Blog August 25th “Sportsmanship”

Flintoff and lee Olympics sportsmanship
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“Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled” featuring Ben Morris from the album Risen! The Musical recorded and produced by Joffy Girling

The next instalment of “Is there a conflict between Christianity and Science?” is on hold yet again as this week I want to refer to these pictures that show how sport can be a wonderful means of bringing people together in friendship; giving great opportunities for the expression of compassion and care.

For example the true Olympic spirit shone out when New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D”Agostino of the USA helped each other out after colliding in their heat of the women’s 5000m. D’Agostino tore her anterior cruciate knee ligament in the incident but both runners insisted on completing their race. They were both handed places in the final but the injury prevented the American taking part.

The four recent test matches between England and Pakistan were really hard fought with the two teams winning two matches each. I thought this was a lovely picture of Alastair Cook, the England captain and Misbah-ul- Haq, the Pakistan captain expressing warmth and mutual respect.

I have long admired Brendon McCullum, the New Zealand cricket captain and the sporting way in which he ensured his country played. However my favourite sportsmanship picture and story is that of Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff of England and Brett Lee of Australia. This picture held pride of place for many years on the Crofton School PE Notice board. The story has been told a thousand times but in the Ashes series of 2005 Flintoff had just been pounding Lee with 90 mph deliveries as Lee was holding out in the Australian last wicket partnership. With just a few balls left Lee’s batting partner was controversially given out and all the English team went mad celebrating their win – all except for England fast bowler Steve Harmison who was apparently first to go to Lee as he slumped to the turf, distraught, after  unsuccessfully working so hard to avoid defeat. Harmison’s  generous gesture was  followed , as captured in this great photograph, by Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff kneeling down  to console Lee.

Next week “Is there a conflict between Christianity and Science?” will definitely continue!

Blog August 18th 2016 – Usain St Leo Bolt

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You Are The Shepherd Of My Soul featuring Lucy Stimpson- Maynard from the album “Love Is The Way” recorded and produced by Bob Ross

On July 23rd 2015 I wrote that Zach Johnson the winner of the 2015 Golf Open, is a Christian and on December 17th I wrote that Bear Gyrills is a Christian. I did this just to make the point that people you might not necessarily expect to be Christian actually are. This week I am again delaying addressing the question of is there a conflict between Christianity and Science by bringing to your attention another person who is a Christian which might possibly surprise you- Usain Bolt.

I thought that he might well be a Christian when I saw him look up to heaven and also make the sign of a cross on his chest. So I googled it and yes he is most definitely a Christian – One source states:

Bolt is a Catholic and his middle name was given to him in honor of one of the Catholic Church’s earliest Popes.1 Bolt is devout in his faith. He makes the sign of the cross before beginning a competition and, according to his public relations people, he is a “Bible-believing, God-honoring, Jesus-worshiping Christian.” It’s not something he talks much about. Though he does occasionally tweet things like: With God anything is possible… I demolish training today #thankuGod

His faith and his celebrity inspired the Vatican to invite him to speak at a conference on global religious liberty.

Here are some other examples of his tweets:

I want to thank God for everything He has done for me for without Him none of this would be possible.

Never forget the true meaning of the day – Good Friday

Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will feel no evil for thou art with me.

The fabulous Gold medal winning Fijian Seven a Side Rugby team who beat Great Britain in the recent Olympic Final are also Christians as can be seen from their rendition of “We Shall Overcome.”

Yes I know Mo Farrah is a Muslim and what a lovely pic of him with Usain Bolt, hopefully symbolizing that the two faiths can live side by side in this world.

 

 

 

Blog August 11th £30,000 and more raised by the Brokenshire clan charity swim.

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I Love You Lord” (Laurie Klein) with solo from Emily Shaw and “Hallelujah Glory, Glory” (from the musical Risen! ) with solo from Lorraine Marsh. Introductory recitative from Alex Knox.

I thought that part 7 of the discussion on whether there is a conflict between Christianity and Science could wait another week as I am sure you will be delighted to hear that the charity swim I highlighted in last week’s blog has raised in excess of £30k !!

I thought you would also like to see some film of this amazing swim and Laurie’s Brokenshire’s amazing story of courage and faith. Please click on this link http://forces.tv/87096374

 

Blog August 4th Laurie Brokenshire and family – Charity Swim

Risen 2014 “My Jesus, My Saviour”

This week I wish to devote the whole blog to my dear friend Laurie Brokenshire and his wonderful family. Please take the time to look at this video which will best explain the situation that Laurie is in and the amazing way in which he is dealing with it. The featured song “My Jesus My Saviour” taken from a Risen! concert in 2014 features Chloe, Laurie’s daughter -in -law and also Laurie himself as he played the role of Clopas. He is standing at the back wearing a blue tee shirt. It would be great if you could support Laurie and his family.

