Christ about sex, marriage and gender.
I think the issue is a little more complex than ‘being gay isn’t a choice that a person makes’….I know several gay activists who dispute that and say it is their choice. It’s also not really a question of who we are attracted to sexually – but what we do with that. But that’s a whole other discussion.
I wish you all the best…and pray that you will come to know Christ – everything else is insignificant compared with that ..
And you are most certainly NOT my enemy….nor am I yours.
Do you have any thoughts or views on Pete Greig’s books and the 24/7 Prayer movement?
Havn’t read the books – am wary of all ‘movements’….
Hi David, I saw your review of my book and was very encouraged! I was wondering if I might have your permission to re-publish your review on my own blog? I will leave a link to your page at the top.
See you message box! Great to hear from you…
Homosexuality is indisputably biological; multiple scientific studies have proven as such. The basis is partially genetic, partially hormonal factors in the womb. It is not all genetic but it is undoubtedly biological. So I always cringe when I see preachers shouting being gay is a sin at gay couples. They didn’t choose to be born that way and activist saying otherwise doesn’t understand science. As for Christianity, well, your book says you should be killing us gays and lesbians, both old and New Testament. This doesn’t really endear me to Christianity much, I must say.
Homosexuality is not indisputably biological. Multiple scientific studies have not proven as such. There is considerable dispute. I know several gay activists who argue that homosexuality is there choice entirely…. The general consensus is that whilst there is no gay gene same sex attraction is a combination of nature and nurture. Furthermore just because something is affected by biology doesn’t make it right – if I were genetically predisposed to alcoholism, violence, sexual promiscuity, etc would that justify me indulging my genes?
And no the Bible does not tell us we should be killing gays and lesbians. I would suggest you actually read the Bible – not just what people say about it…
My dear sweet David… It is obvious you have not understood a word of my original post, there is considerably more to biology than just genetics. Pre natal hormone concentrations and brain structures, whilst not genetic, ARE objectively biological; I will refer you to the largest twin study ever done on homosexuality to prove my point:
Overall, genetics accounted for around 35 per cent of the differences between men in homosexual behaviour and other individual-specific biological environmental factors (that is, not societal attitudes, family or parenting which are shared by twins) accounted for around 64 per cent. The study shows that genetic influences are important but modest, and that non-shared environmental factors, which include factors operating during foetal development, dominate.
This further backed up by our brain structures resembling that on the heterosexual opposite sex:
Amongst other studies done such as brain activity and eye activity upon viewing certain images.
Respectfully, as a biochemistry major, it is pretty obvious you have no understanding in this area. The gay activists claiming it’s a choice are probably bisexual. I can assure you i cannot choose to be sexually attracted to males, but you will believe what you want regardless.
Monogamous loving homosexual relationships are not harmful like alcoholism, sexual promiscuity and violence so your argument there falls flat too.
The Bible objectively says lesbians and gays should be put to death; see Leviticus 20:13 and Romans 1:26, 1:27 and 1:32. Or at least that is what the “good Christians” that love to harass my Instagram inbox and that of my LGBTQ friends whilst “attempting to save my soul” say to me. This is arguably backed up by all the Christians that kill gay people around the world too.
I’m afraid that you are wrong on several counts –
1)I have read numerous studies and discussed with those who are biochemist PhD’s. There is considerable dispute about the biological nature of homosexuality – it is a mixture of nature and nurture.
2) The gay activists who say that it is their choice are not bi-sexual – although they would say they could choose to be if they want. Are they wrong?
3) I accept that you are not attracted to males. Don’t tell me what I believe.
4) The point about monogamous loving homosexual relationships (does this mean you are opposed to non monogamous ones?) is not the issue. You claimed that because it was natural it was good. My point was simply that there are some things that are natural that are not good. You now seem to be agreeing with that.
5) Romans 1:26, 27 and 32 does not say that gay people should be put to death. I am not aware of Christians around the world killing gay people (I think you have got your religions confused). Perhaps you could tell us which churches or Christian states put to death gay people?
1) You can claim you have spoken to as many biochemists with PhDs as you like but the fact remains that in science the bigger the sample size the more accurate and reliable the study is. I’ve looked at a lot of studies and all are smaller than this one which looked at 3,826 twin pairs. If you wish to dispute this and debate science with me then produce one larger and let’s talk facts. If you can’t then I have no reason to believe your unverifiable claim over the cold, hard science
2) If you are sexually attracted to both sexes you are objectively bisexual by simple logic, irrespective of what you say you are. Again, another unverifiable claim on your part
3) You implied otherwise but fine, whatever
4) I never claimed it was good because it was natural, you’re putting words into my mouth here. I said it is definitely natural but that because there is no objective harm in a consensual loving monogamous relationship it is good.
5) You know aswell as I do the church has a long history of killing LGBT folks; don’t be disingenuous, David. There are loads of modern majority Christian nations where homosexual acts remain illegal and hate crimes flourish unchecked, although I will acknowledge that none apply the death penalty legally (that honour goes to the Islamic religion.) As far as the fact that Christians still in modern times do support killing gay people it is not to my pleasure to be able to give you a long list:
There are plenty of instances that can be found worldwide of LGBTQ people being killed by Christians and Christians encouraging killing LGBTQ folks. Can you find me even one of a gay person killing a Christian, David?
