On Birthdays, Battles and the Biblical Worldview

OK, so it is an odd thing to be writing articles on one’s birthday, but there is some sanity to all this. My wife is at work at the moment so it has been a rather quiet day thus far. I did indulge in some decadence earlier on, with a late and leisurely breakfast consisting of coffee and donuts. It doesn’t get much better than that.

So my actual celebrations will likely take place later this weekend. But we did go to my fav bookstore yesterday where I grabbed six volumes as an early Christmas present. One of the books was a 1000-page commentary on 2 Corinthians which I have eagerly wanted to get ever since it appeared in 2005.

The volume, by Murray Harris, is part of the very helpful but rather expensive New International Greek Testament Commentary series. As I was reading through this prized purchase yesterday I came upon this quite helpful summary of the Christian life:

“Christian existence is often marked by paradox: divine comfort in the midst of human affliction, divine strength in the midst of human weakness, life in the midst of death, spiritual rejuvenation in the midst of physical debilitation, joy in the midst of sorrow, and generosity in the midst of poverty.”

Yes that is a good summation of the life we are called to. All the values which the world fanfares (power, strength, pride, and so on) are the ones biblical Christianity spurns. Paul certainly makes this case quite forcefully in his second letter to the Corinthians.

Paul had to defend his calling and credentials against the “super apostles” who gloried in their eloquence of speech, spiritual experiences, and human approval. “For Paul, what validated apostleship was not the parading of one’s spiritual experiences, one’s personal value and qualification, one’s eloquence and exploits” but things like preaching the unadulterated gospel, enduring sufferings for Christ’s sake, humility, and slave-like service.

Another volume I picked up yesterday and am quite enjoying is a 2009 book by English medical writer James Le Fanu called Why Us? In it he takes head on materialist evolutionary theory and naturalistic scientism which insists on the reductionist view that matter is all there is.


He argues instead that real science presents to us a world of wonder, mystery and incredible depth which transcends the material world. It is a helpful corrective to the reigning secular worldview which argues against all forms of the supernatural, and sees science as saviour.

So on this thus far rather uneventful birthday I am more than happily perusing my new volumes and doing the usual lobbying work on my own website and various others. For example, on a social networking site I have been posting more bits and pieces on the culture wars and related issues.

At the same time others have been posting birthday wishes to me. Many of them offer words of encouragement to keep fighting the good fight, to remain steadfast, and thanking me for the work I have been doing over the years. So let me here say thanks to all of you for your kind words and your well wishes.

And let me say here that I most certainly will keep at it. Sometimes people ask me if I will ever retire, and I ask how one can retire when so much is at stake. I certainly have no intention of giving up, whether because of old age, or all the darts of the enemy.

A calling such as this is never pleasant, easy or trouble-free. Indeed, one gets plenty of flak. The hate mail is never ending, and even more of it has come in today. But we must keep at it, because the stakes are far too high, and the consequences of surrender are far too great.

Indeed, I often look back at WWII for inspiration here. You have there in very real and graphic terms what a real life and death struggle was all about. Basically, the entire free world was at risk. If the Nazis won, it would have been the end of everything worth living for.

Those living in the free world had to get involved. There just could not be any sitting on the fence, or simply wishing that all this blood, death and destruction would somehow just go away. It would not go away – the only way it would come to an end was for good people to stand up and fight.

Many wonderful speeches were made during this period. And many came from the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Let me offer part of one of his many famous, stirring and inspiring speeches. This one was given in the House of Commons on June 18, 1940.

Just a week earlier the French had surrendered to the Germans, and things were looking quite dark and desperate. Britain now of course faced the very real prospect of invasion, and this was a very bleak hour for freedom and democracy.

Churchill had to once again rally the troops, and inspire them into a brave, united and courageous front against these evil enemies. He needed to motivate the British people to be strong, courageous and resolute during this very dark hour. This is how he concluded his speech:

“What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their finest hour’.”

You can listen to part of this masterful speech here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/battleofbritain/11428.shtml

In the same way today we are involved in a monumental struggle. The biblical Christian worldview is under attack on all sides. This site documents the incessant attacks, battles and warfronts. Way too much of value is being fought over right now.

The very glue of Western civilisation and Christian belief and values is coming unravelled. At stake is nothing less than faith, freedom and family. If there was ever a time we dare not surrender, compromise, give up, or refuse to take a stand, today is that time.