 

 

 

Blog July 28th – Jane Wilde “The Theory of Everything”

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“A family – that’s what we’ve come to be” featuring The London Touring Cast – Risen! The Musical at the New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth


Judas – “This perfume could have been sold for the poor.” John- “Judas is felt to be a reliable man” – John and Ensemble – “Hosanna”

Last week I said that Professor Stephen Hawking’s first wife was Jane Wilde. She is now 70 and married Hawking in 1965 after meeting him through his sister at a party when he was 23, a year after he was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease.

Wilde wrote the book “Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen” from which the award winning film “The Theory of Everything” was adapted.

So I have two very good friends, Tony Smith and his wife Anne who now live in Cambridge. When I saw them a couple of years ago I said that I had just seen the film “The Theory of Everything” in which award winning actor Eddie Redmayne does such an amazing job playing Stephen Hawking. Actor Felicity Jones also received high acclaim for her portrayal of his wife Jane Wilde.

My friend Anne then told me that she too had recently seen the film and that she had an interesting story to share with me.

Anne had been speaking to some friends before the start of their choir practice. She could not understand why they started smiling and even laughing when she spoke of how good the film was and what an amazing woman Stephen Hawking’s first wife was.

Anne asked what the hilarity was all about and her friends pointed to another member of their choir – another person who Anne knew well but only by her first name which was Jane.

Yes you have guessed it -that member of Anne’s choir was Jane Wilde – the first wife of Stephen Hawking.

Blog July 21st – Is there a conflict between Science and Christianity? Part 6

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“My Beloved King” featuring Chloe Brokenshire as Mary sister of Martha and Lazarus – from Risen!- The Musical CD recorded and produced by Joffy Girling

I have named some famous scientists who are Christians – Isaac Newton for example and I have also said that others like Albert Einstein would be better described as agnostics. I have also mentioned Brian Cox and Richard Dawkins who are atheists but what about Stephen Hawking, arguably the greatest living scientist?

In his book “Searching Issues” Nicky Gumbel writes that Stephen Hawking makes the point that

If the density of the universe one second after the Big Bang had been greater than one part in a thousand billion the universe would have re-collapsed after ten years. On the other hand if the density of the universe at the time had been less by the same amount the universe would have been essentially empty since it was about ten years old. How was it that the initial density of the universe was chosen so carefully? Maybe there is some reason why they universe should have precisely the critical density.

Gumbel continues to say that although Hawking does not believe in a creator God his own theory would seem to point in that direction.

Back in 1988, in his book A Brief History of Time, Hawking said, “If we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason — for then we should know the mind of God.” However now he is saying that God didn’t create the universe but instead “Nothing created everything.” This statement has caused some to say his statement has violated the basic laws of science. “It is embarrassingly unscientific to speak of anything creating itself from nothing. Common sense says that if something possessed the ability to create itself from nothing, then that something wasn’t nothing, it was something — a very intelligent creative power of some sort.”

One thing is for sure and that is Hawking’s first wife Jane Wilde is a strong Christian. She tells of how she once received a phone call from a hospital in Switzerland letting her know that he was close to death.

“Please Lord, let Stephen live,” was the prayer she recalls saying.

The doctors said that there was nothing else that they could do, and asked her for permission to turn off Hawking’s life support, but Wilde refused.

“Turning off the respirator was unthinkable. What could be more shameful then for such a heroic struggle for life to end! It would negate everything that I too had fought so hard for,” she said.

My response was instant: Stephen should live.

Due to the critical situation at hand, doctors had to perform a tracheotomy on Hawking, which succeeded in saving his life, but left him unable to speak and requiring the electronic voice synthesiser that the world now associates with him.

Wilde is now 70. She married Hawking in 1965 after meeting him through his sister at a party when he was 23, a year after he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

Wilde wrote the book “Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen” from which the award winning film “The Theory of Everything” was adapted.

I have a story about that to share with you next week.