1. Sure -try this sample of 500,000 which proves my point – that around 25% is biologically influenced but the rest is culture etc. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02585-6
2. I was talking about people who say they are homosexual not bisexual and say they are so by choice. Are you saying they are lying or that their lived experience is false – just because it does not suit your ideology? Like for example Julie Bindel – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDKwYbV1jQs
3. I didn’t. You need to learn not to read your pre-judgements into what is said.
4. That is precisely what you claimed. If it is natural how can it be wrong? Glad you have changed your mind on that or admitted it is a very weak argument. I’m curious though – what is the objective evidence you have that monogamous gay relationships are better or more morally good than polygamous ones. Peter Tatchell – noted gay activist would disagree with you. Is he wrong? What ‘objective’ evidence are you basing this on? Or is it really just a matter of taste for you?
5. I am a historian and I know that what you say is false – although you again would want it to be true. The church does not have a long history of killing LGBT folks. There are no Christian countries where homosexuality gets the death penalty. Your long list is not long – I already had all them – why? Because it is so rare. As a historian let me tell you it is not good history to have a belief then Google to get support for your position. In a world where three billion people profess to be Christian there will doubtless be a few who support your extremist position – but it is not the position of the Christian church or of any Christian leader. And no there are not plenty of instances of LGBTQI people being killed by Christians – it is a) very rare and b) doubtful if they are Christians at all.
Your view that gay people do not murder is bizarre. Or rather your view that gay people do not murder Christians is bizarre – tens of thousands of Christians are killed every year (the equivalent for gay is disputed but is in the low 100’s) – how do you know that none of them were killed by someone who was gay? You wanted one example – here is one of several (for obvious reasons these tend not to get reported much in ‘progressive’ media) https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/bishop-catholic-mom-murdered-gay-man-died-martyr-her-faith
1) I read the actual study linked to in the article you linked to and nowhere does it contradict the earlier study I posted to you that it is largely biologically based? It even explicitly says multiple genes link to homosexuality, not just one, even if you ignore the fact that there are other biological factors other than genetics at play. These is even explicitly acknowledged:
Though our study focuses on genetic influences on same-sex sexual behavior, previous research indicates that other, non-genetic influences are also important. Our genetic findings in no way preclude the additional influences of non-genetic biological influences in the development of sexual behavior and orientation.
2) People don’t have a choice or control over in who they are sexually attracted to, they either just are or just aren’t. Can you make yourself sexually attracted to other men? This point is frankly a red herring in any case as anecdotal evidence does not disprove scientific evidence
3) The discussion is about homosexuality being biological (and it clearly is) was in relation to you claiming that it was a choice in people, (which there is no evidence it is.) Why would someone choose to be gay in a country like Saudi Arabia that kills them? It makes absolutely no sense to claim that these poor people choose to be gay and it’s frankly disrespectful. I don’t need objective evidence to prove that two adults in a loving monogamous relationship is good either, it just is by default. Polygamy exposes you to more risks of STD’s, something which you surely should understand if you subscribe to the “biblical” view of marriage between one man and one woman? (Although interestingly enough polygamy was quite prevalent in the Old Testament as you well know, especially for a certain King Solomon)
4) It is well known that gay folks were killed by the church throughout history, even a simple Wikipedia search affirms that. Gay men used to be put to death in this country and in a lot althoughout the world that had their laws influenced by Christianity with Lev 20:13 and Romans 1:26. 27 and 32. Please don’t patronise me with some crap about context when Christianity has been fully complicit in the murder of gay people throughout history and remains to be so in a lot of African nations.
Okay, so you’ve found me one instance, obviously what the guy did was bloody disgusting but absolutely pales in comparison to all the gay people Christians have killed throughout history.
Listen, you can keep following your gay killing religion, that’s just fine, it’s clearly a religion intended only for straight people. I’ll go praise Thor and Odin 😉
If you are going to argue against someone – you really have to deal with what they say – and not lie about it – otherwise you are just arguing against yourself.
1) Thats what I’ve been saying all along. Nature and nurture are mixed – as they are with most human behaviours.
2) You say that people ‘don’t have a choice’ about who they are attracted to. Your evidence for that? Other than your own belief? Who says you cannot condition yourself or others? What is your empirical evidence for that assertion?
3) I didn’t claim that homosexuality was a choice in people. Which makes the rest of your point pointless. You say your position is ‘just good by default’ – in other words you offer no evidence for it (see the pattern)….as for STD’s etc – are you saying that if there was increased risk of STD’s in homosexual relationships, that would make them wrong?
4) Never base your ‘facts’ on ‘simple searches on Wiki’. Wiki knowledge is not real knowledge. You keep saying it is ‘well known’ and yet when challenged to offer evidence you fail to do so – just resorting to repeating the claim.
Your prejudices and ignorance of what Christianity is are seen in your last sentence – Can I suggest you actually find out what Christianity really is? Happy to help if you wish to be enlightened! Or maybe you prefer the darkness?