I for one will continue to stand. Who will stand with me?


[1168 words]

43 Replies to “On Birthdays, Battles and the Biblical Worldview”

  1. 1. Happy birthday Bill.
    2. I am pleased to acknowledge your birthday and the very valuable work you have done in the past year by making a financial contribution to your ministry. May God grant you strength to continue to fight the good fight in the year that lies ahead.
    3. I count it a privilege to stand with you and with all faithful Christians who hold to the truth in love.
    4. It so happens I visited my local Christian bookstore earlier today and purchased another volume in the New International Greek Testament Commentary series, on this occasion the commentary on the Pastoral Epistles. I already have six volumes in this series, but not the volume on Second Corinthians. I find these commentaries very helpful, albeit expensive as you point out.
    Graeme Mitchell, Sydney

  2. Many thanks indeed Graeme for all your points.

    As to books, I have twelve volumes in the series. I only lack Nolland’s 1500-pager on Matthew. Perhaps my favourites are Thiselton on 1 Corinthians and Beale on Revelation.

    Enjoy Knight on the Pastorals. Thanks again,

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  3. Happy birthday Bill and yes, add my name to the list.
    Annette Nestor

  4. ‘Why Us?’ Sounds good, Bill.

    I’ve recently been studying the work of the philosopher John McDowell and he likewise attacks ‘scientism’ and its move to ‘disenchant’ the natural world of meaning, reason and values. A capacity for recognition that we don’t share with ‘mere animals’. Interestingly he credits much of this to the mechanisation of nature during the 17th century.

    Seems many thinkers are realising this.

    Damien Spillane

  5. Isn’t it great that God has a plan – all mapped out – “…before the foundation of the world…”
    That we are entitled to be a profitable part of that plan – this is G R A C E…
    Phillip Ellery

  6. Thank you Bill for your work. Love reading your essays.

    A physio who visited my mum said that he has only five minutes to talk to his wife at the end of the day but homosexuals due to not having the commitments of a family have the time to sit at the computer for hours and can afford to do so especially when there are two incomes.

    Family people simply do not have the time – and this creates an unfairness in this debate.

    Anne-Marie Modra

  7. Goodonya Bill,

    And I’m with you too, praying that the Lord will give you all the courage, strength and health. God bless you.

    Andrew Campbell

  8. Bill,
    I join with other brethren and sisters also to wish you a happy birthdayll, and also to say how thankful I am to read your essays. and to know that we are all engaged in this spiritual battle together.
    The “gay marriage” issue is just such a battle – and one that we must win, for all the reasons you have given in many posts.
    Can I draw your attention to another vital battle (Oh, no, surely not another one!). Humour apart, this is the battle for the ‘soul’ of the institutional church, and the urgent need for reform of the pastoral ministry.
    When you are next passing that bookstore, please take a moment to pick up the following and powerful plea for such a reformation (small, readable and only about $5.)
    It is entitled
    ISBN No.978-0-9827446-4-2) by Dr. Jon Zens – described by one of a dozen enthusiastic reviewers in the USA as “one of the most important books of the 21st century”. I agree – it’s dynamite!
    Perhaps this particular ‘battle’ is the more important one?
    May the Lord bless and encourage you for another year (and more!) Bill.
    Graham Wood, UK

  9. Another inspirational piece Bill. Happy Birthday!

    Let us hope enough of those currently asleep to the threat wake up soon and pitch in to defeat the new totalitarians who want to enslave us.

    Alan Williams, UK

  10. The WW2 connection really fits – not only strength in the darkest hour, but that we should learn from this history, and from earlier history, that appeasement makes the darkest hours deeper and darker.

    Some examples: Japan invaded China – the West ignored it; Mussolini invaded Ethiopia – the West ignored it; those clear and timely examples of appeasement certainly didn’t discourage Hitler!

    Even earlier history we ignore at our peril: Barbary pirates, from Islamic ports, extorted protection from Britain France & Germany shipping until the then brand new USA decided to start a navy to confront the pirates at sea and in their home ports. Their gunship diplomacy worked to a point but they were too democratic to finish the job by conquering the repeat offending countries. Although the US navy reduced the problem, the piracy didn’t really stop until France took over Algeria. Now the colonialism has stopped: and the piracy has started again! We now have an Arab ‘spring’ – or is it winter?