 

Blog July 7th – Is there a conflict between Science and Christianity? Part 5

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“Mustard Seed of Faith” featuring Ross Gill from the album For Unsung Heroes recorded and produced by Ross Gill

I was watching Professor Brian Cox present BBC’s “Forces of Nature” and was most impressed with his great love for and deep appreciation of nature. What I found difficult to understand is how all the wonders he celebrates can be caused by accident. Professor Cox is a well know atheist – in my blog of June 30th I listed some of the many great scientists who are Christians but there are, of course many well-known scientists who are not – Professor Cox being one and Professor Richard Dawkins, author of the “The God Delusion” famously another.
What about Albert Einstein?
Wikipedia states:
Einstein stated in his final letter: ‘I am not an atheist.’,[19] explaining at one point: “I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal god is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being.”[1] According to Prince Hubertus, Einstein said, “In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views
So not an evangelistic atheist like Dawkins but one who would call himself an agnostic.
And Charles Darwin, author of “Origin on the Species? “
Nicky Gumbel in his book “Searching Issues” states that towards the end of his life Charles Darwin wrote of :
“The impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe including man as a result of blind chance or necessity. When thus reflecting, I feel compelled to look to a first cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man and I deserve to be called a theist.”
And Professor Stephen Hawking ? Lets see where he stands in next week’s blog.

Blog July 7th – “So not don’t fear for I am with you”

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The Storm on the Sea of Galilee by Rembrandt


“Allow His Loving Arms”- featuring Ross Gill recorded by Ross Gill from the album The Season of Singing

Just putting the question of is there a conflict between science and Christianity on hold for a week as the Shearsmith family have been going through very difficult times recently and I am sure we are not alone.
Gareth Benton of Kings Church, Portsmouth said the other week that when we are in a storm, Jesus either stills the storm or stays close by guiding and helping us through the storm. My family can testify that He has been with us helping us through the storm.
These reassuring words from Isaiah 41:10 are very special to me. They were said over me by Mr Mill’s father when I renewed my Baptism vows at Holy Rood church on 18th May 1997 (see blog April 17th 2014 ) and I read them out when Caroline, my wife was baptised in the Solent on September 4th 2011
So do not fear for I am with you
Do not be dismayed for I am your God
I will strengthen you and help you
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

I wrote “Allow His Loving Arms” during another desperately difficult time in our lives and I thought it appropriate to feature the song again this week.

Blog June 30th – Is there a conflict between Science and Christianity ? Part 4

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“Give Us Your Heart Lord” featuring The London Touring Cast – Risen! The Musical at the New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth


“The Fire of Sacrifice” featuring Lucy Stimpson- Maynard from the album “Precious” recorded and produced by Ross Gill

When looking at this question I finished last week by saying that I would take a look at Christians that are scientists- of course the fact that some scientists are Christians does not prove there is no conflict in the same way the fact that some scientists are not Christians does not prove that there is. Nevertheless it would be still be interesting to see what notable scientists are also Christians.

Let’s start with Mr Hodge – For many years Head of Science at Crofton School and a great friend who recorded and produced the early Mustard Seed songs- he is a Christian.

Nearly as famous is Isaac Newton (1642- 1727) who in addition to giving us the famous laws of motion also wrote theological books wishing to share his Christian faith with others.

Robert Boyle (1627- 1691) well known for his “Boyles Law which describes the behaviour of gases – he also wrote “The Wisdom of God Manifested in the Works of Creation.”

Michael Faraday (1791- 1867) Pioneer of electromagnetic induction

Louis Pasteur (1822-95) the French chemist who gave his name to pasteurised milk

Sir James Young Simpson (1811-70) the first surgeon to use the anaesthetic properties of chloroform

Lord Joseph Lister (1827- 1912) who established antiseptic surgery.

In more modern times notable names include Frances Collins, currently the head of the US National Institutes of Health; Gerhard Etrl who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry (2007) William D Phillips who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997. Brian Heap (born 1935): biologist who was Master of St Edmund’s College, University of Cambridge and a founding member of the International Society for Science and Religion. Keith R Fox: British Professor of Biochemistry at Southampton University. William B. Hurlbut: physician and Consulting Professor at the Stanford Neuroscience Institute, Pamela L. Gay (born 1973): American astronomer, educator and writer, best known for her work in astronomical podcasting. Larry Wall (born September 27, 1954): creator of Perl, a programming language.

A more comprehensive list can be found by visiting https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christians_in_science_and_technology

So what again is the significance? It simply shows that science and Christianity are not opposed for “If two teams really are in conflict against one another no key player can be on both sides at the same time” (John Young “The Case Against Christ.”)

But what about the really big names – the household ones of Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein and yes Richard Dawkins? Next week I’ll look at what they say and what is said of what they say.