    And further back, how many civilisations collapsed because of moral collapse? In contrast the West and modern science arguable grew because of Christian morality and rationality.
    Colonialism isn’t the solution: but neither is appeasement, whether of violent religions, or moral degradation, or aggressive dictators, the results are disastrous for freedom and democracy. Give me intolerance against such evils any day! Let the watchmen give a clear signal that we are in danger.

    Great article Bill – a clear warning! Happy Birthday!
    Peter Newland

  11. Thanks so much for many topics I would not have known, keep up the great work, God bless you always. Happy birthday.
    Ian Brinkworth

  12. I am SO in !!!
    Happy birthday Bill, May God grant you many more birthdays and Bless you with Grace and Mercy to keep standing and keep fighting the good fight.
    Praying for you and your family.
    Anneline Elliot

  13. Hi Bill,

    I hope you have a great birthday weekend.

    I read your entries each day and find them a blessing. You are razor-sharp on your discernment and your heart for God comes through each word. We stand with you in the fight!

    My God’s presence richly dwell within you today and every day!

    Darryl Cole
    Newfoundland Canada

  14. Count me in Bill and thank you.I visit your site most days and always find the articles both challenging and enlightening. As the world gets ever darker (daily seemingly) we all must, like you, make a stand and speak out, whatever the personal cost and spread the light of the gospel. The time for “playing” at our faith is over and we need to get on our knees, repent for our sloth and get serious with our God. “Whom shall I send?” God once asked. My prayer is that we will all, like Isaiah, respond with a, “Send me”!
    Dave Billingham

  15. Good morning! Happy Birthday! Blessed Birthday! Peaceful Birthday! More coffee etc.etc. Thanks for your insights as always. Do you ever sleep Bill? Reading tons of books and material as you do….you are amazing!
    Evangeline Rykes

  16. Thanks always for your hard work, Bill, and have a blessed, happy birthday celebration, with many more to come!
    Dan Brinkman

  17. Thanks for the insights and inspiration you share. Have a great birthday and next year!
    Lauren Butler

  18. Happy birthday Bill, even though a belated one.

    I am standing with you and engaging where I can.

    On another subject, the movie – “The Iron Lady”, following are my perceptions and comments.

    To be completely honest, I was very disappointed with the movie and sincerely believe Meryl Streep’s portrayal of Margaret Thatcher was the only saving grace of the entire movie. As an actress she was superb!

    Portraying Margaret through the lens of dementia, left a negative impact on myself and my friends. Her dementia became the main focus rather than her achievements. This also left an impression she was dishonoured in spite of the fact the empire was pulled out from complete ruin through her decisive and strong leadership. And finally, there was very little acknowledgement of her Christian beliefs as you suspected there would be.

    In conclusion, the movie was informative but disappointing and yet we were still glad to have seen it.

    Trisha Ellis

  19. Many happy returns Bill, I am of the belief that the Christian never retires until he is called home to be with Jesus. I voted in that poll above and some of the comments posted there suggest that there are a lot of people out there who are happy to just go with the flow regardless of the consequences. Sheep without a Shepherd if ever I saw it!
    Steve Davis

  20. As your birthday is ‘extended’ over the weekend, A Happy Birthday.
    Birthdays are special and so are you.
    God made only one of you, Thank you God for this special person.
    Enjoy your days, 366 days till the next one!.
    Judith Bond

  21. Happy and blessed birthday Bill and thanks Mario – have voted – Hope everyone else has too.
    Anna Cook

  22. On this particular poll, so far only 207 people against same-sex marriage have voted. The other side is working hard – more than 1200 votes.
    Annette Nestor

  23. Have a great birthday celebration, and many thanks for your posts. They have encouraged me to write to politicians (most of them don’t like it), but I am with you! I keep you and others who are doing the work of the Lord in prayer.
    Joan Davidson

  24. A PS! Mario, I did vote in the poll, but was extremely disappointed to see the small number of people who have voted No! I wonder whether people are becoming ‘desensitised’?
    Joan Davidson

  25. Thanks Mario
    How about some more votes in HS as it is still going on and No is trailing.
    Katherine Fishley

  26. Happy belated Birthday to you Bill! Keep fighting the good fight. God bless,

    Joel Hawting

  27. Still off your main subject. My husband and I went to the Iron Lady and thought it was good. I found the dementia bits confusing at first but it showed someone making a difference. It is well worth seeing. No indication she was a Christian but I don’t know if she was. That she was a believer in God came out as she entered no 10.
    Katherine Fishley

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